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01-06-2008, 06:53 AM   #1
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Pentax SV: I'll Be Kicking It Old Skool (As Usual)

For better or worse I just won an auction on a Pentax SV.

Under $40, with a CLA and new shutter curtains. And they offer to take it back for any defects other than cosmetic ones within a week. Don't need the lens, but I'll take it.

01-06-2008, 07:34 AM   #2
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Sweet deal. Nice camera. My brother in law has one, suffers from Reluctant Mirror Return syndrome.
01-06-2008, 07:52 AM   #3
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I've heard about that, and the problem they have with shutter curtains.

This one underwent an ultrasound cleaning, lube job, shutter curtain replacement, shutter speed adjustment, and maybe some more besides. Seems to be a guy who likes to buy up the old stuff, fix them up, and get them back into shooting condition. He started the bid (he said) at just the cost to him of the camera and the parts he used. Bidding opened at $27 and I got it for $36 plus shipping and bank transfer costs, which will probably run me about another $10-12.

Now I need to go online and order a nice 10 pack of Centuria 200 film for it.
01-06-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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Nice catch Mike! Cleaned up and ready for film and under $50!! I am jealous. :ugh:

From Danilo Cecchi's book, Asahi Pentax and the Pentax SLR 35mm Cameras 1952 - 1989; "The Asahi Pentax SV represented the best of the Asahi Pentax generation without a built-in Exposure meter. It is the culmination and natural evolution of the models which had preceded it. ... The most interesting feature of the Asahi Pentax SV was a timing mechanism for delayed-action release." Perfect for self-portraits!

01-06-2008, 02:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
From Danilo Cecchi's book, Asahi Pentax and the Pentax SLR 35mm Cameras 1952 - 1989; "The Asahi Pentax SV represented the best of the Asahi Pentax generation without a built-in Exposure meter. It is the culmination and natural evolution of the models which had preceded it. ... The most interesting feature of the Asahi Pentax SV was a timing mechanism for delayed-action release." Perfect for self-portraits!
Yes, I can vouch for this. Pentax learned as they went. For example there were a number of parts in the earlier models that were made of mild steel. This led to failures. Specifically issue with the mirrors return and with the shutters.

My understanding is that the SV was quite popular with the Press. This from my father who shot pictures for the Newark News.

Congrats on your purchase. Well done!

woof
01-06-2008, 09:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
From Danilo Cecchi's book, Asahi Pentax and the Pentax SLR 35mm Cameras 1952 - 1989; "The Asahi Pentax SV represented the best of the Asahi Pentax generation without a built-in Exposure meter. It is the culmination and natural evolution of the models which had preceded it. ... The most interesting feature of the Asahi Pentax SV was a timing mechanism for delayed-action release." Perfect for self-portraits!
Is it ok that I borrowed this quote for another forum? A poster there had one of these and didn't know a thing about it - she's copped flak from one poster who derided it as worthless (probably because it uses Digit Focusing and the .AgBr, .AgCl or .AgI RAW file capture systems.)
01-07-2008, 02:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Is it ok that I borrowed this quote for another forum? A poster there had one of these and didn't know a thing about it - she's copped flak from one poster who derided it as worthless (probably because it uses Digit Focusing and the .AgBr, .AgCl or .AgI RAW file capture systems.)
To many photographers "film" is a four letter word. Lots of modern day photogs wouldn't know a bus stop from an f stop.

Feel free to use this or any quote but to be fair to the author his name and the book title should be cited.

Last edited by J.Scott; 01-07-2008 at 03:21 AM.
01-07-2008, 05:06 AM   #8
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A few days ago when I went walking around downtown to shoot with my old beat-up Aires Reflex TLR, I did what I normally do...I strapped my K100D to my belt with a tripod-screw wrist strap, stuck a couple of lenses in my pocket.

Shot two rolls with the TLR and the K100D never fired a shot.

Sometimes it is very fun and refreshing to haul out an antique and get back to where there was more involved to the snapshot process than pointing and shooting. Let's face it, even with our modern DSLRs a lot of we do amounts to little more than that much of the time. Sure, we may be seriously trying for serious photos....and getting them....but much of the interfacing with the equipment we have pre-dialed into our settings menus or otherwise left to some firmware designers.

It's nice every now and then to be forced to slow down and bring the interaction with the equipment a little more prominently into the process on a shot-by-shot basis.

And it's even fun to alternate between cameras leaving some to sit midway through rolls of film, only to go back weeks or months later and finish it off, having entirey forgotten what the heck you took on the first part of it. I have at least a half dozen film camera sitting around like that, and I'll finish them off as the mood strikes me. There's something to be said for delayed gratification.

I think at the present moment I have seven 35mm rangefinders, six of which contain partially shot rolls of film. Ditto two medium format folders. My brownie and the three TLRs are empty at the moment, but the brownie and two of the TLRs saw use over the New Year's break, as did one of the 35mm rangefinders. I have two rolls of 120 and a roll of 35 off at the lab, due back tomorrow and the day after. Three more rolls of exposed 120 sit in the fridge and will probably be sent off tomorrow.

And now the SV will be coming my way soon, with a big batch of film ordered from Tokyo (cheaper than driving to the store and getting it myself) primarily for it. Together with the K100D it will make only my second Pentax ever. And if you asked me my brand, I'd say I'm a Pentax man....even though I own (and use) six Yashicas.

01-07-2008, 07:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Sometimes it is very fun and refreshing to haul out an antique and get back to where there was more involved to the snapshot process than pointing and shooting.
Yes. I discovered this two years ago. Since that time I've relearned much of what I'd forgotten that Dad taught me. I re-learned Sunny 16 rules and have gotten relatively good at it.

The first step to a great negative starts with how you originally exposed the film. Slow down. Think about what you are shooting and how you will maximize impact and image quality.

Anyone who thinks these cameras are not relevant probably never really understood the relationship between iso/aperture/shutter speed. They may not understand how to use depth of field, and what a good bokeh looks like and can do for a photograph. Even if they know what these things are, they probably do not have a clear understanding of how to get there. Frankly, their attitude that it is junk gives away their lack of understanding. Those who know feel nothing but reverence. Any monkey can use an automatic camera.

Relearning the antiques has improved my picture taking skills with the digital. Increasingly I find myself in manual mode doing stop down metering on old lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
I think at the present moment I have seven 35mm rangefinders, six of which contain partially shot rolls of film.
More and more, you are making me feel better about my situation... I have a similar number of old SLR bodies kicking around.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
And now the SV will be coming my way soon, with a big batch of film ordered from Tokyo (cheaper than driving to the store and getting it myself) primarily for it. Together with the K100D it will make only my second Pentax ever. And if you asked me my brand, I'd say I'm a Pentax man....even though I own (and use) six Yashicas.
More details on your film purchase? I'd love to know sources, etc. I just ordered a bunch of Fuji Reala 100 in 12 exposure rolls. 12 exposures allows me to get in an out quickly. Reala renders colors beautifully in these old cameras, and is true to the kinds of film speeds that were available in the day. The resulting negs convert digitally to black and white very, very nicely.

Mike... if you like this stuff, seriously consider getting a Spotmatic "F." It is really nice to have the meter, and it will do both stop down metering with the lenses you get for the SV, and will allow you to do open aperture metering with SMC Takumars. It is kind of like having two cameras... a plain old Spotmatic which itself was a revelation, and the open aperture "F." The "F" was every bit the masterpiece that the SV was, and in fact it was another pinnacle in the Pentax development. An indisputable world-class camera.

Enjoy!

woof
01-07-2008, 07:55 AM   #10
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Thing about film photography is that the bits that actually take the photo can be easily upgraded. In some cases, for as much as ten bucks...

The film and and the lenses are what really makes the pictures, and these are easy and simple to upgrade, which explains the longevity of film cameras, methinks.

However, when you know that your images will seem severely limited in twelve month's time.
01-07-2008, 08:06 AM   #11
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Ditto for me - there are times I'll mainly use my motley crew of old folders and the Diacord. The slower work and limitations are both a refreshement AND remind me again of the ontogeny/philogeny of some of the reasons why we are where we are now.

I learned photography using a Pen FT, where you transferred the number from the meter to the number on the lens... It was a step below match needle, but it was TLM... the temptation was to meter once, and leave it at that... results were negatives all over the place density wise.

When I moved up to a OM2s, the immediate improvement was in consistency of exposure, and the larger size negative helped also.

The past two years, I've attempted a personal re-ontogeny in photography - going back to old folding cameras, dealing with my anxieties about focus and exposure...

And I finally got a Spottie, SP1000.
01-07-2008, 05:16 PM   #12
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Tip..... If you stick with the last models of this camera (Asahi SV3, S1A, Honeywell H3V, H1A), you can avoid some of the shutter curtain problems associated with earlier models, due to a redesign & strengthening of such.
01-09-2008, 06:46 PM   #13
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[QUOTE][/Pentax SV: I'll Be Kicking It Old Skool (As Usual)
QUOTE]

Man, that looks just like my old Miranda Sensomat 35MM which I have owned for 35 years. JIMBO
01-10-2008, 03:07 AM   #14
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@woof

I ordered the film from ヨドバシカメラ:人気の電化製品が何でも揃う!, not an option for you unless you are in Japan.

I do plan on getting a Spotmatic F at some point in the future. Just working my way up the life of camera development at the moment.

The SV arrived last night and I took it to work today and did quite a bit of shooting with it. This thing looks like it just came off the assembly line. It has a very, very tiny ding on top of the pentaprism housing and some negligible amount of junk on the mirror (not visible through the viewfinder). The viewfinder is much brighter than I had been led to believe from reading about it online and focusing is incredibly easy with this camera. And while I have shot many thousands of photos with Takumars on my K100D, shooting Takumars from full aperture rather than stopped down is a very welcome novelty. The wind-up clockwork self-timer is a gas.
01-10-2008, 07:27 AM   #15
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>> I do plan on getting a Spotmatic F at some point in the future. Just working my way up the
>> life of camera development at the moment.

That's actually a good idea. On the one hand you will already be comfortable in this rather prosaic world, and on the other you will appreciate what the F brings to the equation and will be able to better use it.

>> The viewfinder is much brighter than I had been led to believe from reading about it
>> online

It's fine. Anyone who thinks it's too dim needs to move the auto/manual switch to the auto setting... heh.

>> and focusing is incredibly easy with this camera.

I assume you don't have a split screen. I personally like the Pentax focus system for these cameras very much. The lenses themselves when properly operational are very smooth, fine instruments.

>> And while I have shot many thousands of photos with Takumars on my K100D, shooting
>> Takumars from full aperture rather than stopped down is a very welcome novelty. The
>> wind-up clockwork self-timer is a gas.

"Bright field" focusing is what the manuals call it. I am experimenting with how this can be done using Takumars of various with stripes with my digitals.

Going backward in the evolution is fun too. Prior to the Super Takumars, they had Auto-Takumars which were semi-auto save for the last 55mm f1.8 which was a prototype of the Super-Takumar. The Autos (with the one noted exception) all have a little spring loaded cocking mechanism which cocks the aperture open and which is released in the same manner the Supers are - via a pin. The only difference is that you then have to cock it again if you need to change focus, etc. Prior to that of course, they had Pre-set lenses, which actually work relatively well on digitals if you use the right sequence (though it's NOT good for shooting pictures of your kids). Each step in the evolution was nice and brought something to the table in terms of flexibility.

Somewhere along the line you might want to pick an Auto-Takumar up just to have a little fun with the previous technology which went back to the Pentax "K" in 1958. I'd probably suggest the f3.5/35mm because they are the plentiful, very compact, and relatively inexpensive. This lens was the forerunner of the later Super Takumar f3.5/35mm, and was the first lens to have the little signature Pentax distance window on the barrel. It's actually a must-have lens for the collector but makes a great little shooter. Second choice would probably be the f2.2/55mm, but that might be a waste given what you already have. Anything else will probably run into too much $$$ for a novelty.

Anyway, sounds like you are up and running and that's great. Enjoy!

woof
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