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03-16-2018, 05:09 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Special black edition of the smc Pentax-A★ 600mm f/5.6 ED [IF]

An smc Pentax-A★ 600mm f/5.6 ED [IF]
  • which is black instead of white-grey
  • the front part of which slightly differs from that of the standard lens (e.g. the cone at the rear is more abrupt)
  • with a detachable lens hood instead of a built-in one

just appeared on eBay:

【Rare!! MINT】 Pentax SMC Pentax-A* 600mm f/5.6 ED IF Tele Lens From Japan #351 | eBay

Could it be a prototype lens?





The standard smc Pentax-A★ 600mm f/5.6 ED [IF]




Last edited by Mistral75; 03-17-2018 at 06:16 AM. Reason: Title modified
03-16-2018, 05:13 AM   #2
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Good lens.
03-16-2018, 05:47 AM   #3
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Whatever it is, it's beautiful.
03-16-2018, 06:02 AM   #4
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It is a nice looking lens, wonder if they'd take my white one in trade for it!

03-16-2018, 07:48 AM   #5
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Prototypes don't come with accessories (padded cap) or lens manual for the production model nor do they have serial numbers. It is a beautiful lens, but without provenance, just what it is might be hard to determine.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-16-2018 at 08:01 AM.
03-16-2018, 08:32 AM   #6
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I was thinking fake or rebranded or medium format model...'til I looked at the green band on the hood. That's the traditional A* green band many of us know so well! Pretty slick counterfeiter to pull that off (not to mention the embossed Pentax info on the lens barrel).
03-16-2018, 08:59 AM   #7
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Maybe a small number were made in this style for a particular client where black (or removable hood) was preferable for some reason? (government, military, research, something) Or it was just a limited edition in Japan (just because) that was so long ago that nobody remembers? Looks functionally identical except for the hood -- I'm sure it is the same optics inside.

This black one has a serial# of 5964967. My white one is #5712229, so it wouldn't appear that the black one was earlier than others.
03-16-2018, 09:04 AM   #8
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Very interesting find. Maybe there was a black variant?

The even more interesting thing is the detachable hood. This thing must have come from the Pentax factory in one way or another.


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03-16-2018, 10:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Maybe a small number were made in this style for a particular client where black (or removable hood) was preferable for some reason? (government, military, research, something) Or it was just a limited edition in Japan (just because) that was so long ago that nobody remembers? Looks functionally identical except for the hood -- I'm sure it is the same optics inside.

This black one has a serial# of 5964967. My white one is #5712229, so it wouldn't appear that the black one was earlier than others.
Indeed the latest serial number listed here:

SMC Pentax-A* 600mm F5.6 ED [IF] Serial Numbers - Pentax Serial Number Database - PentaxForums.com

is 5962904, lower than the one of this mystery lens, which could therefore be one of the last smc Pentax-A★ 600mm f/5.6 ED [IF] ever manufactured.
03-16-2018, 10:12 AM   #10
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So late that rather than early? The last one made! Wasn't this model only available as a special order in the later years of its run? Maybe a very special order.
03-16-2018, 10:17 AM   #11
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Didn’t some of these more exotic lenses stay in the Japan-only catalog on a made-to-order basis for quite some time after general stock ran out? If so, perhaps the ‘factory’ (one guy at an assembly table) accepted a bespoke order

I recall my dealer saying he could special order an A50/1.2 direct from Japan after I was already a member here, maybe in 2010, made to order.
03-16-2018, 05:11 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
So late that rather than early? The last one made! Wasn't this model only available as a special order in the later years of its run? Maybe a very special order.
From asahi man on Digital Photography Review's forum, where I opened a similar thread:
QuoteOriginally posted by asahi man:
The serial number is too high to be for a pure prototype.

Possible that it's a small single series, Pentax was known for small production runs of special orders and offers.

I will send this to a Pentax friend, maybe he will ask at headquarters.
03-16-2018, 06:02 PM   #13
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The eBay ad says it all in the ad title:

[Japan police Limited !!]

Makes sense. A big white lens would be hard to be discreet with in the field when doing crowd surveillance etc. The removable lens hood would also make the lens more compact and portable.
03-16-2018, 06:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
The eBay ad says it all in the ad title:

[Japan police Limited !!]

Makes sense. A big white lens would be hard to be discreet with in the field when doing crowd surveillance etc. The removable lens hood would also make the lens more compact and portable.
Aha. They just changed that -- said "Rare - Mint" before. The hood doesn't change the size. The normal hood slides out. However, the removable hood is probably more robust -- with usual hood you can't for instance place the lens front element down on a table with the hood extended because the little holding screw can't take the weight and it will retract and crash down.
03-17-2018, 03:19 AM   #15
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In the meantime, the price went up, from $4,999,99 to $6,999.99...

【Japan police Limited !!】 Pentax SMC Pentax-A* 600mm f/5.6 ED IF Lens From Japan | eBay
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