Pentax MZ-S

35mm AF film SLR camera

Pentax MZ-S


Production details
Announced:May 2001
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:30 - 1/6000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL), open-aperture
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Physical characteristics

Manufacturer description #1

The Ultimate Harmony between Display Efficiency and Operability

Incorporating the latest technologies in its electronic circuitry, the MZ-S lets you control a wide array of user-friendly features and advanced functions using the select and exposure compensation dials positioned on the top panel. This top panel is slanted 30 degrees toward the photographer, allowing for easily confirmation of dial settings and swift reaction to ever-changing photographic conditions in the field. The select dial can be accessed effortlessly with the right thumb, even at the shooting position. What's more, the multi-data LCD panel is positioned inside this dial, so that you can select functions and adjust settings comfortably — just like using a direct-access analog dial — while keeping your eye on the LCD panel.

Responsive "Hyper Operation" System for Instantaneous Mode Changes

The MZ-S's hyper operation system lets you shift exposure modes instantaneously — from Programmed AE to Shutter-Priority AE, or from Metered Manual to Aperture-Priority AE — with one quick turn of the select dial. You can even jump back to the original mode with a single press on the exposure mode button. This flexible operation system gives instant response to different photographic conditions, helping you express your creative intentions with great ease and efficiency.

High-Precision Six-Point Autofocus Featuring SAFOX VII

Featuring the PENTAX-developed SAFOX VII phase-matching autofocus system, the MZ-S offers six AF sensor points — five aligned horizontally across the image field and one over the middle — to assure sharp, crisp focus on a wide range of subjects. In addition to this versatile six-point wide-area AF, you can also select spot AF to pinpoint focus on a single element of the subject. Ideally positioned on the back panel for easy reach by your right thumb, the independent AF button not only lets you lock the focus without using a conventional focus lock mechanism with the shutter release button, but also lets you activate, hold and terminate autofocus operations with pushbutton ease.

Clear, Bright Viewfinder with Multi-Information Display

Featuring the highly acclaimed "Natural-Bright-Matte" focusing screen, the MZ-S's viewfinder gives you a sharp, high-contrast image of the subject, even under poor lighting conditions. In addition, it offers a host of critical photographic data at two different locations: the most important data, such as shutter speed, aperture value, focus status, and flash status, is displayed underneath the image field, while supplementary data, such as exposure compensation value, is shown along the right side.

Electronic Preview for Easy Assessment of In-Focus Area

Because the electronic preview switch is conveniently positioned around the shutter release button, you can easily confirm the depth of field by moving your finger slightly off the shutter release button, all the time keeping your eye on the subject through the viewfinder.

1/6000-Second High-Speed Shutter with 1/180-Second Flash Sync

With a top shutter speed of 1/6000 second, the MZ-S lets you freeze the decisive moment of a subject in motion. It also offers high-speed flash synchronization at 1/180 second, letting you use larger apertures for more dramatic flash images, especially in close-up and macro applications. By mounting a PENTAX-dedicated flash unit (optional), you can even take advantage of such advanced flash applications as wireless TTL sync, programmed TTL sync and high-speed sync.

Data Imprinting System for Accurate Track of Photographic Data

The MZ-S comes equipped with the inter-perforation data imprinting system, which has gained enormous popularity among advanced photographers since its introduction in the PENTAX 645N medium-format camera. The film's serial number, exposure mode, shutter speed and other valuable photographic data are recorded between the perforations along the top edge of the film for your future reference.

Other Outstanding Features

  • Extra-rigid, lightweight camera body incorporating a magnesium-alloy diecast chassis
  • Illuminated lens mount index to facilitate lens changes in the dark
  • 19 custom functions to personalize camera operation with preferred settings
  • Optional battery grip with independent shutter release button for vertical-position shooting

Manufacturer description #2

TYPE: TTL autofocus, auto-exposure 35mm SLR with built-in TTL auto flash (RTF)

FORMAT: 24x36mm

USABLE FILM: 35mm perforated cartridge film. DX-coded film with ISO 25-5000; non-DX coded films with ISO 6-6400

EXPOSURE MODES: Programmed AE Mode, Shutter-Priority AE Mode, Aperture-Priority AE Mode, Metered Manual Mode, Bulb Mode, TTL Flash Mode

SHUTTER: Electronically controlled vertical-run focal-plane shutter, Electromagnetic release, Speed range: (1) Auto 1/6000-30 sec. (stepless), (2) Manual 1/6000-30 sec. (3) Bulb

LENS MOUNT: Pentax KAF2 bayonet mount (K-mount with AF coupler, lens information contacts and power contacts), Lens mount index lamp equipped

COMPATIBLE LENS: Pentax KAF2-, KAF-, KA- and K-mount lenses are usable. Autofocus is possible using AF Adapter with KA- and K-mount lenses

AUTOFOCUS SYSTEM: TTL phase-matching multi-(6 points) autofocus system switchable to Spot focusing, AF operational brightness range: EV-1 to 18 (at ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens), Focus lock available using shutter release button/AF button, Focus Mode: AF.S (single), AF.C (predictive AF), Manual [MF]. Possible to select the focus point

POWER ZOOM: 3-Speed Power Zoom lens with built-in motor with FA zoom lens with KAF2 mount

VIEWFINDER: Fixed pentaprism, Interchangeable Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen, Field of view: 92%, Magnification: 0.75X (with 50mm lens at infinity), Diopter: -2.5 to +1.5-1

VIEWFINDER INDICATION: Focus Information: In-focus (Green lamp is lit), front or back focus signals and unable-to-focus indicator (Green lamp blinks), Shutter speed indication, Aperture indication, Flash ready indication is lit, Bar graph (exposure compensation), Over or Under exposure indication in Manual Exposure Mode, [*] AE lock indicator

EXTERNAL LCD PANEL INDICATION: [P] = Programmed-AE Mode, [Tv] = Shutter-Priority AE Mode, [Av] = Aperture-Priority AE Mode, [M] = Manual Exposure Mode, [bu] Bulb Mode, Film speed = 6-6400, ISO indication, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Setting Exposure imprint mode, Film status information, Battery exhaustion warning, Built-in flash ready indication, blinking slowly flash recommended warning, blinks rapidly Inappropriate lens warning, Red-eye reduction flash mode, Automatic flash function, Wireless flash mode, High-speed flash sync mode, Film counter = 0-99, Pentax function, PCV signal indication, Illumination for LCD panel

PREVIEW BUTTON: Electronically controlled type and possible to use in all exposure modes

SELF-TIMER: Electronically-controlled type with delay time of 12 sec. or 2 sec. delay when mirror-lock up in use. Start by depressing of shutter release button, Operation confirmation: Possible to set PCV beep tone by Pentax function. Cancelable after operation

AUTO BRACKETING: Three frame consecutive shots with exposure bracketing in 1 EV or 0.5 EV step increment, Possible to change the sequence and number of auto bracketing exposure by Pentax function. Possible to use with exposure compensation

MIRROR: Quick-return mirror with AF secondary mirror. Mirror lock-up is possible with 2 sec. delay self-timer

FILM LOADING: Film advances automatically to 1st frame after back cover is closed. Film information window is provided

FILM WIND & REWIND: Auto wind/rewind by built-in motor, Consecutive or Single advance mode, Approx. 2.5 frames/sec. (consecutive mode), Auto rewinding starts at end of roll, Film rewind/completion of rewinding is displayed on the LCD panel, mid-roll rewind button will rewind film in mid-roll

EXPOSURE METER: TTL multi(6)-segment metering, Metering range from EV0 to EV21 at ISO 100 with 50mm f/1.4 lens, Center-weighted and Spot metering mode can be set

EXPOSURE COMPENSATION: +/- 3EV in 0.5EV step increments

AE LOCK: Set by AE lock button, current exposure value remains for 20 sec. With the shutter release button pressed halfway down pressed, the exposure value remains continuously

FLASH: Series-control, Retractable TTL Auto Flash (RTF), Guide number: 12 (ISO 100/m), Illumination angle covers 24mm lens angle of view, Flash-sync-speed in the range from 1/180 to a slower speed, Slow-speed-sync flash, Contrast-control-flash sync (ISO range=25-800), Automatic flash discharge, Red-eye reduction flash function

FLASH SYNC: Hot shoe with X-contact which couples with Pentax dedicated auto flashes, ISO range = 25-800, Flash-sync-speed in the range from 1/180 to a slower speed. Possible to use high-speed sync, wireless flash mode with AF360FGZ

PENTAX FUNCTION: 19 user-defined functions

POWER SOURCE: Two 3V lithium battery (CR2 or equivalent)

BATTERY EXHAUSTION WARNING: Battery exhaustion symbol is lit (blinking when the shutter is locked; no indication on the right-hand edge of the viewfinder)

Notify of

Copy this code

and paste it here *

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Copyright © 2012-2023 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

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

Unable to follow the link

You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

Cannot perform comparison

Cannot compare the lens to itself.

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.