Another Pentax MZ 30 – a camera under a fiver

I recently tried to find a 99p camera and succeeded. This time I wanted to find a camera under £5 and eventually got this one, minus the lens. I have previously tried this camera while in Japan and remembered what a super little camera it was.

Luckily I had two lenses in my box that would work with it. The one that was originally for this line of cameras and a Tonika that had the same specs and would work also. It gave me a chance to see if they worked as I am sure I got this in junk boxes or job lots.

I wanted to try it out before the end of November as I have camera plans after that. So I shoved in an Imago 320 and carried the camera around for a couple of weeks. Due to the lockdown I could only take the camera on a daily exercise walks or on trips to places I needed to go for essential items…or my garden of course. I haven’t used this film before so was interested to see how it performed. The weather has been pretty crappy recently so I didn’t have much hopes for the shots.

First I used the camera in my garden. There is usually something to photograph there.

Both lenses have a macro feature which came in handy. I also tried the macro feature of the pentax lens with the inbuilt flash.

Charlie is a much more compliant model than my dad. The camera and flash handled that situation perfectly.

Then I took the camera to Sandal Castle, the home of the Grand old duke of York, for a walk. I took along some toys. At this point I switched to the Tonika lens.

Finally, I finished the film off in Morley while getting some food. At this point I switched back to the Pentax lens as it looked better on the camera and was lighter.

Yeap, a super little camera and bargain at the moment. The only thing I can fault it on…the battery cover. It is made of cheap plastic and looks like it will break at any moment, just like my last one.

As for the film, wow, it handled the poor lighting really well. I developed it with Ilfosol 3 which my app didn’t have a time for. So I did a bit of maths and worked out, by comparing it to other times and films, that at 20 degrees with a 1:14 dilution it would be 10:45minutes.

If you are looking for a very cheap automatic camera, the MZ range is perfect.

4 thoughts on “Another Pentax MZ 30 – a camera under a fiver

  1. arhphotographic says:

    Thank you for the camera / film / lens review. I really like the shots made with the Tokina lens . Just managed to pick up a Pentax MZ 5n , sadly with the dreaded mirror cog issue.😕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      That’s a shame. This one seems great. Both lenses performed equally well I think. The Tonika does seem more sturdy though.


  2. jonathaninmadrid says:

    Many thanks for the review. I have one of these somewhere but I’ve never used it as the plastic of the mirror box is a bit broken and I don’t know if it would cause light leaks. The MZ range are nice but the mirror cog issue does spoil them a lot as it’s only a question of time until it breaks and it’s incredibly difficult to replace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Ooh that sounds like Andrew’s issue. Mine seems fine in that department, but as I said the battery compartment cover seems quite dodgy. Perfect for under a fiver, but I wouldn’t spend too much on one due to all the cheap plastic.


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