Good backup body for my MZ-S

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by foto_hess, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. I would like to get a backup body to store in my camera bag in case
    of a failure of my MZ-S. Lately it has been making funny noises
    when the film advances or rewinds. It is kind of a ticking noise.
    I notice it mainly when I rewind the film. It isn't a constant
    noise, more of a pulsating tick. Anyways, I would like to get
    something small, cheap, reliable. I don't need a fancy meter,
    autofocus, or autoanything for that matter. I usually use a
    handheld meter when possible. This camera will become my main
    camera once I send in the MZ-S to get the lowdown on the noise. I
    was thinking maybe an MX, but was wondering if anyone had any
    opinions otherwise. An LX would be awesome, but more than I want to
    spend on an extra body. Maybe an ME Super, or even a K2. Oh, a
    motordrive ability wouldn't be terrible either. Thanks.
  2. For a backup why not buy a brand new ZX-M ? Built in film winder, cheaper then any of the cameras you mentioned, and with a good light meter built in. I own a MX, and a ME Super, both of which I love to use. I would recomend either to you the ME Super will be easier to find a Winder for, however a motordrive was never manufactured for it. The MX is a very popular camera and hard to find at a reasonable price. It does however offer a motordrive or a Winder. (if you can find them) As much as I love these bodies, if you can find one in mint condition it will cost you almost twice as much as a brand new ZX-M. Just a thought, I am a sucker for the old all metal pentax cameras, I just wonder how long they will keep holding thier value with all the digital BUZZ.
  3. The Pentax P3 and P3n are two underrated cameras that sell on ebay for pretty cheap these days (I got a very lightly used P3n body for $41 USD, it's almost like brand new). You can go full manual or programmed mode with these (and aperature priority with the P3n), and I suggest these over the MX because it's getting harder to get an MX in decent condition these days; the ones that are in good shape tend to be expensive...but there are lots of P3 and P3n's, and since you don't get a lot of interest in them like you do with the MX, the price is always right.
  4. I would usually recommend an MX camera, because of the fact that you are using a handheld meter and the mx can work without batteries, it is small, light and robust. I have 5 mx cameras all bought used, some are in mint condition, and one is in pretty poor condition with a shutter that doesn't always fire (the seller screwed me). I bought one from b&h and paid the extra money (it was a black one that was rated in 9 condition) and I have to say it is in excellent condition and hasn't let me down.

    I use the older pentax cameras because I use a bunch of the older m lenses along with some FA lenses with a Pz-1p. I find that I like less automation and manual loading/rewinding, but if you don't, and you have a bunch of newer A lenses, why don't you look at the *ist. It is pretty cheap and is really very small and light. If you are using autofocus lenses, this camera supposedly has better autofocus than the mz-s and you benefit from auto rewind and loading with a motordrive (not very fast though). Just a thought. Happy shooting
  5. Hi I've used the MZ-S for 2 years now, had a second body as backup as well. I sold that because the MZ-S just never fails.

    Have yours serviced if you have any doubt about the noise but I think another body is a waste!!

  6. I second Joseph's ZX-M recommendation. I now use a ZX-M as a backup for my MZ-S, although the ZX-M was my first Pentax and the only one I used for 2 years. It's a good little camera for the money, especially when operating in manual mode. It does have auto film advance. One drawback is no TTL flash option, but this may not be important to you.

    David Sellers
  7. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    Although it is truely hard to find a bad backup in the Pentax line, I would HIGHLY recommend the Pentax Super Program (or Super A outside the US). Here's why:

    TTL flash capasity, unlike the ZX-M (although cannot use the newest flash units)
    Shutter (unlike ZX-M), Aperture, full program shooting modes.
    15 second long exposure
    Dirt cheap (you can find them used under $125)
    Depth of view know, winder indicator (quite useful), exposure illuminator.
    The camera is TINY and can use either the Moter drive II or Super A drive.
    Pocket power cord option (for cold weather shooting)
    Can use a wide variert of shutter release cords (from the very old all manuals (even air), homemade electronic ones, to specialized ones for the moter drives

    Personally I think it is THE most under-valued Pentax camera. I personally have two. I also figure if they are stolen when I travel I'm not loosing an expensive camera.

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