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Best buck for your money K-mount camera
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
p.giannakis
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Best buck for your money K-mount camera

My Pentax ME started randomly underexposing, the second sample within a few years. I have a couple of pentax lenses that i like so i would like to use them.


Which K-mount would you suggest as best value for money? I am cheapskate so i dont want to spend too much money on it (top £100). I wouldn't mind other manufacturers than Pentax.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
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Pentax Super Program... cuz why not!

IF your dead set on cheapest of the cheap try a P30.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
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Pentax MX.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
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For something non Pentax, the Chinon Memotron has some K-mount options maybe worth a look.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
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Probably a KX or MX. Excellent cameras that seems to have completely missed the marketplace hype (and elevated prices) thrown at the K1000.

Keep an eye on the Pentax Forums classifieds and you should find one within your budget.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
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Pan, Pentax ME is about the cheapest. There's a nice black one for sale on ebay for $58 USD.... circa 52 euro. You wont find an MX for that... & free international shipping

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pentax-ME-3...EAAOSwGYZdtQj-
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
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Found this one for five bucks at a thrift store.

Hikari 2002 by Mike Connealy, on Flickr
Compact and well constructed. Makes nice pictures.
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Chinon CP-6 or Pentax P3N
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
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Chinon CP-6 or Pentax P3N

You can find both of these for less than $ 20.00, often with a lens too.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
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My vote also goes to the MX, size like the ME & ME Super, is very small.
Fully manual too but you can use a battery if you want metering. and inexpensive.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
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I got my MX for $14 from Goodwill. Even if it didn't work, it's still worth it to have CLA'd, so that's a win-win. It works. Not much to go wrong with the fully mechanical K and M series cameras.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
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I second the KX (or K2) and MX.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
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Another Pentax P30 fan here.

Try poking around this long list of K-mount cameras, too:

https://www.butkus.org/chinon/lenses...te_k-mount.htm
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
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You can't go wrong with the Pentax P30T, and being a plastic fantastic 1990's camera, still under the radar price wise.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
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I have a very solidly made Ricoh XR-2 that I like using.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
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Anything from the K series really. I find Pentax electronics haven’t stood the test of time as well as some other manufacturers
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
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I have an MZ-5 ($5 at a charity store) which has the KAF-2 mount. Lightweight and compact plastic body with metal mount, manual, aperture-priority and shutter-priority, accepts manual and AF lenses. Three AF points. Quiet operation. Two stage shutter release. Small grip and a ridge for the thumb on the back. Two strap slots: back right and side left. The pop up flash isn't working - a common fault which can be fixed but I haven't bothered. Takes 1 AA battery. It's not as classy or durable as the metal bodied cameras, but it's cheap and you can use AF lenses. A nice little street shooter. I carry a spare AA just in case.


Pentax_MZ-5 by lynnb's snaps, on Flickr


Pentax_MZ-5 vs OM1 front by lynnb's snaps, on Flickr


Pentax_MZ-5 vs OM1 above1 by lynnb's snaps, on Flickr
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnies View Post
I have a very solidly made Ricoh XR-2 that I like using.

Ronnie
I was going to mention the XR-2, too. It was my first SLR, in the 80s, a very nice handling camera. Lately, I've been trying to buy one for collection and use. Unfortunately, I have identified 2 weak points that seems to afflict this camera, and some other contemporary Ricohs: The self timer lever will break if you look at it wrong -- it's made of plastic, and apparently has not aged well. And, the film wind lever on several I've seen has been "stripped" -- that is, the tabbed-notched interface between lever and wind mechanism has been worn away.



Be gentle with those parts.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
I have an MZ-5 ($5 at a charity store) which has the KAF-2 mount. Lightweight and compact plastic body with metal mount, manual, aperture-priority and shutter-priority, accepts manual and AF lenses. Three AF points. Quiet operation. Two stage shutter release. Small grip and a ridge for the thumb on the back. Two strap slots: back right and side left. The pop up flash isn't working - a common fault which can be fixed but I haven't bothered. Takes 1 AA battery. It's not as classy or durable as the metal bodied cameras, but it's cheap and you can use AF lenses. A nice little street shooter. I carry a spare AA just in case.


Pentax_MZ-5 by lynnb's snaps, on Flickr


Pentax_MZ-5 vs OM1 front by lynnb's snaps, on Flickr


Pentax_MZ-5 vs OM1 above1 by lynnb's snaps, on Flickr
How is manual focus with that lump? Asking for someone who only has mf K mount lenses.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
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When I entered the Pentax world the only one I wanted was the MX. In black. Only issue with this camera is the shutter speed dial is a wee bit too stiff.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste_S View Post
Anything from the K series really. I find Pentax electronics haven’t stood the test of time as well as some other manufacturers
The K series has its issues too. My extended family has owned about six or eight different K1000s over the years and all of them eventually had dead meters. Not a deal breaker really, since they function just fine without a meter (just like so many of my other old cameras) but if one is looking for a functioning meter, be sure to check carefully beforehand.

I find it interesting that the KX (or is it the K2?) is essentially just a K1000 with a self timer, but it sells for just a fraction of what the K1000 goes for on the eBay. Must be the relative anonymity of that camera vs. the K1000 which is regularly touted as one of THE great film cameras for young photographers. This despite the K1000 having been produced in probably ten times the numbers!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
You can find both of these for less than $ 20.00, often with a lens too.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
I've a P3n since 1989 and nothing has gone wrong with it. I bought another just in case a break down. It does require batteries and it doesn't have DX adjustment. It is wonderfully small and feels a little heftier than some of the plastic SLRs I've used. I like the split image focus and it loads easily.

EDIT: Be careful with the zx-5, mx-5 I have three dead ones. One thing about the P3n is they have not been used much as they were a consumer model.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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Pentax MX, but may case falls into "special category" too as I got it thru RFFer ruby.monkey on a givesway last year.

Great machine, I ought to try to fix the dead meter. Small and nice coat pocket camera with the 40/2.8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
I find it interesting that the KX (or is it the K2?) is essentially just a K1000 with a self timer, but it sells for just a fraction of what the K1000 goes for on the Ebay. Must be the relative anonymity of that camera vs. the K1000 which is regularly touted as one of THE great film cameras for young photographers. This despite the K1000 having been produced in probably ten times the numbers!
The power of the name. I frankly didn't quite know that small difference, amusingly the KX/2 cheaper and has an extra feature.

OT but at a last camera club meeting another member brought a Canon AT1, not AE1. The latter is also going for fairly significant $. It's just that everyone recommends these (AE1, K1000) as beginners' cameras.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
My Pentax ME started randomly underexposing, the second sample within a few years. I have a couple of pentax lenses that i like so i would like to use them.

Which K-mount would you suggest as best value for money? I am cheapskate so i don't want to spend too much money on it (top £100). I wouldn't mind other manufacturers than Pentax.
I've PM'd you, with details of some K-mount cameras I've seen for sale.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbhv55 View Post
I've PM'd you, with details of some K-mount cameras I've seen for sale.
Yes thank you. I am keeping an eye on them.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
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KMZ made a Zenit that took Pentax "K" mount lenses, didn't they? And, iirc, the last ones had DX contacts and Leica M6 style TTL metering. Can't remember what they call it though.


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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
KMZ made a Zenit that took Pentax "K" mount lenses, didn't they? And, iirc, the last ones had DX contacts and Leica M6 style TTL metering. Can't remember what they call it though.


Regards, David

You rang?



It's actually a much better kamera than my previous (traditionally styled) 12SD and TTL.
But the meter in it is still absolutely awful. Really really slow to respond, and as accurate as using SunnyF16 on a foggy night.
But, look at it! It's the poor komrad's Leica R8! And is still fun to use.

Butt in no way shape or form does it match up to anything Pentax made. To say I prefer using my MX would be an understatement on the level of I prefer a Chimay beer over drinking anti-freeze from a 1977 Oldsmobile Regency 98.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Butt in no way shape or form does it match up to anything Pentax made. To say I prefer using my MX would be an understatement on the level of I prefer a Chimay beer over drinking anti-freeze from a 1977 Oldsmobile Regency 98.
Except the Helios 44, which I interestingly found available in K mount and would be an interesting option for its swirl. Have to admit I'd like to run into a free/very cheap Zenit kit just to get that lens...
Read it as romantic words of someone who doesn't have one (Helios 44). I did handle a Zenit E and found it very rustic.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Be careful with the zx-5, mx-5 I have three dead ones. One thing about the P3n is they have not been used much as they were a consumer model.

Pentax ZX/MZ series cameras have an Achilles Heel:
A plastic gear on the motor that drives most mechanisms in the camera body.
With time it will crack leaving you with an inoperable "brick".
Later production bodies and an improved spare part came with a brass gear,
however that replacement part is no longer available.

OTOH Pentax P3N/P30T bodies do not utilize this part and are pretty reliable.

Chris
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
...
I find it interesting that the KX (or is it the K2?) is essentially just a K1000 with a self timer, but it sells for just a fraction of what the K1000 goes for on the Ebay. Must be the relative anonymity of that camera vs. the K1000 which is regularly touted as one of THE great film cameras for young photographers. This despite the K1000 having been produced in probably ten times the numbers!
The KX has numerous advantages over the K1000:

-shutter speeds visible in finder (match needle type)
-aperture visible in finder
-mirror lock-up
-self timer
-meter on/off via wind lever

The K2 has aperture priority but does not show aperture in the viewfinder (!)

You're right, though - the lesser K1000 sells for more because it has become the favorite selected by instructors teaching photography.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #30
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The MZ/ZX series as said do have two major weak points.

Plastic motor gear
Pop up flash spring

Both are repairable with a little hands on love.

The brass gears can be made or ordered readily.

I’ve been thinking for a few weeks of switching out my EOS1 kit with either a MZ-3 or 5n with the AA pack (FG) and either the 50 f2.0 or 1.4 Pentax-A. The Pentax kit would weigh less than half of my Canon.

Very tempting. Especially if I ordered a few replacement gears and kept a backup body around. I guess then I could give up the rock solid build of my EOS.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #31
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my KR-5 Super II Ricoh

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #32
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my KR5 SII, made by mr Kobayashi's company, the Sears 50, i once thought it was a Rikenon or Taiwan Pentax's Cosmicar...i think it's a Cosina(?)

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prest_400 View Post
Except the Helios 44, which I interestingly found available in K mount and would be an interesting option for its swirl. Have to admit I'd like to run into a free/very cheap Zenit kit just to get that lens...
Read it as romantic words of someone who doesn't have one (Helios 44). I did handle a Zenit E and found it very rustic.
I actually bought the lens which happened to have the camera attached. I use it on my MX. Funny how buying camera + lens is cheaper than lens by itself!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
Plastic motor gear
Pop up flash spring

Both are repairable with a little hands on love.

The brass gears can be made or ordered readily.
When you perform these repairs successfully please let us know.
No professional repairman I know wants any part of repairing the latter
which requires sourcing an aftermarket brass gear and pressing it on the motor shaft.

Chris
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #35
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Chris,

For some reason it does not seem to scare me.

I’ve done similar repairs and therefore have at least some of the correct tools.

Beneficial to anyone wanting to do it is a full documented repair with photos available on Pentax forums.

I would say the trouble of buying and waiting for a 5$ gear from Austria and then considering labor it’s not really worth it to a guy wanting to make money on a 60-80$ camera. The repair was and is a hobbyists dilemma.

I actually have a XZ-5n coming as well as the FG pack. I plan to order the gear (at least 2-3) and try my hand at a dead MZ-3.

In my quest for cheap kit I’ve halved the cost and weight of my EOS set... I hope haha
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #36
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What did you decide, Pan? Find one yet?

Stateside, Sears had some house-branded cameras with K mount, but probably not in the UK.

Ricoh KR5 supers were a popular low-cost option, but if you can get a KX for your budget, it's a better camera.

MX will likely be too expensive, as they were the pro level body of the day. K2, I dunno. I can't get excited about electronic Pentaxes unless I know they work and they're just about free.

I had a P30T briefly, and aside from being ugly, it was a great camera. I recommended one to a friend, and he bought one, but it crapped out on him, and now he's shooting a Nikon D3000 SLR. :-(

MEs, ME2s and ME2 Supers were not the most reliable of electronic shuttered cameras. Avoid them, unless they're REALLY cheap and you know they're working properly.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #37
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My MX died not on me, but in the hands of a gargoyle restorer who couldn't let me up the scaffolding of a great medieval church he was restoring to take photos but volunteered to take a number for me instead. He got just one photo up high before the MX died. Since then, Pentax are dead to me...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
What did you decide, Pan? Find one yet?
I got my hands on a Chinon CM-4s which i shot the pctures on this thread: https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=169945

I got it for £4 and the more i use it, the more i start to like it. Size-wise is a bit bigger than the OM-1 and almost the same size with the OM4. Weight-wise they are the same weight (although the Chinon has a plastic top).



I had a few Pentaxes so far. A couple of Spotmatics and K1000, the Spotmatics were fine cameras but the stop-down metering never won me over. The K1000 were good although big and with fried up meters.
Had two ME's but started underexposing. I liked my MX but started displaying an erratic "not lifting the mirror" fault. Also had a P30T but eventually it started exposing all films as 100ASA.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #39
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Quote:
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How is manual focus with that lump? Asking for someone who only has mf K mount lenses.
Huss, not anywhere as easy as focusing a Spotmatic or OM1. The MZ-5's VF is significantly smaller, and not as bright. I like it for its light weight and size, and the AF. At $5 is was a no-brainer as it came with a couple of AF zooms, but I mostly use it with a Pentax-M 28/3.5
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #40
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I snagged a ZX-5n and the FG grip - so far its looking really nice.

Actually has a decent heft to it for a plastic camera.

Build seems better than the online comments.

Ergonomics are good although I could use a little more grip.

Viewfinder is a decent size and fairly bright.

Otherwise its all knobs dials and buttons and they have good detent and handy locks.

The 5n like the 3 has a Memory Lock (AE lock) button which is nice.
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