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01-10-2020, 05:35 AM - 5 Likes   #1
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I found K2- It wasn't in the Himalayas! A photo study

I was the the sole bidder in an auction style eBay listing for "1975 Asahi Pentax Camera & Lens-Working" which I won for $29.99 plus $14.35 shipping and $2.66 Pennsylvania sales tax. Apparently those looking at this listing thought it was just another Spotmatic, and I almost bypassed it too, however I decided to look at the enlarged photos. The camera was Pentax K2 with the SMC 55/1.8 and soft leather case. It looked pretty good and the description just said the shutter sounded good and fired on all settings. I laced only the starting bid of $29.99 and six days later won the camera.

All I can say is-Wow! Nearly perfectly preserved K2. The one defect it had was disintegrated mirror foam. That's it. I put two fresh A76 cells in and everything is working as Asahi Pentax intended. I cleaned off the remaining old mirror foam, installed a new strip and blew the black crud from the mirror box and it was ready for its portrait session. The lens has a slow iris and tow tiny spots of fungus along the very outer edge of the front element. (Every single SMC Takumar 50 or 55mm and SMC K mount 50 or 55 f 1.8/1.4 I've ever owned has had a slow iris-what did Pentax do?)

Enjoy the photos! I enjoyed taking them with my DA 100/5 Macron on my K-r

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01-10-2020, 05:40 AM   #2
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Nice score. You even have the flash socket plugs!
01-10-2020, 06:46 AM   #3
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What a Steal !
K2 is one of my favorite cameras I regularly shoot with
01-10-2020, 07:29 AM   #4
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Its a beauty, and in a very nice condition, congrats :-)

01-10-2020, 07:46 AM   #5
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A good find! BTW, the mountain K2 isn’t in the Himalayas, it’s in the Karakoram.
01-10-2020, 09:37 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
A good find! BTW, the mountain K2 isnít in the Himalayas, itís in the Karakoram.
My K2 wasnít there either
01-10-2020, 09:42 AM - 1 Like   #7
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The lens could probably do with a nice CLA. From what I've seen, the iris slows down because there's a bit too much grease that gets onto the one of the main control rings just under the rear mount. If you've got the right screwdriver you'd be able to remove the mount and give it a quick wipe with a dry cloth to remove excess oil.

01-10-2020, 11:26 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by womble Quote
Nice score. You even have the flash socket plugs!
I noticed that, too! I'm drooling. Such a nice catch for a very low price.
01-10-2020, 12:19 PM   #9
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Good job! As a halfway-house between the KM/KX/K1000 and M series, IMHO it's one of the best-looking Pentax bodies ever made.
01-10-2020, 12:27 PM   #10
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Great buy......very envious
01-10-2020, 12:50 PM   #11
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Gorgeous, and minty! Niiiice.
01-10-2020, 02:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by steamloco76 Quote
I laced only the starting bid of $29.99 and six days later won the camera.
Wow! Good work! It looks to be in beautiful condition.

QuoteOriginally posted by steamloco76 Quote
(Every single SMC Takumar 50 or 55mm and SMC K mount 50 or 55 f 1.8/1.4 I've ever owned has had a slow iris-what did Pentax do?)
Hard to say. I have two ST 55/1.8, one SMC Tak 50/1.4, and one Pentax-K 55/1.8 and all have snappy iris mechanisms. None appear to have ever been serviced. Go figure...

That being said, I have never done an exposure sequence with any of my M42 fast 50s (Asahi and otherwise) and it very well may be that some of those lenses might not be fully stopped down at some apertures. What I might add is that my Asahi M42s seem to have higher spring tension on stop-down, but show no obvious tendency to "ooze" into place when actuated on-camera.


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01-10-2020, 02:34 PM   #13
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$30 well spent! looks like a nice score for sure.
01-11-2020, 01:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by steamloco76 Quote
(Every single SMC Takumar 50 or 55mm and SMC K mount 50 or 55 f 1.8/1.4 I've ever owned has had a slow iris-what did Pentax do?)
I bought the K55/1.8 new in late 1975 and it's not like that fresh from the factory. I have had a couple other K Series lenses that needed to be CLAed due to oil on the aperture blades, so that's more of an environment issue.

Phil.
01-11-2020, 03:05 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I bought the K55/1.8 new in late 1975 and it's not like that fresh from the factory. I have had a couple other K Series lenses that needed to be CLAed due to oil on the aperture blades, so that's more of an environment issue.

Phil.
Iím betting that the sticky bladed lenses were stored in an attic or rented storage locker where temperatures get really hot. A lot of older used camera equipment comes from estate sales and storage locker auctions. At least itís not FUNGUS or the dreaded balsam separation. I received a Tokina 75-150 with a recent purchase. I was able to disassemble the lens and was hoping to clean the major haze on the last element group in front of the diaphragm. Unfortunately, it was a cemented triplet with partial balsam separation and fungus.
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