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12-07-2008, 07:39 AM   #1
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Definition of "Normal" according to Pentax Manual

.

As part of a local craigslist purchase last summer I acquired a very interesting 200+ page hardcover
binder: "Honeywell Pentax Manual"

It's a treasure trove of info about Takumars, Spotmatic, all sorts of Pentax film cameras, as well as
photographic technique and examples. It's a very fun read, I enjoy flipping through it quite a bit.




Anyway, with all the recent discussion on the definition of 'normal', I thought I'd
share what "The Manual" said back in 1975.



12-07-2008, 08:04 AM   #2
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"Marco Takumar"?

Sorry, it's just that I'm a stickler for spelling.

Unless the lens was named after some dude called Marco.
12-07-2008, 08:21 AM   #3
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thanks, interesting piece
12-07-2008, 09:04 AM   #4
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"a lens who's focal length is roughly equivalent to the diagonal dimension of the film used..."

So for film they seem to be implying the, at the time non existent, 43mm limited is the ideal "normal" lens, and not the 50mm (for film).


Thanks, I'm sure the book is an interesting nostalgic read.


Last edited by lbam; 12-07-2008 at 09:18 AM.
12-07-2008, 09:41 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
"a lens who's focal length is roughly equivalent to the diagonal dimension of the film used..."

So for film they seem to be implying the, at the time non existent, 43mm limited is the ideal "normal" lens, and not the 50mm (for film).
Yeah, makes you wonder if that's why 43mm was chosen for the first limited?
Seems pretty coincidental.

QuoteQuote:
Thanks, I'm sure the book is an interesting nostalgic read.


It would be, except nostalgia doesn't apply, really, I wasn't into photography in 1975.

For me it's just fascinating - reading this book, photography seemed much more
serious then - or at least, it was undertaken with more care, and maybe more
appreciation of photographic values. The lenses and equipment seem to be
described reverantly, but still casually, and the example photos in the book
(many in black and white) are mind-blowingly good - real art, but some casual
snapshots that are just transcendent also.

I can see why people fell in love with Pentax back in the day, reading this book.

It also makes me want to buy every Takumar ever created and a couple Spotmatics
for good measure.


.
12-07-2008, 10:01 AM   #6
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How do you come up with good stuff like this?

Thx...

BTW: According to Fuhring, Pentax, Single Lens Reflex Photography, 6th ed (1969) the list price for a Super-Tak 35mm F/3.5 was $94.50, 50mm F/1.4 was $121.00, a 58mm F/1.8 was $81.00, an 85mm F/1.8 was 169.50, a 135mm F/3.5 was $149.50, a 300mm F/4.0 was $339.50, and a 400mm F/5.6 was $319.00. If you wish to convert these prices to 2007's U$ purchasing power, multiply each number by 6. You do the math...

And to think, I'm sitting here whining about the price tag on today's unbelievably superb lens choices.

Cheers...
12-07-2008, 10:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
How do you come up with good stuff like this?

Thx...

BTW: According to Fuhring, Pentax, Single Lens Reflex Photography, 6th ed (1969) the list price for a Super-Tak 35mm F/3.5 was $94.50, 50mm F/1.4 was $121.00, a 58mm F/1.8 was $81.00, an 85mm F/1.8 was 169.50, a 135mm F/3.5 was $149.50, a 300mm F/4.0 was $339.50, and a 400mm F/5.6 was $319.00. If you wish to convert these prices to 2007's U$ purchasing power, multiply each number by 6. You do the math...

And to think, I'm sitting here whining about the price tag on today's unbelievably superb lens choices.

Cheers...
Or, click here The Inflation Calculator and let your computer do the math
12-07-2008, 10:18 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
"a lens who's focal length is roughly equivalent to the diagonal dimension of the film used..."

So for film they seem to be implying the, at the time non existent, 43mm limited is the ideal "normal" lens, and not the 50mm (for film).


Thanks, I'm sure the book is an interesting nostalgic read.
Pentax made the smc M 40mm f2.8 pan-cake lens from 1976 until 1984 and was priced at about $75 new at K-Mart. It is amazing that it took them 20 years to replace and improve upon the 40mm.

JSherman, I started out in photography in 1977 with a 110 camera. I moved up about 7 years later to the K1000.


Last edited by Blue; 12-07-2008 at 10:25 AM.
12-07-2008, 10:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
...let your computer do the math
I included a number for those of us who do not have a computer.

Cheers...
12-07-2008, 10:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
Or, click here The Inflation Calculator and let your computer do the math
Thanks for the link.
Interestingly, out of curiosity, I found that compounded inflation over 20 yrs 1967-1987 was 240%, yet over 20 yrs 1987-2007 only 80%. A huge difference !
12-07-2008, 10:33 AM   #11
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Geez, I'm getting old, I have a copy of this as well but bought it new! Good education at the time and it contained many dream lenses I could never afford. Funny thing is that a few of those lenses are as good or better today.
12-07-2008, 10:37 AM   #12
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BTW Jay the 43 was intentionally chosen as the Pentax "normal". I know I read on some European Pentax site (UK??) that they chose this focal length to match the film size.
12-07-2008, 10:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
BTW Jay the 43 was intentionally chosen as the Pentax "normal". I know I read on some European Pentax site (UK??) that they chose this focal length to match the film size.
It took them until 1997 to release a 43mm lens. Here is the info at Demitrov> FA 43/1.9 Limited
12-07-2008, 12:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kguru Quote
Thanks for the link.
Interestingly, out of curiosity, I found that compounded inflation over 20 yrs 1967-1987 was 240%, yet over 20 yrs 1987-2007 only 80%. A huge difference !

That actually doesn't surprise me. I remember the 70's as being a decade of near-legendary inflation.
12-07-2008, 12:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
How do you come up with good stuff like this?

Thx...

BTW: According to Fuhring, Pentax, Single Lens Reflex Photography, 6th ed (1969) the list price for a Super-Tak 35mm F/3.5 was $94.50, 50mm F/1.4 was $121.00, a 58mm F/1.8 was $81.00, an 85mm F/1.8 was 169.50, a 135mm F/3.5 was $149.50, a 300mm F/4.0 was $339.50, and a 400mm F/5.6 was $319.00. If you wish to convert these prices to 2007's U$ purchasing power, multiply each number by 6. You do the math...

And to think, I'm sitting here whining about the price tag on today's unbelievably superb lens choices.

Cheers...
I guess that explains why I never owned anything other than a normal lens back then! In 1975, I was making about $2.25 an hour working the parts counter at Checker Auto. After taxes, rent, and food there was not a whole lot left over to buy photo stuff with. For me, the high point of the '70s was when I got a real electronic flash for Christmas. Before then, it was flash bulbs!

Steve

BTW...we walked 20 miles to school in the snow back then...chased by wolves the entire way...
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