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02-13-2008, 11:58 AM   #1
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Pentax K2

I will start with this, my first SLR is K10D; so I have no knowledge on film SLR at all, yet I love the look of the old film cameras and the color & light that film captures. so I come across a K2 in camera store, just wondering what you guys think of it? love it? hate it? great to use? Anything I should pay attention to?

Thanks

Vic

02-13-2008, 12:49 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
I will start with this, my first SLR is K10D; so I have no knowledge on film SLR at all, yet I love the look of the old film cameras and the color & light that film captures. so I come across a K2 in camera store, just wondering what you guys think of it? love it? hate it? great to use? Anything I should pay attention to?

Thanks

Vic
I have one on its way to me that I bought on ebay. It's basically a K1000 with aperture priority mode (and a few other bells and whistles). I believe it was the top of the line model of the K series of cameras. The only gripe I've heard about them is that it is difficult to use the film speed collar around the lens mount. I liked my K1000 and I love my MX, so I can't wait to try it out. One thing to check are the light seals in the film door, and the foam that cushions the mirror during an exposure. On old cameras, both are usually a gummy mess that needs to be replaced. You can get a great replacement kit from Jon Goodman, who sells on ebay under the name interslice (or something like that).
02-13-2008, 02:28 PM   #3
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If it's anything like the KX (and I know it is) you will love it. I've been looking for a nice black K2 to use with my KX instead of the MX that I use now. Post your thoughts and questions on it when you have taken it out for a test roll.
02-13-2008, 04:30 PM   #4
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Great film camera

My K2 is one of my favorite Pentax film bodies among the seven I own. It's the oldest K-mount body yet very advanced for its time.

Finn's comments are right on. I agree the film speed setting control is a little unusal, but since you have no prior experience with film SLRs it may not bug you. Also, I'd recommend checking the battery test button on the back to see if it works (they have a tendency to get stuck); press it in with your thumbnail--the LED lights if the battery is OK--the button should spring back out when released. You'll need to use K-mount lenses with an aperture ring (some of the newer lenses omit this ring).

Mine was just overhauled by Eric Hendrickson and works like new. Good solid metal body that is a little larger than the M-series cameras (some find those too small). Nice viewfinder match-needle metering in manual mode, and the aperture priority automatic mode works well. If you get a good one, the metal shutter has a smooth and reassuring "snap." Also, it has a mirror lock-up feature, useful for minimizing vibration in macro or astrophotography.

Good luck!

02-13-2008, 05:47 PM   #5
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Nice thing about the K2 which makes it different from many other K cameras is the vertically run metal shutter.

My KX is horizontal fabris shutter.

You are still limited to 1/1000 shutter and 1/60 flash sync.

If you want to get a similar camera, but add motor winder, and diagonal split image, plus 1/2000 shutter and 1/125 sync, look for a ricoh XR-2s.

Similar in all respects, just 6-7 years newer
02-14-2008, 12:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
I will start with this, my first SLR is K10D; so I have no knowledge on film SLR at all, yet I love the look of the old film cameras and the color & light that film captures. so I come across a K2 in camera store, just wondering what you guys think of it? love it? hate it? great to use? Anything I should pay attention to?

Thanks

Vic
I bought a K2 new right after they came out---traded a spotamatic off for it, and I used and loved it for about 20 years until it hit the floor one too many times and alas it was not the same. No other camera in my lifetime has lasted so long or been so reliable.
02-14-2008, 02:23 PM   #7
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Cool, I will check it out, thanks for all the info. Any film camera I should check out too? I heard LX is great.
02-14-2008, 02:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
Cool, I will check it out, thanks for all the info. Any film camera I should check out too? I heard LX is great.
I love my LX ... well both of them. The first one I bought new in january 1981, and I still use it. It got "sticky mirror" in 2003 and had to go to service, but otherwise; not a problem in 27 years.
The second one I bought used in 2002, from a guy whose father had bought it in the same camera shop as I bought mine, but three months later. It had the sticky mirror service done in 1999, but it is acting up a bit and will go for another service next month.
I fully expect to get another 10-20 years out of them.

-- MW

02-14-2008, 04:40 PM   #9
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I had a K2 that I dearly loved. The meter eventually became erratic and my local repair shop wasn't able to fix it. Since I had only paid $20 for it and had used it as my main camera for about 10 years, I figured I'd gotten my money's worth. To replace it, I bought an LX. If forced to choose between my K2 and my LX, I'd have to pick the LX, but not by much.
02-19-2008, 11:58 AM   #10
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Well, the K2 I bought for a song based on a couple of blurry photos came today, and it's great! Black gummy powder (that used to be light seals) dribbled onto the table when I opened the film door, but that is to be expected with any old camera. I wish it had a split prism viewfinder, but I'm not complaining too much. Best of all, there's an absolutely immaculate K 50/1.4 attached. Not a mark on it! Bonus!
02-19-2008, 02:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I had a K2 that I dearly loved. The meter eventually became erratic and my local repair shop wasn't able to fix it. Since I had only paid $20 for it and had used it as my main camera for about 10 years, I figured I'd gotten my money's worth. To replace it, I bought an LX. If forced to choose between my K2 and my LX, I'd have to pick the LX, but not by much.
well my next choice is a super program or program A if you are out of the US.---one level of technology better than a K2 because it will do a shutter priority and the 'program mode', but lost is the ability to function without
batteries.
02-20-2008, 02:57 PM   #12
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The K2 is a very nice camera, but often overlooked. It is a great value used, if you find a good working one.
If all else checks out okay, be sure you can easily adjust film speed ring, as this is a weak point on this model.

Chris
02-20-2008, 03:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Finn Quote
Well, the K2 I bought for a song based on a couple of blurry photos came today, and it's great! Black gummy powder (that used to be light seals) dribbled onto the table when I opened the film door, but that is to be expected with any old camera. I wish it had a split prism viewfinder, but I'm not complaining too much. Best of all, there's an absolutely immaculate K 50/1.4 attached. Not a mark on it! Bonus!
That is amazing, the lens is probably worth more than the body then. I wish I could get that lucky sometime, K50/1.4 is my favorite lens, cherish it and love it! And you didn't know what lens sat on the body when you bought it?
02-23-2008, 09:16 AM   #14
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K2 rocks

QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
I will start with this, my first SLR is K10D; so I have no knowledge on film SLR at all, yet I love the look of the old film cameras and the color & light that film captures. so I come across a K2 in camera store, just wondering what you guys think of it? love it? hate it? great to use? Anything I should pay attention to?

Thanks

Vic
The K2 was the flagship of the Pentax K series of the mid to late 70s later replaced by the LX. It boasted most of the features one would expect from a “professional” camera of its vintage. These features included: mirror lockup, depth of field preview, +/- 2 (1 EV steps) over/under exposure compensation, a vast range of ASA from 8 ~ 6400, self timer 5~9 seconds, flash sync 125th of a second, automatic shutter priority and full manual match needle mode. Metering is center-weighted, accurate and reliable. I tend to think of the K2 as a K1000 on steroids. The K2DMD variant of this camera featured a motor drive, data backs as well as an aperture window. I can’t imagine why anyone would buy a K1000 if a K2 were available. You just get so much more. Hell, it even works without batteries. I also have a Pentax MX and some have suggested to me that the K2 is a bit bulky by comparison. The MX is also a fine camera but I tend to think the downsizing of cameras during the M series era was hardly an improvement but rather a means to make cameras cheaper to produce. The K2 is built like a tank and was built to last. I find it suits my hand far better than my diminutive Pentax MX. I purchased a K2 used in 1992 and continue to use it to this day. The foam was recently replaced as it was in for a cleaning, lube and adjustment. You might want to examine the foam in the unit you are considering. Most cameras of this age will need work in this area. You might as well send it in for a CLA at the same time. Once done it should be good for another 20 years. I expect mine to outlast me. Initially, setting the ASA was a bit difficult but once you figure out how it works it is actually quite simple to set. As I recall before the K2 was sent in for CLA the ASA dial was quite stiff. The “lube job” during CLA freed the ring up considerably and it was much improved when I got it back. The K2 has a “quality” feel about it. It is a substantial well-made camera. The same can be said of the K series lenses that were introduced with this series of cameras. I know I’m speaking to the converted in this forum but the brass and glass construction of these K series lenses just shout quality. Pentax optics have always been highly regarded and with good reason. If both the lab and I do our jobs properly this camera and lenses deliver remarkable images. If you are considering a foray into the world of 35mm film you could do a lot worse than the K2. Long story short Vic I like the K2 a lot and I think you will too.

Last edited by 8540tomg; 02-23-2008 at 09:21 AM.
02-23-2008, 09:52 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimfear Quote
That is amazing, the lens is probably worth more than the body then. I wish I could get that lucky sometime, K50/1.4 is my favorite lens, cherish it and love it! And you didn't know what lens sat on the body when you bought it?
Well, I knew that a K50/1.4 was on it, but I had no idea about the condition. It was not mentioned in the text of the listing, and the only photo was pretty blurry.
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