about the old Pentax KX

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by peters8, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. peters8

    peters8 Member

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    Hi guys!

    I was reading some opinions about this Pentax;many people say that is a good camera with excellent features but with a big problem (that I hate):the shutter in this model is very noisy,very loud.

    could you (of course who has owned this model) confirm or deny this problem?

    Another question:is the pentax kx a professional camera or is it a normal camera for normal users?

    Ciao:smile:
     
  2. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    perhaps the camera was aptly named?
     
  3. peters8

    peters8 Member

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    YES IN THE TITLE!
     
  4. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Yes I have owned one of these years ago and found it to be a very capable instrument. No I didn't find the shutter noisy, but then again those who have been brought up on today's offerings will tend to disagree. It was no louder than most of the other cameras available in the late 70's when it was on sale new.

    It was a better camera than the KM sister model available at the time (Brighter screen) but much improved when it was replaced with the MX model. (With the exception of the LED lights, instead of needle metering).

    I didn't class it as a professional model, just a well made upgrade of the old Spotmatic models, but there again some of those were used by professionals, so who knows?
     
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  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I used my friend's KX who was my roommate since he bought it new in 1976 for many years. I didn't find that the shutter was noisy, not any more than my own cameras, Nikon F2AS, Nikon F3HP, Nikon EM. A few years back I bought a used KX in excellent condition, still I don't think the shutter is loud but again like BMbikerider I must said there are many who would disagree with me.
    Like BMbikerider, I would not class the KX as professional but it's Pentax top of the line (it was lower than the K2 but the K2 was automatic) like the Spotmatic before it and the MX after it.
    The KX was the best K series camera with match needles metering (again I don't call the KM or K1000 match needle as they have only 1 needle) which show the shutter speed in used. It has the window that show the aperture. The photocell in the meter is silicon blue cell and is very accurate. It definitely a lot better than the famous K1000.
     
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  6. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    As others have already said, the shutter in the Pentax KX is no louder than the shutter in any of its contemporaries.

    The KX was the top of the line 35mm SLR from Pentax at the time ( mid 1970's).

    I see that the OP has posted a few similar threads asking "is this or that 35mm SLR form the late 1970's a professional camera".

    I think it is probably more important to consider how the camera was used rather than how it was marketed by the mfgr . This is especially true at this distance in time from the original manufacture date. Either camera when used daily by a professional photo journalist is going to be hammered probably to death, by now. However, either on that was owned by an amateur who took care of the gear is probably going to be a more useful tool.

    My mom was a journalist for a daily paper. I remember her going through cameras like you and I go through disposable razors...I don't ever remember her using a "professional" camera in her day-to-day work. I remember she had a Pentax MG (far from what anybody would considered professional camera) for a while - perhaps, two years. There were also a many Spotmatics. She seems to have preferred Pentax and Canon cameras with simple user interfaces. She even carried a Canon sure shot for a few years.
     
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  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    What defines a camera as a "professional" model? If the manufacturer calls it a professional model, it is one. :smile:.

    The only practical result of the manufacturer defining a camera as "professional" is that some manufacturers (through distributors) provide additional resources and services to working professional photographers using "professional" cameras.

    As an example, in my area Canon has a loaner program for their high end L series lenses. If you are a working professional photographer (with proof that fulfills their specific requirements) with at least two Canon digital bodies and at least one of those bodies is designated as "professional" you can arrange for short term, low cost or free loans of their more exotic lenses.

    I don't know whether a professional user of a Canon EOS-1V would qualify for the program :sad:
     
  8. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Pentax didn't go after the pro market in the same way that Nikon, Canon and to a degree Olympus did.

    Their cameras were intended for the consumer market. I'm sure that pros bought them, but that wasn't the primary market for Pentax.

    The KX is an excellent camera. Its shutter might be a bit noisy but no more so than rival cameras sold during that same era.

    Olympus (as it often did) started the downsizing trend with its OM-1, which was smaller, lighter and quieter than other cameras. Other makers followed suit: Pentax with the MX and ME cameras. Canon with the "A" series. Minolta with the "X" series. Nikon with its FM and FE models.

    I wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying whether it was a pro or amateur camera. It's more important than the camera work correctly. And I wouldn't buy a camera from a newspaper photographer, as they tended to beat the daylights out of their gear.
     
  9. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Only if it is in professional black color . . . :whistling:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Is that an LX in the middle?
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Without a doubt, sayeth the LX dude.
     
  12. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Even among it's peers, the understated elegance of the LX belies it's brilliant design, superb construction and unequaled performance.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    The KX is certainly a very fine and robust camera. I've got two, one of which I've had for 26 years with no problems, just one routine service about ten years ago. I'd agree that the shutter is a little on the noisy side - notably more than the Spotmatics that preceded it or the MX that followed.

    Steve
     
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  15. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Well, you can see Les has one so it's not only for normal users.:whistling:
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    And about the size and weight of an FM/FE series Nikon.
     
  17. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I would agree that they started it in a big way, partly because they advertised the hell out of it. Name a famous 35mm camera designer, and most people could only give two: Barnack and Maitani. Olympus did a great job on both the camera and the advertising.

    But Fuji came out with smaller, lighter, quieter cameras with bright viewfinders before Olympus: the Fujica ST701 and ST801. The 701 hit the market in '70 or '71. The 801 was announced about the same time as the OM-1, but was available in quantity sooner. They weren't as teensy as the OM-1 but they were small, light, quiet and bright compared to the Nikkormats, SRT's, FTb's and Autoreflexes out there, and even the Spotmatics. And the 701 had the first silicon cell meter; the 801 had that and the first LED meter indication.

    I still have the ST801 I bought in '74 and it's still working fine, though I used it so heavily it has been retired. I managed to wear the chrome clean off the mount threads.
     
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  18. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    The shutter may be a bit louder than other but I'm thinking with pentax it's mainly the sound of the mirror. I admit to loving my Pentaxs so I don't let the sound bother me. Besides compared to a Pentax 67 the kx is quiet.:laugh:
     
  19. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Note that the KX and MX are so different in size and weight, yet had the same feature set, except the MX did not have mirror lockup, but did have a motor/winder coupler, and a larger, brighter finder with interchangeable screens. And the MX's mirror could be pre-released using the ol' flick-the-shutter-button trick.
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I have a KX that I've used for about eight years, and it's a beauty. Yes, it's a bit loud in the mirror release, but not annoyingly so.

    To me they are very underrated cameras, and can be had for very little money today.
     
  21. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    It's even good for use by folks that are Abby Normal . . . :laugh:
     
  22. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    what about electronics on the KX and LX? How long is that stuff going to last? I'm happy with my Spotmatics and all my screwmount lenses, though I wish I had mirror-lockup.
     
  23. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The KX is mechanical so the only circuitry is for the meter. Internally, it follows the Spotmatic design.
    The LX has mechanical speeds from 1/75th to 1/2000th. It has electronically governed speeds to 1/8 on manual. It has electronic governed speeds on Automatic to 125 seconds, but actually it's indefinite. The shutter will stay open until it has collected enough light.
     
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  24. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Usually the finger-flick on the shutter button trick will lock up (actually pre-release) the mirror on Spotmatics. As far as I know, that's true for any of the Pentaxes based on the Spotmatic design, including the MX.
     
  25. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    I've tried this a few times and it released the shutter. I need to sit down without a roll of film in it and see if I can master that.
     
  26. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    From what I've heard, it doesn't work with every single one, probably because of individual adjustments. I've never tried it on one and had it not work, though. It's really easy once you get the hang of it.