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05-28-2022, 12:50 AM   #1
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Is K2 an annoying camera to use ?

Hi there,

I read some review on Youtube that, the shutter speed/ISO/EV compensation dial is the most annoying design to use on this camera, I wonder if anyone can shed some light on that.
And I also want to know something about this camera :

1. How reliable is the electronics ?
2. What is/are the common problem with it ?
3. How bright is the viewfinder compared to later M models and Super A etc.
4. Anything else to take note when using it ?

Thanks a lot !

05-28-2022, 01:38 AM   #2
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Just read the user manual, you can download that here: Asahi Pentax K 2 Instruction Manual K2 Owner's

On my K2 the ring turns a little stiff, but when you know how it works it is not difficult, it is only not that intuitive as it should be.

Mine is not metering correctly, I have to put the exposure adjustment at x2-x4 stops. Calibrating is easy, meter with your K1 (or equivalent) and a 50 mm prime at F8 a clear blue sky, compare the shutter speed and compensate till it matches the K1.

I had to replace the light-sealing and the mirror foam, the shutter / mirror sounds a bit clunky but it works fine. My ME-super has a brighter viewfinder.

The K2 shows its age, but it is a reliable camera and when you mount a K1.2 on it, it is in the mood what is was designed for almost 50 years ago. Try and have fun!
05-28-2022, 02:05 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Henrico Quote
Just read the user manual, you can download that here: Asahi Pentax K 2 Instruction Manual K2 Owner's

On my K2 the ring turns a little stiff, but when you know how it works it is not difficult, it is only not that intuitive as it should be.

Mine is not metering correctly, I have to put the exposure adjustment at x2-x4 stops. Calibrating is easy, meter with your K1 (or equivalent) and a 50 mm prime at F8 a clear blue sky, compare the shutter speed and compensate till it matches the K1.

I had to replace the light-sealing and the mirror foam, the shutter / mirror sounds a bit clunky but it works fine. My ME-super has a brighter viewfinder.

The K2 shows its age, but it is a reliable camera and when you mount a K1.2 on it, it is in the mood what is was designed for almost 50 years ago. Try and have fun!
Thanks for the info., if the K2 has the same screen like the KX then I may not want it, coz I need a brighter screen like the Super A due to my aged eyes.
05-28-2022, 02:36 AM   #4
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The MX and ME-super era cameras have the brightest viewfinder with highest magnification. You still can find real good ones on Ebay, how these look at the outer side often is an indication how heavily these are used. Some look brand new.

All SLR's / DSLR's with AF have darker finders because of the AF functionality. If your aging eyes are not that good anymore, I should choose one of these (MX/ME).

I still own two ME-supers, both work fine.

05-28-2022, 02:47 AM   #5
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Henrico Quote
The MX and ME-super era cameras have the brightest viewfinder with highest magnification. You still can find real good ones on Ebay, how these look at the outer side often is an indication how heavily these are used. Some look brand new.

All SLR's / DSLR's with AF have darker finders because of the AF functionality. If your aging eyes are not that good anymore, I should choose one of these (MX/ME).

I still own two ME-supers, both work fine.
Yes, I got couple other SLR younger than the K2 like the Fujica and Practika has brighter viewfinder, I also got the Super A and K3, I found the KX is noticeably dimmer that's not what I want.
05-28-2022, 04:52 AM   #6
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Another view(finder)

IIRC Pentax ads at the time claimed the K2 has a special silver-coated pentaprism.

The M series apparent brighter screen is due to increased magnification
and plastic focusing screen rather than glass as in previous Pentax SLRs.

My 60+ year-old eyes are not definitely as good as they were, but FWIW
I still find my K-series Pentax SLRs focus *more decisively* than my MX.

If you search the forum you will find the K2 has many fans.
My advice as always is - if possible - to try before you buy.

Chris
05-28-2022, 05:05 AM   #7
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The K2 ISO setting is often moaned about but that is largely because changing it isn't as obvious as it seems. Once you've cracked the process it isn't too bad. I suspect that is why Pentax never used that design again. My K2DMD was bought as a "spares or repair" bargain and Eric repaired it for me. It has worked flawlessly since. I've not had problems focussing it (or the MX or the ME Super). As Chris says, give one a try.

K.

05-28-2022, 05:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
IIRC Pentax ads at the time claimed the K2 has a special silver-coated pentaprism.

The M series apparent brighter screen is due to increased magnification
and plastic focusing screen rather than glass as in previous Pentax SLRs.

My 60+ year-old eyes are not definitely as good as they were, but FWIW
I still find my K-series Pentax SLRs focus *more decisively* than my MX.

If you search the forum you will find the K2 has many fans.
My advice as always is - if possible - to try before you buy.

Chris
I believe old glass screen has finer finishing, where plastic ones slightly rougher but brighter, same effect of projection screen.
05-28-2022, 06:19 AM   #9
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Most of the complaints are because the throat-mounted ring is not obvious how to use. If itís not turning easily itís because itís not being turned correctly.

I did the recommended clean and lube on mine and while it made the operation silky smooth, it wonít fix using the wrong technique. Download the manual and read closely.

I really like the handling of the K2, as I learned photography on a Spotmatic F - so the K2 feels great in the hand.

My electronics work great - of course thatís only a sample size of one. I appreciate having aperture priority AE, alongside a full manual shutter dial. Much as I love the Pentax ME Super, I find the ME Superís buttons to more finicky and more prone to trouble (probably dirty button contacts.)

I have no real issues with the finder and my eyes are also getting old. But for best finder experience I prefer the LX with the FA-1W.
05-28-2022, 06:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
I have no real issues with the finder and my eyes are also getting old. But for best finder experience I prefer the LX with the FA-1W.
My favourite too!
05-28-2022, 04:38 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lotech Quote
Hi there,

I read some review on Youtube that, the shutter speed/ISO/EV compensation dial is the most annoying design to use on this camera, I wonder if anyone can shed some light on that.
And I also want to know something about this camera :

1. How reliable is the electronics ?
2. What is/are the common problem with it ?
3. How bright is the viewfinder compared to later M models and Super A etc.
4. Anything else to take note when using it ?

Thanks a lot !
The K2 was my first serious camera. I loved the way the central micro-prism "popped" clear when correct focus was found. It (along with aluminum case and a number of lens) was stolen about 18 months into ownership, and replaced with an ME. By comparison, the ME felt so tiny in my hands as if it were a child's toy. And I never did properly adjust to the split screen focusing of the ME.
05-28-2022, 05:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
.....It (along with aluminum case and a number of lens) was stolen about 18 months into ownership, and replaced with an ME. By comparison, the ME felt so tiny in my hands as if it were a child's toy. And I never did properly adjust to the split screen focusing of the ME.
Oh sorry to hear that, your one may have gone to 'The Bay' and pickup by another Pentaxian, if you have the serial no. you may post in the forum and to meet the new owner ! if the K2 is like the KX with the same type of screen, then I know what it looks like, slightly warm and darker than the Ms. I am too more used to the larger and heavier K bodies although I've small hands, a heavier body absorbs vibration better than lighter ones, so that I took my very first sharp photo with the Minolta X1, it was big and heavy built like a tank. The reasons I like the K2 are, first it has a Copal shutter, and 2nd it has full set of retro style controls, I don't like push buttons and tiny dial on my Super A much but have no choice.
05-28-2022, 05:51 PM   #13
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I liked the K2. The DMD is definitely a step up, given the exposure compensation notification, but I never found it that annoying to use.

I've had two. And unfortunately the electronics died on both. One I blame on a botched repair job and the other went through some rough turbulence on a flight and never turned on after. (I'm just thankful it was the return flight & not the flight there.)

QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
The K2 was my first serious camera. I loved the way the central micro-prism "popped" clear when correct focus was found.
In contrast, both K2s I had were the ones with a split-prism finder. (They're not common, but they are out there.) And it's what convinced me that I liked that more than the micro-prism on my Spotmatic.
05-28-2022, 08:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by g026r Quote
I liked the K2. The DMD is definitely a step up, given the exposure compensation notification, but I never found it that annoying to use.

I've had two. And unfortunately the electronics died on both. One I blame on a botched repair job and the other went through some rough turbulence on a flight and never turned on after. (I'm just thankful it was the return flight & not the flight there.)



In contrast, both K2s I had were the ones with a split-prism finder. (They're not common, but they are out there.) And it's what convinced me that I liked that more than the micro-prism on my Spotmatic.
I read that there were K2 variants but never heard of split-prism type screen, and there were "speed screen" on early pro film SLR with rough finishing to produce brighter image, as far as I remember my Minolta got removable prism and glass screen that produced very fine but dim image I believe that was so called 'ground glass' screen.
05-31-2022, 12:11 AM   #15
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One thing I don't understand that, why Pentax used Copal shutter on the rather old K2, which was the only K model with it (?), also attracted my attention. Pentax then 'return' to cloth shutter on the following M models, such as the high end MX, then again turned to Copal (?) on the high end automatic models such as the Super A, and all the way up to the current digital models. As far as I know Copal shutter can run at higher speed, beside of that, what was the reason Pentax choose not to use it on most other models, the cost ?
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