Pentax KX at Adams Mill, Indiana

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by andy_collins|1, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. A little while ago I posted a question regarding the Pentax KX I had just bought, and asked for others' opinions about its use. I received a lot of favorable comments about the camera and with such encouragement I set out to put the camera through its paces. Shortly after that, however, I sold the camera thinking that it wasn't going to see much use since I was really focused on using my LX and MX at the time. It didn't take long to realize how much I missed using the camera, even after having owned it for such a short time, so like all good camera fanatics, I bought another one. This one is in even nicer condition than the first and the meter seems pretty accurate. While I thoroughly enjoy using compact cameras like the OM-series or my XD11 as well as the full-size cameras like my F3HP or FTbn, the KX is somewhere in the middle and feels perfectly sized. It is a most enjoyable camera to use and being a full-featured camera, it lends a sense of security in knowing that with it you can tackle pretty much any photographic situation thrown at it.
    I took the KX to Adams Mill near Cutler, Indiana in October. Adams Mill is a beautiful historic site on the banks of the Wildcat Creek and has been there since 1846, built by John Adams. The whole site consists of the grist mill and the covered bridge which was built in 1872. The bridge was built to handle the increased traffic and trade that the mill attracted, and to enable people to cross the creek during the seasonal floods, which still occur and raise the water to ridiculously high levels. The mill is in the process of being renovated after having sustained a bit of damage a few years ago during one of those floods. It's really an impressive place, one that you can wander around inside and still feel a sense of what it must have been like back in its prime years. The bridge is still used for local traffic and, as you would probably imagine, is a favorite spot for photographers.
    For my shoot that day I mounted the Pentax-M 24-50mm f/4, a favorite manual zoom of mine, and a roll of Fuji Superia 400. It was a real pleasure to use the KX and it will be seeing a lot of action in the coming days. As is the proper etiquette of this forum, I will first show a picture of the camera itself. It has my 'new' SMC Pentax 50/1.4 mounted on it. This lens has a nice heft to it and feels wonderfully balanced on the camera.
  2. Here is the grist mill at Adams Mill, looking at it from a little side tributary coming from the Wildcat Creek just a stone's throw away. This iteration of the grist mill actually replaced the original, built in 1836, which often operated round the clock grinding corn and wheat. This building is four stories tall while the original was only two.
  3. Another shot of the grist mill, a little closer this time.
  4. A view down the Wildcat Creek...
  5. There are a lot of old trees on the banks of the Wildcat, some of which I'm certain have been there for a long time. Also due to the rise and fall of the water level, a lot of trees have exposed roots which are always fascinating to look at and photograph.
  6. This is the covered bridge. There is actually quite a bit of traffic that uses this bridge and the sounds of their engines echo quite loudly off of the walls of the bridge.
  7. Here's the bridge from creek level looking up. It's quite a striking sight that takes you back to another time.
  8. So, that was the first major outing for the KX. As I said earlier, it's a wonderful camera to use; you can feel its Spotmatic heritage for sure. It's loaded and ready to shoot again, so I'll have it out over the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope to have more pictures from it to share with you soon. Thanks for looking!
  9. Andy,
    You did a great job in capturing this beautiful area. I really like your Roots picture.
    You are correct on the importance of having a camera that just feels right. I find that I dwell too much on spec sheets when buying a camera. Now that I have a bunch of cameras to choose from it surprises me as to which I choose when I go out to shoot. How the camera fits in the hand and the ease of using the controls matter the most.
  10. Thank you, Mark. I really appreciate your kind words. I enjoy photographing this area; I shot it a couple of years ago with an XD11, but I like the results of this outing a lot more. As for the feel of this camera, I'm surprised by how much I like it. Everything about it works and feels just right and I find myself picking it up a lot!
  11. Nice looking camera with a serious piece of glass attached. I like the first shot of the Mill very much. It gives it a frame and sense of place. The last image of the covered bridge is neat too with the dappled shadows. Cool.
  12. Beautiful Pentax, Andy, the KX is a model I rarely come across, and your copy looks pristine. Fine images; the inaugural pic of the mill is a really well-balanced composition. And what a fascinating building; I'm amazed to see a building of any sort perched on piles of stone, let alone a four-storey structure! Obviously, you don't get too many earthquakes in Indiana. Thanks for an interesting presentation and some fine images.
  13. Classy work with a classic!
    Pentax was my first SLR camera.
  14. nice work, andy. solid camera.
  15. Louis--Thanks for your comments. Not only is the glass "serious" but it's pretty hefty too, just the way it should be!
    Rick--Thank you. I hope you can find one of these and put it to use as I'm sure you'd really enjoy it. Ironically Indiana is actually near one of the most serious faults in North America, the New Madrid fault, and there is a fair amount of minor seismic activity along this fault line. In the last few years we've had a couple of 5.2+ magnitude quakes here; nothing huge but certainly enough to feel.
    Les--Thanks so much! All three of those are outstanding cameras to use.
    JDM--Thanks! Do you still have your Pentax?
    CQ--Thank you very much!
  16. Do you still have your Pentax?​
    I don't have my original Heiland Pentax H2, but I did find an Asahi H2 (interestingly not an S2) to replace it. My story on that model and my old one are at .
    I think the basic early Pentax form is one of the all-time most beautiful SLRs ever made.
  17. Great photos and some history as well. Skillful combination of photos and history. Even by today's standards the KX is still a very capable machine and lots of SMC Pentax lenses at favorable prices. Thanks for sharing.
  18. Les--Thanks for the info. I'll definitely look into that.
    JDM--I remember that write-up. That is a beautiful camera!
    Mike--Thanks for the compliments. I agree that it is a most capable camera and I'm looking forward to using it much more!

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