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02-04-2009, 12:34 AM   #1
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Look what I found! (Hint: "It's destined to become a classic!")

Just came across an irresistably cheap local sale...



Apparently this camera (also with M 50/2, flash, leather case, leather travel bag, trigger, and as you can see original manuals) sat neglected in a drawer for ages, until the owner died and the son discovered this gem he didn't know his parents had ever purchased.

Sadly, I have no batteries for it, but struggled to squeeze a manual flash exposure on my K20D using its AF 35-70 lens...



And I loved this statement from the manual (captured with the M 50/2 on a Vivitar Macro focusing 2x Teleconverter):



Well, I don't know if keeping a camera in a drawer for years counts as "taking good care", but the camera and lenses sure seem to be in great shape. I'm dying to give the 35-70/2.8 a go once there's some daylight (sorry but even 2.8 doesn't cut it in the middle of the night in a room with only one lamp).

But the big question is: then what?

Shoot a couple rounds to appreciate the purchase, and then sell it all for profit?

Scavenge the lens for digital shooting and sell the ME F with the M 50 (and break up the ME F from its AF lens in the process)?

Learn to love film again?

I guess posting to this section of the forum will produce some predictable responses...

02-04-2009, 12:48 AM   #2
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Haha!!! Awsome. That's so quality talk!
02-04-2009, 02:00 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by David Whiteley Quote
Scavenge the lens for digital shooting and sell the ME F with the M 50 (and break up the ME F from its AF lens in the process)?
You might be aware of this, but that lens won't AF on any other AF body, so using it on digital would be mostly pointless and require mutilating the lens probably. I'd say don't separate it from its mother. Either keep the whole package or sell it to someone who will take good care of it (and hopefully use it, though I'm not sure how useful that lens is in actuality) -- these things are very rare in this kind of condition so you will probably even get a fair bit of money for it if you find the right buyer!
02-04-2009, 02:50 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by David Whiteley Quote
But the big question is: then what?

Shoot a couple rounds to appreciate the purchase, and then sell it all for profit?

Scavenge the lens for digital shooting and sell the ME F with the M 50 (and break up the ME F from its AF lens in the process)?

Learn to love film again?

I guess posting to this section of the forum will produce some predictable responses...
that lens won't AF on digital body. it won't AF on ANY body except ME-F.

learn to love film sounds nice to me. i already love it much more than digital - dynamic range is unbelievably better with film (even el-cheapo films), for the start...

i'm certain there will be more than a few interested buyers (me included) if you decide to sell it.

02-04-2009, 04:07 AM   #5
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Great find....That is a collectors item!
ME*F

The ME-F used a primitive autofocus method and the lens did most of the work, the motor was in the lens and uses AA batteries.


Pentax ME-F - Camerapedia.org
QuoteOriginally posted by camerapedia:
The focusing assistance mechanism had a selector lever with three positions: high aperture lens, small aperture lens, off. An LED in the finder and a (de-activatable) beep told the user that the subject was in focus. The lens mount had five electrical contacts. The dedicated SMC Pentax AF 35-70/2.8 zoom lens allowed full autofocus, but incorporated four AAA batteries. The Pentax ME-F was the very first autofocus SLR to reach the market. It is a representative of the prehistory of the autofocus SLR, together with the Olympus OM-30. The first really successful autofocus SLR was the Minolta 7000.
The 50/2 lens will work absolutely fine in any pther body though

Last edited by titrisol; 02-04-2009 at 06:37 AM.
02-04-2009, 04:58 AM   #6
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my ME F seriously wants your lens. I want your lens. and if you are willing to sell the ME F for a fair price also or maybe a discount for the whole kit I would be willing to hammer out a deal. I have been looking for this lens for a long time.
02-04-2009, 06:46 AM   #7
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I don't think you've been had by the manual. It really is a classic, being first to do AF among SLRs.

Keep it, it's a collector's item now, and yours seems in good shape.

Or sell it to Séamuis, who I'm sure will take good care of it.

Last edited by vinzer; 02-04-2009 at 06:47 AM. Reason: Just read Séamuis' reply after posting mine.
02-04-2009, 07:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
I don't think you've been had by the manual. It really is a classic, being first to do AF among SLRs.

Keep it, it's a collector's item now, and yours seems in good shape.

Or sell it to Séamuis, who I'm sure will take good care of it.
you can count on it.

02-04-2009, 07:46 AM   #9
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That is a mighty nice find! A pristine ME-F would command a hefty price on eBay.

If I was you, I'd keep it.
02-04-2009, 07:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
That is a mighty nice find! A pristine ME-F would command a hefty price on eBay.

If I was you, I'd keep it.

I bought mine for less than 100 USD. of course mine didn't have the lens...
02-04-2009, 05:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erik Quote
You might be aware of this, but that lens won't AF on any other AF body, so using it on digital would be mostly pointless and require mutilating the lens probably.
Actually, while MFing is clumsy, it works without the need to mutilate. The AF mechanism that moves with the focusing provides...not the worst MF dampening you could ask for. So far what I've shot with my K20D I wouldn't call spectacular (at least part of which is my crappy work rather than the lens' fault), but it is a functioning PK-mount 2.8 zoom--that's something. And it's considerably smaller than many other 2.8 zooms of the same general FL range.

BUT... is it a portable MF alternative to modern AF 2.8 zooms? I'm thinking "no". It's about its history. And someone else (say, Séamuis) will appreciate that more than me.

QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I bought mine for less than 100 USD. of course mine didn't have the lens...
I won't confess how little I paid for mine, lest it incriminate me if and when I sell. Oooooh, people would be jealous! But as I'm not a collector, part of the point was that I knew I could sell for much more. If I passed on the crazy savings and kept nothing to reward myself for my find... I'd be a nicer person.

To aleviate the guilt, let me point out that the seller knew perfectly well that he had a collector's item on his hands. He just prefered a cheap Craigslist local sale to working to get more for it. And it was posted for about a month, maybe even renewed, so local collectors had their chance to spot it first.
02-04-2009, 05:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
The 50/2 lens will work absolutely fine in any pther body though
Of course it was the most commonplace element of the kit, but that much-maligned M 50/2 is what's surprised me most so far. I tried shooting that tight shot of the manual page with my Viv Close Focus 28, which I generally love for sharpness, but stopped down to f/8 the M 50/2 outperformed it. (you can see full res original at zooomr--follow my sig). And remember, that's with a TC clawing back the quality!

I'm thinking those who don't like the 50/2 don't like it's softness wide open (or were spoiled by the faster alternatives); those who are content to shoot stopped down appreciate it (one of the lens review comments even specified "set it to f/8 and leave it"--I can see why).
02-04-2009, 05:56 PM   #13
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I am the owner of an interesting curiosity, a Ricoh Rikenon 50mm f/2.0 self-contained autofocus lens.
It works on any K-mount camera, allowing AF on a manual focus body.

Chris
02-04-2009, 06:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I am the owner of an interesting curiosity, a Ricoh Rikenon 50mm f/2.0 self-contained autofocus lens.
It works on any K-mount camera, allowing AF on a manual focus body.

Chris
Cool! Yes, while it's often said the ME F was the first AF SLR, the ME F manual is quite clear that there was preceding AF technology. I guess the ME F represents a shift from lens-based to integrated-with-body AF.

Funny that the side effect of that is that in-lens AF's like your Rikenon will AF on other bodies, while the AF 35-70/2.8 won't AF on even AF bodies other than the ME F!

Got any pictures?
02-04-2009, 07:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
Great find....That is a collectors item!
The ME-F used a primitive autofocus method and the lens did most of the work, the motor was in the lens and uses AA batteries.

The AF may be primitive but the method is not. It uses exactly the same principle as modern AF cameras. The motor in the lens is the latest fad (Canon EOS. Pentax SDM....)
The batteries are in the wrong place though....
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