Pentax film cameras - my new "focus"

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Lindsay
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#1
I've mentioned before here that I have a small collection of vintage and antique cameras inherited from my Dad - a couple of Leicas, Contaflex, Contax. Voigtlanders and a few others. all nice, a few non-working but all of interest. However they all reflect the cameras of my dad's time and interest in the 40's and 50's. Nice as they are, my own interests are different. I grew up with film SLR's, primarily Pentax, so I've decided that I want to build a little collection of the latter and shoot with them regularly. Currently I have: 2x LX's (one faulty going off to Miles Whitehead in the new year), 2x SP1000, an SP500, a Spotmatic and an MZ-5. I am aiming over time to acquire one of all the most popular models to try, which gives me something less expensive to look for GAS wise too! I also want to build a selection of SMC Takumar/Super Takumar lenses in both K and M42 mounts for them. I'm sticking to 35mm for the foreseeable, though I'd love to acquire 67 and 645 cameras too eventually if funds and opportunity permit.

I just wanted to share how I am focusing my hobby, as I know other people do similar with Canon, Nikon, Zeiss, Leica etc.
 
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Richard
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#2
I did a similar thing with my collection starting about fifteen years ago, I grew up in the 60,s with a Zorki 4 and then a Canon AT-1,but, always wished I could have Nikon.

I now have most the Nikon camera models with the exception of the Nikon F and F6. I use all of them when I can and mix and match them with Nikkor lenses.

I am glad that I started this fifteen years ago as now I would not be able to afford to buy some of the models.

Good luck with your quest.(y)
 
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Chris
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#3
What an excellent idea, Lindsay. They built the best early manual focus SLRs and some fabulous manual lenses, but got left behind in AF (producing some rather horrid plastic cameras, and a few decent ones) and are generally reasonably priced as a result. I have a Pentax MX and LX (sold one MX on, but may get another). I've also got a Pentax ME that I bought new, that I wouldn't trust a film in (it started shredding the sprocket holes towards the end of the roll). I keep meaning to get it fixed, but Miles says he can't fix the dodgy stand-off spring on the advance lever, and I haven't quite worked up the motivation to send it to some of the more expensive specialists!

(OTOH I have no motivation at all to build a comprehensive collection, just sufficient cameras to shoot with!)
 
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Fraser White
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#4
Interestingly when I was 12 years old my dad bought a Rolleiflex SL35E for me (Rollei had just gone into receivership and it was a bargain?), I loved the camera but it broke down with shutter problems every time I tried to use it, eventually two years later it was part exchanged for a Nikon FE2. What a stunning camera this was and a 'love affair' with Nikon started, at the same time my brother had a Canon AE1 program yet he always asked to borrow my Nikon (Think he liked the MD12 Motor drive I had) :)
As much as I loved the FE2/MD12 combo I always dreamed of owning a Nikon F3 at the time (This was mid 1980's). I eventually part ex the FE2 for a digital Nikon (wish I hadn't).

I then had a break from photography but 'picked up' the Hobby again a few years ago and bought a D3 then a D4 Nikon. Great Cameras but got bored with digital quite quickly so I decided to buy the camera of my teenage dreams - a Nikon F3. Couldn't stop looking at it - simply stunning and stunning in use; everything I ever dreamt of and quite simply the nicest 35mm SLR I have ever held; it is superior in use to the FE2 and the build quality in relation to the FE2 (still good build but feels like tin compared to an F3) is evident. However I had no desire to add any more Nikon Cameras.

There were two other cameras I lusted after as a teenager initially inspired by the ownership of that unreliable Rolleiflex; a Rolleiflex 6 x 6 SLR (I had owned a Hasselblad 503 many years ago) and a Rollei TLR. I purchased a Rollei 6003 and the camera is absolutely amazing with the best quality film images I have ever seen (considerably better than the Hasselblad!) and for a large 6 x 6 it is ergonomically quite brilliant! I have recently added a Rolleicord Vb TLR that I have yet to use. In between I also grabbed a Rollei 35SE that is a sweet little compact.

Strange; inadvertently I have 'collected' three Rollei cameras yet my first Rollei was a 'piece of junk'! (Fortunately the others are fantastic!)

I just Love using film cameras - it is not the medium/look of film that attracts me; it is the cameras and the processes of developing film which is what I always loved about photography and why I fell 'out of love' with it when I went digital.
 
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#5
I love a good film Pentax SLR. Well built, well designed, with excellent optics. I still think an ME Super and 50mm f/2 is a criminally cheap and easily way to get into film photography. I don't think I would ever part with my K1000, even though it doesn't get much use.
 
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#6
I love a good film Pentax SLR. Well built, well designed, with excellent optics. I still think an ME Super and 50mm f/2 is a criminally cheap and easily way to get into film photography. I don't think I would ever part with my K1000, even though it doesn't get much use.
Pentax K1000 - legend! :)
 
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#7
I have a Rollei SL35E that I acquired about Ten years ago,had problem with the shutter and the rewind lever broke,Miles sorted it out, CLA'D and made a new rewind lever and the shutter was being fouled by a piece of the broken lever, it has never missed a beat since.

I will say it is a made in Singapore camera, just received a SL35 with Carl Zeiss 50mm and 135mm all made in Germany and they look new and feel like a dream.

The size of the SL body is very small and very comfortable. I love them.

POST NUMBER 4000.:banana::ty:
 
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#8
I'd love to acquire 67 and 645 cameras too eventually if funds and opportunity permit.

I just wanted to share how I am focusing my hobby, as I know other people do similar with Canon, Nikon, Zeiss, Leica etc.
I'd certainly recommend the 67 as both a fantastic picture-making machine and a lovely thing to own in it's own right. I've had mint examples and ones that looked like they had been dropped down a flight of stairs several times, and they have all worked flawlessly. Some of the lenses are a fortune (75mm f2.8 for instance), but you can still put a great system together for a lot less than other MF cameras. I think some of the lenses are absolute bargains, especially compared to equivalent lenses from other systems. I just watched a 200mm f4 sell on eBay for £38 (and missed it because the phone rang! :banghead: ).

I've used loads of Hasselblad, Mamiya and Rolleiflex lenses that people rave about on forums, and the Pentax MF lenses are right up there with the best. When you see those huge beautiful negatives (or even better, slides on a light table), you know you made a great choice :)

Happy collecting!
 
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#9
Pentaxes were an early focus of my collecting - until I discovered just how many SLR cameras Asahi made. I have seven which is going to be all (unless I come across a very cheap LX or K1000, of course).
 
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Lindsay56
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Lindsay
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#10
I think the ones I want to add are a K1000, KX, MX and S1a (although I live in hope that I will find the S1a. SV and Spottie F that I know I had 10 years ago but can't find anywhere) in particular. I will be selling one of the LX's at some point, and one of the SP1000's when I've decided which is the better one to get CLA'd.
I will be looking out for the MF kit once I've filled my boots with 35mm, although opportunities cannot be declined easily if they arise.
Thanks for commenting and understanding guys.
 

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My F4's Broken...
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Brian
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#11
Well I used my S3, bought new in 1960, for 15-20 years before switching to MF and still have the S3 and use it now and again on my camera rotation system. But coming back to 35mm about 8 years ago bought all makes that were going cheap and strange that there wasn't a Pentax among them and even had Pentax lenses with no Pentax camera other than Chinon and Ricoh to use them until about 4 months ago when I picked up a ME super..a nice small camera if you don't mind buttons for speed control.
 
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Mike
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#13
Sounds like a good focus to me, Linsay!

I started out with an ME, lovely camera, but I still got a bit jealous when my brother got the ME super.
From this Pentax always seemed the logical brand to use, I added a P30 when a 2nd hand affordable version was available to give me direct shutter speed control, then much later added a K100d, K7, K5ii...
I never tried any of the AF film options, generally ugly cameras & MF never proved a problem with a good viewfinder.

Having become the family's photobuff I've now been given all the other Pentaxes family members had so have an MX, ME super & a couple of 3rd party K mount bodies taking up space around the house. The MX is the only film model I've used since getting the K100d.

I generally shoot MFT now, often with adapted lenses, which has introduced me to some other Pentaxes I'd not have considered in the past - The Auto 110 range. Initially I just got the tiny 18mm/2.8 from this range, which works beautifully wide open on MFT. It persuaded me to explore further so I added a kit (body, 24/2.8 , 50/2.8 & extras)
Both lenses are good on MFT and the body seems rather nice too (beautifully made, easy to focus...) but 110 film doesn't convince me! The 24mm lens is really tiny only weighing 12g and has often given rise to interest when I've been out and about with it :)

Built up quite a hoard (not selective enough to be called a collection) of K mount lenses too, enough of the M50/1.7s that I've even taken to modifying one for soft focus (by removing the rear group).

Not much Ashai M42 gear in my hoard, just a Takumar 300/4 which is too heavy to use much. I'd like one of their M42 bodies & will probably get a couple of the more standard lenses soon, currently most of my M42 stuff is Practika, CZJ, or Russian.
 
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#14
I had a Contax III bought in Berlin when i was there in the RAMC at BMH Berlin, Spandau -- £38 quids -- a fortune ! When I came back to UK in 1958 I managed to get a job with 'Breda Studios' of Barking in 1961 and they did all the Press Photos for the Barking Advertiser ( they got 7/6 pence a photo). I often cut off the head of VIP's such as The Mayor due to the very small viewfinder on the Contax. One of the Partners had been in the RAF in Singapore and brought back 2 of these 'weird Japanese cameras' that nobody had heard of called 'Asahi Pentax' with weird lenses called 'Auto-Takumars' . We in UK knew only of German Tessars, Elmars, Sonnars or British Talor-Hobson BUT the RESULTS were far superior to my 50mm f1.5 Un-Coated SONNAR and there was 'No Parallax' --- one day a small crowd was seen pressing their Noses against the window of the Barking Camera Dealers -- I rushed over -- in 'Pride of Place' was ONE 'Asahi Pentax S3' !! I rushed in , offered Contax in Part Exchange paid £ 50 odd and rushed out the 'Proud Owner of an Asahi Pentax !! Many years later about 45 years the bloke to whom I sold it for £25 quids contacted me -"That Old Camera you sold me isn't working -- would you like it back? " -- So he arrived with Very Dusty Box -- inside was my original 1961 Asahi Pentax S3 all filthy !! I cleaned up body with damp cloth and Cotton Buds then took off base-plate with my JLS Srewdrivers and lubricated all the cogs and levers with a minute amount of Sewing Machine Oil, then gently pulled the lever wind and it creaked into life and shutter worked and has been working ever since ! I did a VIDEO about my 'Old Friend' from 1961 -- you can see it here :
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5GYIlVvg_s
 
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Lindsay56
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Lindsay
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#15
Today I received my second LX back from Robin Gowing at Harrow Technical, after repair and service, and I'm slowly putting a roll of FP4 through it. So that gives me two fully functional LX's in nice condition, with alternative viewfinders (one has the default FA-1 eye level finder, the other has the FC-01 and FB-01 Event finder). I've also just bought a couple of other types of LX viewfinder off ebay, and a Grip-B to try. I seem to be building a sub-collection of LX stuff!
 
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Chris
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#16
Oh, oh, oh, "dagnabbit", colour me jealous!

Haven't looked at those FC/FB finders, how do they work/look?
 
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Lindsay56
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Lindsay
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#17
With the other finders, you have the FB-01 which is essentially a base in place of the prism for eye-level vf, then you can mount one of a number of other vf's on that. So I have currently an FC-01 which rotates to be either a larger eye-level finder or a look-down version (easier when used with a tripod than eye-level), there are also waist level vf's and magnifying vf's that mount onto the FB-01. I've just bought the magnifying one off ebay to add to my collection.
I do love the LX.
 
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