Asahi Pentax MX

35mm MF film SLR camera



Production details:
Announced:November 1976
System: Pentax K (1975)
Imaging plane:
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Pentax K [45.5mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL), open-aperture
Exposure modes:Manual
Physical characteristics:

Manufacturer description #1

TYPE: 35mm full-frame SLR camera with open-aperture center-weighted Through-The-Lens meter

LENS MOUNT: Pentax K bayonet

SHUTTER: Horizontal-run, rubberized silk focal-plane shutter; speeds from 1 to 1/1000 sec. plus B; shutter lock and "Cocked" indicator

FLASH SYNCHRONIZATION: FP and X sockets, plus hot/cold accessory shoe for X contact; 1/60 sec. X synchronization

SELF-TIMER: Delays shutter release to 4-12 seconds; self-timer starter button provided

VIEWFINDER: Silver-coated pentaprism finder; split-image microprism focusing screen (8 interchangeable screens); 95% of picture-taking area visible and 0.97x magnification (with 50mm lens at infinity); -0.5 diopter eyepiece. Information viewfinder shows f/stop, shutter speed and tri-colored LED read-out dots. Correction lens adaptor M, Magnifier M and Refconverter M fit the viewfinder frame

MIRROR AND DIAPHRAGM: Instant-return mirror and automatic diaphragm. Depth-of-field preview with self-timer lever

FILM WIND AND REWIND: Ratchet-type rapid wind lever, plastic-tipped for winding comfort. 162° throw with a stand-off angle of 20°. Rewind crank for speedy film rewind

FILM LOADING: New magic-needle quick/sure loading

AUTOMATIC WINDER: MX camera body accepts Winder MX for up to 2 frames-per-second (single-frame and consecutive exposure operation possible) and Motor Drive MX for up to 5 frames per second (single-frame and consecutive exposure operation possible), for automatic, speedy film wind and shutter cocking

EXPOSURE COUNTER: Automatic reset type

EXPOSURE METER: Open-aperture, center-weighted Through-The-Lens meter, with GPD cells for fast light response, with tri-colored LED exposure read-out; rapid wind lever and shutter release button acting as meter switch. Exposure range: EV 1-19 (ASA 100, f/1.4). Film speed range: ASA 25-1600

POWER SOURCE: Two 1.5V Alkaline (LR44) or Silver-oxide (G13) batteries; LEDs double as battery check lamp

BACK COVER: Standard back with memo holder, interchangeable with Magazine Back MX, Dial Data MX for data recording on film

Manufacturer description #2

The new Pentax MX is the smallest and lightest professional motor drive 35mm SLR available.

Plus, it has the most advanced features of any 35mm SLR...

  • GPD metering for instant accurate response
  • Full information viewfinder
  • Tri Color LED exposure readout
  • Interchangeable focusing screens
  • MX Winder (2 fps) or MX Motor Drive (5 fps)

The MX is backed by the full line of Pentax accessories and over 40 Super-Multi-Coated Pentax lenses, including the new compact M Series lenses.

Manufacturer description #3

The announcement of another high quality camera from Asahi Optical Company can hardly come as a surprise. After all, Asahi Optical has been manufacturing incomparable cameras for the past 25 years. With 6,000,000 Asahi Pentaxes already sold, there isn't anyone who hasn't heard of a Pentax camera. So why all the fuss about another one?

Well, a revolution is always exciting. Take the time Asahi Optical introduced the world's first through-the-lens metering system, there was a lot of excitement created then, and you have to admin the excitement was justified. The same is true for the time Asahi unveiled the first quick-return mirror, or the first aperture-priority automatic exposure 35mm single lens reflex. What specifically, then, is so exciting about the very latest Asahi Pentax, the MX? The big fuss is doubtlessly due to the fact that never before have so many revolutionary features been simultaneously incorporated into a single camera.

  • World's smallest 35mm SLR motor drive camera.
  • World's lightest 35mm SLR motor drive camera.
  • Absence of mirror shock.
  • World's first camera with Gallium Arsenide Phosphide Photo Diodes.
  • World's first professional ultra compact camera with full-information viewfinder.
  • World's first "magic needle" loading system.
  • 8 interchangeable focusing screens.
  • Choice of Auto Winder (2 fps) or Motor Drive (5 fps).
  • Accepts interchangeable data back.
  • 250 exposure Bulk Film Back available.
  • Extensive range of SMC Pentax lenses to choose from.
  • Smaller camera, but bigger, brighter viewfinder.
  • Smaller camera, but bigger, stronger parts.
  • Tri-color LED exposure read-out.
  • Center-weighted exposure measurement.
  • Three-way focusing.
  • Hot shoe with built-in circuit breaker.
  • Memo holder.
  • Self-timer.
  • FP and X synchronization.
  • Depth of field preview.
  • Unique meter switch.
  • Shutter release button lock.
  • Shutter cocked indicator.
  • Extensive ASA range of 25-1600.
  • ASA dial safety lock.
  • Broad exposure measurement range of EV 1-19 (ASA 100, f/1.4).

Special limited editions (1)

Similar cameras (18)

35mm full frame • Manual focus • Film • Singe-lens reflex • Pentax K mount

Model Shutter Metering Modes Year
Ricoh KR-10
Also known as Ricoh XR-1000S, Ricoh CR-10
E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1980
Ricoh KR-10SE E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1980
Ricoh KR-5SV M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 2000
Ricoh XR Solar M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 1994
Ricoh XR-1 M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1977
Ricoh XR-1S M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1979
Ricoh XR-2 E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1977
Ricoh XR-2000
Also known as Ricoh KR-10 Super
E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1982
Ricoh XR-2S E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1979
Ricoh XR-8
Also known as Ricoh KR-5 Super II
M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 1993
Ricoh XR-8 Super
Also known as Ricoh KR-5 III
M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 1994
Ricoh XR-F E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1983
Ricoh XR-S E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1981
Ricoh XR5
Also known as Ricoh KR-5 Super, Ricoh CR-5
M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1980
Ricoh XR500
Also known as Ricoh KR-5
M, 1/500 TTL • OA M 1978
Ricoh XR500 auto E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1982
Ricoh XR6 E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1981
Ricoh XR7 E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1982
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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.