Tag Archives: 1980s

Pentax MV1

Surprisingly, given it’s decidedly amateur auto-only positioning, this MV1 was “rode hard and put away wet”. It’s one of the most used models in the museum, and was filthy when received. I’ve included it as an interesting reminder that even supposedly beginner friendly cameras can earn their keep through hard work.

Introduced in 1980, the MV1 is a little less basic than the MV it succeeded – it has a self timer for example, a memo holder, it can accept a data back and – as with this example – a winder. It’s still aperture priority only, with an electronic, focal plane metal shutter. It’s very clearly a member of the ME family, with the same almost implausibly compact body and featherlight controls.

It’s still very much a beginner friendly camera, and the shutter speed isn’t displayed in the finder. Interestingly there is exposure compensation, though it’s a little hidden beneath the rewind lever and requires good fingernails to operate.

Pentax MG

Pentax introduced the MG in 1981, as the successor to the MV1 and in the line of simpler, automated, bodies going back through MV and ME of 1977.

The MG is aperture priority automatic, with no manual shutter speed other than the flash sync of 1/100th second. The metal focal plane shutter is electronically controlled – by and large photographers had overcome their initial hesitation about trusting electronics, and the increased accuracy and reliability of such a shutter was now well accepted.

Shutter speed is shown in the viewfinder, but the selected aperture is not. There’s a simple clockwork self-timer, and the hot shoe features an additional electrical contact for use with a dedicated Pentax flash unit.

Film loading is of the magic needle variety, and works well. The museum example is unique to me in that the protective film is still in place on the baseplate, and it was bought fitted with a genuine Pentax zoom – typically I find ebay cameras with some no-name zoom on them