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Showing all 2 reviews by Finn Lyle

Review of: Pentax ES II by Finn Lyle on Mon September 14, 2020 | Rating: 7 View more reviews 

Views: 58778
Reviews: 7
I have the typical black version of this camera with the 55mm 1.8 SMC-Takumar, I got it from an estate auction where the previous owner had neither shot with it or bothered to keep it clean for what I imagine has been decades. The mirror was stuck up, the prism had corrosion, and the little switch which activates the meter in automatic when you depress the shutter button partially was broken. After a lot of scrubbing, scavenging, and head scratching it managed to be a fully functional camera once the culprits were replaced (I have heard that the mirror sticking is a very common issue however). Running film through it proved that the meter and shutter mechanism is still as accurate as can be! The message to get from my story? This camera is incredibly robust and very, very reliably accurate. The improvements on circuitry from the Electrospotmatic and ES do a lot to make sure things are still working and working right 45+ years on down the line. A lot of newer cameras are as accurate or more, but this allows the use of some truly fantastic M42 lenses with all the native tricks. It is extremely satisfying to use as well, the shutter feels solid when it fires and makes a much more satisfying sound than the mechanical spotmatics, a trivial but experience enhancing feature. For being a slightly less tricked out camera than the K2, I find the placement of the ISO and exposure comp to be in the ideal location (same as the lx, IMO) on the ESii. Mirror Up can be had by gently flicking the shutter button, it will stall the shutter cycle at the mirror being up- push the shutter button again to fire; this is the same as on the rest of the Spotty series. The viewfinder blind is also a truly useful feature for pictures using the timer or a distant cable release, its not often used but believe me when I say it is necessary. The shutter speeds are indicated as going from 1/1000s- 8s, but I have had exposures at night go on for 30 min+, usually with usable results. Additionally, the fact the camera uses cheap and common silver oxide button cells makes up for the speed at which the camera burns through these batteries. To summarize: Pros: excellent build quality and reliability, uses M42 lenses the way God intended, very accurate stepless shutter, fantastic placement of controls Cons: only 5 manual speeds (+B) w/o a meter, basically a step below the K2 and much heavier, very few in working condition these days. At the end of the day, it's not an expensive camera to play with.

Review of: Pentax ES by Finn Lyle on Sat August 1, 2020 | Rating: 6 View more reviews 

Views: 46725
Reviews: 6
I bought this camera as a body only from a ďthis is a camera, no more no lessĒ type of auction on eBay. It required some work to bring it back to full condition, but after re-adjusting the wiring under the bottom cover and oiling the mirror return cam, it was better. The circuitry in this camera is all hand soldered, so it has a propensity for coming loose, for an entirely electrical camera that is not ideal. It is a joy to use, just as satisfying as any other spotmatic and the open-iris metering makes it simpler for sure. The battery doesnít seem to last more than a few months under regular use. Of course unless your after aperture priority only, this body is a heavy duty paperweight with only 5 fast shutter speeds. Truly what must have been a great new technology at the time of release, I find to translate to needing a seperate body for aperture priority versus manual camera operations now. Of course if you donít mind letting the camera do the work itís a fantastic workhorse. A neat camera that is unfortunately complex to ensure that it works.

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