Best choice for african film camera

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by djnathan, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. A friend of my son's in Mali has worn out several old film Pentaxes which I sent him, including the MZ types. What would be a good choice for a rugged autofocus to send him?
  2. What do you mean he has worn out? Is he using them as a hammer? I have friends in parts of India, no cooler than Mali in terms of humidity and temperature, who had been using the same old Olympus OM series bodies for decades. What is this boy doing with his cameras? I certainly would not recommend anything that has too many electronic parts.
  3. I see that word "autofocus" in there, and I would recommend manual focus lens assemblies for ruggedness.
  4. I actually think the ZX/MZ are probably less rugged than predecessors, the SF and Z/PZ series models. I would wonder just what kind of 'wearing out' we're talking about--what is failing? Is it mechanical failure or electronics failure?
    John's suggestion for a manual-focus camera for more durability probably isn't a bad one--the cameras are simpler, more ruggedly built, and there's generally-speaking less to go wrong.
  5. The MZ-S is a compact autofocus model with a very rugged metal body and advanced features, including mirror lockup with the 2 sec timer setting. Of course, it is more expensive than the other plastic bodied MZ cameras.

    If you go for the old manual-focus models, which are usually many years old, get one that has been reconditioned or plan on getting that done after your purchase.
  6. I have an SF1, circa about 1990. It is built like a tank. You probably could use it as a hammer, although I don't recommend it. The SF1 and its cousins, the SF1n, SF10, SF7 and SFx all have similar specs and all are built extremely well.
    I also have a ZX-60 (MZ-60 outside the US) and it very well might wear out from extensive use. It is plastic, with a plastic lens mount.
    Paul Noble
  7. Paul Noble: "I have an SF1, circa about 1990. It is built like a tank. You probably could use it as a hammer, although I don't recommend it."
    This is pretty much what I was alluding to in my post. Notable SF7 or SF10 omissions vs. SF1/SFX are no manual ISO override and no exposure compensation. I also recall that there's no adjustment for viewfinder diopter, and that shutter speeds slower than 1/30 show in the viewfinder as 'LT'. Even the better SF1/SFX/SF1n/SFXn bodies can easily be found in great shape for very little money.
  8. What is he shooting? Maybe an old point and shoot, like an Olympus Stylus, might work for him.
  9. Rugged and autofocus are two terms which are usually self-exclusive, except for the pro models. The old SF series appear to be more rugged, but at the expense of a more advanced AF system. Another possibility, if he doesn't mind focusing manually, is to get an MX body. The shutter and aperture control are mechanical and he can use any Pentax K mount lenses (except for those with aperture controlled by the camera).
  10. PZ-1p.

    I'd send him a pair.
  11. Thanks for all the advice here. I will keep an eye out for these suggested cameras. I think he could do what he does with a point and shoot but he is trying to make an income doing weddings and occasions, and he says that he wouldn't have much cred unless his gear looks somewhat pro.

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