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  1. #1
    geauxpez's Avatar
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    Need a Pentax SLR recommendation

    I am considering selling off my Olympus OM equipment (2 OM2n bodies and an array of lenses) and investing in Pentax stuff. The idea being that the K-mount is still compatible with bodies (film and otherwise ) that are still being manufactured. What Pentax model is similar to the OM2n as far as features? Manual and aperture priority settings, DOF preview, fairly compact, sturdy, etc. I understand the LX had "mirror issues" and can be fairly pricy. Any suggestions (camera-wise, that is) would be welcomed.

    Adam

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Don't know much about the Olympus you have, but I love my KX to death. It seems bullet proof, and yes, I love the backwards lens capability too! (1963?)
    I've also used the K1000 which is a little clunky, but a great camera, the ME which has aperture priority only but beyond that is a neat little camera, the ME Super is as tiny and neat as the ME but with time/aperture manual capability.
    I must say that the Pentax ME I still have is probably the most durable camera body I've ever encountered. My father had it before me, and his slide library is HUGE, in the 100s of thousands of slides, all with the same body mostly. It failed on me last year, but I keep it around for sentimental reasons.
    Their lenses are also just stunning. A couple you might want to look out for:
    1. 55mm f/2 - extremely good
    2. 28mm f/3.5 (not the 2.8 which is also good, but the 3.5 is special)
    3. 40mm f/2.8 (pancake, stop it down to f/8 or so please)
    4. 35mm f/3.5 (OMG what a nice lens)
    5. The 85mm portrait lenses are really good.
    6. The 200mm f/4 is fantastic.
    I'm sure there are more, but generally the lenses are top notch.
    Hope that helps.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #3

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    [QUOTE=geauxpez;513157]I am considering selling off my Olympus OM equipment (2 OM2n bodies and an array of lenses) and investing in Pentax stuff. The idea being that the K-mount is still compatible with bodies (film and otherwise ) that are still being manufactured. What Pentax model is similar to the OM2n as far as features? Manual and aperture priority settings, DOF preview, fairly compact, sturdy, etc. I understand the LX had "mirror issues" and can be fairly pricy. Any suggestions (camera-wise, that is) would be welcomed.

    The ME Program with a winder is somewhat similar to a OME2n, the LX was the "Pro" level model intended to compete with the Nikon F3, true motor drive as well as a winder, interchangable screens. The KM and KX are very soild cameras but not as compact as ME or the all manual MX. I have not heard of issues with it's mirror. In the auto focus world, Pentax made several models comparable with mid range Nikons like the N80 or N90 and Canons, but none that are at the F5 level.

  4. #4
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    I love my Pentax K2. It's not that big but built like a tank, Av priority and manual, DOF preview, manual speeds to up to 8secs plus B, mirror lock up (I wouldn't own an SLR that didn't have it), shutter requires batteries but still works at 2 speeds without them.

    My favorite lenses are:
    SMC-M 28mm f3.5
    SMC-M 50mm f1.7
    SMC-M 135mm f3.5
    SMC-M 200mm f4

    These are lenses I own and use, and I've found them to be top of the line, sharp, flare resistant, and well made. They are getting a little more pricey because they are still compatible with new digicams, as you mentioned. I've heard great things about the 85 f2 and 85 f1.4 Thom mentioned... I'm still lusting after the f2 version... I can't see myself needing another lens after that. Good luck. Shawn
    Last edited by Shawn Dougherty; 08-29-2007 at 01:57 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: me spel badd

  5. #5

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    Actually only the LX is closet to the OM2n although more expensive. It has manual and aperture priority automatic exposure control and TTL flash. The ME super I believe has manual exposure control as well as aperture priority. The K2 also has both of these feature but is difficult to find and is significantly larger than the OM.

  6. #6
    geauxpez's Avatar
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    Ah -- thanks for the ideas. And bonus lens info as well!

    Adam

  7. #7
    Derek Lofgreen's Avatar
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    I shoot with the *ist 35mm. I love it. It is small, light and has all the functions of a great prosumer SLR, from full manual and spot metering to several auto settings and matrix metering. The only drawback is that only lenses that have the A on the aperature ring are fully compatable with it (just like their DSLRs). Another good one is the PZ-1, it's a little loud but a great slr.

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

  8. #8

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    Like the OM-2n, the LX meters off the shutter curtain and film surface for both flash and ambient light metering, and the LX can deliver autoexposures up to 2 minutes or longer. The other 80's-vintage compact auto/manual Pentaxes (ME Super, ME-F, Super Program, Program Plus) don't have the integrated OTF metering.

    The LX also has interchangeable focusing screens (like the OM-2n) and viewfinders.

    The LX is prone to develop "sticky mirror" as it ages. Both of my early-vintage bodies did within the past year, but I've had both overhauled by Pentax, with the second one returned from the shop just last week. Cost in each case for a CLA plus sticky mirror fix was between $250 and $300.

    The LX was discontinued in the US well before sales ceased in Japan, so I don't know how much longer Pentax US will be accepting LX's for repair, but at least for the moment they still do.

  9. #9
    cao
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    It's interesting to note that Thomas recommends lenses with designs carrying over from the SMC Takumar line-up like the slower wide angles. Thinking of this, I might ask you to consider an early SMC-Pentax 50/1.4. The screwmount rendition of this is my walk-around snapping lens, and seldom do I feel a need for anything else.

  10. #10

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    Pentax KX - ultimate lens compatible manual SLR

    Pentax KX. I have two, with matched 55mm f/1.8 lenses.

    That said, the KM and K2 are good equivalents. It's just that the KX is so completely manual. I've had an ME series, and considered an MX, but I never got used to the gumball machine-like LED readouts. The K-1000 is obviously the base model, but on the auction sites, the K-1000 is more well-known, and goes for more money.

    The 55mm lens is a match to the KX body and viewfinder. I cn keep both eyes open and see the same perspective. Sort of like a Voigtlander Kontur finder. The 55mm f/1.8 and f/2.0 are said to be the lens lens; Pentax just didn't include 1.8 on the aperture ring of the 2.0. Maybe an urban myth.

    The KX makes for a solid experience. If you sling it around your neck, get a comfortable strap. I personally like keeping my SLR in my shooting hand, with the strap wrapped around my wrist. Also good for self-defense, but I'm getting too old for that stuff.

    And, of course, I can use the M42 lenses that weren't with the Spotmatic when it was stolen.
    Jeff Polaski
    "A full-time job seriously interferes with photography."

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