LX vs ME super vs KX vs K2


ChrisPlatt

Link Posted 24/03/2015 - 22:43
Like your Canon A-1 the Pentax Super A/Super Program exposure readout is a digital display without scale, if you fancy that sort of thing...

LINK: Pentax Super A/Super Program

Chris
Bring back the latent image!
Last Edited by ChrisPlatt on 24/03/2015 - 22:45

George Lazarette

Link Posted 24/03/2015 - 23:44
The Super A was a jewel among cameras. Same sort of size and handling as the MX, but more modern and with exposure automation.

The K2 was great in its day - I bought one to replace my SPII, but made a dash for the ME when it appeared, closely followed by the ME Super. But when I left that on a taxi, I replaced it with the Super A, and that was the camera I really loved.

The Z1-P was the most capable Pentax film camera (more so than the MZ-S), but it was a bit of a lump, and I was glad to sell it.
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

gartmore

Link Posted 25/03/2015 - 08:54
Nice to see you again George
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

George Lazarette

Link Posted 25/03/2015 - 11:10
Thank you!

Nice to see some old familiar faces are still here.

I am waiting to see who buys a "full-frame" camera, and whether anybody returns to the fold. I am also glad I didn't sell much of my old glass.

Exciting times.
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

K10D

Link Posted 25/03/2015 - 12:50
George Lazarette wrote:
Thank you!

Nice to see some old familiar faces are still here.

I am waiting to see who buys a "full-frame" camera, and whether anybody returns to the fold. I am also glad I didn't sell much of my old glass.

Exciting times.

Welcome back George.

I'll be buying a "full frame" Pentax as and when it is available. Only to use with my Ltd's and a couple of other lenses. It's been too long in arriving and I just can't get excited over it now.

I do have LX's, ME, ME Super and KX bodies. All are good. I don't have a K2. Currently shooting film with a 645N II and an MZ-S. The 645 blows away the 35mm variants but can get costly to feed (Australian prices). It's a fact that shooting film slows down the whole process of capturing images. It does make you think more about the shot and in my case, even what to shoot. I find it most rewarding.

Best regards
cameradextrous _ Motorcycles etc. link

George Lazarette

Link Posted 25/03/2015 - 13:32
K10D wrote:
...... It's a fact that shooting film slows down the whole process of capturing images. It does make you think more about the shot and in my case, even what to shoot. I find it most rewarding.

Best regards

Absolutely right. And in the days of film, a manual camera always made you think more about composition than an automatic. It's why Photo schools insisted on using the all-manual K1000 for so long.

I think I will switch my bodies to manual everything for a while, and see my photos improve.

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

george_in_georgia

Link Posted 16/04/2015 - 04:49
Well, I can speak to this! I have (God help me!) three LXs, 3 ME Supers, 1 KX and 3 MXs! Do understand that not all are working!

Okay. For openers all these cameras have incredible view finders. They are bright, big, clear. Compared with current DSLRs its like looking through a picture window as opposed to squinting through a mailing tube. Really!

The LX is supreme.

Given the proper accessories it will do almost anything. Having said that, these lovely machines are getting old and CLAs and repairs are expensive, in keeping with a professional machine, I guess. Should the electronics pack it in or the battery dies, shutter speeds above X, or 1/70 are available. Top shutter speed 1/2000. The metering system is phenomenal, EV -6.5 or so to EV 20. You can shoot by moonlight. Really! Your choice of manual or aperture priority automatic exposure. Exposure is set OFF THE FILM so that changing light makes no difference. Aperture and shutter speeds visible in viewfinder, as is flash status, with dedicated units. Flash exposure with dedicated units is also off the film; I've had excellent, consistent shots over many years. Strongly center weighted meter pattern. Mirror lockup, DOF preview. Interchangeable screens, backs, finders, data backs (all out of date!) power winder, motor drive, blah, blah, blah. Much like a Nikon F3 but a K mount, but for whatever reason there is no exposure lock button! What was Pentax thinking?? Wonderful handling, silky precision, compact but solid. IMHO the ultimate manual focus Pentax, perh aps the ultimate manual focus 35mm SLR of its period, including Canon and Nikon.

Someone mentioned the MX.

It was the LX's predecessor. Small, good metering system, interchangeable screens, backs, winder and motor drive. Very good handling, but I find the shutter speed dial stiff. YMMV. Manual match needle metering. Shutter speed and aperture visible in viewfinder. Center weighted meter pattern. Cloth shutter, top speed 1/000. X synch at 1/60. It is small enough so that many of us prefer to use the winder to have a little more to grip. DOF, but no mirror lockup except by a kludge. I've experienced rapid battery drain for no apparent reason, but with a hand held meter this is just an annoyance, since all shutter speeds are mechanical.

The ME Super

Small, the same size as the MX. The MX and the LX are "professional," the ME and the ME Super are amateur. So what! The ME is strictly aperture auto exposure, the Super allows manual shutter speeds via up and down buttons on the top panel. Center weighted metering pattern. Shutter speed and aperture visible in viewfinder. With a vertical run metal shutter X synch is 1/125. Top speed 1/2000 IRRC, I don't have one in front of me. No DOF or mirror lockup, a pity. Like the MX I find that the winder aids in handling. No motor drive, but there is a winder, no interchangeable screens. Flash is NOT TTL, but has some automation with Pentax units. IIRC without a live battery you can shoot at 1/125 only. No exposure lock! Dumb!

I'd forget the ME and go for the Super. Given the current low cost of operable Supers if it breaks just replace it. IMHO the Super's only major flaw is the omission of DOF, or depth of field preview.

The KX

In some ways this is what the K 1000 should have been. It was part of the introduction of the K mount bodies. Cloth shutter, synch at 1/60 (IRRC) great viewfinder showing shutter speed and aperture (like the LX and the MX and ME Super). Center weighted metering pattern. Proper on/off switch, battery check, DOF, mirror lockup. What's not there? Interchangeable screens, winder or motor drive, interchangeable backs, super sensitive metering system, TTL flash automation. Its bigger than the cameras above, but perhaps because of that has a solid feel. If you find one priced like a K 1000, go for it. It is a fine camera, simple, should be rugged, and handy in the best manner.

My "advice"? The LX if you can afford it and accept that a CLA (Cleaning, lubrication and adjustment) will be needed every few years and won't be cheap. This is a camera you can grow with.

After that things get a little fuzzy. The KX will probably outlast the ME Super, but can be hard to find. The MX is delightful, but tends to be expensive, especially in its black garb. The Super is a delight, and if it breaks a replacement is probably cheaper than a repair.

doingthebobs

Link Posted 16/04/2015 - 22:51
Basically, You wont find a bad Manual focus Pentax.

There are some with greater following than others and that is reflected in the price, but there isn't a bad one.

The KX, KR and K1000 were all a bit bigger than the M range but some love them.
The MX Is manual exposure only. ME, MG auto only. ME super, LX manual & aperture auto. All small size.
Super A was Program, Aperture/shutter auto and manual exposure modes. Have one from new and it is certainly robust. Also small size.

The LX and Super A also have off the film metering so also do TTL flash metering with dedicated flash.

ME, MG and ME super are probably the cheapest. LX most expensive but also the most flexible with many accessories.
Bob

ronniemac

Link Posted 17/04/2015 - 00:01
LX vs ME super vs KX vs K2 vs MX vs Super A. (I've expanded the post title to take account of above posts). You have been offered some fantastic advice in the above posts. My comments are just my own personal reflection

My Pentax life began with the manual exposure MX, the only drawback I experienced was that the traffic light (not needle) metering indicator was sometimes difficult to read if shooting into bright light and that's a minor point. It's larger predecessor, the KX (also manual) uses a needle to indicate metering so did not have this problem. Both are fine cameras. The ME Super offers aperture priority automatic exposure as does the LX and K2. The neat little Super A offered either shutter or aperture priority automatic exposure.

The simple fact is that they are all very good cameras with the exception of the LX which is truly excellent. You could buy KX, K2, MX ME Super or Super A with confidence but, much as you will enjoy these, you will always wonder about what the allure of the LX is until you buy one.

I have all these cameras and enjoy them enormously apart from the ME Super which to me is a tad boring, but had I started with the LX rather than buy it last, I doubt I would have even thought about buying any of the others, it really is that good.

To do a quick comparison of camera specifications, I recommend Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount pages which will enable you to compare technical data. Other forums do offer user opinions which can be interesting however are not always impartial.

I on the other hand am entirely without prejudice......In a word, LX

ChrisPlatt

Link Posted 17/04/2015 - 02:45
I have owned LX, K2, K2DMD, KX, KM, MX, ME, ME Super, ME-F and P3n Pentax K manual focus bodies.
My favorite by far has always been the Pentax KX.

Chris
Bring back the latent image!
Last Edited by ChrisPlatt on 17/04/2015 - 02:46

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 17/04/2015 - 05:59
doingthebobs wrote:
Basically, You wont find a bad Manual focus Pentax.

The MZ-M?


Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

johnha

Link Posted 18/04/2015 - 11:32
I'm a bit late to this thread but I've got and used most of the options mentioned above. My take on the cameras is below (note: this is based on on my experience of buying up to 40yr old cameras on ebay - condition varies enormously):

LX: The ultimate option in my view, expensive and may require a service but easily the best. If you think you want one in the end and are committed to film it's probably better to just buy one.

Mechanical cameras:
MX: Small lightweight (LED meter info plus aperture), plentiful and much newer than the KX, KM etc.

K1000: Bigger than the MX (but many prefer that), crude metering and no aperture readout/self timer/DoF but very robust. Have a 'cult' status so prices can be high but they were made into the '90s so some of them are fairly young.

KX: Similar to the MX, bigger with Mirror Lock-up - but one of mine has a problem with the metering circuit or switch (the wind lever needs to be 'offset' for the metering to work). Much older than the MX and most K1000s.

Electronic cameras:
Super A: Small multi-mode with LCD display in finder and top plate. Everything you'd need apart from exposure lock (the LCD display in manual mode is a bit clunky). My preferred electronic camera after the LX. Works with DA lenses in program & Tv modes. Shutter speeds by up/down buttons.

P30n/T: The workhorse starter SLR in the '90s, Program, Manual & Av modes (the earlier P30 only had M & P). Has meter lock and DX film speed setting (not sure if you can override it?). Shutter speal dial.

ME Super/MEF: The ME Super is a classic, LED display with Av & M modes. Workhorse cameras but I'd prefer a Super A. The MEF is similar with crude AF confirmation in the finder (if it still works - the sensor is from the very early days of AF), but the battery door is fiddly. Shutter speeds by up/down buttons.

MZ-M: Basically a MZ-5n without the AF and really needs the AA battery grip to simplify battery choice. Plasticy with a 'penta-mirror' finder and may have the plastic mirror drive cog problem. BUT it's a very good camera - M, P, Av & TV modes, meter lock, exposure compensation and DX with override. It has an LCD readout in the finder shutter speed (and aperture when the lens is set to A) and a proper shutter speed dial on the top. Motorised film advance (either you like it or not).

K2: Early auto-manual, has a strange ISO dial around the lens mount which doesn't seem reliable 40yrs on. Mine has a shutter problem (always shoots at one speed). If you can find a good one it's probably a reasonable choice, but I'd look for something more recent.

Also consider the P50 - similar to a P30n/T but with two programs (action & depth) and it will take the Motordrive A.

That said, most of the above go for very little (the mechanical cameras are more expensive - although you can get cheap K1000s from auctions rather than BINs), you can get and try several - many cost little more than a couple of films + processing.

John.
PPG Flickr
Last Edited by johnha on 18/04/2015 - 11:35

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 18/04/2015 - 19:06
johnha wrote:

KX: one of mine has a problem with the metering circuit or switch (the wind lever needs to be 'offset' for the metering to work)

This is normal, all KXs are like this. I was out shooting with mine this afternoon for the first time in a while and I found I'd forgotten how annoying this little "feature" is.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

ChrisPlatt

Link Posted 18/04/2015 - 20:07
Jonathan-Mac wrote:
johnha wrote:

KX: one of mine has a problem with the metering circuit or switch (the wind lever needs to be 'offset' for the metering to work)

This is normal, all KXs are like this. I was out shooting with mine this afternoon for the first time in a while and I found I'd forgotten how annoying this little "feature" is.

I've considered asking Eric if he could bypass the advance lever interlock switch.
But It's not too big a bother, unless you're a left-eye shooter...

Chris
Bring back the latent image!

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 19/04/2015 - 00:59
ChrisPlatt wrote:
Jonathan-Mac wrote:
Quote:

KX: one of mine has a problem with the metering circuit or switch (the wind lever needs to be 'offset' for the metering to work)

This is normal, all KXs are like this. I was out shooting with mine this afternoon for the first time in a while and I found I'd forgotten how annoying this little "feature" is.

I've considered asking Eric if he could bypass the advance lever interlock switch.
But It's not too big a bother, unless you're a left-eye shooter...

Chris

Like me
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses
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