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02-25-2018, 10:43 AM - 1 Like   #1
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1st Pentax in '63

I bought my first Pentax in May 1963: an S3 w/50mm f1.8 & Clip-on CDS meter $230 (Canadian) was a ton of money when I was only making 35 bucks a week at the start of a 25 year career as a photog at a major daily newspaper. I shot Pentax my entire career despite Nikon & Canon being more popular. Switched to K-mount in '75 after a succession of S3, SV, & Spotmatic bodies. First K-mounts were 3 KX bodies with motor drives those early drives were a pain (literally) if you had to shoot a vertical with a long lens due to the battery pack hanging below the motor. Replaced the KX with the MX (2 with drives, one with power winder) and an LX with drive. In later years bought an ME Super Program old age laziness + a pretty good auto exposure function.

02-25-2018, 10:53 AM   #2
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Welcome. New to the forum but well versed in Pentax cameras. Enjoy the plethora of knowledge you'll find here.
02-25-2018, 11:13 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by 1963_S3 Quote
1st Pentax in '63
Welcome to the forum, many here are from "old school" Pentax roots... but not perhaps as long as '63.
02-25-2018, 12:51 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by 1963_S3 Quote
I bought my first Pentax in May 1963
WOW That really is something!

02-25-2018, 02:52 PM   #5
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welcome to the forums!
02-25-2018, 07:17 PM   #6
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Welcome from someone who was 3 years old back then.
02-25-2018, 08:01 PM   #7
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Hi: Plenty of old film people here. Lots of us still shooting those cameras we bought in the 70’s and 80’s.
02-27-2018, 08:05 AM - 1 Like   #8
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MORE ON THE GOOD OLD DAYS but, first, I have a confession. I (gulp) also have a Canon G11. Hopefully this won't result in a knock on my door late at night by a couple of Pentax-enforcers...LOL.

Hopefully my memory is accurate for this rambling...

The first Asahi (pre-Pentax) that I saw and tried was a used Asahiflex with a waist level viewfinder. I was 16 at the time and had just started working part-time at a camera store.

When Asahi added a pentaprism, hence the Pentax name, the result was the S1 with a pre-set aperture lens. For those of you that haven't had the joy of trying to shoot a moving subject on a sunny day with a pre-set lens it was a challenge. You had to set the aperture ring to whatever, say f11, then turn the free-moving ring to "wide open" to be able to see through the viewfinder to focus followed by a quick rotation to close the lens to f11 so you could take the shot. A challenge to say the least.

Early Pentaxes were sold as Honeywell Pentax (stamped into the front of the pentaprism cover) in the USA and Asahi Pentax elsewhere.

Next came the S1a. The "a" meant automatic, but probably not in today's sense. The camera had a "semi-automatic diaphragm" (the pre-set aperture was gone) that automatically stopped down when you pressed the shutter release — but it had to be "re-cocked" to open the aperture for each shot. The camera had a 50mm f2.2 lens and a 1/500 shutter.

The S3 was it!!! With its fully automatic diaphragm, 50mm f1.8 lens and1/1000 sec shutter you could shoot just about anything.

In the days of hand-held selenium light-meters Pentax's clip-on CdS meter was a god-send. The meter sat atop the pentaprism secured by a spring loaded clip that engaged grooves around the viewfinder (still on later cameras). The shutter speed dial had a small notch that coupled to a pin on the meter which had a duplicate shutter speed dial with an ASA window controlled by lifting the outer ring and turning to the required ASA. Forget centre-weighting (we Canadians spell "center" correctly!), spot, zone, and all those other fancy terms for measuring light. Turn the meter on and pray there weren't things throwing off the reading since it just averaged a rather nebulous (whatever was out there). My preference was the palm of my hand which, after careful comparison to a Kodak 18% Gray Card, meant adding 1 1/2 stops to whatever my hand read (assuming that it was reasonably clean at the time LOL).

More to come...

02-27-2018, 11:42 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forum
02-27-2018, 01:44 PM   #10
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Welcome to the club house!

QuoteOriginally posted by 1963_S3 Quote
I (gulp) also have a Canon G11. Hopefully this won't result in a knock on my door late at night by a couple of Pentax-enforcers...
You'd better sleep with one eye open, mister!

Nah, people here shoot all kind of cameras even if the vast majority are Pentaxes. And people are here for different reasons; some for sharing images, some for getting inspiration, some for discussing gear, etc - and some even spend their time worrying over the gear they don't have

Have a look around and join the fun!
02-28-2018, 08:27 AM   #11
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Welcome ! I wasn't even born for another two years......lol.
Don't worry about the Canon G11. Your not the first we will convert from the Dark Side !
02-28-2018, 08:31 AM   #12
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My first Pentax was an SV in 67, bought at Toronto Camera for $156. I gave the Spotmatic a long hard look, but I had to pay $60 for a light meter anyway for the view cameras used in Photo Arts at Ryerson so went with the SV (or was it an S1? It's hard to remember that far back.I lost my first camera 2 years later so the SV might have been what I replaced the stolen camera with.) I believe the Spotmatic would have been $250.

So welcome to the forum...
02-28-2018, 11:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by 1963_S3 Quote
I bought my first Pentax in May 1963: an S3 w/50mm f1.8 & Clip-on CDS meter — $230 (Canadian) was a ton of money when I was only making 35 bucks a week at the start of a 25 year career as a photog at a major daily newspaper. I shot Pentax my entire career despite Nikon & Canon being more popular. Switched to K-mount in '75 after a succession of S3, SV, & Spotmatic bodies. First K-mounts were 3 KX bodies with motor drives — those early drives were a pain (literally) if you had to shoot a vertical with a long lens due to the battery pack hanging below the motor. Replaced the KX with the MX (2 with drives, one with power winder) and an LX with drive. In later years bought an ME Super Program — old age laziness + a pretty good auto exposure function.
Welcome. Did you work for the Edmonton Journal ? I was in Edmonton, working for a small publishing company back in '69 in Edmonton.
03-01-2018, 06:13 AM   #14
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Small world... yes I did! Started with the Edmonton Journal in fall '63 as the photo dept. "joe-boy" — if I did a good job cleaning the darkroom trays, mixing chemicals, etc. I got to go out on assignments with the photogs. I continued to work at the Journal while I went through the Photographic Technology program at NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) '65-67 (2nd class, program started in '64). NAIT program was aimed at studio photography — everything done on 4x5 view camera with a big emphasis on technical aspects. I recall several discussions with instructors about "pick the right equipment for the job and which might not be 4x5" culminating in a "0" when I turned in a pic shot on my Pentax. Instructor was raving about the pre-dawn shot of a rally car sliding around a corner in a cloud of dust until he looked at the back of the print and saw "Tri-X, f1.8 @ 1/15. NAIT gave me a great technical background that benefited me throughout my Journal days — was there until summer of '87 including a 3 year stint as Photo Editor when we switched from b&w to colour. After the Journal I taught at Grant MacEwan College (now MacEwan University) for 10 years.
03-01-2018, 07:13 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by 1963_S3 Quote
MORE ON THE GOOD OLD DAYS but, first, I have a confession. I (gulp) also have a Canon G11. Hopefully this won't result in a knock on my door late at night by a couple of Pentax-enforcers...LOL. . . .
my first advance camera was a range finder, don't remember make bought in the mid seventies

then I shifted to a Pentax SLR in the 80' since my Dad had a Pentax and I could use his lenses

as far as your confession, my humble opinion is:

" let he who is without sin, cast the first stone "

be advised that others in the forum may have different reactions
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