Pentax MX - Smallest 35mm SLR body?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve Smith, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    A work colleague gave me two bags of old camera stuff a couple of days ago. The idea is that I will keep what I want and give the rest away (look out for another thread).

    I am going to keep the Pentax MX body, not because I need another 35mm system, but because of its compactness. I thought the Olympus OM series was small but I'm sure this is smaller.

    Is this the most compact 35mm SLR or are there others in an even smaller size?


    Steve.
     
  2. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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  3. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    The MX is a tiny bit smaller across all dimensions and also weighs a few grams less then the OM-1. It has a slightly larger magnification but more conveniently uses readily available batteries.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The ME and ME Super are both slightly smaller than the MX.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I also have an ME Super but it looked to be very slightly larger than the MX although I didn't actually measure them.


    Steve.
     
  6. johndeere

    johndeere Member

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  7. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    The MX. Absolutely superb bit of kit, but too small for my hands I'm afraid. I stuck with a KX which is the same size as the old Pentax Spotmatics until I converted over to Nikon.
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I thought so too. I think because the MX is a bit wider so it looks not as tall and seems smaller.
     
  9. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    Yeah, the MX is a great small camera. I recently sold mine because, for me, the ergonomics just weren't quite right. I missed the aperture priority of the A- and P- series Pentax bodies, and the ME and ME Supers, and I found the placement of the shutter speed dial a bit awkward to use with the camera at eye level with my fingers. Generally I never understand people who claim their hands are too big for a particular camera body, but in the case of the MX shutter dial, I did sort of understand.

    However, the viewfinder, features (depth of field preview, etc) and general dimensions are perfect.

    Matt
     
  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Love my MX, had no idea it was actually THIS small. But aren't the Olympus lenses smaller than the Pentax?

    I think the MX handles perfectly and just feels right to me, and my hands are not particularly small.
     
  11. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    The Pentax M series lenses were matched to the M series bodies.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    I believe the M42 Takumar 17mm f4 fisheye + ME is the smallest such combination.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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  15. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    I considered the MX years ago, but stayed with my Nikon FM2n, the reason being, the MX syncs with flash at 1/60th against the FM2's 1/250th. Also although the MX is the smallest body around, this isn't always an advantage, for instance with lenses longer than 100mm, I would imagine it would be necessary to add the winder in order to form a "balanced" unit. With larger heavier bodies this isn't always the case.
     
  16. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    For those that wanted a larger camera Pentax made the "K" series: K2, KX, K1000, etc. There was also the LX, which is larger. I'm not really familiar with the "P" and "A" series.
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    That's true. I like the idea of the MX as a camera to take on a walk when walking is the primary purpose and photography is secondary. In which case I would take it with just one lens, probably the 28mm SMC.

    Otherwise I have my father's two Nikon Fs to take out as well as (too) many others.


    Steve.
     
  18. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I have an LX and MX (and K1000 which was given to me, and a Ricoh XR7 in which I need to replace the light seals.) The LX is larger than the MX but not very much so. Both are dwarfed by the K1000.

    Left to right, in descending size, K1000, LX, MX. The MX does everything the K1000 does and more, is built much better, handles better, is more expandable, and for some reason sells, in chrome anyway, for less money. I really like the MX.
     

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  19. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    The MX is the smallest fully manual full info viewfinder 35mm SLR while the LX is smallest interchangeable viewfinder 35mm SLR with aperture priority auto exposure. It is practically the size of the non-interchangeable viewfinder camera!

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Steve,
    I bought an MX a couple of years ago for the very good reason that it was cheap due to needing an easy fix, which I did. Like you, I used it first when I wasn't going out with the specific intention of taking photos, regarding the KX/K2 for 'proper' photography sessions, but I grew to love it more and more and now find myself using it as my primary 35mm SLR. I don't have any problems with the controls and I've got hands like bunches of bananas. My only complaint is that the LEDs are hard to see in bright light conditions - I went on a sea trip last weekend and was really struggling. If it had a Spotmatic style match needle system, I'd be much happier. The MX plus 40mm pancake is a great combination!
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  21. qpzil

    qpzil Member

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    Congratulations on your new MX! My ME Super is my favorite all-purpose camera, with the gorgeous SMC 50 1.4. It's unbelievable how small and portable it is.
     
  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I also have an ME Super here which I tried to give to someone at work who already has a couple of Pentax cameras but... He is now using some other new fangled electrical technology to create his photographs!

    I'm going to try it out myself first but I will probably give it away eventually. I'm definitely keeping the MX though.


    Steve.
     
  23. qpzil

    qpzil Member

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    Electrically-created photographs?! Why, that'll never catch on.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have some 8x10 negatives I need to go develop and print, I'll see you all in a couple weeks.

    :tongue:
     
  24. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    I will be honest here, back in the mid 70's when I first got "into" photography, I remember the fanatic Pentax guys around, but never actually knew anyone who had one. Then college and life surely took the photographer in me out until my late 40's when I returned to the majic of film. I remember Pentax but never had a clue that they had such a wonderful variety of cameras. I am utterly dumbfounded.......thanks for posting the pictures, examples and pentax forum website.

    Now for the worst.......I think my wife still has her old Pentax she got YEARS before we got married (so we are talking about a very old model of camera) in a shoebox in her closet. Guess it's time to find that box and bring something back to life. I can't even tell you what model it is........

    Bob E.
     
  25. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    The other M series bodies (such as ME, MV, MV1, ME Super, etc) are narrower than the MX. This is because they use a different shutter - the MX shutter mechanism is a development of the Spotmatic/K series one with cloth blinds. The other Ms use an electronically controlled metal leaf shutter which is presumably a development of the one in the K2.

    If you find an MX too small then it's worth trying the winder. Pentax made two, one takes AA batteries while the other is more professionally oriented with a separate battery pack and higher frame rate. I have the AA type and it does improve the handling, although if you're planning to put the camera aside for a while between rolls you need to remember to release the shutter using the button on the camera - the winder will keep the shutter cocked which doesn't do the springs any good if left for long periods. Mine feel fine with an SMC Pentax 200mm f4 on the front and the winder underneath, and you can still fire the shutter with the winder switched off if quiet is essential.
     
  26. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    For another take, the Super Program/Program A is only slightly larger than the Me/MeSuper, has a larger viewfinder, and has a very nice grip on the front and back which give it a much more solid feel to it. The grips are slightly diagonal and conform really well to my hand.