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09-29-2013, 01:51 PM   #1
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Asahiflex M42 - how rare?

First post here after much lurking.

I just acquired an Asahiflex IIA with 58mm 2.4 in remarkably nice condition (fully functioning as well) - I was more than pleased with the price I paid ($300), considering how clean the lens and body are, and that it also came with a host of bits and bobs.

To my surprise it was the end-of-run M42 mount version (both body and lens) - I'm having quite the time finding any info about just how rare the M42 IIAs are.

I have no intention of parting with it, but I guess it would be nice to know what kind of bargain I got (if any)

Thanks for any info or pointing in right directions you can give me - I've attached a couple of photos of the item for your perusal

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09-29-2013, 06:53 PM - 1 Like   #3
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That is a nice looking camera
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09-29-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for those links - none of them however have what I was looking form which is how many of the M42 version were produced. But again, thanks for putting such lovely effort into answering my inquiry!

09-29-2013, 07:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrick9 Quote
That is a nice looking camera
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Thank you Patrick! It really is a gem to hold and look at. If they ever made a new digital small camera of this type, it would certainly be a good place to look for inspiration!
09-30-2013, 12:16 AM   #6
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Weren't all the Asahiflex cameras m42? None of them were K mount that's for sure. Were they mostly m39 in that era. I am not at home atm so unable to visit my library.
09-30-2013, 04:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arjay Bee Quote
Weren't all the Asahiflex cameras m42? None of them were K mount that's for sure. Were they mostly m39 in that era. I am not at home atm so unable to visit my library.
Hi Arjay - they were mostly M37, which is an Asahiflex oddity. When they started to use Pentaprisms (and moved to the Pentax name), they switched to M42 - a few Asahiflex cameras right around this point were made with M42 mounts.

Spotmatics are all M42 mount.
09-30-2013, 06:07 AM   #8
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I'd heard of prototype pentaprism Asahiflex still with M37, but your M42 sounds like a "rarest of the rare" example. You may be right: using up Asahiflex parts with the new mount, or a special markets lower priced model during early Pentax production. I have a normal IIa M37, and love the tiny size of the lens. I wonder how the size changed with the M42.

09-30-2013, 06:12 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I'd heard of prototype pentaprism Asahiflex still with M37, but your M42 sounds like a "rarest of the rare" example. You may be right: using up Asahiflex parts with the new mount, or a special markets lower priced model during early Pentax production. I have a normal IIa M37, and love the tiny size of the lens. I wonder how the size changed with the M42.
I have the same lens in the M37 mount and they are the same size. I also have a IIB with M37 and the bodies are identical except for the slow knob. The 2.4 is a really nice lens - mounted in on my 5D to give it a quick test
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09-30-2013, 09:27 AM   #10
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I agree the 2.4 lens is very well done. I've tried it a bit on my K-5 with M37-42 and 42-K adapters, but the back of the lens doesn't go beyond the M42 size to the surface of the K-mount, so it isn't very solid. But I have had some nice results on film with the Asahiflex. A bit slow to work with, unless you scale focus and use the top viewfinder, which is how I use my 1930s Leica standard (no rangefinder).
09-30-2013, 12:05 PM   #11
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Please post some pictures of the backside of the lens, I would like to know if the lens has been converted from m37 to m42. Thank you!

(I'm asking this because it's always been my impression that M42 Asahiflexes have been converted by just changing the front with the M37 screwmount with one from a later body (the four screws on later bodies are in exactly the same spot)

Last edited by Asahiflex; 09-30-2013 at 12:51 PM.
09-30-2013, 04:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Please post some pictures of the backside of the lens, I would like to know if the lens has been converted from m37 to m42. Thank you!

(I'm asking this because it's always been my impression that M42 Asahiflexes have been converted by just changing the front with the M37 screwmount with one from a later body (the four screws on later bodies are in exactly the same spot)
Hey there - a good suggestion, and having had a look, it certainly looks possible that there is some conversion, the mount on the body looks solid though. Sorry about the quality, my tripod is at work.

Thanks for having a look
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09-30-2013, 11:22 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Thank you very much! What you're seeing there on the back of the 58mm f/2.4 is the original Asahiflex M37 to M42 adapter. I know, I have that adapter too and it's easily discernible because of its slit (for easy removing, otherwise it would sit extremely tight, impossible to remove) and the knurled ring. Possibly it's glued to the lens now.

So this further supports my idea that M42 Asahiflexes have been "upgraded" with the appropiate front part with mount from later M42 Pentax cameras.

Anyway, it's definitely a good deal thanks to the "free" adapter ring.
10-01-2013, 05:08 AM - 1 Like   #14
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That adapter ring is impossible to find now - much rarer than the camera. I picked up a copy off eBay machined from plastic, which works but floats free instead of locking on the lens, and has no flange.
10-01-2013, 05:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Thank you very much! What you're seeing there on the back of the 58mm f/2.4 is the original Asahiflex M37 to M42 adapter. I know, I have that adapter too and it's easily discernible because of its slit (for easy removing, otherwise it would sit extremely tight, impossible to remove) and the knurled ring. Possibly it's glued to the lens now.

So this further supports my idea that M42 Asahiflexes have been "upgraded" with the appropiate front part with mount from later M42 Pentax cameras.

Anyway, it's definitely a good deal thanks to the "free" adapter ring.
Thanks so much! When I saw that slit, I suspected it was an adapter ( a fairly hard to get one if I understand!). Any idea how many of the M42 bodies were made for the IIA?
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