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02-01-2021, 06:41 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Asahi Pentax AP - Black Painted

some months ago, I bought an Asahi Pentax AP (no denomination) in a car boot sale. No lens was attached. The camera is in black paint.
The camera is visually very used, the paint has dissapeared on several places and the brassing is shining through. I think the camera has been repainted by someone later-on and with no great success. See some foto's attached.
The camera was not functioning anymore, so I did a (small) CLA: cleaning and oiling the shutter parts, cleaning he viewfinder. The camera is working now as it should.

I looked up into the internet to find more about this camera and I discovered that the camera is rather scarce, But I do not find anything about this camera blackpainted. However seen the brass topcover and bottom, the camera should originally have been painted.

Has anyone any idea on the existence of his AP camera, black edition?
is this camera valuable?

Thanks for any comment,



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02-01-2021, 06:50 AM   #2
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Yes they exist. Black versions could be bought, and it is estimated that some 10% of the total volume were black bodies.

One way to tell if it is black and not repainted is: brass showing where the black is worn off and check the hinges, they are hard to pain and often are left chrome.

Check the serial number database where some have noted if it is a black body or not.
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02-01-2021, 08:38 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Congratulations on the camera

Information on the AP

The Asahi Optical Company released the 'Asahi Pentax' (AP) in 1957 as the replacement for their Asahiflex line of cameras. While not the first Pentaprism camera to be produced, the AP is considered by many to be the start of the modern 35mm SLR format still used today. The camera incorporated a number of features which were not typically found during this era. This was the first camera to combine eye level through the lens focusing, an instant return mirror and a right hand film advance/shutter cocking wind lever. The camera was so successful that the company eventually changed its name from Asahi Optical to Pentax. . . .
Read more at: Asahi Pentax 'AP' (Tower 26) - Pentax M42 Screwmount Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

Asahi Pentax (AP) Serial Numbers - Pentax Serial Number Database -

Last edited by aslyfox; 02-01-2021 at 10:32 AM.
02-01-2021, 03:43 PM - 1 Like   #4
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What a beauty! That brassing and the shine suggests it is an original black one. Black models not only had the top and bottom covers in black: Also the screws, lens mount piece, the rewind crank, the advance lever, frame counter, slow speed knob and the back door hinge and latch. From what I see in your pictures all those boxes are checked.
Repaints are usually too glossy or too dull, as it is hard to replicate the original black finish which was some sort of plating or anodizing.
My suggestion? Send it to me and I will dispose of it properly!
Joking aside, leave the brassing alone, keep it clean and enjoy!


02-01-2021, 04:32 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jan48 Quote
. . . is this camera valuable? . . .

any old camera is valuable [ like any " collectable " ]

if you can find a buyer who wants to pay your price

otherwise - - -
02-02-2021, 01:10 PM   #6
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Congratulations with a hard-to-find camera! And you made it work! Give it a lens and give it a try.
How many black ones were produced? From experience I find 10% black APs to be much. My suggestion is rather 5%, or even less. You hardly ever see them on eBay or other places, while silver editions are rather frequent. Of the 19 600 pieces produced, less than 1000 may have been black. Percentage of black editions seem higher on S and K cameras, probably up to 10%.
02-04-2021, 12:47 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Thank you guys for the information you gave me.
For an example, I did not know that there is a something like a Pentax serial number database.
I think I have to learn still a lot.
I am now convinced that my Pentax AP is a genuine black camera.

I am at present trying to repair the lens of the camera: a Takumar 2.2/55 mm (serial n° 155701). Problem is the aperture which is stuck, due to a broken aperture blade (one of the little studs is broken off the blade. I try to reglue, but not a simple job. Neither is the replacement of the 10 aperture blades …


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