Pentax MV-1

This post was originally supposed to be about a Pentax MEF that was lent to me by a friend. This camera is from the early 1980s and was the first camera to have autofocus. Though her version did not have the lens to make that work.

She said she bought it a while ago and it hadn’t been used for some time. As soon as I put in new batteries and started to use it the mirror locked up and would not come down. I thought about fixing it, but it was not my camera and I don’t really have the skills to do it. I don’t mind trying on my junk cameras, but this was not mine. Here is a video about the process. It is a common problem with these cameras apparently.

Anyway, I felt guilty even though it wasn’t my fault so I looked at my heaving shelf for another Pentax and there was a recently bought MV-1 which I had yet to test.

So I took the lens from my friends camera and put it on this one. The lens was clean and had a great f1.4 lower aperture.

This MV-1 has less buttons that the MEF and is much more basic. It is slightly older, coming from 1978. You can find more details about it here and the manual can be found here.

As there are no buttons and bells it is a simple camera to use, almost a point and shoot. It has aperture priority only and inside the viewfinder is a green or red light to say whether there is enough light to work.

Here is my test roll, a kentmere 400.

It is a great camera and worked perfectly. I will give both back to my friend and she can keep the MV-1 for free. It is not as historically significant as the MEF, but it works well and should continue to do so for some time to come.


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