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06-19-2012, 02:56 AM   #1
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Scored on old Pentax Manuals

At one of my regular hangout shops in Tokyo I found a huge box full of old manuals on sale for 10 yen a piece ($0.12)!
They were all Pentax and Minolta.
I grabbed several Pentax ones that related to the equipment I own. I already have a couple versions of the Spotmatic manual, the famous (just because of the back cover photo) 6x7 manual and a few others but these were new for me. I've found that Pentax made some of the best manuals. The spotmatic manuals are really informative and well written. You actually learn quite a bit about photography by reading them carefully. I don't know how the English translations were but the original stuff in Japanese is quite impressive.

Here's what I picked up today.


(In English!)





An older version of the same manual





A newer version

06-19-2012, 04:00 AM   #2
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Very cool! I like finding and looking through old photographic manuals, advertising and the like.
06-19-2012, 04:11 AM   #3
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i have foound that Pentax canada, (Now Ricoh Pentax Canada) had a very good collection of old manuals scanned and available in PDF format. I no longer have the link but if yo get to the site go to support and download old manuals
06-19-2012, 08:30 AM   #4
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One of the interesting things about these Japanese Pentax manuals is their choice of photos. They got away with inclusion of NSFW type photos in several of them in an era when I doubt it would have gone over in the U.S.
Probably the most famous example is the back cover photo of the 6x7 manual which features a young lady in a fishnet top.
Two of the lens catalogs I got today feature a full nude for the 17/4 lens sample photo.
And one of my SP catalogs has a barely censored topless shot as well.
Actually I wouldn't be surprised if Pentax materials made for Europe were similar but my guess is that the U.S. stuff got censored.

06-19-2012, 08:44 AM   #5
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From my experience the US stuff was censored, but the dedication to peripheral photography instruction transferred into the US manuals.

If you ever want to just read the US Manuals and/or download excellent scans visit Pentax-Manuals, a collection of wonderful scans by a Brit named Robin Coxon. A couple of the Spottie manuals came out of my collection some years ago.
06-19-2012, 10:22 PM   #6
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Thanks. That is a great resource.
06-20-2012, 06:28 AM   #7
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I have the bottom Takumar lens brochure. the one with the adorable little girl. a great resource. is the other one the same on the inside as in what is featured?
06-20-2012, 12:28 PM   #8
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Revdocjim,
Have you visited this site? Butkus Library of. . . This guy has a nice collection of camera manuals of many brands.
If you are willing you could send him an email and ask if he would like copy. Butkus Manuals are free and only asks for donations.

06-20-2012, 05:15 PM   #9
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Yes, I am a frequent visitor of the Butkus site. I would be surprised if he wanted copies of Japanese manuals. Perhaps the 110 manual in that is in English...
06-20-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I have the bottom Takumar lens brochure. the one with the adorable little girl. a great resource. is the other one the same on the inside as in what is featured?
There are a few differences but they are largely the same.

1. Photo for the 18mm f/11 is different
2. Both photos fro the 28/3.5 are different
3. Prices on the last page are all different. The one with the little boy and dog on the cover are about 10-20% higher.
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