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04-14-2014, 11:34 AM - 2 Likes   #1561
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1960s GAS attack

I had my first GAS attack in college in the late 1960s. In1965-66 I had bought my first SLR – a Pentax H1a with the 55mm f2.0 SuperTakumar. I also got a Tamron preset 135mm telephoto – which was a very popular focal length back then. We shot all available-light, mainly Tri-X, and just estimated exposure. But all the new models had TTL metering, and I started lusting. If I got a second body with TTL meter I could use one for B&W and one for color, or have different lenses,or… So the logical choice would have been to get a Spotmatic body, but who is logical in the midst of a GAS attack!
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Canon was known for its excellent rangefinders and lenses,and they had just come out with the FT, which had a semi-spot meter, nifty breach-lock lens mount, and some impressive lenses. The Pentax M42 mount seemed so dated… So the H1a, lenses and extension tubes went to my brother-in-law, and I switched to the Canon FT, 50mm f1.4, and 200mm f3.5 (for sports), and got the “Bell & Howell / Canon” non-metered FP as a second body.
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I really liked the FT metering. The “self-timer” lever doubled as the meter switch (that changed on later FTs), so pushing it with the right index finger toward the lens stopped down the lens and turned on the meter. I preferred it to the Spotmatic with the switch on the left of the lens mount. The Canon FL lenses also had the aperture ring at the front of the lens, like rangefinder lenses. Since I also used Leica rangefinders that seemed more normal.
The Canon FP compared well to the Pentax SV or H3v. Both had clip-on meters available, and the FP also had a mirror lockup (to the left of the lens).
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But after a year or so I noticed uneven exposure across the frame in bright sunlight shots. I found the lens diaphragms on the 50 and 200 lenses had become a bit sluggish, and would not stop fully down to small apertures before the shutter began to open, so that part of the frame would over-expose. So as I left college I traded all the Canons towards a Leicaflex SL, which I figured would be trouble-free.

Since Canon changed their lens mount for autofocus, these models and lenses are bargains now. The cameras are usually in good shape, but need lubrication of the shutter bearings (or they squeal), and often the viewfinder prisms have de-silvered where they used foam pads on top to hold them in place.
I found both a 50 1.4 and 200 3.5, and both still had sluggish diaphragms; but after cleaning out the oils and polishing with molydisulfide powder they now work fine. If you like cameras of the 60s, they are worth trying.


Last edited by TomB_tx; 04-14-2014 at 11:39 AM.
04-14-2014, 11:55 AM   #1562
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Working on my Yashica-D.
Custom paint, copper, with red accents, the covers will be black walnut wood veneer.




This is what I was working with, ready for cleaning and paint:


04-14-2014, 12:54 PM   #1563
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I had my first GAS attack in college in the late 1960s. ... If you like cameras of the 60s, they are worth trying.
Great collection and story ... TFS, J
04-15-2014, 07:20 AM   #1564
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
“Bell & Howell / Canon”
I had forgotten about the Bell & Howell/Canon connection. It looks so strange today.


Steve

04-15-2014, 07:45 AM   #1565
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Heres my full reunion. Time to slim down the ranks and add some glass.

04-15-2014, 10:28 AM   #1566
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I've run across a couple Canon FD 50mm 1.4s that are branded solely as Bell and Howell. Apparently they have some value as collector's pieces.


QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I had forgotten about the Bell & Howell/Canon connection. It looks so strange today.


Steve
04-16-2014, 01:30 AM   #1567
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I'm a sucker for Black paint.
For my recent birthday I treated myself (Rampant GAS and LBA) and I got suckered in for 2 pristine black bodies, a Spotmatic II and a SV to add to my collection
of black pentax bodies, but I think my wife trumped me with her present to me and its not black! What do you think?
Glenn
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04-16-2014, 06:13 AM   #1568
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1. I think a black SV is the prettiest camera ever made.
2. I believe that particular K was once mine.

04-16-2014, 07:18 AM   #1569
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
1. I think a black SV is the prettiest camera ever made. 2. I believe that particular K was once mine
SV's aren't just pretty cameras, in use they have an unquantifiable amazing feeling, a sort of magic, that's why I now own 4 of them.
If that K was once yours it most certainly is mine now along with its Zebra Takumar and its going no-where.
Glenn
04-16-2014, 07:27 AM   #1570
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QuoteOriginally posted by G and T Quote
SV's aren't just pretty cameras, in use they have an unquantifiable amazing feeling, a sort of magic,
I have to agree. I don't shoot much with mine, but when I do, I am reminded of just how nice the SV is.


Steve
04-16-2014, 07:32 AM   #1571
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QuoteOriginally posted by G and T Quote
SV's aren't just pretty cameras, in use they have an unquantifiable amazing feeling, a sort of magic, that's why I now own 4 of them.
If that K was once yours it most certainly is mine now along with its Zebra Takumar and its going no-where.
Glenn
Well you say it's unquantifiable, but since I never handled one, can you tell what is magic about them that the Spotmatics don't have?
04-16-2014, 07:39 AM   #1572
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I have rampant GAS too but it doesn't have anything to do with cameras. I bought an SV as my first SLR in 1965. I wish I'd known it was available in black. That is a really cool looking camera body. Nice collection.
04-16-2014, 07:40 AM   #1573
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QuoteOriginally posted by G and T Quote
SV's aren't just pretty cameras, in use they have an unquantifiable amazing feeling, a sort of magic . . . .
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have to agree. I don't shoot much with mine, but when I do, I am reminded of just how nice the SV is.


Steve
I had the Sightseeing Screwmount for a couple weeks several years ago - I think Steve also had it - and the experience was so lush and transformative that I had to have one for myself. Beauty is deeper than merelly sitting on the shelf - it is in the experience. I've just gotten a 35/50/105 Super Takumar kit to go in the bag.

I got the K and Zebra from a PF member as part of my 'try, buy, sell' quest. I sold it to a member in Australia last year and though I haven't looked through my old serial number records (on the lens) I'll bet that's the one.

There are only a few cameras I own that aren't at all times casually For Sale. The SV is one of them. My black KX'es (both focusing screens) and LX. I suppose the K-01 and the original Q. Maybe the XA. For a long time I thought the K2DMD was one but I don't miss it.

K series lenses are entirely another form of compulsive hoarding.

Last edited by monochrome; 04-16-2014 at 09:17 AM.
04-16-2014, 07:47 AM   #1574
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QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
Well you say it's unquantifiable, but since I never handled one, can you tell what is magic about them that the Spotmatics don't have?
The shutter, the mechanics and the assembly are sublime. There is no internal meter. The shape and balance are perfectly fitted to the hand.

But those are mere words. You have to experience it to know it. G and T is correct - it is unquantifiable, the stuff of poetry. A Spotmatic, by comparison, is utilitarian.
04-16-2014, 07:53 AM   #1575
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QuoteOriginally posted by wkraus Quote
Well you say it's unquantifiable, but since I never handled one, can you tell what is magic about them that the Spotmatics don't have?
Most noticably SV's are physically smaller than a Spottie and seem to be better balanced because of it ,the winder and film transport in SVs are so smooth Spotties feel a little agricultural
in comparision and the shutter is much quieter and smoother.
Glenn

---------- Post added 17th Apr 2014 at 01:05 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I got the K and Zebra from a PF member as part of my 'try, buy, sell' quest. I sold it to a member in Australia last year and though I haven't looked through my old serial number records (on the lens) I'll bet that's the one
I asked my wife where she found the K and Zebra and she told me it came from Ireland. I don't think its the same K you owned.
Glenn
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