More Pentax on parade...Pentax MX

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by andy_collins|1, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. I recently acquired a pretty nice Pentax MX, a camera I've wanted for quite awhile after reading a lot of glowing accolades about it on this forum and others. It's a nice camera to handle assuming, of course, that you're in the mindset to handle a very compact SLR. What surprised me is that it's bigger than the ME-Super by a very little bit, which I wouldn't have guessed from looking at pictures of it. What I really like about it is the ability to see both shutter speeds and aperture settings in the viewfinder, and the LED metering is nice; you know all of your pertinent info at a glance. The arrival of the MX also coincided with a recent purchase of an SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 to replace the 50/1.7 I'd been using most recently on my ME-Super. The 50/1.4 mounted on the MX adds up to a nicely compact outfit that has a little bit of heft to it. It's really an enjoyable camera to use. Like the ME-Super it has a quiet shutter/mirror return action and allows you to be pretty discreet when shooting. I also really like the fact that it's mechanical so after it has a good CLA (who does those for Pentax cameras?), it should be good for many, many more years to come. I took a few shots just to make sure the camera was working properly, and it was. Here are a few test shots I took with it, all done with the 50/1.4. I should emphasize the phrase "test shots" because there's no serious photography here, just making sure everything works as advertised.
  2. Shot #1
  3. Shot #2
  4. Shot #2...without the server issues, hopefully
  5. Shot #3
  6. Shot #4
  7. Shot #5
  8. All of these were shot with the SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 on Fuji Superia X-tra 400. Now that I know it works, it's time to really give it a workout and see what I can do with it. What a cool camera! I see what all the fuss is about.
  9. Excellent review, Andy. Nice no-fuss cameras, both the MX and the ME, and I would suspect the f/1.4 lens lived up to your expectations! You don't get much sharper than the mud, or the implements...great quality pics, all round. I look forward to your next post from this outfit.
  10. The favored place for Pentax repairs (quality and price) appears to be Eric Hendrickson at
    Amazing little camera. I'm willing to pay the weight over the ME or SuperProgram for a shutter speed dial -- although I wish that dial wasn't so stiff.
  11. Sharper than mud... I like it. :)
    The MX is on my wishlist, alongside twenty or thirty other cameras. Maybe next decade.
  12. Nice pics, Andy. If I didn't shoot with Canon's I would be shooting with classic Pentax gear. The MX is so nicely made yet has no frills...perfect! Impressive optical results. The combination is mighty indeed. The mud and car wash shot are great!
  13. I wonder how many others here besides me actually had a Pentax MX when they were a new, current camera. Incredible the things we sell away not realizing that they will be desirable vintage cameras one day. That was one great little 35 mm camera. I can only wish I still had mine. I remember that at the time, there was much criticism over the LED's instead of the traditional Pentax needle. Even my wife, who knows nothing about cameras, will say that sharpest pictures we ever had were made with various Pentax cameras and lenses.
  14. Ahh, one of those new fangled Pentaxes, great little camera though. My wife used an ME Super some time ago, I had the LX at the time (wish I had kept it)
    Love the mud shot, these show that the photographer has the "eye", and sets you apart from the great unwashed.
  15. Hi Andy - fantastic sharpness in these, that mud shot and the rusted farming machine really stand out; a very nice study in form indeed. You said LED metering, I was under the impression these used match needle. Did they make two versions of it?
    At any rate well done.
  16. Rick--Thanks. I hope to have more pictures soon.
    John--Thanks very much for the link; I'll contact them very soon. I also enjoy the weight of the MX over the ME-Super.
    Fred--Thanks. I hope you're able to score an MX soon.
    Louis--Thank you for the nice compliments. It's really a very nice camera to use, one I'm sure you'd put to good use.
    Pierre--That's a very nice shot! Hopefully you"ll get another MX.
    Les--I think that I did get a great copy of the 50/1.4, and the camera is pretty sweet as well.
    Tony--Thank you for such nice comments. One day I'd like to have an LX as well but I should probably learn to use what I already have...Nah, I'm going to look for an LX!
    Ralf--Thanks for the kind comments; I always appreciate your thoughts. I've not heard of match-needle metering in the MX, just the LEDs. This is a camera you'd certainly enjoy.
  17. I had the MX as my first SLR and loved it. Here is a shot taken with my old MX - can't remember the lens but probably a Vivitar 28mm.
  18. i loved my MX. Used professionally plus my own photography. Only problem it really is too small! Hear that U folks with awesome DSLR's..i had to add the film winder(kinda motor drive).i never ever put batteries inside it! It made the camera cause less cramps. I met another snapper here in Toronto doing exactly the same.When the flash sych went, i stupidly sold it! Weddings and flash go hand in hand with bride and groom.I still have much Pentax,K1000,ME-Super,MG and an almost mint Spotmatic purchased a year or two ago for $25.oo.The MX is great but not for knocking around.
  19. Good photos. The MX may be small, but the controls are laid out in such a way that it handles with the ease of a larger
    camera. I have a black MX that I use with a 40 mm f2.8 for compactness. I also have the 50 mm f1.4, 28 mm f 2.8, and
    135 mm f3.5.
  20. Andy, loved #1. And, we don't get to see frozen ponds here in Texas, that was wonderful, almost looks like a launch pad for something! All the functions in the modern cameras are useful to someone, but now all arguments about these more classic SLRs being large or small are moot: it seems to me that they are all small, light and delightful to use in their simplicity. ISO, aperture, shutter-speed, and being able to focus...what else do you need?
  21. Welcome to the world of the truly excellent MX! The MX has been my trusty workhorse for decades (it's what I bought new to replace my stolen original Yashica TL-Electro in the early 80s) and has never failed me. It became more enjoyable to use as I amassed various accessories over time. It never fails to impress me with it's sturdiness and reliability. One of my best shots was taken with it using the 40mm SMC f/2.8 "pancake" lens... combined with the MX body it's incredibly compact, at least as small as my Canon III rangefinder!
    Wonderful shots Andy; I especially liked the "designs in the Mud"... enjoy your MX!
    Here's one of my favorite examples:
    Seoul, Korea Kodak T400CN
    Cheers, Allan
  22. Colin-Cool picture. Thanks for commenting.
    Jason-I thought about getting the motor drive for it but decided not to for now; I may change my mind though. Even though I have very large hands, I like the compact size.
    Mike-Thanks! That 40/2.8 sounds like a neat lens; I may try to find one.
    Shash-Thanks for the compliments. I'd be glad to send our winter weather down your way, but I think it's finally coming to an end. I agree about the simplicity of cameras. This one is very straightforward and leaves me wanting nothing more from it. A beautiful, simple design!
    Allan-I will most certainly enjoy my MX. Your endorsement of it means a lot. I really am going to have to find the 40/2.8 since you also have praise for it along with Mike. I really like that shot too; that's excellent!
  23. Another good thing about the MX is the SMC lenses work great with it so you don't need the more expensive A lenses.
  24. Meant say SMC M. BTW, the SMC M 135 mm F3.5 is a neat pocketful that travels well with the MX.
  25. Bought 3 MX bodies beginning 1981. Still have two but after digital they haven't seen any use. New users should remember to check that the film is wound snugly on to the take-up spool while loading before closing the back. Otherwise a blank roll might be the result.
    The MX is a very reliable camera which can take very nice pictures as the ones above show.
  26. The small size is one of the things I like about the MX. I often take mine hiking with me, and minimizing weight and bulk is a must.
  27. Mike--Do you have any shots you can share from the 135mm f/3.5? It might also be one worth considering.
    DC--It's nice to hear repeated praise of the MX's reliability. I will probably have mine serviced so that it lasts for a long time.
    David--I also like the small size and all of the capability built into that small size.
  28. Andy I started out with with first ME in 1976 and soon learned that the Mx fully manuel was the way to go.Since then I've had almost all the pentax bodys and still have my first mx I bought @KEH.Also I still kept my old spotmatic sm for when I break out my asahi 500 4.5 And my 135 2.8
  29. Andy- here's a few from the Pentax SMC M 135 mm f3.5. Naturally, it was attached to my MX.
  30. At mid-range
  31. At minimum focusing distance
  32. The MX is great, thanks for the review. I really enjoyed it. I started my tiny Pentax itch with an ME, a lovely camera, but the electronics WILL and did stop working. Manual is the way to go. I was surprised to see that the MX is slightly bigger, I really hadn't noticed, but you are right. Again, thanks for the review. All the best!
  33. Danny --I'm still learning the nuances of the MX but I really like it a lot. Those Spotmatics are pretty sweet too!
    Mike --Wow, that 135 looks like a great performer. I'm going to have to add that focal length to my wish-list, which seems to grow a little everyday!

    Henry --Thanks for taking the time to look and for commenting. I've had a couple of MEs but I sold both. Naturally since I don't have them I want another one, just to add to my growing Pentax collection.
  34. I've been using a couple of MXs for the last two years, always used the SMC M series 50mm 1.7. It handles wonderfully and despite a brief stint with rangefinders, I've found myself returning to it. It's well balanced and quick. Here are a few shots:
  35. Second

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