which pentax film body to get?


johnha

Link Posted 31/01/2014 - 01:11
laurencea wrote:
i've just got back into film and haven't a clue about Pentax film cameras and any tips of what would be a good, simple camera would be greatly appreciated.

There are three basic types of camera (along with the most available/useful bodies):
1) Manual focus, fully manual (manual exposure only), e.g. K1000, MX
2) Manual focus, auto-manual (auto modes and manual), e.g. ME-Super, P30n/T, Super-A
3) Auto focus (usually offer most exposure modes), e.g. SFX, Z-1 & MZ-5n.

A lot depends on the lenses you want to use. Any camera with Program (P) or Shutter priority (Tv) will work with DA lenses (maybe with vignetting), some offer the same user interface as Pentax DSLRs (e.g. Z-1) and can use Av & Manual with DA lenses. Any screw-drive DA lens will autofocus with autofocus film SLRs.

For simple cameras I'd suggest (manual) K1000 or MX, (auto-manual) the ME-Super or P30n/T (not the original P30). All of these have good availability at reasonable prices but unless you know what to look for I'd recommend buying from a reputable dealer (online or otherwise) or from the classifieds here.

We could really do with a good 'how to' guide for film cameras to link to.

John.
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giofi

Link Posted 31/01/2014 - 22:34
John, this is a very good summary!

I would add that the choice depends also on how serious you are about film. If you wand to first try, many of the "newer" film bodies are real bargains compared to older classics, and they are generally speaking easier from a maintenance point of view. For instance they do not require changing seals.

Of the ones listed real bargains are IMO the P30n/t (manual focus) and the Z1 (top of the line auto focus)
Giorgio

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ronniemac

Link Posted 01/02/2014 - 01:07
It it's manual you're looking for, any pentax film camera with an X suffix - KX, LX, OR MX.
Last Edited by ronniemac on 01/02/2014 - 01:07

Sagaqualified

Link Posted 17/02/2014 - 10:42
If you go for the x suffix, however, you are competing with collectors and demand exceeds supply (certainly of good to go examples). The real bargains are now the MZ series. I recently picked up a pristine MZ-7 for £15 from ebay, a compatible 28-80 Pentax auto lens also cost £15 - so usable combo for 30quid. This for a camera that cost in the region of £300 when new. Gotta love superseded tech!
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

Offertonhatter

Link Posted 20/02/2014 - 19:24
There are so many film bodies out there. It will all depend on what you want and John has nailed it.

The more recent film bodies are dirt cheap (MZ-S excepted) and are mixed in quality. Personally, I would avoid the MZ-50 and MZ-30 due to their cheaper build such as the plastic bayonet, and the tendancy for the mirror return cog to break, leaving the camera useless. The latter has been a problem on the MX-5 (not MZ-5n). The MZ-5n, MZ-6 and MZ-7 are great cameras and very cheap now. I bought an MZ-6 for about £25 last year. Gutting thing though, I have had my MZ-5n since new when I paid £300 for it.

Metal bodied models are starting to hold their price, some going up a bit as well, but still accessable. I like the KX, MX, K2, ME Super. All great bodies.
Hybrid build (plastic/metal) ones to really look for are the P30n's Have the look of older models, yet have some modern features and electronics. I have been so close in buying one many times. Maybe I should. Expect around the £40 mark for one.

But, there is one model, that has been mentioned so many times on this thread. It it basic, built like a tank, not much can go wrong on them, and it will teach you all the basics on how to use a camera because it has no frills, oh and it was made for over 20 years, used by colleges, and as a result you will find bucketloads of them anywhere. That is the K1000.
Some Cameras

Offertonhatter

Link Posted 20/02/2014 - 19:27
One more thing, some links

Bojidar's web page is superb for all things Pentax

http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/index.html

And this one is perfect to find out which lens will work with which body

http://www.mosphotos.com/PentaxLensCompatibility.html
Some Cameras

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 20/02/2014 - 21:00
The K1000 is nice, but due to it's popularity it's quite expensive. The KM (a better camera, and much rarer) usually goes for less.

40 quid for a P30N? I think I paid around a tenner for mine, and I have a P30 that cost me 6.
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 20/02/2014 - 23:28
The K1000 is a very good, reliable and basic camera (there's hardly anything to go wrong). I wouldn't pay a lot for one unless it had seen a recent service (or came with a warranty), but equally buying them cheap (at risk) is an option.

The KM/KX are better (but more complicated and older) cameras and perhaps more interesting, but getting a working camera is usually more important. A younger and simpler K1000 is likely to be easier to find in better condition (the practical differences between the K1000 & KM/KX are so small I don't think they're significant).
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DavidJ

Link Posted 21/02/2014 - 14:08
Lancer3397 wrote:
My other half is hankering to take photos the old fashioned way. with film.

now while she's looking at really old fashioned fixed lens camera bodies, the old style vertical with two lens built in stuff, I'm trying to persuade her to go for pentax,

for a start we can share old lenses and I've got a 50mm M 1.4 she can use for starters.

but I know nothig about pentax film bodies. what's a good one to get?

there happens to be a camera shop in leeds that is selling a number of different pentax camera bodies for £60 down plus has a nice selection of lenses. but I don't know anything about the bodies.

DavidJ

Link Posted 21/02/2014 - 14:11
Lancer

If you can, I would get a Pentax LX. This was the top of the range SLR at the time. I still have mine in mint condition and whilst not used for some time, still operates as new.

womble

Link Posted 21/02/2014 - 22:20
Although I am fond of my ES, love my MXes, enjoy the KX... etc etc... the last film camera I'd get rid of is my LX.

I've just ordered a FD-2 viewfinder which completes my set...

Best wishes, Kris.
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

ChrisPlatt

Link Posted 22/02/2014 - 00:42
I've owned and used most Pentax K cameras including the LX.
I sold mine. It's frankly more camera than I require.

My favorite Pentax is the KX.

Chris
Bring back the latent image!

grahamcoad

Link Posted 22/02/2014 - 08:01
There isn't really a bad one is there?

My all time favourite was and is (so far) the Pentax MX for it's small size, great build quality and FABULOUS viewfinder.

(but just bought a LX that I can't put down...)
K-1, Sigma 12-24mm DG EX, Sigma 24-70mm DG EX, K-3, White K-01 with 40mm XS and white 35mm f2.4, SMC Pentax FA 1.8 31mm AL Limited, 43mm f1.9 Limited, 77mm f1.8 Limited, Sigma 17-50 f2.8, SMC Pentax DA* 50-135 f2.8, MX + SMC M 50mm f1.4, SMC A 50mm f1.4, SMC A 50mm f1.2, Spotmatic F 55mm f1.8, ES with 55mm f1.8 and 28mm f3.5, Program Plus (Chrome) with SMC A 50mm f1.7, Pentax 6x7, Leica ii, plus misc. odds and sods)

womble

Link Posted 22/02/2014 - 08:19
grahamcoad wrote:
There isn't really a bad one is there?

The A3?

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 22/02/2014 - 08:24
ChrisPlatt wrote:
I've owned and used most Pentax K cameras including the LX.
I sold mine. It's frankly more camera than I require.

My favorite Pentax is the KX.

Chris

My issue really, but having learnt on an ME Super then moved to an MX the fact the light meter stays off unless you have the wind-on lever in the ready position bugs the hell out of me. I forget every time! Doh!
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
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