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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kennedy View Post
    A friend just called to ask if I would look at this camera tomorrow morning. It's being sold locally.
    I know how to judge a camera's usability but I'm unfamiliar with this model. Any Pentax MX shooters out there?

    Thank You
    I have to be the bad guy here and say that as a Pentax enthusiast and user, I think they lost it with the M series. Small and compact they were indeed, but IMHO only at the expense of ruggedness and reliability compared with the previous K series and Spotmatics. I had all three - ME, ME Super and MX, but the ME & Super are so different to the MX that I won't dwell on their shortcomings. I bought my MX nearly new, thinking of it as down-sized Spotmatic/KX, but although it wasn't very old the foam seals needed replacing and the slow shutter speeds were a constant source of trouble. It cost me a fortune in repairs before I gave up on it. Pity, because it was certainly nice to use and I really tried to like it. One other major gripe was the LEDs for the meter display which were not very visible in bright conditions (great, though, for poor light, where the Spot/K match needle disappeared into the gloom). Perhaps I just had a bad one.

    Best wishes,
    Steve

  2. #22
    Black Dog's Avatar
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    Quite possibly-mine worked fine for more than 20 years and took a good few knocks along the way.
    "He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.

  3. #23
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Not Bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Roberts View Post
    I have to be the bad guy here and say that as a Pentax enthusiast and user, I think they lost it with the M series. Small and compact they were indeed, but IMHO only at the expense of ruggedness and reliability compared with the previous K series and Spotmatics. I had all three - ME, ME Super and MX, but the ME & Super are so different to the MX that I won't dwell on their shortcomings. I bought my MX nearly new, thinking of it as down-sized Spotmatic/KX, but although it wasn't very old the foam seals needed replacing and the slow shutter speeds were a constant source of trouble. It cost me a fortune in repairs before I gave up on it. Pity, because it was certainly nice to use and I really tried to like it. One other major gripe was the LEDs for the meter display which were not very visible in bright conditions (great, though, for poor light, where the Spot/K match needle disappeared into the gloom). Perhaps I just had a bad one.

    Best wishes,
    Steve
    I think you just had a bad experience Steve, and as with any second hand item you dont know what happened to it before you got it, all I can tell you is that we ran ten photographic shops in the midlands and north of England at the time the MX was current, and I handled all the repairs for the group, who must have sold hundreds of them, and the total number of repairs we sent back to Pentax UK , both in and out of warranty in the seven years I worked the company were certainly less than ten
    Ben

  4. #24
    Derek Lofgreen's Avatar
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    The MX is a great camera. I use pentax SLR's exclusively, all the way up to the last 35mm SLR they made. I like the fact that there are tons of lenses out there for them. There are some great deals on some super sharp and fast lenses. The best bang for your buck as far as I'm concerned. My 2 cents.

    D.
    My Photography Site www.lofgreenimages.com and My Blog

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole View Post
    Back then I had no idea what to do with a camera and the photo above was shot on the straight auto mode with on-camera flash. Nothing fancy in that. The in camera metering is still spot on today and has never been serviced.
    Wait...the MX has no auto mode. Are you thinking of the ME? I used the MX for many years (83 through 92) and loved the fully manual system...and in fact, lent it to many others to learn with.

  6. #26
    Nicole's Avatar
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    Drew, I took another look, it's the MZ! Doh! At least I got the format right. Yikes, one day I'll learn about using cameras and taking pictures.

  7. #27
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Not the end

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole View Post
    Drew, I took another look, it's the MZ! Doh! At least I got the format right. Yikes, one day I'll learn about using cameras and taking pictures.
    I think that if more of us could learn to use a camera like you do Nicole and worry less about the equipment we would all be better photographers, cameras are just a means to an end.
    Ben

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bentley Boyd View Post
    I think you just had a bad experience Steve, and as with any second hand item you dont know what happened to it before you got it, all I can tell you is that we ran ten photographic shops in the midlands and north of England at the time the MX was current, and I handled all the repairs for the group, who must have sold hundreds of them, and the total number of repairs we sent back to Pentax UK , both in and out of warranty in the seven years I worked the company were certainly less than ten
    Hi Bentley,

    Apart from my misgivings about the MX, I owned an ME (from new) and ME Super, both of which also had problems. Clearly my "statistical" evidence isn't anywhere near as soundly based as yours, but it did leave me unimpressed by the range when compared with their predecessors.

    One of the problems with the nearly new ME Super was that the LEDs took to blinking randomly in a rather festive kind of way. After two unsuccessful attempts by professional camera repairers, I had it apart and was surprised to find that the top plate was not metal but plastic (not what one expected to find back then!) It was clever in that the base colour of the plastic was brassy but it was coated black, so the corners appeared to wear through to brass like many other black-bodied cameras. The problem was actually quite simple once I found it in that the earth connection of the switch assembly on the top plate (those nasty two little buttons etc) relied on metal sprayed on to the plastic and a lug that bore on the main camera body. I superseded this with my own earthing wire and all was well for a couple of years until the shutter wouldn't cock at wind-on, at which point I consigned it to the attic.

    The straight ME I bought new from Capital cameras somewhere near Westminster, and at that time (late 70s/early 80s?) I could get a cheap day return ticket to London from Plymouth, buy the camera and have a day out for less in total than I could buy the camera for locally! That camera started giving occasional wildly innaccurate exposures after a couple of years, went back for repair (twice) but was never again 100%.

    Most the above is off-topic of the MX, but the three cameras I had and their various problems just led me to believe that with the M series Pentax had sold out a little in terms of reliability for the sake of a little affordable miniaturisation, probably spurred on by the success of the OM1.

    Best wishes,
    Steve

  9. #29

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    Having been exclusively a Pentax user (for SLR 35mm) I reached the conclusion long ago that the MX is the best camera that Pentax has ever produced, with the exception of the LX. I have used both for 25-30 years. Though it's small size can be a little disagreeable when used with large telephoto, or zoom lenses. However those situations arise so infrequently (using large lenses without a tripod) that they're not really worth considering. Go get!

  10. #30
    Glenn Mathison's Avatar
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    I have an old one that I picked up very cheap in a market with the 50/1.7 lens and it's great. Small and easy to conceal. Great for in the backpack when walking out the front door.

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