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4 Days Ago   #1
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Original kit lens for the Pentax SF1n (1989)?

I just got a SF1n from goodwill, sold "untested" but it looked good in the photos. Turns out it is working fine and is in good cosmetic condition as well. It came with a SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm F4-5.6 which is one I didn't have yet, and that cleaned up nicely. The AF280T flash has a bad battery door, so maybe I'll sell that for parts. All together (with a camera bag and two filters) I only spent $25, so I'm happy with the transaction.

My question is, what was the original "kit" lens for the SF1n? Could it have been the SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 with Macro (1987)? I think that lens was shown in the manual I got with the camera. I have the 35-70mm lens (bought it here from a fellow forum member) and it has proved to be one of my favorites.

Still looking for the battery adapter SF1 so I could use four AA batteries in the camera instead of the lithium cell.

Thanks - Richard.

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4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
I just got a SF1n from goodwill, sold "untested" but it looked good in the photos. Turns out it is working fine and is in good cosmetic condition as well. It came with a SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm F4-5.6 which is one I didn't have yet, and that cleaned up nicely. The AF280T flash has a bad battery door, so maybe I'll sell that for parts. All together (with a camera bag and two filters) I only spent $25, so I'm happy with the transaction.

My question is, what was the original "kit" lens for the SF1n? Could it have been the SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 with Macro (1987)? I think that lens was shown in the manual I got with the camera. I have the 35-70mm lens (bought it here from a fellow forum member) and it has proved to be one of my favorites.

Still looking for the battery adapter SF1 so I could use four AA batteries in the camera instead of the lithium cell.

Thanks - Richard.
It was usually sold with either the 35-70mm or the 50mm f1.7. More often than not, with the 35-70mm. My first SFX (which is what the SF1 was called in most markets outside the USA) came with the 35-70mm, and that's how it was most commonly displayed in the shops at the time. But, for the same price, you could have it with the 50mm.
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #3
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I remember the SFXn being advertised with the 35-70, but I didn't buy mine until later when I bought it body only.

For the SFX there were two different AA grips (they're interchangeable but cosmetically different). The SFX version (37001 'AA battery grip SFX') has the SFX logo on the outside of the grip. The SFXn version (37007 'AA battery grip FB') is plain - the SFXn logo was on the inside of the grip and part of the camera.

I loved my SFXn, I sold it but later bought another. I found some of my Kodachrome slides I'd shot with it the other day. They're very underrated cameras. I like your photo of the whole kit.
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I remember these being sold, when the cameras were new, with what I now recognise as the "Takumar-F" (non-SMC-coated) variants of the F-series AF zoom lenses. Mind you, the same shop window often featured them with the normal SMC F series, so my guess is the Takumar F's were put on for the budget-conscious photographer who could only JUST afford the camera if the budget lens was on it.

3 Days Ago   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I remember these being sold, when the cameras were new, with what I now recognise as the "Takumar-F" (non-SMC-coated) variants of the F-series AF zoom lenses. Mind you, the same shop window often featured them with the normal SMC F series, so my guess is the Takumar F's were put on for the budget-conscious photographer who could only JUST afford the camera if the budget lens was on it.
I suspect it had more to do with margins on the Takumar lenses...

“These lenses are made by the same company, but the kit is $100 cheaper and I get an extra $20 for selling you that kit because the margin is so much higher...”

-Eric
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The SMC Pentax 35-70mm and SMC 1.7mm lenses were made in Japan.

The budget Takumar zoom may not have been, which would also have kept the cost down - but I don't recall for sure.

The SF-1n was a pleasure to use - super comfortable camera.
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SFX with Kit lens?

I own an SFX and an SFXn. In the Netherlands they were not available as a kit. You bought the body and made a choice from several available new FA lenses. And you could buy and AF adapter 1.7X to make the old non AF lenses into an AF lens. Worked fabulous with SMC A lenses. (Unfortunately the do not work that well with digital SLR.) The first kits Pentax sold were the Z models and the later available MZ models.
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
It was usually sold with either the 35-70mm or the 50mm f1.7. More often than not, with the 35-70mm. My first SFX (which is what the SF1 was called in most markets outside the USA) came with the 35-70mm, and that's how it was most commonly displayed in the shops at the time. But, for the same price, you could have it with the 50mm.
Thanks for the info! I suspected it was the 35-70 (which I already had). I'm working on my first test roll with the camera and enjoying it - I'll have to put my 35-70 on there for a couple shots as well.

I don't have the 50/1.7 - was it this one?

SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7 Reviews - F Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I have a variety of other 50's - M 50/1.4, M 50/1.7, A 50/1.4, A 50/2, and my M42 lenses (Super Takumar 55/1.8 and Super-Macro-Takumar 50/4), and then the DA 50/1.8 (which I use on some film bodies too).


Richard.

---------- Post added 08-15-2019 at 10:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
I remember the SFXn being advertised with the 35-70, but I didn't buy mine until later when I bought it body only.

For the SFX there were two different AA grips (they're interchangeable but cosmetically different). The SFX version (37001 'AA battery grip SFX') has the SFX logo on the outside of the grip. The SFXn version (37007 'AA battery grip FB') is plain - the SFXn logo was on the inside of the grip and part of the camera.

I loved my SFXn, I sold it but later bought another. I found some of my Kodachrome slides I'd shot with it the other day. They're very underrated cameras. I like your photo of the whole kit.
Thanks! But I thought the grip FB was the grip for the lithium cell (the original grip) - was I wrong about that? Would either of the AA grips you mentioned work on my SF1n?

---------- Post added 08-15-2019 at 10:41 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bobore Quote
The SMC Pentax 35-70mm and SMC 1.7mm lenses were made in Japan.

The budget Takumar zoom may not have been, which would also have kept the cost down - but I don't recall for sure.

The SF-1n was a pleasure to use - super comfortable camera.
Yes, I'm finding it fun to use as well. For quite a while I wasn't interested in getting one, as folks said it was heavy, had slow focus, etc. I got the cameras before and after instead. But actually it is quite user-friendly to use.

---------- Post added 08-15-2019 at 10:42 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Quote
I own an SFX and an SFXn. In the Netherlands they were not available as a kit. You bought the body and made a choice from several available new FA lenses. And you could buy and AF adapter 1.7X to make the old non AF lenses into an AF lens. Worked fabulous with SMC A lenses. (Unfortunately the do not work that well with digital SLR.) The first kits Pentax sold were the Z models and the later available MZ models.
Thanks. Do you still have the AF adapter 1.7X? I looked on ebay to see how much they were, and not many come up for sale, and when they do they are quite expensive. Do you still have and use one?

3 Days Ago - 1 Like   #9
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I have two boxed AA grips with the FB part name, this must be the AA grip as I doubt they'd sell many lithium grips as accessories. The SF1 & SFX had the camera name on the battery grip, as such there are SF1 & SFX versions of the grip. The SFXn (and presumably SF1n) have the name on the camera, thus the grip is 'plain' and therefore generic between them both. I think this is the FB (assuming the lithium is the FA?).

Edit: The part description for the FB grip is 'AA Battery Grip FB', so it's obviously the AA grip. Note, all grips have a label showing NiCd crossed out as these batteries are not recommended (probably also applied other rechargeable batteries).

The grips are all identical apart from the name, I've swapped those for SFX & SFXn over without problems. They are slighter wider than the lithium grip (which I preferred).

The 1.7x AF adapters were quite popular until the DA teleconverter arrived as it was the only Pentax teleconverter with the AF pin connection until then. There's an aperture limit on lenses as the camera AF limit is f/5.6, the 1.7c reduces that for the lenses. You had to roughly focus the lens as the adapter only has limited AF range.

Last edited by johnha; 3 Days Ago at 03:04 AM.
2 Days Ago   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I remember these being sold, when the cameras were new, with what I now recognise as the "Takumar-F" (non-SMC-coated) variants of the F-series AF zoom lenses. Mind you, the same shop window often featured them with the normal SMC F series, so my guess is the Takumar F's were put on for the budget-conscious photographer who could only JUST afford the camera if the budget lens was on it.
There's almost no appreciable difference between the two so shops probably wanted to push the F version for the better margins.
2 Days Ago - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
Thanks for the info! I suspected it was the 35-70 (which I already had). I'm working on my first test roll with the camera and enjoying it - I'll have to put my 35-70 on there for a couple shots as well.

I don't have the 50/1.7 - was it this one?

SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7 Reviews - F Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Yes, indeed! Probably one of my favourite lenses.
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
I have two boxed AA grips with the FB part name, this must be the AA grip as I doubt they'd sell many lithium grips as accessories. The SF1 & SFX had the camera name on the battery grip, as such there are SF1 & SFX versions of the grip. The SFXn (and presumably SF1n) have the name on the camera, thus the grip is 'plain' and therefore generic between them both. I think this is the FB (assuming the lithium is the FA?).

Edit: The part description for the FB grip is 'AA Battery Grip FB', so it's obviously the AA grip. Note, all grips have a label showing NiCd crossed out as these batteries are not recommended (probably also applied other rechargeable batteries).

The grips are all identical apart from the name, I've swapped those for SFX & SFXn over without problems. They are slighter wider than the lithium grip (which I preferred).

The 1.7x AF adapters were quite popular until the DA teleconverter arrived as it was the only Pentax teleconverter with the AF pin connection until then. There's an aperture limit on lenses as the camera AF limit is f/5.6, the 1.7c reduces that for the lenses. You had to roughly focus the lens as the adapter only has limited AF range.
Someone in the Wanted section is looking for one of the AA grips if you're looking to sell.
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
For quite a while I wasn't interested in getting one, as folks said it was heavy, had slow focus, etc. I got the cameras before and after instead. But actually it is quite user-friendly to use.
I bought my SF1n in June, 1989 ($375 body only from B&H) and loved it. (And it's still fully functional.)

It does have a VERY slow autofocus: completely unusable for sports/action, and, with the lenses I had (F 50/1.7, F* 300/4.5) I found that even with stationary subjects it was just easier to focus manually. I never used the autofocus for anything other than test shots.

But, it does have an outstanding focus-assist system for manual focusing. In addition to beeping/flashing a red dot when focus is achieved (as modern digital camera do), it also had two green arrows that would light up in the viewfinder to tell you which way to turn the focusing ring to achieve focus. That was surprisingly useful; I wish modern cameras had it.
2 Days Ago   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by richfam Quote
it also had two green arrows that would light up in the viewfinder to tell you which way to turn the focusing ring to achieve focus. That was surprisingly useful; I wish modern cameras had it.
This seems like a surprisingly intuitive feature to have, especially in the world of EVF... wonder why no one does it.
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
This seems like a surprisingly intuitive feature to have, especially in the world of EVF... wonder why no one does it.
The ME-F also did this, it was useful on the SFX. It only worked for Pentax lenses and those 3rd party ones that focussed the Pentax way (infinity to the left). Most 3rd party lenses (and I believe some current Pentax based on Tamron designs) focus the other way. After the SFX I guess there isn't enough room for the extra LEDs in the finder - the finder didn't have an LCD in it.

As a side note, on many such as my Sigma 70-300 APO, the screw drive also works opposite to Pentax lenses, how the camera knows which way to focus still surprises me.
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