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Old Jul 1, 2007, 4:32 PM   #1
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Now that I have some nice Pentax lenses, I'm looking for a nice film body

I have a pristine Minolta SRT-201 with a 43mm f/2 multicoated lens. It is superb. But I would like to use some of my pentax lenses on film too.

I just have three questions:

When did they stop making all-metal bodies? Which was the last all-metal model? (I know later k1000s were plastic. Is there any way to ID the differences from a photo?)

Which was the last M42 Pentax? The old Super-Taks were really nice, and I have a couple of those too.

Thanks for reading!
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Old Jul 1, 2007, 5:16 PM   #2
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Greetings Gazander

I can't answer a lot of your questions, but I do know that you really could not go wrong with a Pentax MX..

I believe that it was the first really professional level camera that Pentax produced..

It was a metal camera, completely manual, tough, & the first really compact SLR made..

The only thing that the battery was used for was the metering system..

There were five LED's located on the left side of the viewfinder as you looked through the camera..

The center one was green, for a correct exposure..

The two on either side of the green LED were orange, indicating a 1/2 stop over or under exposure..

The two outside of the orange LED's were red, indicating a full f-stop over or under exposure..

Extremely easy to use & pretty accurate if the results that I got back in the mid-to-late 1970's were any example..

I intend to purchase at least one of these cameras to replace the one that was destroyed in the early 80's..

They can still be repaired to bring them back to good mechanical condition..

I bought mine by shear luck as I wanted a camera to shoot B & W film, which I had been turned on to by a barracks mate of mine when I was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington..

Being boredout-of-my-mind one weekend, he took me to the base Photolab to watch him develop some film that he had shot..

I became fascinated by the whole darkroom process, especially the MAGIC when the image began to appear in the developer..

I was hooked instantly!!

I went to the Main PX on base and bought the MX as it was the lightest ( I was into all kinds of strenuous outdoor sports at the time) & it fit my hand the best of the cameras available to purchase (Nikon, Pentax, Ricoh, I believe)..

Considering that the monthly fee for the lab in 1978 was $2.50 & the only thing I had to provide was film & paper, I shot A LOT of Tri-X in the next 4 years..

Anyway, to make a long post longer, that MX took a heck of a beating & just kept working, working, working!!..

Fantastic machine, & I can't wait to own another so I can start shooting B & W film again..

Sincerly, Bruce

ps. Does anyone here know how well the F and FA lenses work on the MX??..

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Old Jul 2, 2007, 2:01 AM   #3
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Of course the LX is available on ebay, and prices are falling.

I have the Super A (Super Program in US) and and Program A (Program Plus)Besides the LX they were the last full metal bodies Pentax made (I think, all the AF bodies I have had the opportunity to hold were very plastic). Manual focus, but electronic control of exposure. They don't work without batteries like the MX does, but the batteries last for years even with daily use. There is no electricy consuming pop up flash or film advancer.

I like these cameras a lot. I've used the Program A under very harsh conditions (6 months in Nicaragua during the war, through the rainy season and the dry very dusty season) and it kept delivering without hazzle. Their advantage over the LX/MX is their smaller size, and maybe that they are available on a dalily basis from ebay for nearly nothing.

The main difference between the two is that the Program A (Program Plus) has B, M, Tv and P mode. The Super A(Super Program) adds Av mode (with A, F and FA lenses) and TTL metering when using flash.


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Old Jul 2, 2007, 5:42 AM   #4
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Can't say yet, but I do have a Mint ME Super on the way. If I am not mistaking, I believe those are all metal and will definately update you once it gets here later this week. Just tossing the option out, if anyone has any info on the ME Super, please share.
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Old Jul 2, 2007, 11:35 AM   #5
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I had a ME, and it was all metal. The ME Super was just an intermediate between the ME and the Super A (Super Program) so it should be all metal too. The ME had only Av and Bulb, not even M mode, but the ME Super was upgraded with that.

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Old Jul 2, 2007, 6:50 PM   #6
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i got a free canon AE-1 today. pm me if interested.

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Old Jul 2, 2007, 9:59 PM   #7
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The LX is the only professional camera Pentax ever made that was not AF in 35mm. It has an amazing meter that will meter up to 2 min and is extremely accurate. It also will function without batteries and has a removable prisim and is weather sealed.

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Old Jul 19, 2007, 3:16 PM   #8
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The MX and LX are delightful cameras! Wonderful, big, bright viewfinders, good handling, and compact. They are pro level; the ME and ME super are a cut below and, I think, unusable without batteries.

The LX is the prize, though. While aperature auto exposure and electronic shutter, you can shoot without batteries at 1/75 and above. The TTL meter reads off the first curtain of the shutter, and for long exposures off the film. Thus if the light changes while you're shooting by moonlight - really! - the camera will compensate to expose properly. Mine has timed good exposures of 4 or 5 minutes, ASA 400 with a 19MM f3.8.

Its a full system camera, interchangeable screens, viewfinders, data backs (though the date calendars are out of date) a 2fps winder, a 5fps motor drive, bulk film back - a worthy rival to the N---- F3.

Of course it's hard to find some of these items, though the winder is fairly common, as are screens. Beattie makes or made an even brighter replacement screen.

If you consider one, remember that repairs aren't cheap, probably $150 or more for a clean, lubricate and adjust. I need to have my LX worked on; since I now have a K10D I can give it up for a while.

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