Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
Well, that's a bold statement!

The old Ricohs are good machines, but better quality than Pentax? Hmmm....
A statement which doesn't really match what I've seen either! I don't think Ricoh made anything up to the standard of the LX/K2/Spotmatic family (which I include the KX/KM/K1000/MX in).

Looking at a scan of a 1985 "Argos" catalogue it would appear that Ricoh SLRs were regarded as mid range. A KR-10 Super with 50mm f2 lens, 2x TC and ERC was priced at 145, an ME Super with 50/1.7 lens, AF200S flash and gadget bag was 190. Having handled a KR-10 I'll be hanging onto my K2!

Pentax did make some dubious SLR bodies in the late 1990s (the MZ series with their splitting plastic drive cog, and the "crippled" K mount on some of these) but all of their MF bodies were solid, reliable cameras. Sure, they wear out and some bodies wear out faster than others. The P30 for example was designed for the amateur market and probably isn't as tough as a KX, but it takes the same lenses so can produce images of equal quality.

My Dad bought a brand-new K2 in 1978. He still has it. It still works perfectly although I did have to replace the light seals and mirror foam for him. It was used for over twenty years of family holiday photos and even survived being dropped down a mountainside in its first couple of years, then sat in his wardrobe from about 2000 or so after he bought a digital thing. When I fished it out last year to replace the seals it just needed a clean and fresh batteries before it came back to life. Don't think you can argue with that record!

The best is definitely the one with a light-tight body, accurate shutter speeds, and reliable light meter that you have to hand. It doesn't matter whether it's a freshly-serviced LX or an OM-101 you paid 10 for. When you're the only person to witness "that" event any camera will do.