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03-02-2016, 05:49 AM   #1
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1958 Asahi Pentax K question

Quick question about this camera. My wife's grandfather gave us a pile of nice cameras and this K model was one of them. I've read the manual and understand basically how it should work. The issue I am having is with the shutter speed selector on the top of the camera. According to the manual I should be able to lift and drop it on the speed I want and this should work for all speeds other than 1000 where it should not fall all the way down. On my camera I can lift it, but it doesn't really fall on anything like I imagine it should from the manual. I can get it to Bulb without any issues.

So... should it just fall on the number easily like the manual suggests? And.... is the dial really supposed to turn when advancing the film? And finally, is this camera worth anything?

03-02-2016, 07:50 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ineedareed Quote
Quick question about this camera. My wife's grandfather gave us a pile of nice cameras and this K model was one of them. I've read the manual and understand basically how it should work. The issue I am having is with the shutter speed selector on the top of the camera. According to the manual I should be able to lift and drop it on the speed I want and this should work for all speeds other than 1000 where it should not fall all the way down. On my camera I can lift it, but it doesn't really fall on anything like I imagine it should from the manual. I can get it to Bulb without any issues.

So... should it just fall on the number easily like the manual suggests? And.... is the dial really supposed to turn when advancing the film? And finally, is this camera worth anything?
Hi

Post a photo of the camera.

Yes the dial should be lifted, turn and then drop down in the new speed. To set the slow speeds, you need to choose the lowest speed on the top dial, then use the front speed selector.

The dial does turn when film is advanced, that is the way it winds up the shutter. And then it will turn again when firing the shutter.

I would really recommend a full service. The shutter curtains and the shutter mechanisme needs lub and adjustments.

As for value, check out compelted sales on eBay. The price varies, depends on what lens and equiptment is included, case and manual in good condtion also increases the price, if the camera is chrome or black etc.
03-02-2016, 10:11 AM   #3
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If the lens is in good condition it may be more valuable than the body as it can be fitted to a modern camera with an adapter and produces a lower contrast image.

I've just bought a '57 auto tukmar /2 on a camera body soly to get the lens!
03-02-2016, 10:19 AM   #4
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Photos would help.

03-02-2016, 10:22 AM   #5
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The 58mm f/2 Takumar is worth a small fortune these days ;-)
03-03-2016, 02:31 AM   #6
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The K is more rare than other early Pentax, and brings higher prices. The shutter speed dial should only be changed AFTER winding film (cocking the shutter) - as on all the old "rotating" shutter dial cameras, which are based on the Leica shutters used by Leica from 1925 to 1954. Non-rotating shutter dials which could be set before (or after) winding film appeared on new models in the mid 1950s, largely from the Leica M3. It took a while for other makes to phase in new designs with all speeds on a single, non spinning dial. Canon changed their Leica copy rangefinder models to a rotating dial that could be set before winding, before adapting the single non-rotating dial on their VI series.
I still use several older models with dual dials. I learned not to wear gloves with them, where the glove may rub on the spinning dial ans slow down the shutter.
03-03-2016, 03:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. In the link below you'll see that I have a K and an S2 along with two lenses. I don't know which lens was original to the K or the S2. I put the 55 mm lens on the S2 and it works beautifully.

When I lift the dial to select the shutter speed it not only doesn't fall on the number, it won't go down even with pressure. After pushing and rotating it a bit, it will find a place and go down; the dial then will spin. I can't imagine how this could possibly work. One thought though, would having film in this camera possibly change the way it is behaving? I'd prefer to not destroy a roll of film just to test this out.

Also, can anyone provide any information about the 135 Super Takumar lens? I've seen plenty of info about the Auto-Takumar but not the Super.

One thing to note here is that my wife's grandfather, who passed away about 3 years ago, was a very serious amateur photographer with top of the line equipment, all of it in near perfect condition. It just doesn't make sense to me that he would keep this K model that didn't work properly. FWIW, along with these two Asahi Pentax cameras, we got a Nikon F3 with 6 Nikkor lenses and a Leica M6 with a 35 mm Sumicron Asph lens.

Asahi Pentax Cameras - Album on Imgur

---------- Post added 03-03-16 at 04:16 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
The K is more rare than other early Pentax, and brings higher prices. The shutter speed dial should only be changed AFTER winding film (cocking the shutter) - as on all the old "rotating" shutter dial cameras, which are based on the Leica shutters used by Leica from 1925 to 1954. Non-rotating shutter dials which could be set before (or after) winding film appeared on new models in the mid 1950s, largely from the Leica M3. It took a while for other makes to phase in new designs with all speeds on a single, non spinning dial. Canon changed their Leica copy rangefinder models to a rotating dial that could be set before winding, before adapting the single non-rotating dial on their VI series.
I still use several older models with dual dials. I learned not to wear gloves with them, where the glove may rub on the spinning dial ans slow down the shutter.
Your last sentence suggests that the dial spins with some tension, like the line that, say, points to 500, spins with the dial and remains pointing at the 500. Is that the way it should work? My dial, the outer portion with the numbers, spins independantly from the inner dial with the line.
03-03-2016, 06:22 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
The shutter speed dial should only be changed AFTER winding film (cocking the shutter) - as on all the old "rotating" shutter dial cameras, which are based on the Leica shutters used by Leica from 1925 to 1954.
In page 13 of the manual for the original Asahi Pentax, it specifically states you can set the shutter speed before or after -> Asahi Pentax manual


QuoteOriginally posted by ineedareed Quote
Also, can anyone provide any information about the 135 Super Takumar lens? I've seen plenty of info about the Auto-Takumar but not the Super.

One thing to note here is that my wife's grandfather, who passed away about 3 years ago, was a very serious amateur photographer with top of the line equipment, all of it in near perfect condition. It just doesn't make sense to me that he would keep this K model that didn't work properly. FWIW, along with these two Asahi Pentax cameras, we got a Nikon F3 with 6 Nikkor lenses and a Leica M6 with a 35 mm Sumicron Asph lens.
There were three Super Takumar 135mm lenses -> M42 tele lenses

He kept the K as it is better looking . . . ;-)




Eric at http://pentaxs.com/ can fix whatever ails it.

03-03-2016, 06:24 AM   #9
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Ah, I stand corrected! I should have actually looked at my AP. The earlier Asahiflex speed dial was a copy of the Leica, with a stationary indicator line on the body, so you had to wind the shutter to set the speed, as it would only line up with the indicator when wound. With the Asahi Pentax they changed to the later Canon style where the indicator is on the center hub of the dial and should rotate with it, and can be set before winding if you want. I'll have to check and see who did this first, a Canon or Asahi.
On these Pentax with moving indicator mark, the speed dial that lifts is a "shell" held to an inner part with three set screws that you can see when the dial is pulled up. If these set screws have come loose, the outer dial with the speeds comes loose and may not turn or line up as it should. That could be your problem
Pentax owners have a good repair resource in Eric Hendrickson, if you are in the US. He has even made new shutter curtains for my Asahiflex, and at reasonable rates.
Ok, Canon started using this shutter speed mechanism in 1954, so Asahi had time to adopt the idea for the original Asahi Pentax in 1957. I have examples of both cameras, but had always set the speed after winding on the Pentax, so hadn't noticed.

Last edited by TomB_tx; 03-03-2016 at 11:53 AM.
03-03-2016, 06:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ineedareed Quote
I don't know which lens was original to the K or the S2.
From the pictures in the link you provided:

The lens mounted on the S2, Auto-Takumar 55mm/F1.8 "Zebra" lens, is the lens that originally came with your Pentax 'K'.

Your Super-Takumar 135mm is the same vintage as your S2.
The Pentax S2 would normally come from the factory with a Super-Takumar 55mm, but since your Wife's Grandfather already owned the 'Zebra' 55mm, he likely bought the S2 body only.

Though it will not say so anywhere on your S2, that looks like a 'Super-S2'. A 'Super-S2' is a S2 souped up with 1/1000 second top shutter speed and the later model SuperS2's also got the automatic zero exposure counter from the SV. Your camera looks like the early model SuperS2 with the old style manual reset counter. A "Normal" S2 has a 1/500 second top shutter speed,
https://www.pentaxforums.com/camerareviews/pentax-super-s2.html

I hope you and your Wife learn to love those two beautiful Pentaxs and use them regularly

Last edited by Moe49; 04-15-2016 at 07:55 AM.
03-03-2016, 10:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moe49 Quote
The lens mounted on the S2, Auto-Takumar 55mm/F1.8 "Zebra" lens, is the lens that originally came with your Pentax 'K'.
BTW, that zebra lens is very desirable!
03-03-2016, 10:53 AM   #12
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Should we have a 'K' Club? There are about 2 dozen in the S/N Database.
03-03-2016, 02:10 PM   #13
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I have often thought about getting a K but searching ebay for "Pentax K" isn't very helpful.

That zebra lens is very drool-worthy...

K.
03-03-2016, 02:27 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by womble Quote
I have often thought about getting a K but searching ebay for "Pentax K" isn't very helpful.
Search "Pentax Rare" and pull down menu "newly listed", there are about 5-6 Pentax K's on eBay currently
03-03-2016, 02:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moe49 Quote
Search "Pentax Rare" and pull down menu "newly listed", there are about 5-6 Pentax K's on eBay currently
Curious... yup there are some on the US site, none on the UK one. Fun to see what people describe as rare!

K.
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