Minolta or Pentax. One System has to go.

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Sirius Glass

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Yes. My wife very firmly notified me that mine own collection tendencies had passed from "phase" to "obsession" about the time the 4th SRT-101 entered the house.

"But dear...if one breaks I'll have a spare..."

"But it followed me home. I will feed it and take it out for walks."
 

titrisol

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As a biased-pentaxian, this should be a no brainer (Keep the Pentax)
I rediscovered Pentax a few years ago and their DSRLs are great for my applications, I love the fact I can use the old lenses (even the ones that belonged to my father) in a 2022 body.
And yes, some of the K-mount bodies are beginning to fail but these are 40+ old cameras and I don't think any engineer would have designed things to last forever.
 

faberryman

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This is like asking which of your children you should sell into bondage. There is never a satisfactory answer.
 
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It seems like space is more of a motivating factor in getting rid of done stuff than anything else. Even though I started taking pictures more than fifty years ago, I am still in the accumulation phase. There are many Pentax and Minolta cameras and lenses in my collection. There are many other brands too. At thus stage, I am not interested in certain cameras even though it would be interesting to have some experience with them. The list includes cameras like the Minolta XK and XK Motor, the Canon T90, the Contax RTSIII, the Pentax LX, the Nikon F100 and the Topcon Super DM. Any one of these could become expensive paperweights in an instant. They are difficult or impossible to have repaired. A Canon FTb or a Minolta SRT, or a Nikkormat can usually be repaired. Even though I enjoy using cameras like the Nikon N90S or Canon AE-1 Program or Konica FT-1, I like having mechanical cameras in the same mounts so I always have something to put my lenses on.

You seem to be more connected to the Pentax cameras. If you decide to keep those, try keeping one Minolta camera and a small set of lenses for it. You might sometimes enjoy using them too. Even though my experiences started in 1971, I have in my collection some of the cameras that picture takers older than me started with. These include the Canonflex RM, some F mount Konica SLRs, a Nikkorex F with the 50/2 Tick Mark Nikkor-S, a Minolta SR-7, Pentax H1a and S1a cameras and the Topcon RE Super with the 5.8 cm f/1.4.

You are certainly right about space. My own kids have long flown the coop, and their kids have largely done the same. My wife has let me know that she cannot keep up with a 4 bedroom house for much longer, and though I help out as much as I can, I do understand. None of the houses she is pointing out are anywhere near as large as this one.

The cameras, as many as there are and as important as they are, are really only the small part of the problem. There is no way my darkroom will survive, at least not in its current configuration. There is a chance that I can make the Focomat fit in a smaller space but I seriously doubt that I can shoe horn the Beseler or the Elwood in to a smaller darkroom.

But that is really a different thread.
 
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MattKing

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This is like asking which of your children you should sell into bondage. There is never a satisfactory answer.

Unless they are teenagers, and the answer is: "all of them!" 👿 😇
 
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This is like asking which of your children you should sell into bondage. There is never a satisfactory answer.

You are right about that. I do appreciate many of you listening to me whine about these small problems. I do have a bit of time to sort this out.
 
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.. and a spare, and a spare, and a ...............

Yeah, yeah, yeah!!

I broke down today and pulled the SRT-102 out of the pile. Interestingly it had the Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9 lens attached to it. I know Minolta has some great 28mm lenses and I do own a couple, but I also remember that back in the day this Series 1 was one of my favorites. I left it there for now. I used to be a lot more into using wide-angle lenses than I have been lately. This Vivitar is certainly not a very compact lens so there had to be another compelling reason that I liked it so much.
 

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Yeah, yeah, yeah!!

I broke down today and pulled the SRT-102 out of the pile. Interestingly it had the Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9 lens attached to it. I know Minolta has some great 28mm lenses and I do own a couple, but I also remember that back in the day this Series 1 was one of my favorites. I left it there for now. I used to be a lot more into using wide-angle lenses than I have been lately. This Vivitar is certainly not a very compact lens so there had to be another compelling reason that I liked it so much.

Wides are good for three things in my book:
1: Effect. The close up perspective lines get tiresome if overused. But can look dramatic or comical.
2. Closeups with a lot of environment included. Longer lenses has a tendency to blur and narrow down the background which can be a good or bad thing depending on subject and use.
This may include landscapes and whole body “portraits”.
3. You “ran out of space” to back up. There can be a physical wall or objects and at other times objects just shift in front of the lens in an undesirable way when you back up.
There wides can be the only solution, but you still need a lot skill if the photos aim is not just functional and representative.

I’d shoot almost everything on focal lengths between 85 and 200 if it was possible, but it’s not. So let’s make a virtue out of necessity.
 
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Actually I kind of enjoy using a 28mm lens every now and then but my favorite has always been the 40mm. Wide enough to get some of the surroundings/environment if I wanted but not so wide that I couldn't isolate the subject or action if I needed. Needless to say Pentax's little 40/2.8 pancake and Minolta's 45/2 have always been favorite lenses of mine. Not always on the camera but always handy if I wanted it. Lately I have been using the Voigtlander Ultron 40/2 on my Pentax a lot. Great lens.

Of course it was trying to get close enough with the MD 45/2 that got me booted out of a baseball game several years ago. Really embarrassed my grandson when it happened but he laughs about it today. Probably would have been better if I would have been using the 135/3.5 that day.
 

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I have a fleet of SRTs and my 28/1.9 Vivitar Series 1 lenses are in Minolta and M42 mounts. Of the Minolta standard lenses, my favorites include the 50/1.4 MC Rokkor-X and the 50/1.7 MC Rokkor-X. When the light is good and I may want to get close, I like to use a 50/3.5 Minolta Macro. I have every version except the pre-set one in Leica 39mm mount and I have multiple copies of the ones after the pre-set one in SR mount. What about the 45/2? I have a few of them and they are handy. I prefer using them on an X-700 to keep things lighter and smaller.

In the Pentax area, I have two 40/2.8 M lenses and a really odd Vivitar 40/2.5 pancake. It isn't made as well as the 40/2.8 but it's lighter and also a decent performer. I think I have seen it with the Chinon name and I assume that Cosina made it. I have only seen the Vivitar in K mount. A friend of mine has a 45/2.8 Rokkor TD. I'd love to have one myself but if I remember the specs, it focuses down to only 5 feet. I think it's the same lens that's on my Minolta ER.
 

Paul Howell

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If you keep the Pentax system and want upgraded lens, Ricoh still offers a few manual limited edition lens such as the 43mm SMC limited edition. The earlier AF lens will work fine as they have an aperture ring and will work in MF mode as well. And if you to add an AF body, the PZ and MZ are viable options which will work M42, K, KA lens. Most of the entry to mid level bodies will only work with KA lens.
 
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If you keep the Pentax system and want upgraded lens, Ricoh still offers a few manual limited edition lens such as the 43mm SMC limited edition. The earlier AF lens will work fine as they have an aperture ring and will work in MF mode as well. And if you to add an AF body, the PZ and MZ are viable options which will work M42, K, KA lens. Most of the entry to mid level bodies will only work with KA lens.

Thanks Paul. I have the DA 43 Limited in AF and it is a nice lens. I didn't know they had a manual focus version. I don't use it as much as the 40/2.8 Limited or the 31 Limited but it is handy.

The PZ1p was definitely my entry into using DA lenses on a film camera. Back when everyone was rushing to digital my company started buying me digital DA lenses without realizing that I wasn't using a digital camera. Fortunately the PZ1p stepped in nicely and I could honestly tell them I was using the lenses they were buying for me. I retired before they really caught on to what I was doing. The guy that stepped into my role at Corporate would not use film cameras so they gave the whole lot to me when I walked out the door. There were some benefits in the digital revolution for me. They even gave me a *ist DS which they had purchased for me in my last year or two before retirement. It was outdated when they bought it but I still have it and do use it occasionally.

I also have an MZ-S that was bought for me for work but it died very early after I first got it. I guess it didn't like Peru, Chile or Argentina since I was in one of those countries when it gave up the ghost. Fortunately I had the PZ1p in my bag at the time. That is another camera that is a real workhorse like the K2. Since I now shoot mostly manual gear and already own the PZ1p (which is really an amazing camera) I never bothered to get the MZ-S fixed.
 
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eli griggs

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You are certainly right about space. My own kids have long flown the coop, and their kids have largely done the same. My wife has let me know that she cannot keep up with a 4 bedroom house for much longer, and though I help out as much as I can, I do understand. None of the houses she is pointing out are anywhere near as large as this one.

The cameras, as many as there are and as important as they are, are really only the small part of the problem. There is no way my darkroom will survive, at least not in its current configuration. There is a chance that I can make the Focomat fit in a smaller space but I seriously doubt that I can shoe horn the Beseler or the Elwood in to a smaller darkroom.

But that is really a different thread.

So use what would be the darkroom for cameras and kit and buy a second-hand wooden shed, an air conditioner and radiator heater for climate
control, plus anti-frozen water in a gravity flow ten gallon tank and you're good to go.

Folks way north with brutal winters could buy a four foot wider and longer shed, so the can line the walls with hay bales and put up a wallboard partition all around between the walls and the inner partition.

Use spray-on foam insulation on the celling and staple in more wall board between the foamed ceiling and space below.

Consult a builder about the need for vapor barriers or not.

Build a eight to ten foot wood sink, with epoxy paint and epoxied joints.

Anyway, that's my hopeful intention, if we move or need to take my darkroom out of the house.

Whatever you do, keeping a wet dark room will keep you shooting and interested in film and paper negatives.
 

GRHazelton

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Yes. My wife very firmly notified me that mine own collection tendencies had passed from "phase" to "obsession" about the time the 4th SRT-101 entered the house.

"But dear...if one breaks I'll have a spare..."

Flora, my lovely and indulgent Wife, hardly blinked an eye when the THIRD Pentax LX entered our house. Where to keep my growing arsenal of photo gear is becoming a problem..... Lovely problem to have!
 

Sirius Glass

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You are certainly right about space. My own kids have long flown the coop, and their kids have largely done the same. My wife has let me know that she cannot keep up with a 4 bedroom house for much longer, and though I help out as much as I can, I do understand. None of the houses she is pointing out are anywhere near as large as this one.

The cameras, as many as there are and as important as they are, are really only the small part of the problem. There is no way my darkroom will survive, at least not in its current configuration. There is a chance that I can make the Focomat fit in a smaller space but I seriously doubt that I can shoe horn the Beseler or the Elwood in to a smaller darkroom.

But that is really a different thread.

Costwise or cleaningwise?. Either can pull one down.
 
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Costwise or cleaningwise?. Either can pull one down.

Both. My wife suffered some injuries that required surgery years ago. I am sure many of you know that those types of problems do not become easier to deal with as time progresses.

Up until about a year ago our costs were very manageable but uncontrolled inflation has put our utility costs into a totally different world. Living cost and income need estimates made at retirement are now orders of magnitude different. But we have very few bills so we can still deal with the costs.

Really a different topic and not one I care to focus on here. Besides, most of this is what one of my grandsons is fond of calling "1st world problems." I used to thump him for that but he is too big for that now. :D
 

Udor

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I vote for the Pentax. It simply feels better in my hand. Consider which camera fits more naturally in your hands, and there's your answer. For me, that's the most important criterion. A camera should be an extension of your body, and not something that you have to fight against.
 

Ernst-Jan

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and my poor LXs and K2s are probably just about worn out.

Well, if you sell the Minolta stuff, you could give this cameras some maintenance and make the useable for the next decade. Having multiple LX's maybe you can make one or two good ones out two or three that you already have.

Anyhow, having two systems as well (Pentax K) and Canon FD and actually just finding out that I prefer the Pentax more (I have a CLA'd LX) I might be biased as well.

So now the non biased part, as you said you were getting older: for which system do you have the fastest lenses and/or have the brightest viewfinder?
 
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Well, if you sell the Minolta stuff, you could give this cameras some maintenance and make the useable for the next decade. Having multiple LX's maybe you can make one or two good ones out two or three that you already have.

Anyhow, having two systems as well (Pentax K) and Canon FD and actually just finding out that I prefer the Pentax more (I have a CLA'd LX) I might be biased as well.

So now the non biased part, as you said you were getting older: for which system do you have the fastest lenses and/or have the brightest viewfinder?

That is a good point Ernst-Jan. I have always liked the viewfinder on the LX, it just seems brighter. The Pentax coatings have always seemed more effective in my opinion. As for lens speed, I have pretty quick lenses with both systems but I do think I probably have more with the Pentax system.
 

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The beauty of the boxing-up experiment is that it's like downsizing with an Undo button! Feel free to make mistakes, even try the "unthinkable".
 

Paul Howell

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What is the high end body of the Minolta, do you have a XK? I looked at the XK when I upgraded from a F to F2, nice features, great lens, but I needed to buy both an XK and XK motor to meet my needs, not to mention that my employer at the time used and issued Nikon. I have a 700 which I quite like, but seems that the LX wins out in terms of pro level bodies. LX, K2motor, MX, hard to beat.
 
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