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02-01-2013, 12:36 PM   #1
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Two ancient Asahi Pentax lenses

Now that I've ordered a K-01 I have been digging throught my camera junk drawer and have pulled out my old Pentax lenses. I haven't really used most of these since I stopped taking pics with my K-1000 and ME Super. Six or seven years ago I bought a K100D, but frankly I didn't use it much. It was my first digital and I was flummoxed over how to negociate the thing. That manual? Ahhh, yeah I tried to read it....that and the Gutenberg Bible.

Among the array of lenses I have a few very old ones and I'm wondering what I have here. Both are prime lenses, one is a 1:3.5/135 Asahi Auto Takumar lens. It's a cute little thing, bout 3" long, but heavy for its size. Has a quality feel about it. The lens cap is marked Honeywell Pentax. I can't recall when I asquired this lens, but probably in the late 60's. The other has an aluminum cap and is marked Auto-Takumar too. It's a 1:2.3/35 lens. Marked "Made in Japan".

Looks like I've got some medium fast steel body lenses, a 35mm and 135mm. Neither have a man/auto switch. I think these were made when mankind was still trying to understand how to use fire. I put them onto my K100D with the K-mount adapter and using the Tv setting I was able to take pictures with them.

Are these lenses worth my while? Are they too antique to be of any good? They come in neat little brown leather cylindrical cases with a little strap. I've got modern lenses too. Should I just set these old ones aside as items of vague interest, or use them?

BTW: I like using prime lenses. I find they force me to work harder to compose the shot using what I have, rather than messing with the zoom and then shoot.

02-01-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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I would say to keep them and try them on the K-01.
You might be surprised .

And as long the lenses were kept in good condition, there is no such thing as "too old".
02-01-2013, 12:43 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Those are a little older than my S-M-C Takumars but certainly useable. Go here for the Takumar Lens Club to see what folks are doing with those lenses. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/31601-takumar-club.html

Lots of Canon shooters have been grabbing Takumars the last few years because they make great video lenses. You might be surprised at what they are worth now, especially the 35mm f/2.3 Here is a link to that lens review: Auto Takumar 35mm F2.3 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Wide-Angle Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
02-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #4
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The eBay values of the 35/2.3 are all over the place. One selling for $77 with 1 bid and others going for over $200 BiN.

02-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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Auto Takumar 35mm F2.3 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Wide-Angle Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
02-01-2013, 12:56 PM   #6
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Those lenses are from the late 50's or early 60's associated with the Asahi Pentax K or H1a/SV and earlier cameras. They can be valuable or without value depending on condition and buyer.
02-01-2013, 01:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stepmac Quote
Are these lenses worth my while? Are they too antique to be of any good? They come in neat little brown leather cylindrical cases with a little strap. I've got modern lenses too. Should I just set these old ones aside as items of vague interest, or use them?
Not sure if they are "worth your while", but optical technology hasn't evolved that much since the 60s, except for the coatings. So get proper hoods and use them!
02-01-2013, 02:21 PM   #8
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I have a couple from the same era. They can be wonderful lenses. They are M2 lenses so you are going to need to have a m42 to K mount adapter - if you don't have one already. The Pentax original one is the best - as it ensures that you will be able to focus to infinity. These should work well on the K-01 especially with the focus peaking capability.



02-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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Ancient! Ancient!?

I'm older than those lenses and I don't think I'm ancient!

02-01-2013, 02:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Those lenses are from the late 50's or early 60's associated with the Asahi Pentax K or H1a/SV and earlier cameras. They can be valuable or without value depending on condition and buyer.
Thanks for your reply. The lenses, both of them, appear to be absolutely new. Not a scratch or ding. Lens caps fit tight. They look unused. I'm kind of excited about the 2.3 35mm. I don't know the diameter, but it's at least 62.
02-01-2013, 02:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I have a couple from the same era. They can be wonderful lenses. They are M2 lenses so you are going to need to have a m42 to K mount adapter - if you don't have one already. The Pentax original one is the best - as it ensures that you will be able to focus to infinity. These should work well on the K-01 especially with the focus peaking capability.

I've got two of those old K mount adapters, both the old kinds. I can't wait to see how they work on my K-01, which has yet to arrive. I'm nearly 70 and feel like a kid before Christmas. Thanks for your reply.
02-01-2013, 03:10 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
Not sure if they are "worth your while", but optical technology hasn't evolved that much since the 60s, except for the coatings. So get proper hoods and use them!
Yeah, hoods. Sadly we don't have a camera store here anymore. It's box store or nothing. We used to have a classic, old fashioned camera store that stocked everything. The owner knew his stuff. Then he when to the big dark room in the sky and the place closed.

I am not an expert camera user, but I'm fascinated by composition. I collect tintypes and dags and have a hundred or more, most mundane, but some astounding. The attached portrait isn't very special until you figure that it was taken in 1878. It is of John Middleton, btw: one of Billy the Kid's gang.

02-01-2013, 03:20 PM   #13
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The above portrait is a tintype taken by a man named George W. Morgan in Lincoln, New Mexico probably in 1878. I own the original, which is quite small. Bout 2 X 3 inches square. The style and composition of the photo is absolutely modern, taken when most people where pictured far from the lens and straight on. It is slightly tinted. The photo shows Middleton's personality. He was popular with his pals, but he also murdered people if he had to. Anyway, I love the image. Collecting such things adds to the excitement of photography.
02-01-2013, 04:49 PM   #14
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stepmac,

I dunno... That image of John Middleton is intriguing, but looks like there was a lot of dust on the sensor, and that line near his ear resembles the early K-5 sensor stain. Can you give us a 100% crop so we can see the fine detail? And maybe the white balance was off - I see some pink color cast. I guess photographer Morgan wasn't into post processing, or wasn't a RAW fan. Do you know what lens was used? That image shows some pretty hard vignetting.

Haha, just kidding, of course. That is an amazing photo, and your description takes us back 135 years. It is amazing how the photo and the physical artifact have stood the test of time. A real classic portrait. Thanks for showing. Wonder if you might show a few more, perhaps in one of the forums under Photography or Photo Sharing and Galleries. Sounds like you have a very interesting and unique collection!

- Craig

Edit. Please see post 18 below for a clarification of my poor attempt at humour.

Last edited by c.a.m; 02-01-2013 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Clarification
02-01-2013, 05:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stepmac Quote
I've got two of those old K mount adapters, both the old kinds. I can't wait to see how they work on my K-01, which has yet to arrive. I'm nearly 70 and feel like a kid before Christmas. Thanks for your reply.
I just got my k-01 this week and have not really spent much time with it. I can say that once I get the hang of it, focus peaking is going to be a complete game changer for manual focus lenses. I really thought it was going to be another gimmick but I am amazed at watching the focus point move over the subject as you turn the focus ring. It still seems a little optimistic for really fast lenses but like I said, I need to work with it. My tired old eyes just got new life.
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