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All the "M" Well almost (before the hammer falls)

JohnMcD
Posted 10/04/2008 - 00:05 Link
I thought I'd better take a photo of the remains of my "M" collection before it goes under the hammer. I once had all the bodies too in both silver and black but as you can see I've whittled it all down to only 4 bodies including my original MX bought about 25 years ago.

I've just ordered the 77mm F1.8 so I need to break up this collection to help pay for it and a new film body. I don't really want to it makes me hurt but apart from the 20mm I don't use most of it.

All the primes from 20mm to 200mm are there. The only things missing are the 300, 400 and 2000mm primes and a couple of zooms. The primes are 20mm F4, 28mm F3.5, 28mm F2.8m 28mm F2, 35mm F2.8, 35mm F2, 40mm F2.8, 50mm F1.4, 50mm F1.7, 50mm F2, 50mm F4 Macro, 85mm F2, 100mm F2.8, 100mm F4 macro, 120mm F2.8, 135mm F3.5, 150mm F3.5 and 200mm F4. The zooms are the 24-35, 28-50, 70-150 and 80-200. The bodies are ME, ME Super, MX & MV.

I'll probably sell most of them soon so watch out. I'm looking to get the 77mm, and old body MZ5/MZ3/MZS maybe an FA20 and the FA 80-320 so I need to raise some cash.

The last lens I bought was the 120mm which has taken years to find a mint one.

Comment Image


I wont tell you which is which I'll leave that up to you to sort out
hefty1
Posted 10/04/2008 - 01:51 Link
That is an awesome collection! If it were me I wouldn't be in any hurry to sell it off.

I've been thinking recently about getting an MX just to have a play with (using my current lenses) - any thoughts on which of the M series cameras is the best? I'm quite happy with all-manual cameras and the idea of a small, rugged and battery-independent body appeals. You obviously have the experience so please feel free to share your insight...
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Clarky
Posted 10/04/2008 - 03:10 Link
Wow
Have you considered mowing lawns to raise the money for that 77mm
Camera:|K-7|
Pentax Lenses:|DA12-24/f4 ED AL|DA35Ltd Macro|FA31Ltd|FA77Ltd|FA50/1.4|F70-210|FA20-35 f4/AL|A*200/f4 Macro ED|A50/1.7|A50 Macro f2.8|1.7xAF adapter|
Voigtlander|125/f2.5SL Macro APO Lanthar|
Sigma Lenses:|EX DG 100-300 f4|2X & 1.4X TC|
Flashes:|AF540FGZx2|RingFlash AF160FC|
JohnMcD
Posted 10/04/2008 - 09:38 Link
hefty1 wrote:
That is an awesome collection! If it were me I wouldn't be in any hurry to sell it off.

I've been thinking recently about getting an MX just to have a play with (using my current lenses) - any thoughts on which of the M series cameras is the best? I'm quite happy with all-manual cameras and the idea of a small, rugged and battery-independent body appeals. You obviously have the experience so please feel free to share your insight...

Never having had any of the Programme series of cameras ( like Super A etc) just the "M" series the MX is the only mechanical one so if you want mechanical then that's the only one.

Having said that though the rest of the "M" series can all be used with dead batteries at their flash sync speed of 125 which is pretty usefull. In light of this I'd get either the MX or ME Super.

The ME Super is about the same size and has a much brighter viewfinder making it easier to focus. I don't like the buttons used to change shutter speed though so for manual use the MX still rocks.

The MX has more options like motor drive, bulk back and interchangeable screens but they are all hard to find, expensive and probably not needed these days. The MX is the only one where you can see the apertures in the viewfinder.

All the other "M" series have more limited features so I'd avoid them. The MEF looks a mess and the focus assist isn't up to much so I wouldn't bother with that, I had a lovely mint one and only got about 20 when I sold it.

Like I said I have no experience of the "A" series which should have the benefits of the ME Super combined with Programme mode and maybe TTL flash support ? (not sure about that). The only down side of those is that as Jack Simpson pointed out to me once you can't see the details in the viewfinder if it's dark as there are no LEDs.

The LX combines the advantages of the MX and ME Super, best of both world if you can afford one. The only thing you miss with the LX are slow shutter speeds if the batteries die. I didn't like it though, the viewfinder seems darker than the ME Super. The LX often suffers from the "sticky mirror" problem so I'd consider it much less reliable than the MX. My MX was bought 2nd hand in 1983/84 I think and I've had no problems with it. I did have it serviced about 4 years ago but that was just to have the light seals done and the foam around the mirror was perishing. I had a new screen put in too as the old one was very dirty with perished foam.


Anyway that's all just opinion so ME Super for convenience, MX otherwise and LX if you can afford it.
hefty1
Posted 10/04/2008 - 09:57 Link
Thanks for that John, I'd already discounted the LX on the basis of reported problems and (more importantly) the prices that used ones fetch. You've really confirmed my thoughts that I'd probably be best off going for either an MX or an ME Super - I'd been swaying towards the MX due to the all-mechnical speed range (and the dial operation) but I hadn't realised the ME Super had a brighter viewfinder so it's just earned another tick in its column. I'm saving for the FA31 at the moment to complete my Limited set and once I have one it looks like I'll have a tricky decision to make - your information has been very useful!
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JohnMcD
Posted 10/04/2008 - 10:14 Link
Dear Hefty, the one thing that might sway me towards the MX would be the viewfinder. While it is a bit darker as long as you have a decent F2 type lens on it you will be fine so the FA77, FA31 and FA43 will make it bright enough. In this case I'd go for the MX as you can see the apertures in the viewfinder and the shutter speed dial is MUCH easier to use than the buttons.

I'd get both as you can pick them up very cheap now and decide which you like.
George Lazarette
Posted 10/04/2008 - 10:20 Link
The best affordable MF Pentax was the Super A. As John says, all the merits of the ME Super, plus shutter priority, full auto, and TTL.

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.
hefty1
Posted 10/04/2008 - 11:37 Link
The Super A requires batteries to operate though and I really wanted a camera that offered fully mechanical operation. I know the ME Super offers a halfway-house approach which I'd probably find acceptable but the MX really does seem ideal on paper. I think John's now swayed me firmly back into its camp!
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Hyram
Posted 10/04/2008 - 13:24 Link
I always found my Super A to be brilliant, which is why I never upgraded to anything else, but jumped straight to a K10D.
Hyram

Bodies: K20D (2), K10D, Super A, ME Super, Auto 110 SLR, X70, Optio P70
Pentax Glass: DA* 300, DA* 60-250, DA* 50-135, DA* 16-50, DA 70 Ltd, FA 31 Ltd, DA 35 Ltd, DA 18-55 (2), DA 12-24, DA 10-17, M 200, A 35-70, M 40, M 28, Converter-A 2X-S, 1.4X-S, AF 1.7, Pentax-110 50, Pentax-110 24
Other Glass: Sigma 105 macro, Sigma-A APO 75-300
Flash: Metz 58 AF-1 P, Pentax AF160FC ringflash, Pentax AF280T
George Lazarette
Posted 10/04/2008 - 14:34 Link
hefty1 wrote:
The Super A requires batteries to operate though and I really wanted a camera that offered fully mechanical operation. I know the ME Super offers a halfway-house approach which I'd probably find acceptable but the MX really does seem ideal on paper. I think John's now swayed me firmly back into its camp!

I don't think this battery business is really relevant. It's not like a DSLR, which consumes lots of big, heavy, hungry, batteries. You put a battery in the Super A and it will last for a year, maybe three. And a spare is smaller and lighter than a 2p piece, so it's not a problem to carry a lifetime's supply.

I agree that the MX is a lovely little camera, but the Super A is the same size and weight (roughly) with quite a few (optional) conveniences. And it can be used in full manual mode if you wish.

I've owned loads of Pentax cameras, starting with the SPII, and the Super A is the one that felt the most "right".

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.
Mannesty
Posted 10/04/2008 - 14:40 Link
Why sell such a collection of lenses?

The *istD can use them with no issues, the K10D (and presumably the K20D) can use them with a change of focussing screen (according to some here).

Unless you need AF, I'd keep them, the rarer ones at least.

You have some excellent glass there.
Peter E Smith - flickr Photostream
JohnMcD
Posted 10/04/2008 - 17:40 Link
Dear Peter, if I could keep what I want I'd keep the 20, 28 F2, 50 1.4, 85 F2 and 100mm F2.8 but the 20, 28 F2 and 85mm F2 are the most expensive apart from the 120mm which is rare so if I kept them I wouldn't make any money.

I have 2 options keep the 28 F2, 50mm F1.4 and 85mm F2 and sell the rest

or

keep the 28mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4 and 100mm f2.8 as a core set.

Not sure what to do I just need to keep enough to keep the MX going I've had the 85mm for 20 years and the MX if I don't get the money I need for the 28mm F2 I could just keep it, it's got a bash on the filter ring that makes it very hard to get a filter on although it's optically almost mint.

I'll start posting them on the for sale soon but it might take some time to photograph them. I might start with the zooms.
Mannesty
Posted 10/04/2008 - 18:23 Link
JohnMcD wrote:
. . . it's got a bash on the filter ring that makes it very hard to get a filter on . . .

Tools are available to reform the filter ring. Alternatively it'd be a quick and inexpensive job for a repair centre like www.harrowtechnical.co.uk or www.asahiphoto.co.uk . Both advertise in the heading above. I have personal experience of Harrow Technical and can recommend them.

Another option is to use a cheap metal framed filter (actually a plastic framed one might be easier to fit), remove the glass and any retaining rings, and screw it permanently on the lens. You'll never need to take it off and you have a new thread for additional filters but a tad further from the lens so reflections might creep in.

Any of these remedies would mean you get to keep it, and if you advertise it as damaged, it's immediately devalued anyway.

Just my thoughts, hope it helps.
Peter E Smith - flickr Photostream
hefty1
Posted 10/04/2008 - 18:38 Link
JohnMcD wrote:
Dear Peter, if I could keep what I want I'd keep the 20, 28 F2, 50 1.4, 85 F2 and 100mm F2.8 but the 20, 28 F2 and 85mm F2 are the most expensive apart from the 120mm which is rare so if I kept them I wouldn't make any money.

I have 2 options keep the 28 F2, 50mm F1.4 and 85mm F2 and sell the rest

or

keep the 28mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4 and 100mm f2.8 as a core set.

Not sure what to do I just need to keep enough to keep the MX going I've had the 85mm for 20 years and the MX if I don't get the money I need for the 28mm F2 I could just keep it, it's got a bash on the filter ring that makes it very hard to get a filter on although it's optically almost mint.

I'll start posting them on the for sale soon but it might take some time to photograph them. I might start with the zooms.

That's a tough decision you've got there and not one I'd want to make! Whatever you decide though, I wish you the very best of luck.
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hefty1
Posted 10/04/2008 - 19:00 Link
George Lazarette wrote:
I don't think this battery business is really relevant. It's not like a DSLR, which consumes lots of big, heavy, hungry, batteries. You put a battery in the Super A and it will last for a year, maybe three. And a spare is smaller and lighter than a 2p piece, so it's not a problem to carry a lifetime's supply.

Your point is a valid one George, however, I probably should have mentioned that I "collect" battery free cameras and was after something that could take my Pentax glass whilst simultaneously adding to my 60-odd mechanical bodies.

I don't have any Pentax stuff at the moment (except the K10D, my Auto 110 set and a compact 90 Zoom) and I like taking them apart, cleaning them up and putting them together again (jigsaw style) as much as I like taking photos with them. I can't seem to go to a car boot sale these days without buying an Olympus Trip (currently own 7), Rollei B35 (2) or even a Kodak Brownie (3). Most of them I end up selling or giving away once they're working & looking like new again; others (like my Rollei TLR and my Leica IIIf) I can't imagine ever letting go of.

So while I'm sure the Super A is a better body it just doesn't tickle my fancy in the same way the MX does...
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