Pentax MV

35mm MF film SLR camera

Pentax MV


Production details
Announced:September 1979
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
Model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Physical characteristics

Manufacturer description #1

TYPE: 35mm full-frame SLR camera with aperture-preferred automatic exposure, auto flash synch (with AF 200 S Auto Flash)

MOUNT: Pentax Bayonet Mount

SHUTTER: Seiko MFC vertical-run metal focal-plane shutter; shutter speeds automatically varied between 1 sec. and 1/1000 sec.; mechanical settings of "100X" and "B" provided (operates without batteries at manual settings)

EXPOSURE METERING: Open-aperture, center-weighted through-the-lens light metering via SPD cell. Exposure range from EV 3 (ASA 100 1/4 sec at f/1.4, 1 sec. at f/2.8) to EV 19 (ASA 100 1/1000 sec. at f/22). Film speed range: ASA 25 to ASA 1600. Exposure compensation via ASA film speed dial. LED "Stop/Go" exposure readout in finder

AUTO FLASH SYNCH: Synchronizes automatically for AF 200S Auto Flash Unit at 1/100 sec. via hotshoe with shutter dial set to Auto; hotshoe contact also provided for flash ready indicator in viewfinder

MANUAL FLASH SYNCH: At "100X" (1/100 sec.) flash-synch setting of exposure mode dial (hotshoe synch only)

VIEWFINDER: Aluminum-coated pentaprism finder with split-image/microprism focusing screen; shows 92% of the picture area, 0.85x magnification with 50mm lens; -1.0 diopter eyepiece

VIEWFINDER INDICATIONS: Three LED Stop/Go indicator system. Red: overexposure; Green: Adequate exposure for handheld shooting (1/1000 - 1/30 sec.). Yellow: Slow Exposure Warning (below 1/30 sec., inadequate for handheld shooting). "X": AF 200S flash ready indicator

MIRROR AND DIAPHRAGM: Instant-return mirror and automatic diaphragm

FILM WIND AND REWIND: Single-stroke rapid wind lever; plastic tipped for winding comfort, 135° advance with 30° rest setting. Rapid rewind crank for speed film rewind

FILM LOADING: Magic-needle quick/sure loading

EXPOSURE COUNTER: Automatic reset, additive type

BATTERY: Two 1.5V silver-oxide batteries; LEDs double as battery check lamp

BACK COVER: Standard camera back with spring catch

Manufacturer description #2

The Pentax MV. You might call it a revolutionary camera. Because it's a full-fledged SLR that you don't have to be a professional to use. In fact, you don't even have to know a lot about photography to get sharp, crisp results with it virtually every time. Why? Because the MV makes the exposure for you automatically? Yes, partly. But also makes them easier than before. With the MV, all complicated exposure setting is left to the camera - even the shutter speed dial has been removed and, with it, all worries about shutter speed setting. Once the preliminaries are finished, all you do is bring the camera to your eye, focus and slightly depress the shutter button to check the exposure. If the Green LED inside the viewfinder lights - and it usually does in daylight - go ahead and shoot. When the Green LED doesn't light, either the Red or Yellow LED exposure warning lights will. But they're no problem either. Usually, when these light, you just turn the aperture ring to a different f-number until the Green LED comes on. Or, if the yellow light remains on, either steady the camera or shoot with a flash unit to be on the safe side. That's about all you need to know about exposure setting with the Pentax MV. And, remember it's a top quality SLR that gives you striking results!

We mentioned flash unit. This scares a lot of people too. But with the MV's AF 200S, which synchronizes automatically with the camera, flash photography has never been easier either. Again, you don't have to touch the camera's control dial. Just mount the AF 200S and it synchronizes automatically on charging. Then, merely select the f-number indicated by the flash unit's Auto Mode Setting, and fire away for striking flash photos virtually everytime.

You might conclude that we imply MV stands for "More Value" merely on the basis of the above two features alone. But the MV's values keep right on coming. Take the high-precision Pentax Bayonet Mount, for example, which accepts the entire selection of nearly 40 SMC Pentax interchangeable lenses, permitting you to photograph your subjects with unending emphasis. Or, how about the all-metal MFC Seiko vertical-run focal-plane shutter; especially designed for Pentax cameras, this is one of the finest shutters available anywhere.

Then, there are other MV "Values" such as the little details that Pentax is famous for. Like a special "X" flash ready indicator inside the viewfinder, eliminating the need to take your eye off the subject when you make flash exposures with the AF 200S. Or, the shutter cocked indicator, which informs you when the shutter is cocked so that you don't accidentally trip it. Or, "Magic Needle Loading", which eliminates the fumbling when you put the film in the camera.

When you look at the pricetag and what you get, you might think that the MV's list of "Values" should stop about here. But, there are more - many more. For the day when you really want to get serious about photography there are more than 200 Pentax camera and lens accessories waiting in the wings to choose from, running the gamut from bellows units for macrophotography to a stereo adaptor that lets you take 3D pictures. Then, we might also mention, that if you buy the MV with the revolutionary SMC Pentax 40mm "pancake" lens as a standard lens, the camera will fit easily into coat pockets and small handbags. We could also add that anyone in the family who's old enough to know what a camera is can take top quality photographs with the MV.


Undoubtedly one of the greatest values awaiting the MV owner is the wide range of nearly 40 SMC Pentax interchangeable lenses. The available selection runs all the way from 15mm ultra-wide-angle to 2000mm super telephoto and includes a 17mm fisheye lens, 5 zooms, 10 wide-angles, 13 telephotos, the option of 5 standard lenses, and an assortment of special-purpose lenses including bellows, macro and shift lenses. Moreover, 17 of these lenses are the new compact M-type which were especially designed for keeping within the dimensions of the MV, ME and MX.

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35mm full frame

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

Travellers' choice


Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

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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.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

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.