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10-29-2010, 11:16 AM   #1
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Transparent Pentax SFX + SMC F 35-70

Just acquired this beauty. It's a very nice demonstration camera to show off Pentax' technology back in the day.

I had hoped to be able to use the SMC F 35-70 and although it's optically functional it's missing the diaphragm (the lever is fixed in the closed position) and the diaphragm ring is fixed too. Even the diaphragm protection flange is made of transparent plastic.

The camera itself works, but is unusable because of the transparent back. You can actually see the film being wound



















10-29-2010, 11:26 AM   #2
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Cool.
10-29-2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting those pictures. I wonder what it cost Pentax to build it that way? All the clear pieces hand made I suppose?
10-29-2010, 01:22 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Thanks for posting those pictures. I wonder what it cost Pentax to build it that way? All the clear pieces hand made I suppose?
Thanks! I don't think that it was much more expensive to make. The original dies were used with clear plastic instead of black. It is more rare though... I'd love to hear the story behind it. Was this camera given to shops, used by Pentax representatives? Any known eBay sales numbers?

10-29-2010, 02:36 PM   #5
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I have to say that you never stop impressing me. Each time I think you've got the most interesting stuff you out-do yourself. Nice catch.

As far as i've read, this cameras were made as expo stand display cameras. For example, march's photo expo in yokohama, japan had a transparent 645D in display.

There's a photo in Additional Body Photos but no more info found at hand.
10-29-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
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I wonder if you can replace the back with an ordinary SF1 back to make a usable camera?
10-29-2010, 03:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Super A-wesome Quote
I wonder if you can replace the back with an ordinary SF1 back to make a usable camera?
Pentax used to make these all the time. Probably just about every model had them at one time or another.

AFAIK, all the cameras were completely functional. Only the outer skin was transparent. The mirror box and the film handling mechanisms were all light-tight.
10-29-2010, 11:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by summonbaka Quote
I have to say that you never stop impressing me. Each time I think you've got the most interesting stuff you out-do yourself. Nice catch.
Thanks!

Maybe you would be interested to see more from my Pentax MF-1 camera? Not a ME or ME-F, but MF-1...

QuoteQuote:
As far as i've read, this cameras were made as expo stand display cameras. For example, march's photo expo in yokohama, japan had a transparent 645D in display.
Now that's one I would like to have! But the question for me still is: were these cameras made to be sold, given away, or loaned to photo shops, or only used by Pentax representatives? More info is needed.

QuoteQuote:
There's a photo in Additional Body Photos but no more info found at hand.
Yes, I know that one. But still I'd love to know more...

By the way, I made a mistake and the SMC F 35-70 appears to be completely functional. I noticed on Bojidar's site that the diaphragm ring was at another f/stop than mine. So I used a bit more force and look! The diaphragm is working perfectly now.

10-29-2010, 11:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
Pentax used to make these all the time. Probably just about every model had them at one time or another.
Indeed: I have even seen transparent Spotmatics. Another reason to have them made was to do stress tests: with special techniques it's possible to show the stress on the different body parts, and modify the design when needed.

QuoteQuote:
AFAIK, all the cameras were completely functional. Only the outer skin was transparent. The mirror box and the film handling mechanisms were all light-tight.
In the case of this SFX it is definitely not usable with film, because of the transparent back. With the back closed one can see the film wind-on spool. But installing a normal back will solve the "problem" instantly (luckily the SFX/SF1 back is easily removed, not that I have plans to use the camera though).
10-30-2010, 04:41 AM   #10
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That is so cool!
Now I want one!
10-30-2010, 08:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
Pentax used to make these all the time. Probably just about every model had them at one time or another.

AFAIK, all the cameras were completely functional. Only the outer skin was transparent. The mirror box and the film handling mechanisms were all light-tight.
Completely functional eh?

From the looks of it one would think over exposure might be a problem.

Cool camera.

Tom G
10-30-2010, 11:16 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Completely functional eh?

From the looks of it one would think over exposure might be a problem.

Cool camera.

Tom G
I think you mean that this camera excells all others in it's light-gathering ability

Thanks for sharing this, by the way, Asahiflex
10-30-2010, 11:26 AM   #13
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I'd like to see a shot with the lens in a digital camera.

I'll post some photos of the transparent 645D if you like.
10-30-2010, 11:45 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by summonbaka Quote
I'd like to see a shot with the lens in a digital camera.

I'll post some photos of the transparent 645D if you like.
I'm always interested in photos of other transparent bodies!

What do you want, a photo of the lens ON a DSLR, or a photo taken with the lens on a DSLR? If the latter then here's one (shot with the transparent 35-70 on my old *ist DS):

10-30-2010, 01:55 PM   #15
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Ned Bunnell post pics of transparent PZ1 and F 35-70mm that was given to him. According to Ned, they have a transparent K10d and K20d.

NED BUNNELL: "See-thru" Pentax PZ-1
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