Thursday, January 13, 2011

Alas poor Pentax...

The Pentax ME Super arrived yesterday and I opened the package with great anticipation.

This anticipation soon turned to dismay though, when I removed the 50mm lens and looked inside the camera.  Because I could see right inside the camera! No mirror was hanging down where a mirror should be. Instead, it was stuck in the 'up' position - in mirror lock up, even though the Pentax ME Super doesn't have a mirror lock up! Oops. Not good.

I hoped that this would be rectified by placing new batteries in the camera and pushing the shutter button - but no, still locked in the 'up' position.

And this wasn't the first set-back I'd had in the building of a Pentax kit. Earlier in the week I had won a 28mm f2.8 Cosina lens that the auction listed as having a Pentax K mount. Alas, no. When it arrived, turned out it is for a Minolta MD mount instead! Cost me peanuts, and is in fantastic condition, so I'm not going to complain. But it was a little irritating, considering I had assumed I was well on my way to a nice 'prime' Pentax kit.

Instead, I have a Pentax body that doesn't work, a Cosina wide angle that doesn't fit, and a burning desire to shoot with a manual camera using all prime lenses. What to do?

Well, I think I've solved the problem. As I mentioned, the Cosina is in too great a condition to pass up, and it just so happens that there are a few other really nice bargain lenses in the Minolta Rokkor MD vein on Trademe at the moment.

Like this really nice Minolta Rokkor 135mm f3.5 I bought this morning on Trademe for $40.00NZ! Fungus free, with nice clear optics - at a truly amazing price. I stopped bidding on a Tamron 135mm lens for the Pentax just last night that went for twice the price of this genuine Minolta! So move over Pentax, Minolta's taking over!

With the Cosina 28mm and the Minolta 135mm, I'm almost all the way there with my prime lens trio (just need the 50mm f1.7 to be complete), oh yeah, and a body of course :-)

Something like... this! A Minolta X300s, with Minolta Power Winder and Flash (not shown). If I'm honest, I would have preferred a X700 (I used to own one once upon a time and they are a beautiful camera), but this X300s with Power Winder and 80-200mm lens was being offered for a real bargain with 'Buy Now' so I didn't want to take any chances. I snapped it up, and now only hope that it actually works (it says it does on the auction description, but so did the Pentax)!

The seller hasn't got back to me yet on the make of the lens, but it doesn't really matter to me since I don't plan on using it anyway - even if it's a Minolta. I'm sticking to my original plan with this manual focus kit - all primes. Which means I'll have to pick up the 50mm f1.7 at some stage, but that shouldn't be too hard.

Not too sure about the Power Winder either? Again, the whole idea of using primes was to keep it to a lightweight kit - something that the bulk and weight of the Power Winder (it uses 8 AA batteries) doesn't really help with. If I decide I really don't want/need it, I can always sell it - probably for about as much as the whole thing cost me in the first place.

So from being excited only a few days ago about building a Pentax kit, to now owning a (almost) full Minolta package, is something of a dramatic turn-around. Believe it or not, I'm starting to get 'camera'd out'. Maybe it's time to stop the buying, and start the using?

Yeah - that would be nice.

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