Pentax MX 35mm SLRs

Pentax MX 35mm SLRs 

DESCRIPTION

Totally manual 35mm SLR circa late 70's- early 80's. Uses K-mount lenses. Out of production.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 55  
[Feb 23, 2012]
richard hale
Intermediate

Strength:

Compact, Lightweight. Classic good looks, DofF preview. Takes winder or motorwind. Wide range of reasonably priced lenses available. tough and reliable. Good ergonomics. Viewfinder data. Interchangeable viewfinder screens

Weakness:

Shutter dial stiff and a bit fiddly

I bought mine in the summer of 2007 for £125 which included 50mm f2 lens, winder and the original boxes, for my collection. I had previous nearly bought one in 2000 for use when I needed to replace a broken camera, but at that time did not like the feel of it and opted instead for a Minolta x700. Upon revisiting the MX 7 years later, I found my tastes had changed and I was using this little gem more and more.
What you get with this camera is what you would expect from a mechanical shutter SLR - simple easy to use exposure control, toughness and reliability, but with lots of extras that were "must haves" on serious cameras of the seventies and eighties -DofF preview, Aperture & shutter info displayed in the viewfinder, interchangeable finder screens, All wrapped up in a small package. If you match it to the Pentax 40mm f2.8 it is small enough to fit in a coat pocket or wear under a jacket quite comfortably and discreetlyt. I think it was Pentax's answer to the Olympus OM1n.
You can attach a very ergonomic winder or motordrive to it which helps handling and balance with zooms and telephoto lenses. It accepts a huge array of k, ka,kaf lenses, though I would try and get ka ones as they work very well with Pentax DSLRs.
The strongest assets of this camera in my opinion though are its size - for an SLR it is very small, only marginally bigger than the Pentax MESuper, and its reliabilty. I took mine to British Columbia in January 2008, where it experienced some very extreme conditions. It functioned down to about -20c, but did frieze up at -30c! Nevermind, it thawed out again and continued to work just fine afterwards.
It handles very well indeed, but to my mind not quite as nicely as the MESuper. The MX is a little less smooth on winding film on and the shutter a little clunkier. The shutter dial is quite stiff to operate and and its not that easy to change the shutterspeed with your eye pressed to the viewfinder as a consequence, but these are really very minor critisisms and very easy to live with.
Would I recommend one to someone else? Definitely, if they are after a small versatile go anywhere SLR, although if extreme conditions are not likely to be encountered, tripods not going to be used, DofF not required the MESuper may represent slightly better value for money

Similar Products Used:

Pentax MESuper, Pentax SuperA, Pentax MZ5n, Pentax ist, Minolta Sr1, Minolta Srt101 Minolta XG1, Minolta XE1, Minolta XD7, Minolta X700, Minolta XK. Nikon FM2n, Nikon F3, Nikon F4. Olympus Om1n

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 30, 2011]
Reccas
Intermediate

Strength:

Small and lightweight (but robust and with very good ergonomics) camera body; wonderful viewfinder (big, bright and with aperture/shutter speed indication); self-timer/DOF preview lever; indication of cocked shutter; trigger/light meter lock which works also as "T" shutter setting

Weakness:

Weak wind lever- shaky action, unequal distances between frames; meter tends to underexposure (and has small EV range); ASA setting only up to 1600; shutter speed dial rotates tightly

Perfect travel camera with mechanical shutter (battery independent). Only function this camera lacks is a MLU.

Customer Service

Not needed

Similar Products Used:

Pentax K1000, Pentax SP 1000, Praktina IIA, Praktica MTL 5, Praktica BMS, Olympus OM 2 S/P, Olympus OM 10

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 03, 2011]
asaru
Intermediate

Strength:

Simplicity, elegance, fullness of controls.

Weakness:

Requires film.

A camera is only a tool, a means to an end.

The MX is simple, well thought out, sturdy, light, and adaptable. When you hold it you are not doing camera. Rather, you are looking at the scene and thinking of the light. The rest is up to you.

I have never held a better camera. I only wish there were digital film.

Customer Service

Never needed factory service. One overhaul in 30 years.

Similar Products Used:

Nikon, Canon, Zenit SLRs.
Canon, Pentax P&S.
ME Super.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 27, 2010]
Sly Carter
Intermediate

Strength:

Easy to use, compact, good looking, great range of lenses commonly available. batteries seem to last forever. Hard wearing, durable, a pleasure to be with. Its like my best friend. Dof preview

Weakness:

Viewfinder is quite dim, but the focus prism helps, most models i have seen have specks in the viewfinder. erm.. not much else, no auto focus but im not bothered by that.

My favourite of all my classic cameras, it has the most beautiful compact design I have ever witnessed in an slr. I first borrowed one from college and instantly fell in love with it. Stunning results everytime. For me its my perfect companion if i'm doing some serious work.

Customer Service

its vintage, so no customer service available

Similar Products Used:

k1000, p30, nikon fm2 and various d-slrs.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 15, 2009]
sfpeter
Intermediate

Strength:

Simple and durable, old school metal with a fake leather skin.

Batteries can last for years.

Once you know how to set it up it's actually very easy to use, and can take great shots.

The split prism focusing screen is amazing for how much it helps get your shots in focus, I think they're not used on modern digital bodies (aside from most lenses being autofocus) because the prisms interfere with multi-segment metering.

Weakness:

As with all older film bodies age is catching up. Mine is semi-retired until I can replace the light seals.

The meter is, rather than the familiar indicator bar, a series of blinking diodes. While this makes the camera little more "high tech" looking it's annoying as hell when you're trying to compose a shot.

My particular model is the MXE Super, I'm not too sure what the difference is between this and the standard MX. It's a typical SLR circa 1980; manual focus, split prism/microprism focusing screen, TTL metering with auto shutter speed, 50mm "normal" lens, and pure manual everything else.

This body uses "K" mount lenses, and after coming off of a long time on a digital body it's surprising how thin and small it is.

As with all 35mm film bodies it's obsolete, and I keep it mainly for if/when I get the desire to use film.

Customer Service

Haven't used

Similar Products Used:

Canon AE-1

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 17, 2008]
Rachelle
Beginner

I just bought a used Pentax MX that seems to be in a good working condition. There was lenses with it : Takumar 2.8/105mm Takumar 3.5/35mm Takumar 1.8/55mm, but I found out they don't fit the MX camera, (different kinf of attachment, the lenses attachements are with screws) they fit the Pentax SV camera that came with the kit but the Pentax SV's shutter is broken...

I'd like to buy some lenses to go with my Pentax MX (macro, zoom)

I obviously have very little knowledge, so is there somebody who can help me?

(I took a beginner's course about 6 months ago)

Rachelle

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jan 20, 2007]
Tom Gartshore
Intermediate

Strength:

The MX is a solid little brick of a camera. Batteries seem to last forever and rarely need replacement. A wide range of accessories are still available on Ebay but are becoming more expensive. It “feels” good in my hands which is a subjective but very important feature for me. If I were forced to use one word to describe this camera it would be reliable. It even works without batteries! The "magic needles" film take up spool makes film loading a snap. As noted above the Pentax lenses, still readily available, are first rate and capeable of delivering remakable images if both you and the lab do your job properly. There are many other manual focus lenses available from other makers as well.

Weakness:

After 20 some years of use the cameras has its warts as well. The flash sync is a bit slow at 1/60th of a second. This wasn't bad in 1980 but looks very slow by today's standards. That being said it works quite well. The flash sytem as a whole requires a fair bit of manipulation and would likely turn off someone used to todays point and shoot systems. No TTL was availablel but it does have a primitive sort of auto flash exposure system but it can be a pain in the ass. The winder works but is a weak point of the system. The battery compartment door on most MX winders will be broken and you should be aware of this if buying a used one. Mine broke and I had to have it repaired. Battery removal is not for the faint hearted and requires more effort than it should. In addition the foam in these units turns to goo after 20 years or so and has to be replaced. This looks like a pretty thorough trashing of the winder but I wouldn't be without it. It feels so good in the hand and the MX seems incomplete without it to my mind.Some lament a lack of spot metering but I have never found it to be an issue. The MX has been out of production for some time parts are getting hard to find. Pentax no longer officially services this camera or its accessories.

I bought this camera new in 1982 and have never regretted it. It has been used in temperatures from –40 F to +90 F with no problems. The MX is very small and compact but might be too small for those with large hands. I purchased the MX winder and the result was a perfect fit. All dials and settings are logically laid out and easy to use. I personally like the LED display but not as much as I now wear glasses. The ability to see the F stop in the viewfinder is a nice touch. Depth of field preview and self-timer are well placed. I have several additional focusing screens that add to the camera’s versatility. I recently added the MX dial data back in an Ebay purchase. It permits encoding some information on the film but the years maxed out at 1992 (bummer). I can still add f-stop, shutter speed, month, day and some alpha characters. I have the right angle finder for this camera, which is handy for fine focusing with the Pentax auto bellows. I am something of a Pentax lens collector. I think Pentax manual lenses are easily on a par with their Nikon and Canon competitors. They are beautifully made and like little jewels in the hand. Over the years I have added about a dozen SMC Pentax lenses: 24mm K f/2.8, 28mm M f/2.8, 35 M f/2mm, 50mm M f/1.4, 50mm M f/4 macro, 100mm A f/2.8 macro, 150mm M f/3.5, 200mm K f/2.5, 300mm K f/4, a Pentax K 2x converter, and a 75-150mm M f/4 zoom. I purchased three of these in the last year of so on Ebay but prices are starting to climb. It is a fairly complete system, which allows me to take on any photographic challenge that comes my way. It would still be possible, but not cheap, to reproduce this system for Ebay sources.

Customer Service

The MX and K2, which is even older, have both been recently serviced in the last two years. A full clean, lube and adjustment cost about $15o Canadian. No parts needed to be replaced at that time but could be an issue in the future.

Similar Products Used:

I also have a Pentax K2.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 12, 2005]
normy
Expert

Strength:

Tough as old boots. I just bought a second one while they're still cheap used, in case my first ever fails. Simple and reliable. Big and simple, no-nonsense viewfinder. Small - almost too small, if you've big hands. Fantastic choice of good quality used (or new) lenses out there in the ubiquitous K mount. Quick to load, once you have the right touch. Clever combined depth-of-field preview and delf-timer design. Smooth, quick wind-on action. Batteries still easily available.

Weakness:

Shutter-speed dial should be a couple of mm taller to be easier and quicker to change. 1/1000 top speed is a bit old. Hot-shoe has some sharp edges you can poke your forehead with, if you're not careful. Changing ISO dial is a bit fussier than it needs to be. Light-seals and mirror foam probably needs attention when buying a used one.

It just keeps going. Small, light, portable, tough - great travel and street camera. Bazillions of good, used, cheap, manual lenses will fit it, including the very best of Pentax. Not a camera for people who like automation and dislike metering.

Similar Products Used:

Various Nikon and Olympus manual/mechanical SLRs.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 30, 2005]
butterroll
Expert

Strength:

compact, solid

Weakness:

small view finder, i dont like the light metering system...i prefer the needle type (hand held solves this problem)

never had a problem with this slr...despite what other reviews say there is no mirror lock up....many people have complained about the lack of faster shutter speeds but generally 1/1000 is good enough

Customer Service

never

Similar Products Used:

minolta srt 100, 101, 201 canon canonet

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 15, 2005]
Growler2005
Intermediate

Strength:

At the time, the smallest SLR around. Easy to hold and operate with one hand.

Weakness:

None.

I bought my black MX in 1980 and, despite moving to a digital SLR, have used it ever since. Rugged, easy to use, fantastically reliable and excellent pictures. Despite having bought a winder and numerous lenses over the years, I now restrict myself to the 50mm and 135mm portrait lens, both of which fit in a trouser pocket. Modern SLR's have more facilities and tricks, but they don't make you a better photographer!

Customer Service

Excellent

Similar Products Used:

Now have a Canon 300D

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 55  

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