Whee! After a few weeks of looking on eBay and sighing “TOO EXPENSIVE”, I happened to come across a Pentax MX in a crapshop on Brick Lane (the one by the railway bridge, if you know Brick Lane, run by mad old guys). £25 was half the price they’d been going for on eBay, so I bit his hand off.
Got my new toy home and stuck a lens on it, attempted the light meter – it wasn’t working, so replaced the two 1.5v button cells. It’s unlike any light meter indicator I’ve used before, it has 5 coloured LEDs on the right next to an indicator that shows you the shutter speed you have set. Green = ok, orange/red = not quite right. On this camera the contacts on the shutter speed dial were corroded, and were affecting the lights, I guess – after some jiggling and turning (thanks handy boyfriend) they all lit up correctly and didn’t flicker.
You can also see through this viewfinder shot (with an orange filter on the lens) that there’s a little mirror at the top that shows you which aperture it set. I guess that’s useful… Another semi-useful feature is the little window next to the winding lever. When the shutter is cocked, it shows orange. Y’know, just because it might be useful. There’s a shutter lock, too, in case you need to hold the shutter open on the B setting. I thought switching the lock on might jog the camera as much as holding it down would, but what do I know.
Also, orange filter. I put it on and it seems to darken the shot by one stop. Not sure whether I should be compensating for this, or just metering as usual? I have black and white Ilford in there, will see how it turns out. If it’s a disaster, I can always sell it on eBay and apologise to my Cosina 😛