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Pentax MX

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In 1976, Pentax introduced two compact 35mm SLRs, the MX and the ME. The Olympus OM-1 presented in 1972 had introduced a new trend for compactness in SLR cameras.


The Pentax MX was a mechanical camera, with an horizontal cloth focal plane shutter from 1s to 1/1000, synchronized at 1/60. The shutter dial was on the top plate, next to the advance lever and the release button.

The Pentax MX had a 0.97× viewfinder, covering 95% of the field. The shutter speed and aperture value were visible in the finder, the aperture being read on the lens ring by way of an optical device. The finder was fixed, but the finder screen could be interchanged through the bayonet mount, a system again introduced by the OM-1. There was a choice of eight finder screens, the standard one having a split-image device and a microprism ring in the center. All of them could be used on the Pentax LX too. Here is a list:

  • SC1: ground glass, split image device, microprism ring (standard)
  • SA1: ground glass, microprism patch
  • SA3: ground glass, microprism patch, for wide aperture lenses
  • SB1: ground glass, split image device
  • SD1: ground glass, cross collimator
  • SD11: aerial image, cross collimator
  • SE: ground glass
  • SG: ground glass, grid
  • SI: ground glass, axis

There was a hot shoe on the top of the prism, a lock lever around the release button and a self-timer. The Pentax MX could attach an external Winder MX (2 i/s) or a Motor MX (5 i/s). There were also a Dial Data MX databack and a bulk film back available.

The exposure meter was of the standard TTL open aperture center weighted type. It was activated by a slight pressure on the release button. In the viewfinder, the exposure display was by 5 LEDs. The central one was green and indicated correct exposure. Two orange LEDs indicated over and under-exposure by ½ stop, and two red leds indicated over and under-exposure by 1 or more stop.

The lenses were interchangeable with the K bayonet mount. Together with the MX and ME was introduced the SMC Pentax-M series of compact lenses.

The Pentax MX existed in chrome or black finish.

According to Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-mount site, there was a specially modified MX Data body, that could receive a Data MX databack, different from the Dial Data MX. It existed only in chrome finish, and is very rare. A user manual for the MX Data can be found at the download page of Pentax USA.

Production stopped in 1984.

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Pentax K mount SLR Cameras
K2 | KX | KM | K1000 | MX | ME | ME Super | ME-F | MV | MV1 | MG | LX | Super-A | Program-A | A3 | P30 | P50

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