In praise of the humble MV1


Dangermouse

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 12:33
I'm a bit puzzled how offering simplified products can make a difference to public perception of a company. Mercedes offer the A class but I don't think that puts people off looking at the big AMG-tweaked coupes. Mention Nissan and I think "GTR", not Mildred in her Micra who does 45mph everywhere.

I forget who first pointed this out, but Pentax have always been engineers at heart rather than showmen/marketers. They build the best they can for the price they think the market will bear, and then hope that the technical superiority of the results will sell it. Problem is, as we've seen time and again merely having an excellent product isn't enough to thrive today.

I also have an Olympus OM10, which is roughly equivalent to an ME and was released at the same time. About the only advantage it has is that you can fit a manual adapter, but the whole thing feels cheap and harsh with lots of square corners. The ME is just a bit more rounded and comfortable to handle. I understand why Pentax didn't offer a manual adapter as they were investigating which direction to take with future SLRs - stick with the Spotmatic's grandson in the MX or go automated with the ME.

I do think part of the current problem is daft reviewers like the one I saw on Youtube a while ago who commented that the K-m had a "stylish chrome strip" before they actually said anything about the image quality The sad part is that mass market products are where the money is, and unless you attempt to satisfy them then you're only a short step from financial disaster.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Algernon

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 13:23
The OM10 was a very cheap camera compared to the ME Super which would have been out at the release of the OM10. It also had off the film metering if I remember correctly. The OM2 was already out when it was released as was the K2 both of which cost about £300 with 50mm lenses.
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

johnriley

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 13:50
The ME and MX were the first releases. The ME Super followed and took the world by storm.

Now the MX is just about contemporary with the original Olympus OM1. But the Olympus has CdS metering, a meter needle readout and even lenses that were not multi-coated. It was effectively the same spec as a Spotmatic. The Pentax MX was much more sophisticated - smaller, GPD metering cells, LED exposure readout and a much better level of finish.
Best regards, John

womble

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 14:44
As a teenager scouring camera magazines trying to work out which SLR to spend my hard saved cash on I was swayed by the Pentax ME Super being the best selling SLR for many months and receiving great reviews. The rest, as they say, is history.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

johnriley

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 14:49
One of the things that amazed reviewers about the ME Super was that the electronic shutter delivered a totally accurate top speed of 1/2000 sec, or 0.5ms. This was a new standard of accuracy.

The MX, with its miniature but conventional horizontally running rubberised silk shutter gave an initial speed of around 1/1250 sec and the feeling was this was done so that in use it would slow to around the correct value of 1/1000 sec.
Best regards, John

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 15:40
mowog wrote:
Ebay is awash with them, fetching a fiver or less, while Spotmatics and K series cameras fetch much higher prices. The Ms are Pentax 'litter'. Unloved and largely ignored.

Surely a measure of how many units Pentax shifted at the time, not that these aren't good cameras? Of course the less common... (less successful?) bodies will be more prized in a "collector's" market.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]
Last Edited by Pentaxophile on 13/12/2010 - 15:41

womble

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 16:06
Pentaxophile wrote:
mowog wrote:
Ebay is awash with them, fetching a fiver or less, while Spotmatics and K series cameras fetch much higher prices. The Ms are Pentax 'litter'. Unloved and largely ignored.

Surely a measure of how many units Pentax shifted at the time, not that these aren't good cameras? Of course the less common... (less successful?) bodies will be more prized in a "collector's" market.

I agree. The ME Super is so common/cheap on ebay because it was incredibly popular at the time and sold in vast numbers. It was small, light, well built, well featured from an amateur's perspective, a wind-on mechanism that was smooth as silk, a wide variety of lenses to choose from, and fitted the early 80s obsession for anything with push-buttons rather than dials. Mine was my constant companion for ten years until I wore it out and bought a second-hand MX specially for my trip to the Carpathians in 1993.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Algernon

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 18:19
johnriley wrote:
Now the MX is just about contemporary with the original Olympus OM1. But the Olympus has CdS metering, a meter needle readout and even lenses that were not multi-coated. It was effectively the same spec as a Spotmatic. The Pentax MX was much more sophisticated - smaller, GPD metering cells, LED exposure readout and a much better level of finish.

This has to be a windup John

The OM1 was released in 1972/73 the Spotmatic F was
Pentax's answer to it

Hardly right to compare it with the MX released 3-4 years later
I would say it was ahead of the Spotmatic F in 1973 especially because
of the dampened mirror with mirror up switch and big bright finder
with intechangeable screens and was a lot smaller. Plus it was a
bayonet mount, Olympus dropped the M42 thread in 73.

Olympus M-1 Brochure 1972

Olympus lenses were good even though single coated. I'm not sure
when they changed to MC lenses (early 80's?). The letters MC are
stamped on the lenses. I think Pentax changed to MC in 1971.
The earlier SC lenses are as much in demand as the later MC ones,
some people believe they control flare better.

The Olympus bayonet mount was also very wide and they produced
more f2 lenses than anyone else.

Not bad for a company that only started full frame 35mm SLR
manufacture in 1970 with the FTL which consistently came out
tops on the resolution test certificates that R.G. Lewis
used to supply with every camera and lens they sold.

The OM-2 came out in 1975 before any of the K mount cameras.

Edit: Another M-1 Brochure
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 13/12/2010 - 18:33

Dangermouse

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 18:49
Interestingly it was possible to get mirror lock-up on all Spotmatics, according to one site I found. You just had to specify it at time of ordering. The switch was more or less identical to the stop down metering one but on the opposite side of the mirror box.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Algernon

Link Posted 13/12/2010 - 18:59
I'm not sure about ordering it, but I think some of the US versions came with two identical black switches one worked the mirror lock.

Going back to the Oly lenses the two push buttons on each lens
were brilliant one worked as a stopdown DOF preview the other
released the lens for removal much better than fumbling for
a button on the body and much quicker to change lenses.

Oly lenses are easy to adapt to Pentax K some pics on the other
forum. One big drawback with them is no half-stops.

There's and FTL on ebay with the 50mm M42 screw lens £125 BIN
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 13/12/2010 - 19:06

womble

Link Posted 14/12/2010 - 11:29
Talk of the little plastic tripod spacer in another thread made me wonder if I had one with my almost mint MV.

Here is the boxed camera:




This is what the boxed contained:




The camera body, strap, manual, receipt from 1981, warranty card and...




... the elusive spacer disk.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

womble

Link Posted 15/12/2010 - 17:40
It might amuse people to know that the second of these pictures received a large number of views on Flickr in the first 24 hours since it posted. The "camera porn" brigade really put my viewing figures up!

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Algernon

Link Posted 15/12/2010 - 17:51
That's the spacer. I wonder how many versions of that came out
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

Dangermouse

Link Posted 15/12/2010 - 19:58
It definitely explains where all the spacers went. If you came across that while clearing the old wardrobe you wouldn't necessarily realise it had anything to do with a camera, so it probably wouldn't find its way onto ebay along with the rest of the camera gear.

Talking of camera porn I must make a brief Youtube video of my SV when I finish the film in it. There are loads of clips showing how to use a Spotmatic on there but nothing earlier.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Dangermouse

Link Posted 23/01/2011 - 14:30
Resurrecting this thread as I developed and scanned the test roll from the MV1 yesterday. It seems to work perfectly and I think there are a few crackers in there

Posted a link as I haven't resized them!
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.
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