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  1. #1

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

    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"

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Paul VanAudenhove's Avatar
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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. #3

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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. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul VanAudenhove View Post
    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.
    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. #5
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldevo View Post
    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.
    The Nikon FE and FM series lock up with the self timer.
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
    My Flickr Gallery

  6. #6

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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. #7

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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.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  8. #8

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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. #9

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    The Chinon CS flips the mirror up with the self timer.

  10. #10
    Bryce Parker's Avatar
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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.

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