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Pentax ZX-M / MZ-M 35mm SLRs

4.38 star rating
                      4.38 / 5 (53 Reviews)
MSRP : $250.00

  • Lens MountPentax KAF2
    Camera TypeSLR (Single Lens Reflex)
    Film Type35mm
    Battery Type2 x 3V Lithium Battery (CR-2)
    Focus TypeManual Focus
    Interchangeable LensesInterchangeable Lenses
    Shutter Speed30 - 1/2000 sec
    Max Flash Sync Speed1/100 sec
    ISO Range - Automatic SettingISO 25 - 5,000
    ISO Range - Manual SettingISO 6 - 6,400
    Frames Per Second2 fps
    Manual Shooting ModesProgram Shift • Aperture Priority • Shutter Priority • Fully Manual
    Mirror LockupWithout Mirror Lockup
    Light Metering ModesEvaluative Metering • Center Weighted
    Auto ExposureYes
    Bulb Shutter SpeedWith Bulb Shutter Speed
    Self TimerYes
    Film Auto TransportLoading • Rewind • Mid Reload
    Dioptric Adjustment Range-1
    Viewfinder Frame Coverage92 %
    Viewfinder Magnification0.77X
    Depth2.2 in.
    Height3.6 in.
    Width5.3 in.
    Weight10.88 oz.
    Included AccessoriesHand Strap • Case
    Release DateNovember, 1997
    Warranty1 Year Limited
    Product ID31040

Product Description

The ZX-M offers super-compact dimensions and straightforward, easy to read dial controls; but it is totally manual. It incorporates an array of creative and user-friendly features, including a multi-mode exposure system; an advanced light metering system; and a 1/2000-second high-speed shutter. As a result, this is the model for the next generation of photographers as well as those who want to learn the basic skills through creativity and fun.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (53 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Earl a Expert

Date Reviewed: November 19, 2016

Strengths:    Definitely not a K1000, but a worthy predecessor to the digital age

Weaknesses:    Plastic mount, in fact plastic everything - plastic fantastic!

Bottom Line:   
Having used older Pentaxes, this is definitely a product of the times. Cheap and sleazy, but still does the job with auto exposure. Excellent viewfinder (I hate viewfinders, so this is a BIG compliment!) Loading is easy and the DX ISO set helps avoid mistakes. It's a shame these are going for under $20 at Goodwill these days.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Goodwill

Similar Products Used:   Pentax Auto 110

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Boongoon-advanced user a Expert

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2015

Strengths:    Cheap, great lenses, light weight, reliable, built in winder, multiple exposure modes, remote cable, depth of field preview etc.

Weaknesses:    No GPS, won't boil your coffee.

Bottom Line:   
My review of this camera might seem a bit generous but that's because of my perspective-I'm judging it by what it can do compared to all the manual focus SLRs that came before it including the super expensive Nikons and Canons and the insanely expensive Leicas and Zeiss Ikons. Yup in most cases this camera will shoot circles around those ones. OK, it might not be the best camera to take to the North Pole or tropical rain forest or the Sahara Desert but that applies to most of today's digital SLRs. To make a long story short, this is one of the cheapest manual focus SLRs ever made but in many ways one of the greatest. Now it doesn't have the fantastic viewfinder of the Super Program but it beats the viewfinder of the KM, K1000 and the Pentax P series cameras and I'm having less trouble focusing this camera than the KX with it's microprism screen. That's my answer to those people who knock the viewfinder of the ZX-M. If you're one of those (street) people who are content to roam around with nothing but a normal or wide angle lens then mount the famous 40mm 2.8 "pancake" lens on this beast and fire away and when you're through slip the camera into a pocket and you won't even feel it and those Zombies you were photographing wont even see it. Of course you can do that with any compact digital camera but they don't give you the warped? satisfaction of developing your own film. And that brings us to the only valid reason to use film in the first place now that digital is closing in on film as far as picture quality goes-the pleasure of developing your own film plus the element of suspense-you won't know whether or not you messed up half a roll of film in that dark alley. Oh yes, as a Pentaxian it doesn't have to be film or digital since Pentax uses the same mount for both their film and digital cameras. Then there are those Pentax lenses. For decades we've been fed this nonsense about the "big four" Nikon, Canon, Leitz and Carl Zeiss being at the top of the heap as far as sharpness is concerned but I can remember making beautiful 16x20 inch blowups with Pentax lenses from 1960 yep, the famous 85mm 1.8 Super Takumar and the 300mm 6.3 Takumar. Okay maybe, just maybe Zeiss lenses were just a snick sharper but this is really splitting hairs. Minolta lenses weren't dogs either then Yashica came along with their Contax Yashica mount lenses which turned a few heads. Allright maybe I've digressed a bit that was to show you where I'm coming from. I've used the creme de la creme in 35mm but I'm still using this ZX-M as my main film camera and I'm not going to tell you my age in case you were wondering, let's just say that I haven't been diagnosed with Alzheimers (when are these spell checkers going to clean up their act?) yet. And now that I've got you totally confused I'm now going to sign off before I get kicked off this board.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $75.00

Purchased At:   FleaBay

Similar Products Used:   Pentax SV, Super Program, KM, K-X

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by javi-aero a Expert

Date Reviewed: December 20, 2003

Strengths:    Small
Easy to use
Lots of available lenses

Weaknesses:    Not black
Not weatherproof

Bottom Line:   
I love this camera and I will never get another SLR until I switch to digital in a few years. It has everything you need, nothing you don't, and the controls are simply elegant. I always get well exposed prints. I've had it for about four years and have not had a single problem.

The 50mm f/2 lens that is offered with it is sharp and well made. If manual focus is your thing. This is all you need.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $150.00

Similar Products Used:   Minolta Maxxum Stsi
Nikon F50

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tom a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2003

Strengths:    - very durable
- easy to use
- DOF preview

Weaknesses:    - could have a manual winder

Bottom Line:   
Took some of the most amazing pictures with this camera. Easy to chenge settings, controls are right where you need them. Combined with a battery pack, gives you the feel and look of a pro-camera. Light meeter might be a bit off in outdoor conditions, but as a manual camera user you should know how to adjust the settings without relying on the camera's meter. Best dollar for dollar camera I have owned.

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Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $168.00

Purchased At:   e-bay

Similar Products Used:   F3MA

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chris a Intermediate from Manchester, UK

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2003

Strengths:    Good range of shutter speeds, DOF, robust, have shot about 40 films on the initial set of batteries, motor drive [albeit not very fast]. Cheap.

Weaknesses:    The bundled lens is a cross between a real manual lens and an autofocus style, it's short with a tiny focusing ring which slips very easily. Avoid this and pick up used K - mount lenses.

Viewfinder display can be difficult to read in some conditions. Also no provision for a manual remote trigger, requires a pentax remote [costly].

Bottom Line:   
This is the first SLR that i've owned, i was attracted by its general manualness. Performance is generally sound although metering for black and white isn't great. Compact size and light weight are bonuses, its fairly strong too having taken a couple of falls without any problem. A good camera to get to grips with the basics of photography.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   0-1 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Jessops

Similar Products Used:   Nikon F35, Nikon F80

Type of photography:   People

Reviews 1 - 5 (53 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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