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10-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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Asahiflex iia - manual, information, instructions?

I've just found myself the proud owner of what seems to be a very smooth and clean Asahiflex iia from Lucky Camera in Toyko. This is same camera that was sold in the States as a Sears Tower 22.

I can figure out well enough how to work it as everything seems pretty straight forward, but I'm wondering if anyone can give me a bit of guidance before I just pop a roll of film into it. Any trips, tips, caveats?

Maybe it's the rough similarity in appearance to an early Zorki that gives me the impression that it will explode if I don't do the proper rain dance before entering the sacred realm of its film compartment.

I can find links to a manual for it circa 2005 (the links, not the manual obviously) but that file now points to a big ol' 404. Is there anywhere else to find this?


Last edited by jesssss; 10-06-2012 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Corrected the US name
10-06-2012, 03:43 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Asahiflex Pentax II instruction manual, user manual, free PFD camera manuals
10-06-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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Wonderful! Thanks!
10-06-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jesssss Quote
Wonderful! Thanks!
Hey no problem, Bookmark that site and send them a few pennies if you can. I have found it priceless.

10-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jesssss Quote
I've just found myself the proud owner of what seems to be a very smooth and clean Asahiflex iia from Lucky Camera in Toyko. This is same camera that was sold in the States as a Sears Tower 22.

I can figure out well enough how to work it as everything seems pretty straight forward, but I'm wondering if anyone can give me a bit of guidance before I just pop a roll of film into it. Any trips, tips, caveats?

Maybe it's the rough similarity in appearance to an early Zorki that gives me the impression that it will explode if I don't do the proper rain dance before entering the sacred realm of its film compartment.

I can find links to a manual for it circa 2005 (the links, not the manual obviously) but that file now points to a big ol' 404. Is there anywhere else to find this?
You are fortunate! My father bought a IIa in the mid '50s when it was new. It is a delightful little camera! In case you hadn't noticed the top shutter speed dial rotates as the shutter runs, as I recall the shutter must be wound to set speeds. As he was left handed and eyed his nose sometimes fouled the dial, no damage but the exposure was off. I think the top dial must be set to 1/25 to use the front panel slow speed dial, but Mike Butkus' files should tell you that.

While there were some excellent lenses available for the Asahiflex chances of finding any are from slim to none. The lens mount is 37mm so Leica 39mm lenses won't fit, even if they would the register distance, flange to film, is too great. I've never heard of any adaptors for 42mm thread lenses, again an adaptor would probably add to the register distance making infinity focus impossible. Asahi had a pretty full range of lenses from 35mm to I think 400mm, bellows and tubes for close up work, etc.

The two normal lenses I know of were a f3.5 and f2.4, both good. Eric Hendrickson at pentaxs.com is the Pentax go to guy. If you need repairs, he's the guy. I need to send my father's IIa off to him, it is a battle-scarred veteran and I'd like to shoot with it again for old time's sake. BTW your info says you're in Appalachia, my father taught ChemE at WV Tech in Montgomery for many years. Beautiful country....
10-06-2012, 06:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
You are fortunate! My father bought a IIa in the mid '50s when it was new. It is a delightful little camera! In case you hadn't noticed the top shutter speed dial rotates as the shutter runs, as I recall the shutter must be wound to set speeds. As he was left handed and eyed his nose sometimes fouled the dial, no damage but the exposure was off. I think the top dial must be set to 1/25 to use the front panel slow speed dial, but Mike Butkus' files should tell you that.

While there were some excellent lenses available for the Asahiflex chances of finding any are from slim to none. The lens mount is 37mm so Leica 39mm lenses won't fit, even if they would the register distance, flange to film, is too great. I've never heard of any adaptors for 42mm thread lenses, again an adaptor would probably add to the register distance making infinity focus impossible. Asahi had a pretty full range of lenses from 35mm to I think 400mm, bellows and tubes for close up work, etc.

The two normal lenses I know of were a f3.5 and f2.4, both good. Eric Hendrickson at pentaxs.com is the Pentax go to guy. If you need repairs, he's the guy. I need to send my father's IIa off to him, it is a battle-scarred veteran and I'd like to shoot with it again for old time's sake. BTW your info says you're in Appalachia, my father taught ChemE at WV Tech in Montgomery for many years. Beautiful country....
Thanks for the info! I've been out of the Pentax message board circles for some time now after being a heavy dpreviewer and have lost my bearings a bit on where all of the good Pentax information is.

This one has the 58mm f/2.4 and is quite a little beauty. I've been looking at them online for years but knew that I'd never pull the trigger. My husband (MechE from another of the mountain Techs) just spent a week in Japan for work, leaving me with an anxious and acutely teething toddler. I would've been more than pleased if he had just brought himself back today. When he pulled out a red Lucky's bag I thought that maybe he's run across a decent lens. When I started unwrapping a camera, I thought that maybe he'd picked up something like a Canonet or some other cute little rangefinder. When I finally got the thing completely out of its wrapping, I just about lost my breath and just sat there and stuttered for several minutes.

He's left-handed as well, so when he borrows it I will make sure to keep an eye on his top dial for him.
10-06-2012, 06:57 PM   #7
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Good deal! Your husband is a very thoughtful guy.

My father's old warrior has the f3.5, also a Tower 35mm, and the Takumar 83mm f1.9. As an amateur botanist he did a lot of closeup/macro work so he bought the bellows and extension tubes. Close up work in those days without TTL metering was a little challenging, since the lens extension had to be factored into the exposure. He carried a pocket 5 inch slip-stick, or slide rule to figure the compensation. Still, he got some fine pictures. BTW, I've seen the IIa in nice condition with the f2.4 for upwards of $500. on FleaBay. Another mounting a Leica Hektor, which I think is a short mount lens, on an extension tube/adaptor for something like $600. Since the Hektor would be strictly manual diaphragm the combo wouldn't be any fun to use. Enjoy!
10-07-2012, 05:24 PM   #8
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I have a IIa with the 58 2.4, and it is capable of nice results. The closing curtain on mine has gotten stiff and would drag, so I sent it to Eric Hendrickson, who made a new curtain and fixed other minor issues, and now it works as close to "new" as possible for a camera of this age. So if you find any problems, send Eric an email.

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