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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-17-2018, 06:17 AM  
When buying a Pentax film camera...
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 28
Views: 1,366
I've bought a lot of film cameras off eBay. Had some real bargains, too.

But I'd avoid the MZ/ZX series. Unless the seller can prove they have had the vulnerable gear replaced, if they haven't gone wrong now they soon will. Two of the ones I bought worked at first but failed halfway through the first roll of film.

I do have an MZ-30 that works well, and I quite like it as a pocket camera, but its just possible it has had the gear replaced or is a very late production one with the metal gear fitted. I now have a drawer full of a dozen broken ones to set against that though.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-17-2018, 05:54 AM  
Little help picking K-mount SLR?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 46
Views: 1,437
Have you looked at Chinon? You don't want plastic though. However CE-4 and CE-5 can be picked up very cheap, they are knobs and dials, and I've had one since 1981 which still works fine. They have an aperture window too, which I like, and DOF preview.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-05-2018, 03:40 PM  
How many film cameras do you have?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 101
Views: 3,622
Oh my gorsh as Popeye would say.
SV x 2
SP1000 x 2
Electro Spotmatic x 2
MEF x 4

Zenit TTL x 2 (! moscow edition)
Minolta 7000AF
Minolta 5000i
Minolta 7000i
Minolta 8000i
Minolta 5xi
Nikon F60
Nikon F70
Chinon CE4s
Chinon CE5
Chinon CM4s
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-05-2018, 01:33 PM  
Some Early Spotmatic Indulgence
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 24
Views: 1,429
No business has a 100% happy customer base - I speak with feeling having run more than one business myself. Sometimes things go wrong and with the best will in the world confusion becomes worse confounded until the customer loses all faith and then there is little that can be done to mend the situation - even abject apology doesn't seem to work.

I have used a repairer in the UK who satisfactorily repaired one (rare) camera - I then gave him a much more common fully working camera to CLA and he returned it broken. We are dealing with some equipment that the manufacturer would have regarded as life expired 20 years ago - it isn't going to always work out.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-30-2018, 02:47 AM  
Best Pentax film SLRs?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 90
Views: 4,128
Surely it must depend on personal issues? The LX is widely agreed to be the best non-AF Pentax, but I could never have afforded one. I had a KX (it was stolen) and liked it but not enough to replace it. I have a PZ-1p and like it but when it breaks it will be junk, not repairable. On the other hand my K1000 and SV will likely be working in 50 years time if anyone still has the knowhow to give them a CLA and you can still buy film. My (quirky) personal favourite is my ME-F, but that has just been declared unrepairable as well.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-20-2018, 04:11 PM  
Hello Stupid! Faux film is here
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 47
Views: 1,930
Their business. Now if someone would invent a digital recording media that could be inserted like a 35mm roll film THAT would be worth while!
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-17-2018, 02:59 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 5,782
Views: 674,331
ME-F's do seem to develop inaccurate focussing with age. I have two, and a 35-70 lens. I did find the focussing system useful as a focus aid, but really I was only being lazy. In any case, on both mine it only works with brand new batteries now, after a couple of days of use it stops working, though the rest of the camera works fine. I assume it's either a difference in modern batteries or some electrical component that deteriorates with age and needs more current.

The lens is a good lens, but the focussing is really too slow to be useful. I am happy to have one as a curio, though.

I think the focussing system works off the focussing screen? So perhaps the screen (which is removable on the ME-F, though not documented as such) gradually settles on its seals?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-17-2018, 12:53 PM  
SV worth repairing?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 11
Views: 1,480
I was given an SV that had been sitting on a shelf in someone's garage. Covered in filth. I cleaned the outside and it basically works! Shutter fires but sounds a bit dry, only problem is B doesn't work. It does need a lot of TLC however , as the filth had got inside. It felt so good in my hands I lashed out 25 on eBay for a fully working one. It IS fully working , seals in good order except for the mirror bumper, and that someone has used something scratchy to clean the mirror - viewfinder still pretty bright though.

This is a marvellous camera. It may change my whole mind about what film cameras I want to shoot in the future. It does what the Zent B I started my SLR career with did, plus a few extras but nothing that intrudes on making a photograph. And it does everything with elegance that the poor old B did crudely.

I won't do a review until I calm down a bit.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-17-2018, 03:47 AM  
P30T - skipping frames?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 31
Views: 3,864
The P30's have basically the same mechanics that go back to the introduction of the ME. They do not like to sit around for years unused, and if they are they can suffer from failure of the shutter to cock when the film is wound on.

I'm assuming the camera is electrically 'alive' and the meter works. If so, the quick fix - especially applicable to the P30's because the smaller number of seals they have are usually OK, is to take off the bottom cover and apply some silicone lubricant. Use silicone because it is safe with plastic parts. Work it in by repeatedly cycling without film and hey presto, good for another 20 years .

Don't do this with the precious camera you inherited from your grandfather. But since P30's essentially come free with a lens, it will in 9 cases out of 10 get them serviceable again for trivial expense.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-06-2018, 04:20 AM  
Looking for the next body
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 66
Views: 2,710
One difference between the PZ-1 and the PZ-1p is that the internal LCD doesn't seem to fade in old age on the 1p as it does on the PZ-1 (and PZ-20). It's a slightly more informative display as well.

If you only have the crack on the baseplate and the small section hasn't yet broken off completely, carefully work some glue under the slightly more flexible part before you catch it on something and it breaks off. I used UHU.

They do feel more like a digital than a film camera.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-18-2018, 12:36 PM  
Possible Mirror, Viewfinder or winding problem
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 6
Views: 677
On the other hand an MX is a very good camera. If serviced it will likely last another 40 years or so without further attention.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-15-2018, 02:32 PM  
Petition Pentax
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 30
Views: 1,600
I don't think a film camera could justify its existence. But how about a Digital K1000 (or, better, a KX?) It could become a great student camera. And it could have ASA driven off the dial and just a minimum of buttons on the back to review taken pictures, format a memory card (with a lock!) and not much else..
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-15-2018, 02:17 PM  
New to film. What next after Pentax ME?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 61
Views: 3,070
If you like the ME then I would seriously consider an ME super or ME-F (ME-F's have some slight improvements over an ME Super other than the focus aid that you may or may not find useful) but budget for a CLA. All the M series cameras by now need new seals and professional lubrication of the mechanism unless they have been previously serviced. I'm not convinced that program modes offer anything over aperture priority for a half-competent user and in general I prefer the M series lenses for handling compared to A series that you will need for program mode.

Although to be fair I did have the A series 35-105 and it is an excellent lens. Mine unfortunately succumbed to fungus due to a storage error on my part. But I used it with my ME-F, not an A series camera.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-25-2018, 02:29 AM  
Adaptall Pentax ES Mount
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 8
Views: 543
I had one (genuine) Tamron ES adapter where the lug that fits in the slot on the lens had been weakened over time and wouldn't turn with the aperture ring. It seemed to work fine with no lens attached. Some have a solid lug, the kind with the problem had a pressed lug.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-24-2018, 05:09 AM  
Electrical problem with Z-1p (PZ-1p)
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 6
Views: 428
Have a good look in the battery compartment, maybe compare it with the second camera. If you are lucky something has got in there or gotten bent and is shorting the battery rather than the camera itself.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-22-2018, 10:24 AM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 2,638
I actually don't find it too difficult to manually focus most AF cameras with MF lenses, which is surprising since I'm somewhat sight impaired. I have seen it suggested that AF cameras don't have split image screens because it can somehow interfere with focus? But it is often difficult to manually focus AF lenses because the focussing ring is difficult to handle and often too rapid in operation.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-19-2018, 12:55 PM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 2,638
I think my point was that the Z/PZ series had a good reliability record, and were so dirt cheap you could buy half a dozen for the price of one K1000 :-)
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-19-2018, 12:54 PM  
ME Super wind lever problems
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 7
Views: 714
Agreed. fortunately it has only in my experience been necessary to use it under the bottom cover, so well away from any glass.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-19-2018, 02:41 AM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 2,638
I do have a K1000, I was given it for nothing. I don't really see the attraction, for nostalgia and the lovely lenses I prefer the Spotmatics - and they are what I remember gazing at in shop windows from my youth. So I guess age and youthful experiences have a lot to do with it.

Edit - I suppose now having had some dozens of cameras through my hands - all sold as speared repairs or untested except where noted - I could say that durability has a lot to do with it. To summarize:

ZX/MZ I've handled about two dozen of these of which only 3 actually worked. A couple more worked when they arrived but didn't survive a roll of film before the pinion broke - probably had been standing for years.

Z/PZ Had 10, only 1 broken( a Z-1), a couple with dim readouts in the viewfinder

SFX Had 5, 3 working, one broken completely, one with a defunct AF drive.

P30's Had 8 or 9, only 2 working properly, others all needed treatment and a couple were beyond repair (by my methods)

M series. A bit of a conundrum here , all the ME Supers have been a mess, many with damaged shutters and other serious problems, though I have managed to get some with just the sticky winder problem working again. All the other M series I've handled (ME, MV-1, several ME-F's ) have responded to treatment. The relative unreliability of the P30's and the ME Supers may explain the popularity of the K series, as well as the student factor.

Just the one K, the aforementioned K1000, which works though badly in need of a professional CLA. I used to have a KX years ago but it disappeared in a house move.

Spotmatics - 6, 3 SP1000's, two Electro-Spotmatics, and one ES. All work except that the ES and one of the SP1000's (cosmetically the nicest) have dodgy metering. Surprisingly both the Electros work perfectly, although both have some minor silvering problems. All could do with a CLA, of course - I will probably get one of the SP's and the ES done.

I've not had any MX's or A series since I stared fooling about like this. I did have an MX years ago but gave it to a friend's son who was learning photography.

By 'working' I mean I had to do no more than stick a battery in and maybe do some cleaning. They may have cosmetic issues like dents or scratches that don't affect the functionality. I've sold on some of the working ones but I've kept the ones I like :-)

Edit again - because I've bought job lots I've had some other cameras through my hands, so I guess a quick summary - Quite a lot of Minoltas, mostly terminally broke, though I have salvaged a couple by swapping parts around. They don't seem to like sitting with dead batteries. I've actually bough a couple of working ones because they are cheap as chips and I have accumulated quite a number of lenses.

Both the Nikons I've had worked and had noticeably good viewfinders compared to the average AF Pentax., despite being bottom of the range ones. None of the Canons worked (too small a sample to draw any conclusion, should any Canoniste be reading!). Chinon I've had 5, only one was broken and that had clearly been out in the rain. Other makes have only been one-offs but I have a nice Moscow Olympics Zenit-TTL I'm keeping as a reminder of my old Zenit-B
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-18-2018, 03:22 PM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 2,638
I have a spare PZ-1p back door if you want it.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-18-2018, 03:12 PM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 2,638
I only buy Pentaxes or job lots that include several Pentaxes. The job lots are invariably M series or later because people understand the older cameras will sell for a bit more. The ZX/MZ series should be avoided because invariably if they say 'spares or repair'the pinion has failed. I don't just search on 'Pentax' I search on specific models and also misspellings although neither of the Z-1's were on misspellings.

Included with the Pentaxes I have picked up some nice Minoltas because the AF Minoltas seem as unloved as the AF Pentaxes. Anything labelled Canon or Nikon, no matter how awful, will push the price up too much.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-18-2018, 02:33 PM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 2,638
`I think my point is being missed. You can't buy a K1000 or any of the other cameras mentioned for 99p ($2? ) . If you could get one anywhere near that cheap it would likely need seals at least.

So one can buy a light tight Z-1(p) top of the range camera for less than say 15 by being canny. And it may not last another 20 years but despite being a plastic fantastic its already lasted best part of 30. Who's to say at least some of them won't last another 20?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-18-2018, 01:12 PM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 2,638
I understand that, but the later made K1000's aren't all that great either, and they sell for a lot more than, for example, the Chinon range which are equally durable and some at least have little bonuses like a window to see what aperture is set. I had a Chinon CE4s before my first Pentax and it is still good.

And of course you can use the Z's as fully manual if you so wish - just you can go on to do a lot more.

The funny story about the Chinon is that my ma bought it for my 21st birthday to replace my Zenit-B and she thought she was getting me a Canon! Because at the time I thought shutter priority of a Canon AE-1 would be better for my kind of photography - fortunately I was wrong.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-18-2018, 12:42 PM  
ME Super wind lever problems
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 7
Views: 714
Silicone spray. Take off the bottom cover, be careful not to lose any bits. Don't turn it over or things like the rewind button will fall out . Either use the spray tube or spray the silicone on a needle or similar and drip it in in small quantities on any gears and bearings you see. Unlike 3in1 etc. it won't rot plastic parts and it seems not to go sticky with age. I've resuscitated several cameras like this. I haven't needed to go any deeper into the camera than that. You may need to use the lever in the mirror box to reset things. (the one on the left, looking from the front.) . The wind lever and shutter may need a few cycles to get everything worked in.

If you still have a problem, open the film door and look at the shutter curtain. If you can see two arms and rivets VERY GENTLY move the curtain up (fingernail is the ideal implement if your hands don't shake) and release it. It should flick right down so only one rivet shows. Don't try this step on the precious camera you have inherited from your beloved granddad because the shutter curtain is very easily damaged.

This is a quick and dirty remedy of course, and if the light seals are also manky and you want to keep the camera for the next 20 years send it off for a proper CLA. This is supplied without warranty and your mileage may vary, etc.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-18-2018, 12:28 PM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 2,638
OK, this is a record. Off eBay I've just acquired a 'spares and repairs' z-1 for 99p. I wanted it because it had the unusual hot shoe cover that fits it and the Z-1p (which I picked up some months ago as one of 6 cameras in a job lot for 26)

Put battery and film in, works just fine. Has two problems - is missing the usual chunk of plastic by the battery chamber, and the viewfinder LCD is a bit faint but readable even in strong sunlight. So it can keep its hot shoe cover.

Am I alone in thinking this is just plain silly? If these were digital cameras they'd be great, but it really isn't terribly expensive to use film and get it returned to you in digital format - they make a great backup to my K200D, and can do a few things the K200D can't.

And it amazes me that people will pay quite a lot more for other cameras - example non-Japanese K1000 - which can't do a tenth of what the Z's can do. Of course I understand that if you want a Spotmatic and Takumar lenses you are in a different market - I have an ES myself - but it does seem crazy.
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