The Pentax MZ-S is very unique

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by richard_golonka, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. I have been thinking plenty about upgrading my camera. I just use old manual focus cameras and also an EOS 1-v. The manual ones have the soul and eos 1-v does everything fast and well but with too many green/black outdated LCD menus Its great, but I miss the dials and aperture ring. Looking for something in the middle. I find with two dials I lose track of where I am and what I am doing. With a real dial I can check it and with an aperature ring I have muscle memory which reminds me which aperture I am in currently. I just feel more comfortable operating like this. Its slower than two wheels, yes, but its what I prefer.

    I have determined that among digital cameras:
    -my perfect camera does not exist and never will exist. Posters here have very much confirmed this for me in another thread haha :)
    -The Leica M10-10 is a close second, but its all the money and is not an SLR
    -The fuji xt-3 or x1-H functions just like I want (shutter dial aperature ring), but I dont think I want to invest in APS-C
    -I want a full frame Sigma SD1 Merril DSLR ...hurry up sigma, make it happen

    In terms of flim cameras, I want autofocus, but also really don't like giving up the shutter dial and aperture ring.

    The only camera I can find that is very modern but also allows aperature ring control with a shutter dial is the MZ-S? No? I have not looked much before the year 2000 as I assume AF capabilities start be a bit outdated before then. The main thing I want out of my AF is a single point that sees in the dark, locks quickly and quietly as much as is reasonable. ANy more AF points after that is just bonus.

    Is this odd pentax the only film camera that is packed with modern features, good AF and has real shutter dial and aperture ring? I feel it cant be, but maybe it is....
  2. Not the only camera.
    I used to use Nikon F90 (N90). It was launched on the market in 1995. I would not say its AF is bad. With 50/1.4 AF (1st version, made in Japan in 1993) its AF is very quick and snappy. It was rated at -1EV. At least mine shot well in twilight.
    The camera has a sleek plastic, but a heavy body.
    I used only lenses with aperture rings as it can not take modern G lenses. I guess this Pentax is even better.
    Have a look at Nikon F100/F5 also.
  3. Ahh, but those don’t have a shutter speed dial, just thumb wheels. Well I guess the Pentax doesn’t either, it has a dial with electronic shutter the middle of the dial...haha. So, almost real dial, but not quite. The others have thumb wheels.

    I guess that is the same, but i see now what they were going for now with that weird big dial. It does conceptually seem a bit different....

    I guess the Nikon F4 also, although af might not be great.....
  4. Don't forget, people used to take pictures of the Olympic Games with F4 in 1988. Don't be afraid of AF so much. There are methods how to help AF for moving targets etc.
    F4 is a big camera, Pentax is a small camera. Here is the crux.
  5. In the same sentence?!? - I'm shocked!
    Sorry, I wasn't aware of the MZ-S before you mentioned it. I have an SFXn, something else's AF motor died it got sold.
    I picked up Pentax' earlier digitals (*istD, K100D K10D K20D) and guess what: I am ready to complain and lament about their AF... If you read reviews about their latest digitals, they complain and lament about the Pentax AF too.
    AFAIK the film bodies will only use screwdriver AF. It works but takes it's time, especially when things get dim. - I'd call my 5D IV way(!) snappier and was impressed by digital budged Nikons like a D 5#00 too.
    I was late to jump on the EOS boat, so I can't really imagine what you got in your film body but still: Why bother with Pentax AF at all?
    Their lens line got thinned out. There are countless (at least in Pentax terms...) digital shooters, scooping up the few old AF lenses floating around. 3rd parties are mainly neglecting the k-mount and feeding it crap at best.
    Considering your other troubles (with film's high ISO barrier) I would stick to cameras that take stabilized lenses. You could get the Pentax 24-70/2.8 made by Tamron cheaper in EF mount as a Tamron that also comes with a stabilizer.
    Shoot something else for fun, if you like to but there is really no benefit in starting multiple systems without a significant reason (like "I want IQ, give me some real estate of film" or suddenly needing leaf shutters, or falling for certain lenses that aren't available somewhere else.)
  6. This is a modern camera, but Pentax MZ-S is 18-year old tech.
    As for modern cameras, I use the K-50 with 40/2.8 limited and you know what - it focuses much faster than Nikon D300s with 50/1.4G. And somewhat faster than F90 with 50/1.4 AF. And more precisely than Olympus E-420 with 25/2.8.
    It only takes a fraction of a second to focus. I guess it is the lens. I carried out some experiments running toward the wall and clicking in servo AF-C mode, all frames were sharp.
    98% of my images are sharp. Maybe I can use it properly or just lucky....
    This was shot in dim twilight, the target was moving. Sharp again.
    I think Richard is just a collector who wants to use cameras for pleasure :rolleyes: - not a utilitarian thing for exceptional speed.

  7. There are lots of ultra-orthodox shooters out there who shoot digital cameras completely manually, if they use digital at all.
    Conservative shooters may use Autofocus or auto-exposure, but not both.
    Reform shooters use program mode, as well.

    Apostate shooters use the little picture modes on the camera and are shunned by nearly all.
    orsetto, Moving On, AJG and 1 other person like this.
  8. Richard, you mention your preference for two wheels and that your preferred digital doesn't exist. Actually, I think it does. It's called the Nikon Df, and it is definitely a throwback in terms of controls. It's even a full-frame camera, but it's a bit "slow" in the megapixel department with only 16. But still, 16mp is plenty good enough with a full frame image. If you use AF lenses prior to the G-series, you'll have AF and and aperture ring. Go here to read more about it:

    Nikon Df | Classic Nikon DSLR with Modern Features Inside

    I own an F4 and it's my opinion that its AF basically sucks -- at least for moving subjects that are moving at any significant speed. But it's the only AF film camera I have any experience with that still has dials and switches instead of push-buttons and LCDs. In spite of its heft, its a comfortable camera to hold, and for that reason, I rather enjoy shooting with it. Just not at airshows with the AF engaged, though.
  9. That is true. The Df is the one digital I would buy. I actually considered it when it came out, and have forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me. I seem to remember there was something about setting the ISO that didnt jive with me and seemed a bit odd. I will read again.....:)
  10. So you call me ultra-orthodox? I shoot digital cameras fully manual. I focus manually and don't use the meter. Even with a P&S I do it in full manual and focusing by setting distance.
  11. For sure. My daughter went to one of the Art Institutes in photography and she does the same. Sort of a Photo.Yesheva:rolleyes:
  12. Useless button clutter.....

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