Was an OEM M42 camera ever manufactured with mirror lock-up?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by aldevo, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    I own a couple M42 (Pentax Screw Mount) cameras. I've recently begun to shoot Efke 25 in contrasty light and the combination of a low EI (I shoot it at EI 12 in contrasty light) and the use of contrast filters often brings my shutter speeds within that 1/4 sec - 1/30 sec range within which mirror shake can be significant. I've tried a couple things to try to limit susceptibility of the camera to these vibrations, but these are of questionable effectiveness and add weight to my camera bag. I've also tried adding a 4x or 8x ND filter to lower the shutter speed below 1/4 sec, but then I begin to exceed the reciprocity limit of the film and the exposures become sufficiently long that elements of certain subjects don't stay still...

    Does anybody know of an M42 mount camera that incorporates mirror lock-up? I do know that a few Pentax Spotmatic samples were modified by Honeywell, USA to incorporate this feature but they are rare and very, very expensive.

    A Pentax K-mount camera that can be adapted to fit M42 lenses with no loss of function (e.g. loss of the ability to focus the lens at infinity) would be acceptable - though I would need to know the brand/model of the adapter, too.

    This camera or camera/adapter combo would basically be a "one trick pony" (i.e. only used to shoot Efke 25 on a tripod) - so I'm looking for "cheap", rather than "feature-rich":wink:

    Thanks.
     
  2. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    I'm at work, so I don't have a camera in front of me to check, but doesn't the mirror lock up when the self timer is used? If the mirror flips up at the start of the self timer, you should have enough time for vibrations to damp down.
     
  3. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    M42 lenses can be mounted to any K mount body using an adapter without losing infinity focus. The only difference will be the loss of open aperture metering. Try and get the actual Pentax made adapter as I've had an off-brand one stick in the lens mount a couple of times. The Pentax ones are better machined.

    The Pentax KX is probably the best "cheap" option with mirror lock-up. The LX has much better metering, a greater range of speeds (higher and lower), the option of auto exposure, as well as interchangeable screens and finders but it will probably cost more and there are a couple of known issues that may require fixing. The KX on the other hand is the same old reliable full metal mechanical beast as the Spotmatics.
     
  4. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Sadly, and suprisingly, no. The mirror will remain down.

    I've never understood why cameras never flipped up and locked the mirror when it was on the timer. But then I've never designed an SLR and there are probably engineering considerations that would make this difficult/impossible/costly.
     
  5. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    The Nikon FE and FM series lock up with the self timer.
     
  6. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    The KX is something of a collector's item and tends to be relatively expensive in good condition ($200USD). The K2 also has a MLU, but it is about the same price I think. However, there is a cheap K2 on KEH at the moment, apparently because the plastic tip is missing from the ASA dial tab. The most common problem with the K2, though, is that the ASA dial (which actually surrounds the entire lens mount) tends to get sticky and can be very hard/impossible to change the ASA setting. Are you using an external meter? Maybe the ASA dial won't matter for your purposes.
     
  7. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Oddly, there is a method to lock up the mirror prior to making an exposure.
    Try this without film in the camera 'til you get it down.
    advance the film, very gently tap the shutter release with your index finger.
    It's very hit or miss when you start but you can become very proficent at it with a little practice.
    The problem becomes releasing the shutter... You can gently install a cable release OR just finish the stroke by depressing the release button.
    This has worked with every m42 pentax I've tried it on.
     
  8. richiedcruz

    richiedcruz Member

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    Yashica TL Super, Yashica TL ELectro and probably a couple of other Yashica's that I cannot recall off the top of my head.

    Richie
     
  9. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    The Chinon CS flips the mirror up with the self timer.
     
  10. Bryce Parker

    Bryce Parker Member

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    I'll give another plug for the KX. It is my every day 35mm camera and easily my favorite Pentax.
    Warning, though- you may like it enough to cause you to buy a pile of K mount lenses for it!
    If you can excuse buying into another system, being as the prices are very low, early OM and FD series cameras are great choices and include more features than you spotmatic.
     
  11. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Beware - many have fallen for the fact that the K2 won't let you change the ASA setting if the exposure compensation is set at anything other than 1x. (I obtained a K2DMD very cheaply because of this this perceived fault that was actually not a fault at all). Even if the ASA dial does get stiff (which they do) it's a fairly easy DIY fix and not a fortune to get done professionally.

    Despite my aversion to auto-anything, the K2 offers the best of all worlds, and with manual or automatically selected speeds to 8 seconds may be a good choice.

    Steve
     
  12. toadhall

    toadhall Subscriber

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    Yashicas with MLU

    The Yashica TL Electro X, the TL super have the mirror lock up, the TL Electro doesn't. The Yashicas that have mirror lock up have a chrome dial with a knurled edge on the left side of the mirror chamber (as you hold the camera), in the same approx. location of the meter switch on a Spotmatic.

    Toadhall
     
  13. richiedcruz

    richiedcruz Member

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    Sorry. Yashica's names can be confusing:wink:

    Richie
     
  14. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    The Cosina Bessaflex has a mirror lock-up when you use the self-timer, à la Nikon.
     
  15. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Canon EOS has the right kind of lens mount distance to incorporate M42-EOS adapters without an extension-tube effect, so it's pretty straightforward to put an M42 lens on a canon EOS body with a $10 adapter from ebay. Look into something like an EOS 3 or one of various other possibilities, for example the dirt cheap elan II or the A2 / A2E.

    Other historical EOS cameras:

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/eos/index.htm

    Of course there are brand new ones, but I'd imagine you wouldn't want to spend the money on one of those when old ones can be had for nothing on ebay.
     
  16. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    The Cosina Voigtlander Bessaflex flips the mirror when the self timer is used, and it is an M42 mount. They have recently been discontinued but there are still a few for sale new.


    <edit> Oops! Just saw Michel's post. Just ignore me, it was a hard day at work. :tongue:
     
  17. DannL

    DannL Member

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    The Vivitar 250/SL locks the mirror up with the self timer set. It's a good solid brass body, and generally nobody wants them. I like mine gobs. If I recall I gave $6.00 for it. (That's why I like it) ;-)

    Fully Manual
    B + 1-1000
    ASA 1600 Max
    TTL Metering
    Shutter button lock
    M and X sync
    Vertical-running metal shutter

    Other m42s can be found at the following link . . . though they don't mention the mirror lock-up features.
    http://anusf.anu.edu.au/~aab900/photography/cameras/cameras.htm

    Foto below shows mine with a Mamiya/Sekor right angle viewer and extension tubes, on a tripod with the center column inverted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2007
  18. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    I resolved the matter by acquiring a Yashica TL-Super on E-bay. It cost me all of $26, including insured shipping.

    FWIW, the TL-Electro (cited above) is not equipped with a true mirror lock up, though it may well lock up the mirror when the self-timer is engaged.
     
  19. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I have to disagree with you. While the KX is an excellent camera it often fetch less than the lesser K1000 because of all the hype about it on the web. It's rather rare but whenever I saw one for sale it's less than $100.
     
  20. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The older Contax (Zeiss Ikon) and Pentacon cameras could lock up the mirror using the aforementioned tap on the shutter release.
     
  21. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Generally, speaking this is true. The KX and K2, however, are said to share a number of common film transport components leading to a design that is somewhat more failure prone than the one used in the K1000. This may, in part, account for the higher prices fetched by the K1000. Apart from its CdS exposure meter, I've not heard of any pattern of failures with the K1000.

    Neither of the two photography schools in my metro area recommends anybody pick up a second-hand K1000 any more. The Pentax ZX-M and Nikon FM10 (or the Cosina model with which the FM10 shares all but its name) seem to be what's pitched now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2007