Pentax ZX-M: good for beginners?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Irminsul, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. Irminsul

    Irminsul 'The Column of Heaven'

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    In this forum (and in the new Pentax forum), when someone requests a recommendation for a manual film camera, particularly for beginners, whenever a Pentax camera is recommended it's usually the K-1000, the LX or the MX (I hope I got those letters right). I would like to know why the ZX-M, which is widely available even new, is seldom mentioned. Maybe I missed out on a few posts, but the ones I've read that contain Pentax recommendations did not mention the ZX-M. Is it because of the plastic construction? Just would like to know how it compares with other manual Pentaxes, so I can find out if I'm missing anything here One of my kids recently acquired a ZX-M and imho it looks like a fine beginner's camera.
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is a fine camera for beginners. I'm guessing the reason it's not mentioned as often as the others is that there are SO many used K-1000s. You should be able to find a used K-1000 with a nice lens for less than half the cost of a new ZX-M body. And the older cameras are strictly manual.... mechanical shutter and no auto modes.

    I hope this helps.

    Pete
     
  3. Irminsul

    Irminsul 'The Column of Heaven'

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    Good answer. I wasn't aware of the extent of the price disparity. The only used K-1000 listings I've seen were at Keh.com, not e-bay. Thanks.
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    The older Pentax SLRs are thought to be better built; nothing really wrong with plastic-bodied cameras, but metal ones seem to inspire more confidence. The thing about the ZX-M that would put me off however is that even the lens mount is plastic. If you find yourself regularly changing lenses and some of those lenses are heavy, it's entirely possible the plastic lens mount could get chewed up or bent. Then of course there's the cost issue. The K1000 is definitely a good choice, but also consider the P30, or the MX - the LX is a much more expensive camera, and I wouldn't see the need to buy it as a beginner's camera unless you see a fantastically good deal.
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    The last cameras I owned for the studio were pentax the zxm was the mainstay. It is fully manuel which is very nice... I has auto advance an rewind which is almost impossible to do without once you use it on any camera. The fill line of pentax lenses are available for it.

    Down side compared to the k1000 if the battery dies you are also dead.
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Ah but does it have auto-leave-a-bit-of-film-out on the rewind? After discovering that feature on my Minolta Dynax, I can't use any other auto film camera without cursing as I'm forced to remember where I put the film retriever and spend ages poking about with it :x
     
  7. Irminsul

    Irminsul 'The Column of Heaven'

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    No, it doesn't. You have to retrieve the lead after a rewind.
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    NO it winds in but I never ever did my own film when I worked for money. Now I dont do anything else but process my own. I would just open the can if I did.
     
  9. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    But that doesn't help if you're changing rolls mid-way, or you lose the rest of the roll.

    That's a real personal beef for me, I think every camera should have manual rewind. I mean, who's too lazy to spend 30 seconds and a half-ounce of energy to rewind a roll of film?

    Dave
     
  10. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Depends on if the bride is climbing up your tale because she is hungry.
     

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