Pentax MX

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Pentax MX

Maker: Pentax

Dates: 1976-1984

Variants: chrome, black, MX Data

Camera Type: 35mm SLR

Focusing: manual

Lens mount: Pentax K

Shutter: focal plane, horizontal, cloth
from 1s to 1/1000

Exposure meter: TTL, open aperture,
center weighted

Exposure modes: manual

ASA/ISO range: 25 to 1600 ISO

Finder screen: interchangeable, 8 types

Flash shoe: fixed hot shoe

Flash speed: 1/60

TTL Flash: no

Motor drive: external Winder MX (2i/s) or Motor MX (5i/s)

Battery: 2 x 1.5V


Weight: 495g w/o lens

Number produced: unknown

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

The Pentax MX has a 0.97× viewfinder, covering 95% of the field. The shutter speed and aperture value are visible in the finder, the aperture being read on the lens ring by way of an optical device. The finder is fixed, but the finder screen can be interchanged through the bayonet mount, a system again introduced by the OM-1. There is a choice of eight finder screens, the standard one having a split-image device and a microprism ring in the center. All of them can 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 is a hot shoe on the top of the prism, a lock lever around the release button and a self-timer. The Pentax MX can attach an external Winder MX (2 i/s) or a Motor MX (5 i/s). A Dial Data MX databack and a bulk film back were also available.

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

The lenses are 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 exists in chrome or black finish.

According to Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-mount site, there is a specially-modified MX Data body, that can receive a Data MX databack, different from the Dial Data MX. It exists 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.


General links

In English:

In French:

In Japanese:

User manual

In English:

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| P30n/P3n/P30t | P50 | SFX/SF1 | SF7/SF10 | SFXn/SF1n | Z-1/PZ-1 | Z-10/PZ-10 | Z-20/PZ-20 | Z-50p | Z-5 | Z-5p | Z-70/PZ-70 | Z-1p/PZ-1p | MZ-5/ZX-5 | MZ-3/ZX-3 | MZ-5N/ZX-5N | MZ-7/ZX-7 | MZ-6/ZX-L | MZ-S | MZ-10/ZX-10 | MZ-50/ZX-50 | MZ-30/ZX-30 | MZ-60/ZX-60 | Pentax *ist | MZ-M/ZX-M