Pentax bodies

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by anyte, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. anyte

    anyte Member

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    I've been considering getting a Pentax for some time. I've done quite a bit of research and still find myself unable to decide between 3 (all of which are available at the time of this writing).

    The three I've been considering are the K-1000, the KM, and the KX -- if anyone has an opinion on any of the three I would appreciate the input. Or if you think there is another that I might consider I'm open to that as well.

    I have leaned more towards the K-1000 for it's popularity and because it requires the user to think and learn more so than the others. The KX has more functionality, such as the DOF preview, and many pros recommend getting a camera with a DOF preview. The KM is just the in-between model.



    Thank you. All input is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Hi Anyte,

    I have Nikon MF cameras and would suggest getting a camera with DOF preview if possible. If you're interested in close-ups (or proper macros) it's very useful (once you get used to seeing the darkened view). K1000's are regulary over-priced due to their student related 'legend' status. So I'd be aiming for a KX, but overall condition would be the overriding factor for me.
     
  3. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Hmm... Of all the "features" I have, I think Depth Of Field preview is the one I've used least. Things just get too dark for it to be effective.

    Uh... Nikon "MF"??? Does Nikon make Medium Format cameras??
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    hi anyte - -

    i have a k1000 that i got way back in 80'. if you get a k1000 make sure that it is an older one with a metal body, the new ones were made of metal-looking plastic or something. mine jumped out of a backpack when i was chasing a bus ... it has a little duct tape on it but still works fine :smile:
    the newer ones i don't think would have fared so well.
    i also have a me super and use it pretty often. it too does not have a DOF preview ... and i don't really miss it. cameras and lenses that i currently own that do have DOF preview ... i never use it ...

    the me super weighs a fraction of what the k1000 weighs - titanium shutter, and is tiny. you might spread a wider net and think about one of those as well ... :smile:

    good luck!
    -john
     
  5. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Nikon MF as in Manual Focus... I use DOF preview a lot. Actually I use it with my Mamiya 645 too. Maybe I'm weird!

    If DOF is not needed, I'd agree with the ME Super suggestion.
     
  6. erickson

    erickson Member

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    Go for the KX!

    I own a K1000 and know it has no features other than the very basics. The KM adds a timer and DoF preview. The KX has the timer, DoF preview, and also mirror lockup. I've been considering picking up a KX camera body for myself.

    Check out http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/ for more information than you ever wanted to know about Pentax equipment.
     
  7. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Interesting, of the 35's I have used DOF has always been important to me as well Nige. So if you are weird, that would make two of us...and yeah, I use DOF on my 645 also. Guess that's one reason I never really got into rangefinder cameras.
     
  8. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    why not buy a Spotmatic? A great oldie adn plenty to be found. Many have been rebuilt and will last another 30 years with a little care.
     
  9. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Oh yeah! My first "real" analog camera I had was my father's Spotmatic with 50 mm and 135 mm lenses. I really appreciated that camera (and still shoot it occasionally). The mirror and shutter is as good as new.
     
  10. kchittenden

    kchittenden Member

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    When my daughter wanted a manual camera, it was the K1000. That was 6 years ago and it is still going strong. I grew up with a Spotmatic and loved it. They are both good choices. If you can afford it, a manual focus Nikon would be a great choice. The optics on the Nikons can be surpurb.
     
  11. anyte

    anyte Member

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    Thank you everyone for the input.

    I had considered a Nikon as there are a larger number of available telephoto lenses, but most are out of my current price range (for the next year or four).

    The Spotmatic is also something I've looked at and again it came down to the number of available lenses to suit my needs.

    The ME Super looks like something worth considering - it's still within my price range and has lenses in my price range that will suit my needs. I may be sold on it just for the fact that it's lighter than the others. They're all heavier than my Minolta - so lighter is a definite plus.
     
  12. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I've had a k1000 for more than 20-years. I've used it in the mountains in cold weather, and on the beach, actually wading well into the water to take photos of surfers. I used it to photograph sports when I worked for a newspaper. I gave it rough treatment and it worked well. I used everything from Kodachrome 25 to Tri-X.

    Now, it's developed the only problem I've ever had with it - the light seal around the mirror is deterioriating and the mirror sticks up sometimes. It's an easy fix for a repairman - there are even kits sold on ebay.

    I'd strongly recommend it as a camera for learning. And look for one of the metal ones.
    juan
     
  13. tomtom

    tomtom Member

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    pentax k1000 or a nikon fm/fm2 - for a total manual starter camera you can't go wrong with either of these. they're dependable in a lot of situations and easy to get repaired.

    tomtom
     
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  15. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Don't forget the Pentax MX either-light, compact and the leds in the finder are easier to see in low light than the needle on the KX/K1000.I've seen these two go for £100ish with standard lenses so I'd keep your eyes open though.The MX was my first camera (I now have an LX) and I still think they're great (cue Hovis ad music...)
     
  16. jackieman402

    jackieman402 Member

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    Pentax KX

    I have a Pentax KX, which I highly recommend. It works just like the K1000 but has more features, and it meters the best of any camera I've got.
     
  17. cao

    cao Member

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    Nice thing about Spotties is that they can be had fairly cheaply, and depending on how carefully you shop, decent lenses (SMC Taks for instance) can be had cheaply as well with certain exceptions. This summer, my walk-around kit was a messenger bag stuffed with Spottie with a SMC Tak 50/1.4, Fuji 28/3.5, 100/2.8, and a Luna Pro all puchased used. I certainly wouldn't want that kit trashed or stolen, but the total expense was small enough that I'd not cry for too long if it were.

    Today I won an auction for a fourth SMC Tak 50/1.4. You might guess I like this normal.

    Sorry to ramble about kit.
     
  18. Brac

    Brac Member

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    I also recommend the KX; bought mine new in 1977. In the UK they are still holding their prices quite well but here the market for older autofocus Pentax SLR's seems to have nosedived. A few days ago I was able to purchase from a dealer an excellent Z-50P (PZ-50P in US) body for just £49 which is less than half of what a KX would cost. And this is only 10 years old while the KX cameras are now around 25 years old. Unlike the K1000 they didn't stay in production of a very long period. So if you can pick up a Z/PZ series body at a low price it might be worth considering as it can be switched to manual and unlike some of the later MZ/ZX series it is compatible with the earlier bayonet lenses.
     
  19. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    I'm going to propose a completely different idea to you. If you want to go manual, why don't you look for a decent used Pentax LX? I would say they are (were) Pentax' top of the line professional camera at one point and I am sure you can get a used one on KEH, etc... for a pretty good price.

    The advantage besides having a top quality camera is the possible accessories you could get, albeit in the used arena.

    Just a thought.

    Art.
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Anyte:
    I've got KX & Mx both, very similar cameras in that they're mechanical shutters. The MX is very light & compact and would be a good choice for someone who doesn't want a heavier camera. If you're going to do nature stuff it will also take a winder. The KX won't unless you want to spend collector $$.
    About the only advantage in the KX is the depth of field preview & mirror lockup. Both features are great if you do macro work. If you are doing work that doesn't give you the time to check DOF then it's immaterial.
    There's really no reason to go to the older cameras like spotmatics or even the auto series (ME/etc) but they can be had for peanuts. I think you should be able to pick up either KX or MX body for less than $100 on ebay. I just got my KX for $49 + shipping
    If you want to use screw mount lenses on the KX or MX there's an adapter available for that purpose. That would give you long lenses on the cheap.
     
  21. anyte

    anyte Member

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    Thank you everyone. I still haven't made a decision but I'm keeping notes of all the given advice. I'm not looking to make a decision now until January or February.
     
  22. bmac

    bmac Member

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    This thread has inspired me to load up my k1000 from high school with some Tri-X rated at 1600. I am going to play around with it today at work :wink:
     
  23. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Oops am I bad, both cameras (KX/MX) have DOF preview, KX also has lockup.
     
  24. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    If you check KEH prices, you'll find manual Nikon bodies for about what you'll find Pentax K1000, etc., and with people dumping their manual lenses, the lens selection is both wider and less expensive. A cleaned FG/FM/FM2 or even FM10 will do you quite nicely, and it's hard to beat the lens selection. Fast normals are ~100, and if you consider the older pre-AI Nikkormats (you'll need a hand-held meter), you can get the non-AI lenses even cheaper.

    Depressingly, I see that the Fs, on the other hand, are going back up in price.

    Any Canon FD or Olympus OM defenders care to offer a take on their current viability? Nothing wrong with the Pentaxes, but there are a lot of good choices out there today, which have suddenly become affordable.
     
  25. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    If you consider Nikon check the FE/FE2 as well.
    I like it better than the FM, very rugged (mine is 25+ yr old)

    For an excellent Nikon classic compendium check:
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/htmls/models/
    Has comprehensive info in each model and even instruction manuals.

    As per Pentax, I consider those bodies top notch, and the Takumar glass is awesome!
    I own a couple of Spotmatics (screw mount) and love them.
     
  26. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Stay away from the Nikon FM10, it was made by Chinon & left a LOT to be desired as far as reliability. I speak as someone who has taken alot of these cameras back from very unhappy photo 1 students over the years.