MZs or EOS3 ?

Kim C

Link Posted 13/05/2004 - 09:49
Hi George,
As my first choice of camera is generally one of my LXs, I still use an A ring, I haven't found a way to avoid it . For digital, I have a Minolta RD3000 - not an A ring in sight on the Vectis lenses.

Seriously though, I don't think there is a "best" camera and my comments were very subjective. Much will depend on circumstances. For landscapes in Scotland, I used to use (and still do) an old Ensign Selfix 820. Fiddly - yes, flare control - non existant, slow - yes, metering - forget it! However, The 30" x 24" display prints I get from a 6x9 neg beat anything I get from any of the Pentax 35mm lenses and I have yet to find a way to get such a print from a digital.

The Z1P on paper has many more or better features than the MZs but does this make it a better camera. Faster top shutter speed. I have rarely taken a shot above 1/1000 and only used 1/2000 on a couple of occasions when I was stuck with some very fast film for indoors and had to go outside. Motordrive - I got rid of the winder for my LX because I could use it as fast manually. I still have the MD at 5FPS but have rarely found the need for it. Zoom clip and image tracking - never got it to work and the power zooms are rare and have largely been dropped. This then leaves the metering system and modes. Yes the Z1P has a large number of modes, but I find the MZs easier. One small thumb movement at eye level will shift the whole program to the side (providing of course you are not using the dreaded A ring ). I got a Z1P because of eyesight problems to augment my manual cameras. I couldn't get on with it because I spent all my time trying to remeber to various program modes and how to use them rather than taking photos. This was especially true as I had to keep puting my glasses on and taking them off again. I also found it uncomfortable. After trying to use it for over a year, I picked up an MZs. It was a revelation (To me). I found it went superbly alongside all my MF kit. So in the end it, the Z1P had to go and it was one of the few Pentaxs I have ever got rid of. Many suggest not using MF independents because apart from Sigma they focus the "wrong way" and this can "lose" you shots. In the same way, I was losing shots with the Z. It was also eating batteries! However, the Z1P is probably a better choice alongside a *istD because the handling is similiar.

In the end it's horses for courses. I find the MZs user interface easier and the whole camera has a better feel for me. I feel that in this thread, to go alongside an MX in a remote enviroment, the MZs is a better choice.

George Lazarette

Link Posted 14/05/2004 - 00:09
I wasn't knocking the MZ-S, especially in the context of this thread; I was simply taking issue with your "fiddly to use" comment. As I suspected, you did not get into the habit of using the camera the way it was meant to be used because you were using it the way you used the LX, and fair enough. Had it been your only camera, you might have developed a different opinion.


Link Posted 14/05/2004 - 20:58
I couldn't agree with you more, George.
Sure, by today's standards the Z1-P is big and heavy - but I like that!
There are many features and some are little more than gimmicks, but at least you are provided with choices that you may not get elsewhere.
The focussing is fast enough for all but the most demanding of situations and many people prefer the simple dependability of single point anyway.
I've found the metering system to be flawless and the hyper modes excellent.
The RTF is significantly better than any of it's predecessors and performs admirably.

IMHO, unless you feel that you really MUST have the very latest innovations or a very small and light slr, then the Z1-P is just about the perfect 35mm AF camera.

Incidentally, my first AF slr was (and still is) the original SFX and I think that Pentax got the design just about right and it still feels very good to hold - such a pity that the 'N' version was only a small improvement.
I think with Z1 type features (predictive AF and multi-pattern metering etc) the SXF would have been a fabulous camera and Minolta's Dynax 7xi would have been 'dead in the water'!
As it was, Pentax had some catching up to do and the Z range - culminating in the Z1-P proved once again what great innovators Pentax are!

Finally, despite my love of the Pentax, I must say that I considered ditching the lot when the Dynax 9 was introduced - wow, feels like a brick but truly awesome!
Die my dear doctor, that's the last thing I shall do!


Link Posted 15/05/2004 - 23:26
I have to agree with Kim on this - I find the MZ-S the most intuitive AF SLR I have used. The disappointment of the SFX / SFXn cameras led me to stray to Canon for my AF system (I still own and use an EOS3 and EOS10D). While I have a Pentax Z1 it rarely comes out of the bag now - the MZ-S is just too good to use - it has those features which first attracted me to Pentax when I bought an MX, its small, light, robust and performs superbly. Prior to purchasing my first MZ-S I found the MZ5n the nearset thing to my trusty old MX (in layout and mode of operation it probably still is) but the MZ-S currently is best of breed for me at the moment.

Kevin Stephens

Link Posted 25/05/2004 - 22:36
For those intersted

I ordered my MZs today, with 24-90 and a sigma ex 100-300 and some filters. SHould be with me on Friday

ALthough stocks of the MZs seem to have run out, SRS Discount Photo have a few "A" stock bodies (pentax approval returns) at reduced prices and 12 month warranty

Kevin Stephens

Link Posted 29/05/2004 - 13:43
Just a quick note of thanks for the advice.

I have just got my first trial roll back. I am very pleased with my choice, which will get far more use than the EOS 3 would have done. It really is amazing how much difference autofocus and auto exposure makes over my old MX, which I am keeping as a backup.

My "A Stock" body came without an eyecup or plugs for the flash sockets. Can anyone advise where to get replacements?

I have just put a couple of high quality manual zoom lenses in the classifieds. Has anyone got a 50mm 1.7 or 1.4 (mf or af) for sale?


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