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Meandering rumblings and Pentax thoughts.

ca Online Chako

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Meandering rumblings and Pentax thoughts.
on: August 03, 2014, 09:06:02 PM
I have read just recently that Ricoh bought out Pentax in 2013. This was news to me, and got me to thinking of the Pentax cameras that I have and still love, Come to think of it, I just bought a Ricoh WG-4 rugged camera which is in fact a Pentax WG-3 but with a few software tweaks. From what I have read, Ricoh will still keep the Pentax name on the DSLRs, but will re-brand all compact cameras with the Ricoh name. As stated in another post, I am not greatly surprised that Ricoh would purchase Pentax...seeing that Ricoh 35mm cameras all carried a Pentax bayonet mount meaning they used Pentax lenses. This means both companies have worked closely in the past. Likewise, I knew Pentax was in dire financial straights as far as a few years ago when I frequented a Pentax forum. There was some talk about it. Ah well, I hope that Pentax continues their good work.

Well so why did I create this thread, well probably to bore you all with Pentax gear, and for me to put some thought into what I think of Pentax and all. One can say I am not a die hard Pentaxian...yes, that is what some rabid Pentax users call themselves. I have moved on to Canon for the most part, but I still add a piece here and there, and maintain my Pentax line as well. Why do I do this, if I am mostly a Canon shooter these days, I guess it is one of sentimentality, and of course the quality of the glass. To me, Pentax lenses are magical for the most part, and the best part, they have always been cheaper than those of most other big name companies. But I digress, lets get back to the sentimental part first.

As some of you know, I grew up with a camera in my hand. My father was into photography somewhat, and lent me his Kodak Retinette 1A rangefinder to learn the ropes if you will. When I was doing, this, he upgraded to a Pentax P3 35mm camera. He grew up in the time when Pentax came out with many first in the photography world...and had always wanted a Pentax since the 60's but couldn't afford it. Thus when he could, he bought the P3 to be his main camera. He did that at a discount in a Toronto bargain store...so he saved quite a bit on it.

Therefore, when I grew up, Pentax was mentioned quite a lot as far as cameras went. After the Kodak, I upgraded for cheap to an Olympus OM10 35mm camera. This was a great little camera and I learnt quite a bit with it, but when it came time in grade 11 to take a photography course, I found that the OM10 lacked manual mode. I did buy the expensive adapter that allowed manual mode, but it was kludgy. It fit on the front of the camera and nestled next to the lens. All was good until I spied someone using a Minolta Maxxum 7000. That was the first time i had seen autofocus in use, and I wanted on real bad. Midway through the course, I had managed to get my dad to cover half the cost, and bought the Pentax SF10. Yeah, the similarity between the Olympus and Pentax camera didn't go unnoticed.

The Pentax SF10 was my film camera until I got into digital back in 1999. My first serious digital camera was a Nikon 990, a 3 megapixel camera that cost darn near $1800 Canadian. I couldn't afford a DSLR back then, and looking back, happy I didn't spent more on one. Those first DSLRs became obsolete faster then they could reach the market. When I was able to afford a DSLR, I had wanted a Pentax...but they didn't enter the market right away. What got me into Canon was the first affordable DSLR, the Digital Rebel 300. It was $999, and I could afford that. It was 6 megapixels, and I used that for while until I upgraded the Canon camera, but this is not about the Canon system. I had a Canon 20D before I started noticing Pentax with their stupidly named *Ist series DSLRs. By that time, I had invested in Canon gear fairly heavily.

In 2007, when my father was sick, I wanted to get him a good DSLR. Seeing that he was all about Pentax, I got him a Pentax K10D. Yeah, I know, what is it with me and the number 10 in camera bodies. He used it for a year before he passed on. In that time, we both added to the lens arsenal, upgrading many of the older lenses which by the way, all work on the newer bodies.

Last year, while perusing online photography articles, I came across the Pentax K-01 which was being discounted and cleared out for a ridiculous price. Apparently, staid photographers couldn't see the need to buy the odd ball K-01, and thus, sales tanked. I guess it eventually led to the sale of Pentax to Ricoh. The Pentax K-01 is a mirror-less interchangeable camera that is full size, and thus, will accept all Pentax lenses, be it bayonet or screw mount via an adapter. Not only that, it came in wild and wacky colours. I got the yellow. The K10D now is the backup camera to the K-01.

So although my go to cameras are the Canons, I do have a fairly complete Pentax system that I use on occasion. I hold onto it for sentimental reasons to be sure, but the Pentax system takes beautiful photos that are super rich and creamy. I think they take better photos than my Canons, especially for scenics. What I also like about Pentax, is their lens compatibility. Old screw mounts can be used via an adapter. You forgo AF, and possibly some metering options, but not many camera systems will let you use lenses from the 50s. This of course means that old Pentax lenses are not cheap online.

Here is the P3 and the SF10. I haven't used these in a while. Be sure to take the batteries out of them for storage.


In the 60/70s, there were many lens importers who would slap their store brand, or importer names on lenses. Thus you can get all sorts of names, and figuring out who made what can be challenging. Here are the old lenses for the above cameras.

-Cosmicar MC 28mm f/2.8. (manual only lens)
-Magnicon 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 AF. (Blacks store line name brand...possibly Tokina)
-Kiron 2x teleconverter PA/RX. (manual teleconverter used between camera body and lens at the cost of image quality and lens speed)
-MC Hanimex Automatic Zoom c-macro 80-200mm f/4.5. (manual only push pull zoom lens)
-Magnicon 70-210mm f/4.5 AF. (Blacks store name branded Tokina...I think)
-SMC Pentax A 50mm f/2.0. (manual only lens)
-Magnicon 28-70mm f/2.8-4.5 AF. (Blacks store name branded Tokina...I think)



Here is the K10D which dates to 2007.


Of interest, when I got in that motorcycle accident back in 2010, this camera was in the saddle bag. In the crash, only a small scratch to the LCD occurred. That ticked me off, but I had the camera loose in the saddle bag, and it did survive a horrendous crash mostly unscathed.


Here is the cute K-01.






And the newer lenses.

-Pentax DA XS 40mm F2.8. (pancake lens that came with the K-01)
-Pentax DA 16-45 f/4 ED/AL. (Nice wide angle lens comparable to the much more expensive Canon 17-40 f/4 L)
-Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4. (Can we say speedy baby, and the bokeh is to die for)
-Pentax DA 10-17 f/3.5-4.5 ED Fisheye. (Yes, fisheye. One trick lens this)
-Pentax DA 50-200 f/4-5.6 ED. (Kit lens. Not bad as far as kit lenses go)
-Pentax DA 18-250 f/3.5-6.3 ED/AL [IF]. (perfect traveler lens_
-Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2. (Not happy about this one, but I have the long end covered with the Canon system)
-Samyang 500mm f/8 Mirror lens. (cheap but awesome mirror lens that give donut shaped out of focus highlights. Manual lens, but fun to play with)



I also have a very rare Pentax Asahi S which I found at a local garage sale no less. Here are 2 quotes about the camera taken from Pentax Collectors, and Danilo Cecchi's book on Pentax. I guess I will have to take photos of it for this thread.  :think:



Asahi Pentax S

In April 1958, eleven months after the initiation of sales of the Asahi Pentax, AOC released the second of the pre-1959 pentaprism models; the Asahi Pentax S. The model S was the first AOC camera to carry the model designation on the body. The substantive design alteration of the Pentax S was the movement to a revised progression of shutter speeds equivalent to those found on modern day cameras. With the exception of the aforementioned differences, the Pentax S was essentially identical to the Asahi Pentax.

The model S was introduced just one month before the release of the Pentax K. It is perhaps most appropriate to think of it as a less expensive alternative to the Pentax K and not as a transitional model. A major advertisement in a U.S. photography magazine featured both the Pentax S and the Pentax K, and promoted the cameras based upon differences in features and price. As with the Asahi Pentax, the model S was available in an all black enamel finish. Asahi Pentax S examples have been reported without the S designation, however, such cameras appear to be non-AOC hybrids of S models and an Asahi Pentax body top. The Pentax S was produced concurrently with the Pentax K, and was discontinued in May, 1959.

The Pentax S was identified as having two standard lenses; the 55mm f/2.2 Takumar, and a 55mm f/1.8 Takumar. The 55mm f/1.8 was a newly developed model, and is perhaps the predecessor to the 55mm f/1.8 Auto-Takumar introduced with the Pentax K. It should be noted that a review of AOC literature indicates that by the time the model S was available, AOC provided photographers with a full range of optics which included 35mm f/4, 83mm f/1.9, 105mm f/2.8, 135mm f/3.5, 300mm f/4, and 500m f/5 models. In addition, AOC information indicates that the 1,000mm f/8 Takumar was released in May 1958, just one month after the release of the Pentax S.

In the previous account provided on the Asahiflex cameras, I stated that it appeared that the Asahiflex I was the second least produced standard production AOC SLR model. I made that statement because information collected during my review, as well as a study of serial number clumping characteristics indicates that fewer Pentax S cameras were produced than any other standard production model. When I refer to "standard production" models, I am excluding motor drive bodies and special use pieces for medical or law enforcement purposes. For this reason, the Pentax S is a very difficult camera to locate in any condition. Collectors building an AOC collection, should purchase examples of the Pentax S whenever possible.

And this one...


A variation of the Asahi Pentax Original was the Asahi Pentax S. It was introduced in April 1958 and discontinued in May 1959. Visible differences between the Asahi Pentax and the Asahi Pentax S include the different progression of shutter speeds (with the latter featuring the modern near arithmetical progression of speeds) and a different film reminder dial. The film reminder dial was the same as that found on the next Asahi Pentax K (the third and last model of the first series of Asahi Pentax cameras). Since the Asahi Pentax S was sold at the same time as the Pentax K, it can be considered to be a budget version of the Pentax K. The Asahi Pentax S was also available in either satin chrome or all black finish, both being uncommon. The Asahi Pentax S also had the S model designation 'S' marked below the serial number. A few early bodies have been reported in the literature with no model designation at all. It is possible these examples represent damaged Asahi Pentax S cameras with top housing plates replaced with spare AP plates, bearing the AP lower serial numbers. Registered serial numbers for the Asahi Pentax S range from 150981 to 165354 (154000 to 162000 according to Mr.Sherfy) and a total production of less than 4,000 pcs has been estimated by Fred Sherfy in his book. The standard lenses for the Asahi Pentax S were the 55mm f/2.2 Takumar or the 55mm f/1.8 Takumar in Pentacon/Pentax M42x1 screw mount.

Here are photos of the S.









The lenses that came with this are:

- Soligor 35mm f/3.5.
- Pentax Takumar 55mm f/2.2.

The best thing, both are screw mounts, and do work nicely on newer Pentax bodies via adapters.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 09:19:13 PM by Chako »
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Leatherman series articles


us Offline ChopperCharles

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Re: Meandering rumblings and Pentax thoughts.
Reply #1 on: May 30, 2020, 08:14:38 PM
Cool, I thought I was the only person who loved the k-01. Great camera. I also have a Q and Q7,
And most of the lenses.

Charles.


ca Online Chako

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Re: Meandering rumblings and Pentax thoughts.
Reply #2 on: June 07, 2020, 03:06:39 PM
I like the k-01 a lot. I do wish it had a viewfinder for those times I am out in very bright sunlight.
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il Offline pomsbz

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Re: Meandering rumblings and Pentax thoughts.
Reply #3 on: June 07, 2020, 03:31:07 PM
I've had the Pentax Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 on my camera for some 8 years now. It's my main go to lens. I love how it draws.



I also have and love my Pentax K 85mm f2. Really nice rendering lens wide open.

"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson


il Offline pomsbz

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Re: Meandering rumblings and Pentax thoughts.
Reply #4 on: June 07, 2020, 03:32:38 PM
I've had the Pentax Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 on my camera for some 8 years now. It's my main go to lens. I love how it draws.

(Image removed from quote.)

I did extensive testing with the K mount version of the lens but the SMC coating takes away from the wonderful and dreamy halation caused by the single coated super tak.

I also have and love my Pentax K 85mm f2. Really nice rendering lens.

(Image removed from quote.)

I tried the 24mm and 28mm K mount lenses from the same era but failed to be at all impressed I'm afraid.
"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson


us Offline ChopperCharles

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Re: Meandering rumblings and Pentax thoughts.
Reply #5 on: June 07, 2020, 04:14:41 PM
Like any camera system, there are some great lenses and some stinkers. Pentax is known for their fast 50mm glass. Across the boarder, year to year, that has always been the stand-out lens. F/1.7 or f/1.4, but even the f/2 was good.

Charles.


 

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