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01-23-2021, 01:04 PM   #1
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Pentax S2 Super worth repairing?

I recently purchased a Pentax S2 Super which was sold as "in mint condition". After having received the camera and checked its condition, I am a bit uncertain what to do. The mirror in the S2 Super is badly scratched from cleaning, and needs replacing. The Super Takumar 55/1.8 that followed the camera has a defect where the focussing ring is disjointed from the ring with the distance scale. The cosmetic condition and casing of the S2 Super is in immaculate condition and the shutter seems to be okay. The glass and casing of the lens is very good.

How much do these S2 Super cameras sell for? Is it worth to send it off for a repair?


Last edited by bjolester; 01-23-2021 at 03:22 PM.
01-23-2021, 03:24 PM   #2
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Most cameras this old will require some sort of repair / clean, so it all depends on your purpose: is it to use or to resell? Another problem would be to source a new mirror, you would probably need to find a donor camera.

The S2 Super was only sold in Japan, it basically it is the same as the S1a but it has 1/1000sec on the dial. It came in chrome and black. Two different frame counter versions were for sale; manual zeroing or later a automatic zeroing of the counter.

Check ebay.com for sold listing to figure out the price.
01-23-2021, 03:47 PM   #3
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Thank you Baard-Einar! Well, I am interested in using the camera. I have for a long time been looking for a Pentax SV, but when I found this S2 Super I went ahead and purchased it, realising that these are very similar cameras. My S2 Super has a serial number starting with 171xxxx, the 1/1000 sec shutter speed and has the automatic zeroing counter and the red "R". The reason for my question about value is that it would make more sense to repair a camera of some value compared to something not so valuable. For instance I would probably be more inclined to send an MX in for repair than an ME... I will have a look at eBay prices.

I believe I have found the cause of the problem with my Takumar 55/1.8, the distance scale ring has come loose. This thread explains how to re-glue the distance scale: S-M-C Takumar 50mm/1.4 distance scale problem - PentaxForums.com

Last edited by bjolester; 01-23-2021 at 04:09 PM.
01-23-2021, 04:37 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjolester Quote
Thank you Baard-Einar! Well, I am interested in using the camera. I have for a long time been looking for a Pentax SV, but when I found this S2 Super I went ahead and purchased it, realising that these are very similar cameras. My S2 Super has a serial number starting with 171xxxx, the 1/1000 sec shutter speed and has the automatic zeroing counter and the red "R". The reason for my question about value is that it would make more sense to repair a camera of some value compared to something not so valuable. For instance I would probably be more inclined to send an MX in for repair than an ME... I will have a look at eBay prices.

I believe I have found the cause of the problem with my Takumar 55/1.8, the distance scale ring has come loose. This thread explains how to re-glue the distance scale: S-M-C Takumar 50mm/1.4 distance scale problem - PentaxForums.com
I can imagine that a repair with a full CLA would be around 100USD + shipping. I paid almost 80USD back in 2013 to get my S2 Super in shape.

01-23-2021, 04:43 PM   #5
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I paid about $100 USD (in the US) for a CLA plus new light seals on my H1a a few years ago.

It's a joy to use...

-Eric
01-23-2021, 05:27 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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As fans of classic mechanical cameras, I personally feel quite strongly that we should do what we can (where realistic), to keep this gear ticking over. For one thing, they’re not being made any more and will never be made again. So every S2 that gets a service is one more functional camera in a diminishing pool. It also helps keep the ever shrinking group of technicians with the skills and experience to work on these bodies in business. And lastly, using a freshly serviced early Pentax is an absolute joy

---------- Post added 01-24-21 at 11:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Baard-Einar Quote
The S2 Super was only sold in Japan, it basically it is the same as the S1a but it has 1/1000sec on the dial. It came in chrome and black. Two different frame counter versions were for sale; manual zeroing or later a automatic zeroing of the counter.
Iíve been wondering about this... Almost all the S2ís Iíve seen in Aus have 1/1000 on the shutter dial, and I canít inagine they were all purchased in Japan. I wonder if the S2 ĎSuperí was also sold in a few export markets?
01-24-2021, 12:06 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
As fans of classic mechanical cameras, I personally feel quite strongly that we should do what we can (where realistic), to keep this gear ticking over. For one thing, theyíre not being made any more and will never be made again. So every S2 that gets a service is one more functional camera in a diminishing pool. It also helps keep the ever shrinking group of technicians with the skills and experience to work on these bodies in business. And lastly, using a freshly serviced early Pentax is an absolute joy
You make some very valid points here! My main motivation for purchasing the S2 Super was to experience shooting with an early Pentax (earlier than the Spotmatic, which I already have). The S2 Super will be sent to my camera technician in due time.
01-24-2021, 03:14 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjolester Quote
You make some very valid points here! My main motivation for purchasing the S2 Super was to experience shooting with an early Pentax (earlier than the Spotmatic, which I already have). The S2 Super will be sent to my camera technician in due time.
Note: A Super-Takumar lens may not properly work on Auto, because the lever in the camera may not push the lens pin fully closed. Once one has an exposure setting, one can close the lens by selecting lens to manual (after composing wide open on auto setting)
The early lenses were just tripped to close the pre-set aperture via a spring. They were not proportional. Check to see if you are getting the proper aperture.

01-24-2021, 03:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote

I’ve been wondering about this... Almost all the S2’s I’ve seen in Aus have 1/1000 on the shutter dial, and I can’t inagine they were all purchased in Japan. I wonder if the S2 ‘Super’ was also sold in a few export markets?
Hm, maybe? The S1/S1a was not sold in Japan, and the S2 Super was the replacement in the local Japanese market. That is according to AOHC. In The Ultimate Screw mount guide, van Oosten writes that the S2 Super was not sold in the American market, he doesn't state that it was only sold in Japan.And Danuiki Cecchi writes in his book that the S2 Super is a S1a with the addtion of a 1/1000 speed "mainly sold in Japan",

Last edited by Baard-Einar; 01-24-2021 at 08:08 AM. Reason: typo
01-24-2021, 04:46 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
Note: A Super-Takumar lens may not properly work on Auto, because the lever in the camera may not push the lens pin fully closed. Once one has an exposure setting, one can close the lens by selecting lens to manual (after composing wide open on auto setting)
The early lenses were just tripped to close the pre-set aperture via a spring. They were not proportional. Check to see if you are getting the proper aperture.
Thank you for mentioning these characteristics with the Super Takumar lenses Arnold. I will keep this in mind.
01-24-2021, 04:51 AM   #11
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So what is the difference between an S2 super and an S3 ?
01-24-2021, 05:05 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ray-uk Quote
So what is the difference between an S2 super and an S3 ?
The Asahi Pentax S1a body incorporated a mechanism which activated the stop down pin on AutoTakumar and Super Takumar Lenses when the shutter was fired. IOW a proportional closing of the aperture. My H2 didn't depress the pin enough but the movement was sufficient enough to trip a semi auto lens.
01-24-2021, 08:07 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ray-uk Quote
So what is the difference between an S2 super and an S3 ?
That is an interesting question.

S3 was introduced April 1961 and in production to June 1969, about 360 000 units produced
S2 Super: July 1962 to 1968, about 52 000 units produced.

Both had two version: Early without self-zering counter, later without.
Both had shutter cocked-indicator, slot in speed selector for light meter (some early S3 is said to not have that slot)
Both came in black and chrome.
Both had 1/1000 (some sources indicates that some early S3 bodies lacked the 1/1000 speed)
Both seems to have been sold in Japan

Looking at the two bodies side by side: I cannot see any differnces.

The S1 was the low-cost model with 1/500 as top speed, and the S3 the more expensive sibling with a top speed of 1/1000. The "kit" lens was Auto-Takumar 55/2 or 55/1.8 for S3, Auto-Takumar 55/2.2 for S1. Auto-Takumar 55/2 (later Super-Takumar 55/2) for the S2 Super.

But why would you have two cameras that are very much identical sold under two different model names in the same market?

---------- Post added 01-24-2021 at 04:13 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote

Iíve been wondering about this... Almost all the S2ís Iíve seen in Aus have 1/1000 on the shutter dial, and I canít inagine they were all purchased in Japan. I wonder if the S2 ĎSuperí was also sold in a few export markets?
I had forgotten about this, but I just had to check out my own S2 Super. Inside the film bay, there is a sticker from a photo shop in Sao Palo, Brazil. I have assumed it was bought in Japan and repaired in Brazil, but that might be wrong.
01-24-2021, 09:26 AM   #14
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The last incarnation of the Pentax S2 Super featured the red "R", implying that one could use the eight element Super Takumar 50/1.4. Did any versions of the S3 have the red "R"?
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