My Life in Cameras no.10

10. PENTAX MX

The MX was one of the best products of the SLR era: compact, ergonomic and straightforward. This is a mechanical, fully manual camera which is the logical form for an analogue SLR. If you’re using such a sophisticated tool, why would you want it to be automated, surely the whole point is control. In my experience, autos and semi-autos were more complicated to use, not less. Matching a needle in a viewfinder is not hard work.

The MX was made between 1976 and 1985. According to the entry in Wikipedia it was their flagship SLR at that time. Mine was purchased in 1980 for $300. It was a great moment for me, I was a newly enrolled student at Photography Studies College in Melbourne, and very excited to be back in photography. In those days at PSC, you were only allowed to use a standard 50mm lens in first year, no zooms, wides or teles. This was a brilliant discipline that taught you to really learn the possibilities of a single lens.

Greg Neville, Flinders Street, 1982

Greg Neville, South Melbourne Football Club, 1981

Greg Neville, Flinders St, 1982

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