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05-07-2008, 09:54 AM   #1
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I have a soft spot for film based Pentax cameras and have been researching the history of Pentax 35mm SLR Cams, etc. Where would you rate the K2 in the long established history of Pentaxs' great 35mm cams b/w entry/professional level??? I recently won a K2 on ebay and I am excited about it.

I am trying to get my hands on a Pentax LX, but they are rare on eBay and when found, still fetch upwards over the $300 mark.....one day!

Thanks for the input.


Last edited by Scout Pro; 05-07-2008 at 10:06 AM.
05-07-2008, 10:37 AM   #2
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well its without a doubt the best of the K series, and you are going to have one fine camera. I just hope you can get used to that awkward ASA dial. most people I think are going to be torn between the K2 and the MX, the MX is the more professional camera in most respects including interchangeable focusing screens (you could have a K2 with different screens but they had to be purchased that way). and was marketed as a pro camera but its small size (and believe me its small) makes it a no go for most. the LX is however without a doubt the best of the bunch and despite its notorious 'sticky mirror' syndrome is is the most professional camera (not counting medium format) that pentax ever produced. I would say though that the K2 and MX stand on pretty equal ground right behind the LX. if you are looking at collecting some of these fine cameras then you will without a doubt have to add an MX.

I think these are the best of the best for each lens era (please correct me if I'm wrong) not for each camera era.

m37: Asahi Opt. Co. Ltd. Asahiflex IIB
m42: Asahi Pentax Spotmatic ESII
K: Asahi Pentax K2
M: Asahi Pentax MX
and the later Asahi Pentax LX
A: Pentax SuperA (european camera of the year 1983)
(the US version was the superPROGRAM it won no awards but was the same camera)
F: Pentax SFXn/SF1n
FA: Pentax Z-1p/PZ-1p
and the later Pentax MZ-S

Last edited by séamuis; 05-07-2008 at 10:42 AM.
05-07-2008, 01:43 PM   #3
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Pentax K2

As I have not used the entire range of Pentax film cameras I can't honestly rate the K2 in relation to its other siblings. I have used the K2 and MX for over 20 years however. I have had some limited experience with the LX which I feel is the best film camera Pentax ever produced. I don't think the K2 gets it due though. This is a really fine camera. It is built like a tank and boasts all the features one might expect from a “professionally oriented” camera of the mid 1970s. I have never understood why people seem to buy the K1000 when the K2 is superior in every conceivable way. In spite of this the K1000 seems to draw the higher price on EBAY. Go figure? Where does the K2 stand? As with the post above I place it just below the LX. The LX combines the best of the K2 and MX. It then adds the best meter ever put in a film SLR and takes things to a higher level.

I would be hard pressed to choose between my MX and the K2. The auto exposure, mirror lockup, ASA range and faster flash sync are all features I like on the K2. The winder/motor drive, f stop aperture window, ability to change focusing screens is a big plus on the MX. I don’t have the DMD K2 so the motor drive isn’t available to me. As for the odd ASA setting I have never had a problem with it. The ASA ring was a bit stiff when I bought it. I had the camera serviced at that time and it has worked very well ever since. It takes two hands but I think you will find it fairly simple once you get used to it. Compared to all the features on my K10 digital changing the ASA on the K2 is a snap! Just enjoy it. You have a fine photographic tool there. Slap a Pentax lens on it and run a few rolls of film through it. Those images will tell you all you need to know about the K2.

By the way Danilo Checchi's Asahi Pentax and Pentax SLR 35mm Cameras 1952-1989 provides a good history of the Pentax film offerings through that period of time. It is a Hove publication with a 1990 copyright date.

================

Supplement: After reading the comments below/above regarding setting the ASA on the K2 I thought I should take another look at my own. I hauled the K2 out of the bag and began to fiddle. While it does take two hands to change the setting the ring moved smoothly and freely. As I think about it it takes two hands to change the ASA on my MX as well. I suspect those who have difficulties may have cameras which need servicing to resolve the issue. Lubricants dry up over time in mechanical cameras. They need to be replaced just like oil in your car. I seem to be a lone voice in this forum but it is my contention that setting the ASA is not a problem on the K2 once you get used to it. It is certainly no more difficult than changing the setting on the MX. I may be contrarian but I rather like the combination ASA and over underexposure compensation setup on the K2. I think it has been given a bad rap. I also like the vast ASA range of 8~6400 that neither my MX or K10 can come close to matching.

Last edited by 8540tomg; 05-11-2008 at 09:08 AM.
05-07-2008, 02:11 PM   #4
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I started with an ME, added a K2, then an MX, and finally an LX. I LOVED my K2. At the time, it was head and shoulders above any camera I'd owned up until that point. I would never have even shopped for another Pentax had the meter on my K2 not screwed up. But it did, so I replaced it with an LX and up until I went digital, the two cameras I always carried were my MX and my LX. As much as I liked my K2, the LX is just too good not to like. So, for my preferences, I'd have to rate the LX as #1, followed very closely by the K2 in the #2 spot, with the MX hot on both their heels at #3. Honestly, though, I could live with any of the three as my only camera and be a happy camper.

05-07-2008, 02:21 PM   #5
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Can't say much about the older cameras, they were before me, but sure the LX is a fantastic camera. Still worth buying, and does not go for as much as it is worth if you ask me.

Super A is clearly the best in that generation.

Then of the MZ:s I would wote for the MZ-5, not only because I have it myself, but because like the Super A (and later the K10D) it became the European camera of the year in 1996 and took the TIPA award! What's the difference between MZ-5 and MZ-S?

Sure K1000 is overrated. I bought one in 91 to have as a back up mechanical camera, but it felt clumpsy despite its size and I missed the DOF preview a lot. Sold it for more than I payed. I suppose that it's cult status comes from the extended production period when it by the end was a real dinosaure and a very unprobably serial produced camera. Can't understand why it was popular in camera classes without a DOF preview???

What was it in the K generation that was missing so that Pentax begun to loose ground to Nikon? I know I read something about this, but would be valuable to hear from some Pentaxian that has personal memories and experience of this.

Scout, if you are looking for an LX, there is one now on the "Swedish e-bay" that looks like it is in good shape (and has the grip A, an extra screen and a lens), and the price is so far not more than about 200 US$ (1350 SEK), given that you dare to bid on Swedish in Swedish crowns (SEK, 6 SEK~=1 US$). I have got the feeling that the e-bay prices sometimes go very high up because the English speaking market is so large, which make it worth looking on the markets in smaller countries, if you are comfortable with a little bit of foreign languages.

Pentax LX kamera i snyggt skick på Tradera. Pentax | Systemkameror |
05-07-2008, 03:01 PM   #6
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When introduced the K2 was the top-of-the-line Pentax, but it didn't include a number
of professional features offered by its contemporaries, the Nikon F2 and Canon F-1.
Later some of these shortfalls were addressed by the K2DMD.
This model was soon replaced by the MX.

Pentax didn't introduce a true professional system camera until the LX.

The K2 is not the most popular K-series body but is nevertheless
a good camera and very pleasant to use.

The major weak point of this model is the film speed adjustment ring,
which can become hard or impossible to adjust.
If your camera needs service send it to Eric Hendrickson.
He fixed my Pentax K2, and it is now good as new.

Enjoy your new camera!

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 05-07-2008 at 03:07 PM.
05-07-2008, 11:04 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the great info and your personal opions, etc. Well, I got the camera in today and have been checking over all the major parts etc. It really is in great condition. As many of you have stated I found the awkward ASA dial setting, etc. I am having difficulty with setting it, what is the proper way to set this?? I have the manual and followed the basic instructions and I can not get the seperate ASA dial to budge! Does the camera need film loaded for this to set?? Does it need the batteries for this to work (I can not see this being the case, etc.) I have placed the exposure diaphragm ring to the "1x" setting as stated in the manual, pushed the ASA button in, but can not get the ASA dial to move seperately from the entire exposure diaphragm ring. I hope this is not too big of an issue.

Any advice Guys??
05-08-2008, 08:18 AM   #8
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Well, after downloading an actual "color" manual, I was able to see more clearly what was going on etc. I got the ASA ring to move, it's a bit stiff, but moves quite easily with a litle bit of pressure.

However, my next issue is with metering; I purchased new batteries (Energizer 357/303 1.55v) batteries for the camera and the meter is not working. Could this be a battery brand issue or a possible problem with the electronics/metering system??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

05-08-2008, 08:49 AM   #9
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those are the batteries I use in my MX (duracell though) and my meter certainly works. did the auction mention whether or not the meter works? personally (a drag I know, spending more money sucks) but I think your K2 might need some love from Eric

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05-08-2008, 08:55 AM   #10
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Auction said everything worked fine and everything else has been spot on, etc. What tests can I do to insure that the meter isn't working???

Thanks.
05-08-2008, 11:28 AM   #11
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umm... this may be a stupid question but did you depress the shutter button halfway to test it? the meter isn't in a constant on state like the K1000 unless the rapid rewind lever is in its slightly open 20° position.

Last edited by séamuis; 05-08-2008 at 11:49 AM.
05-08-2008, 11:33 AM   #12
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Yes, I sure did.
05-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #13
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well without being able to test the camera myself near as I can tell, you have a non-working light meter.
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