Pentax P30

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by v_aspes, May 30, 2006.

  1. v_aspes

    v_aspes Guest

    I wish to exchange my old Pentax P30T with a fully manual one (MX or
    According to you, is the change fair or I need to add some money?

    v_aspes, May 30, 2006
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  2. v_aspes

    Jeremy Guest

    The P30T does not fetch much, although I think it was a fine camera and I
    own two of them and use them often.

    Since the P30T operates in full manual, aperture preferred and program
    modes, it is doubtful that going to an MX will enable you to take photos
    that are any different from those of the P30T (you may just want the
    mechanical feel of the MX), and the MX will cost more. You might get $50
    for the P30T, and it might be better to keep the P30T as a backup body,
    rather than get little in the way of trade-in value for it.
    Jeremy, May 30, 2006
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  3. v_aspes

    v_aspes Guest

    I already use the P30T as a backup body.
    I wish to have a manual body to start doing night shots.
    Which is your suggestion between MX and KX?
    v_aspes, May 30, 2006
  4. Definitely KX. MX does not have a mirror-lock-up and shows viewfinder
    info with LED's which as a system is inferior to KX´s needles system. I
    find KX one of the very best Pentax bodies of all times and would never
    trade it to a P30T.

    Väinö Louekari
    Väinö Louekari, May 30, 2006
  5. wrote:
    : I wish to exchange my old Pentax P30T with a fully manual one (MX or
    : KX).
    : According to you, is the change fair or I need to add some money?

    : Thanks

    You should probably look at the prices charged by reputable dealers,
    like KEH ( On their website, a P30T in Excellent
    condition (close to new) costs $69, and one in Bargain condition
    (good by showing definite signs of wear) is $35. A KX in bargain
    condtion is $76. An MX costs $199 in Excellent condition, and $89
    in Bargain.

    In other words, if both cameras are in the same condition, a KX is
    worth about twice as much as a P30T, and an MX more than twice as
    much. I own both a P30T and an MX, and I would definitely not trade
    my MX for another P30T unless the P30T came with extra money or some
    extra gear.

    Warren B. Hapke
    Warren B. Hapke, May 30, 2006
  6. v_aspes

    Jeremy Guest

    The MX is closer in design to the famed LX, and it does offer
    interchangeable screens, if they are important to you. I am curious about
    your plans to do night shots. Are you contemplating very long time
    exposures? The P30T can do bulb exposures, but the manual warns that the
    batteries will be exhausted after about 10 hours of holding the shutter

    I have several manual M42 Bodies in the Spotmatic and ES ranges, but I have
    put them aside for the most part and I prefer my P30T bodies. No need to
    choose between manual (Spotmatic) or Aperture-Preferred (ES/ES-II). The
    P30T does both (with the Pentax A lenses of course) and also features
    program operation that shoots at the fastest available shutter speed (based
    on film speed, maximum lens aperture and fastest camera shutter speed of
    1/1000) in order to capture action shots optimally. For me, that is more
    automation than I need, but it's nice to have it all in one body.

    Finally, that Asahi-Seiko shutter is purported to be more accurate than the
    mechanical shutters that were used in the Spotmatics and ES cameras (the ES
    did not use an electronic shutter--it featured a "memory device" which
    released the manual shutter electronically. The ES had several manual
    speeds that could be used in the event of battery failure or meter failure,
    unlike the P30T and other fully electronic models).

    I do not recall whether the MX or the used a Seiko electronic shutter (I
    think that the KX did). Aside from the tactile gratification derived from
    handling the older, metal camera bodies (which can be reason enough to want
    to use them) I cannot think offhand of any advantage that they have over the
    P30T in terms of features that would make possible more types of photos.

    If I were going to buy one of those two models it would be the MX. It is
    somewhat more recent than the KX and it was designed by Pentax as a
    companion to the LX, making it probably a bit more reliable. The KX was the
    first round of K-Mount bodies (along with the K2 and the K-1000) and it was
    the first body to use an electronic shutter. I rarely see them offered for
    sale, and their reliability may be questionable. Those bodies are now over
    30 years old, and there are a lot of moving parts inside.

    For me, the P30T is the last Pentax film body I'll be using. I really like
    its styling, its gray color, its electronic shutter, its complement of
    automatic and manual modes, its light weight and its rubberized body
    covering. But I'm becoming weary of lugging around multiple lenses and
    buying film. I have a digicam with 3x optical zoom and I find that it
    covers a surprisingly broad range of applications that I require. And I
    take it everywhere--unlike my film bodies and lenses--so I take more shots
    than I do with film. Since I shoot for my own pleasure, not professionally,
    I don't need to worry about having an SLR and lots of accessories or focal
    lengths in order to handle varied assignments. There is something freeing
    about being able to travel light. These days I trot out the Spotmatics only
    occasionally. Funny how one's opinions change over time. Once I never
    thought I'd give up on Spotmatics.
    Jeremy, May 30, 2006
  7. Sorry, KX does _not_ have an electronic shutter, You probably mean K2
    /K2DMD which does. KX has a fully mechanical shutter that works at all
    shutter speeds without batteries if need be. As for reliability, mine is
    about 30 years old and works fine.
    Also, I would not call MX a companion to LX since MX was first launched
    in 1976 and LX in 1980. KX in 1975, so it is just a year older than MX.
    As for information see

    Väinö Louekari
    Väinö Louekari, May 30, 2006
  8. v_aspes

    Jeremy Guest

    I knew that one of the first 3 K-Mount bodies had the electronic shutter,
    but I never could manage to stay on top of which one it was. As for the MX,
    it has long been acknowledged as the closest thing to the LX in terms of
    professional applications. But all of those models are old now, and it
    would be inadvisable for a professional to base his livelihood on ancient

    As much as I have enjoyed my M42 bodies and lenses, there comes a time to
    move on. Pentax has not offered any type of parts or service on those
    models in over 2 decades. I have acquired a couple of extra bodies to be
    used in the event that I need repair parts in the future (assuming that
    there will be any type of reasonably priced and competent repair service
    facilities in another 10 years). They were great in their day, and they
    still afford much satisfaction to an amateur like me, who won't be
    devastated if something fails one day. But the golden age of the mechanical
    camera has passed. They always required availability of service--for CLAs
    and for occasional repairs--camera repair businesses do not have long-term
    prospects of survival. To repair an older Pentax requires that another
    Pentax body be cannibalized for parts--and how long can that go on? How
    many repair shops can remain profitable when they will have to go on a hunt
    for parts whenever a camera is presented to them for repair?

    They were all wonderful optical instruments, and I hope that mine continue
    to work for many years. But the marketplace has spoken and the
    manufacturers are quickly withdrawing film equipment and replacing it with
    digital. Cameras are becoming commoditized, and when they break they will
    tend to be discarded, not repaired. I remember when AT&T leased telephones
    to consumers, and provided free recycled replacements if they failed. Then
    one day they closed all their phone stores and they sold off their equipment
    to Philips Consumer Products. I don't know if one can even lease one of
    those great old telephones anymore. They were built like tanks.

    If one is already invested in legacy camera equipment, then go ahead and buy
    the occasional lens or body. But it makes little economic sense to begin
    now to acquire a good legacy kit, when parts are rare or unobtainable. I'd
    say to go with Leica, but even they have dubious prospects. The future is
    in plastic, it appears.
    Jeremy, May 31, 2006
  9. v_aspes

    Cheesehead Guest

    The KX is solidly-built. I've got a black one that serves me very

    Depends on what kind of night shots and if you mean dusk, evening,
    by moonlight, or the black of midnight..
    If it's astral, the you really want the LX for its ultra-sensitive
    Costly, but still better than most out there and lighter, too.

    If you're shooting people or wildlife, the MX has a much brighter

    If you need to be unobtrusive/less visible, the black of a nice KX,
    a black Spotmatic or ES, or LX might be worthy of consideration.

    Cheesehead, Jun 1, 2006
  10. v_aspes

    Signifer Guest

    One of my two MXs is black.
    Signifer, Jun 1, 2006
  11. v_aspes

    Cheesehead Guest

    Pentax made no original black MX bodies. Some have been done by
    third-party modification. They look nice, but when worn don't have
    "classy" brass look.

    Cheesehead, Jun 1, 2006
  12. v_aspes

    Bandicoot Guest

    Yes they did, and the originals do wear to brass. I remember my mother
    buying one from new in the '70s, and I have one now.

    Bandicoot, Jun 2, 2006
  13. v_aspes

    Bandicoot Guest

    Definitely my choice for night shots.
    Brighter than the LX? Not my experience, where both seem about the same.
    Add a bright screen to the LX and it has the edge. However, for people work
    there are two advantages to the MX: it is smaller and more unobtrusive (not
    that an LX is big by the standards of current SLRs) and its shutter is a lot
    quieter than an LX's.
    Black MX is the most unobtrusive of these, and one I use for this sort of

    Bandicoot, Jun 2, 2006
  14. v_aspes

    Cheesehead Guest

    You're right. It slipped my mind. I was thinking of those black
    K1000s floating around.

    Cheesehead, Jun 2, 2006
  15. v_aspes

    Cheesehead Guest

    I meant as compared to the KX. (But the antecedent was lost in the
    Cheesehead, Jun 2, 2006
  16. v_aspes

    Jeremy Guest

    I wonder why the choice is limited to only those two models?

    Neither the MX or the KX offer the advantage of being more versatile than
    the P-series cameras, which can use the A series of fully automatic
    (non-auto-focus) lenses. Neither the MX or the KX fully exploits the
    A-lenses. I believe that all of the cameras listed have a top shutter speed
    of 1/1000, so there is no difference there. And they can all use a bulb
    setting for long exposures, so again there is no difference.

    The only reason I can come up with is that the OP is looking to own a
    mechanical, heavier, all-metal camera. If that is the primary objective,
    then the secondary consideration is whether or not he wants any degree of
    automation. If memory serves me correctly, the MX does not have aperture
    preferred, while the KX does.

    The MX is smaller than the KX. Does size matter to the OP?

    Unless I am missing something, neither the MX or the KX will offer as many
    options as the P30T. Those automatic A-lenses can be very nice, when one
    wants a bit of automation, and they are a tad sharper, too.

    While the P30T is lighter, not as sturdily-built and does not have the
    classic looks of the older models, I really like the two I have, and I have
    made them my walkabout cameras.
    Jeremy, Jun 2, 2006
  17. v_aspes

    Signifer Guest

    How about setting the film ISO? I have a working P3N, which I believe is
    almost identical to P30 and it has no manual ISO override. I find this
    to be a limitation.

    Signifer, Jun 2, 2006
  18. v_aspes

    Jeremy Guest

    I forgot about that, but you're right.

    You can buy DX stickers from Porter's Camera Store that will fool the camera
    sensors into using settings other than the actual film's ISO. I can't
    recall the URL for Porter's, but you can Google for it if you want to get
    the stickers. That should afford a workaround for you.
    Jeremy, Jun 3, 2006
  19. I have a mint P30 with a button marked ML next to the lens mount. What is it
    Ken Rosenbaum, Jun 3, 2006
  20. Probably "memory lock". It locks the exposure value (shutter speed
    /aperture) so You can recompose and shoot.

    Väinö Louekari
    Väinö Louekari, Jun 3, 2006
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