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  1. #31
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    You have to look in the viewfinder and press the shutter partway to see what shutter speed you have set! You can't quickly change the shutter speed by a large amount...you have to sit there pushing the button like 6 times in a row to change by 6 speeds.
    Actually you can change quickly by a large amount-you just hold down the button. The problem is that it moves so quickly it's hard to get it to stop in the right place-practice helps. I don't mind pushing the button multiple times to get to a specific speed; I note how many speeds like say, "6 down" and push the appropriate button rapidly that many times, then check. Very fast for me. In low light, where the scale can't be seen, I use the color change at 1/30 to 1/60 as a guide and count steps. Also pretty easy with practice.

    Still I agree that it's not the best. I much prefer old fashioned dials. I do like the mode/dial combo on my Nikon N8008s as it's well done, so for me is little different from a separate shutter dial.

    Interesting that Pentax went to dials on their late film bodies as a feature compared to other makes when they were among the first (maybe the first) to abandon them.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  2. #32

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    I vote for the MX, if you like the classic shutter speed dial/aperture ring interface. It's a beautiful camera, a jewel-like miniature of the Spotmatic F.

    For a fun camera that can knock about anywhere and be used by non-photographers, I would go for the ME. Tiny, and feels great in the hand. It's a little bit less cramped than the MX because it doesn't have to fit the shutter speed dial onto the top plate.

    Re: compatibility, I would suggest that stop-down metering counts as compatible. Unfortunately, Nikon's low-end cameras won't meter AT ALL with older lenses. Win = Pentax.

    No metering was a turnoff in my F80, and that has carried through to the low end digital bodies. Shame, because I'd love to put some cheap AI glass on a D40. Instead, I will stick with Pentax and be able to meter with all of my M42 and K-mount glass.
    My other camera is a Pentax

  3. #33
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    If you liked the ME Super, buy an ME Super. The bodies are cheap and will support any Pentax lens (including AF models) with an aperture ring. If you want similar handling with more features, the Super Program/Super A would be the best choice. Don't discount the very affordable P30n/P3n. It is a fine camera with more traditional controls and is a great option if you can tolerate DX only for ISO setting.

    I don't own an ME Super. Why? Back in the day, I bought a Ricoh XR7 instead. Reason? It is about the same size/weight and a much more usable camera IMHO. I do own a KX and can second the positive points about that camera. It is both heavier and larger than an ME Super but is more repairable and has a full information viewfinder. The smaller MX has a similar feature set to the KX and is a great camera in the same size range as the ME Super. If you want the ultimate, get a Pentax LX...'nuff said.

    Outside of K-mount land, I would look at Olympus and Nikon as suggested above. You will pay more, but the quality is there. OM-1/2, FE, FM, FE2, FM2. I don't know about the Nikon EM...I was not impressed when it was first released.

    Steve

    P.S. I did not notice this link in the above posts, but Dimitrov's Pentax K-mount Web site is one of the best references for K-mount cameras and lenses. Here is the link: http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/
    Last edited by stevebrot; 06-08-2010 at 01:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelneck View Post
    Here is a Pentax K-x with its mount:
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/KX/ZURFRONT-L.JPG

    Where is the coupling between the house and a K-lens aperture ring?

    Compare to the picture attached below where i have added some red color to the coupling devices needed to be compatible with a K-mount lens.
    You may not be able to see it, but it's there (more accurately, some of what's necessary is there, for some functions--you seem to think "compatibility" is some all-or-nothing shibboleth, but of course there are different functions to be compatible with).

    Read also this statement at pentaximaging.com, that also supports what i am saying that Pentax K-mount only can be used in manual exposure mode using stop down metering. Only those lenses with an "A" on the aperture ring can be used in automatic modes. An ordinary K-lens has to be used in the same as an ancient M42 screw mount on new bodies.
    http://support.pentaximaging.com/documents/908
    Sorry, you're just wrong. M42 lenses have to be used in a stop-down fashion (or Av if you stick to shooting wide open).

    Non-A K-mount lenses are NOT operated in the fashion classically described as stop-down metering. What is special about the A lenses is that they are made to work with all automatic modes--rather than using the aperture ring, you can/must control the aperture from the camera body. Non-A K lenses DO NOT have to be stopped down manually on the K-x and other newer bodies. They have the requisite couplings to use the auto iris but not to read the aperture from the lens. You set your desired aperture (but the lens is still wide open for focusing, as in any modern system), touch a button next to the shutter to trigger setting of the shutter speed, and take your picture. The only difference between this and normal Av is that extra button touch--there are no extra adjustments, just a touch. The shutter speed is set live based on the wide-open aperture, so if you are shooting wide-open you have full Av.

    Pentax is _not_ fully compatible with its old lenses and cannot use them in aperture priority as 30 year old cameras can.
    As noted, you're incorrect/oversimplifying the Av question. That said, no DSLR system is "fully compatible" with all of its maker's classic lenses, but Pentax is a hell of a lot closer than any of the others. Any Pentax lens ever made will mount and meter, which is true of neither Nikon nor Canon. A reader might note you conspicuously dropped your assertion of Nikon being "more compatible" when pointed to charts showing its falsity.
    -brian hayden
    http://fed-2.org

  5. #35
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Pentax Super Program / Super A - a tiny bit larger than the ME/super but with a very nice grip and larger viewfinder. My favorite of the bunch.
    I have both the ME and ME Super and a Program Plus, and there is no way that the Program Plus has a bigger viewfinder. Both the ME and ME Super viewfinder are bigger. The Program Plus also has a much louder and clunkier shutter, but it works fine. It's a good camera and you can't beat how cheap they are.
    f/22 and be there.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by zumbido View Post
    Non-A K-mount lenses ..
    I am writing about K-mount lenses, you are writing specific about AK-lenses.. That clears it up.

    Few old K-mount lenses are AK counting all different brands, including many of the new ones still made today. A 30 year old Pentax, Chinon, Richo, Cosina, Sears, Agfa, Soligor, Zenit, brand new Phenix or Vivitars made today and some more can use plain old K-lenses of a long series of brands, and light meter, and use aperture priority with them as supposed. A new Pentax can not (requiring an extra button push). (edit: this is what new cameras do to photographers, reduce them to button-pushers)

    BTW. Those old cameras of many different brands with K-mount can also use the little more recent line of AK-lenses and even some brand new autofocus lenses that has an aperture ring, even in aperture priority.

    One of the big beauties with the K-mount was that Pentax did not make it proprietary, other brands could use it as they wished and that lead to a much larger system world wide. It became a selling argument for Pentax in the same way that IBM once released all the specifics around the PC computer, the system became large due to other manufacturers and got a large userbase world wide. This is still today an argument for the Pentax system for someone looking at old cameras like the OP in this thread. That argument has Pentax thrown away, though they are trying to use it anyway. Only reason they get away with it has to do with psychology, the more someone has sacrificed (payed money, time, prestige), the more they are going to defend and excuse the manufacturer just to justify them self, and buyers of new DSLR cameras usually have invested a big enough amount of money to be hurt by negative statement about "their" brand of choise. (edit) This is the main reason to long brand-flamewars on the net.

    It is like criticizing the car a hardworking blue collar man from the lower middle class finally bought using all his savings. You risk getting his fist in your face(!), he will take it like an insult to him as a person. But criticize the same car that a millionaire bought and he will just brush it off, or maybe even get curious. It was not a sacrifice that needs to be defended for him. We all work like that. This is how manufacturers can get away with quite bold statements in their ads, buying customers wont complain since that would be an attack on them self and the purchase they just did, especially regarding expensive things. And remember, "expensive" is something very relative to the wallet of the person in question.
    Last edited by steelneck; 06-08-2010 at 07:11 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    I have both the ME and ME Super and a Program Plus, and there is no way that the Program Plus has a bigger viewfinder. Both the ME and ME Super viewfinder are bigger. The Program Plus also has a much louder and clunkier shutter, but it works fine. It's a good camera and you can't beat how cheap they are.
    My digital caliper shows that the program plus's viewfinder is about .2mm wider and 2.2mm taller. At least the opening as measured. I'm not sure about the coverage and magnification and how that works out to apparent viewable area.

    The program plus also shows the shutter speed on the top of the camera and has depth-of-field preview. The ME Super does has a quieter shutter, at least my example. Whether one has more or less vibration I have no idea.
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

  8. #38

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    Thank you all for your inputs. An interesting read for me with many good observations.
    There is a local seller here with an OM2 with 50mm 1.4 and 24mm 2.8 and if conditions are ok I will pick up that kit as the lens combo is just perfect for me.
    One thing is sure: My Leica CL will be missing a lot of attention after my discovery of these little SLRs. I have really tried to like the rangefinder, but having an SLR of about the same size and weigth sort of kills it for me. When I first put the VF of the ME Super to my eye it was a revelation how easy it is to focus and a relief how big and uncluttered the VF is.

    So cheers to those little inexpensive SLRs! And let´s celebrate with a shot from my first-fooling-around-with-the-MEsuper roll:

  9. #39
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    Good choice on the OM2 (OK I'm biased). You probably don't need telling already, but be aware of the rotting foam problem. The OMs were manufactured with foam around the prism below the top cover. It rots and irreparably strips the silvering off the prism - shows up as blemishes in the viewfinder along the bottom. If it hasn't already been done, make sure all the foams are replaced - the prism foam will be removed. I believe the prisms are the same as the cheaper OM10, so fairly readily available. My repairer only charged me £10 for a replacement when I had my Om2 CLAd anyway! If you need a full CLA and foam job, and can't find someone locally I recommend the old-school repairer here in the UK I have used twice now who will do the job for around £50. http://www.camerarepairs-r-us.co.uk/

  10. #40

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    Thanks mr rusty. I didn´t know about the rotting foam problem.

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