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04-18-2009, 07:28 PM   #1
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Asahi Pentax S2 and lenses

I just found an Asahi Pentax S2 in an antique shop here in Boone, NC. Usually they only have old Brownies and the odd Polaroid Land Camera, so I was amazed to see this SLR. For $75 total, the kit includes the S2 body and a clip on accessory shoe, plus 55/2.0, 55/1.8, and 135/3.5 Takumars (either super or SMC), as well as an ancient hard case with foam padding. Everything seems to work, although the body needs a little cleaning and all the gear has a number engraved somewhere. The lenses have a little dust but no fungus. The camera kit is actually on layaway for me right now, so I don't have it in front of me. I scrolled through the forums and didn't see any posts about the S2 right away. Anybody have advice or comments about this camera? Did I get a good deal? (I feel like I did). After several years of digital Nikons I am looking forward to running some film through this old classic.

04-18-2009, 08:13 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthomas Quote
I just found an Asahi Pentax S2 in an antique shop here in Boone, NC. Usually they only have old Brownies and the odd Polaroid Land Camera, so I was amazed to see this SLR. For $75 total, the kit includes the S2 body and a clip on accessory shoe, plus 55/2.0, 55/1.8, and 135/3.5 Takumars (either super or SMC), as well as an ancient hard case with foam padding. Everything seems to work, although the body needs a little cleaning and all the gear has a number engraved somewhere. The lenses have a little dust but no fungus. The camera kit is actually on layaway for me right now, so I don't have it in front of me. I scrolled through the forums and didn't see any posts about the S2 right away. Anybody have advice or comments about this camera? Did I get a good deal? (I feel like I did). After several years of digital Nikons I am looking forward to running some film through this old classic.
S2/H2 is 1959-1963 production. The correct lens is and Auto-Takumar 55mm f/2. Relatively easy to find nice copies of this lens. S2 was the fourth production model after "AP," with 130,892 units produced - making it the fourth rarest in the pentaprism line.

Overall, one of my favorites together with the S3. Enjoy it.

woof!
04-18-2009, 09:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I believe the 55/2 on this body is a Super-Takumar. The control layout is perfect, almost the same as a Spotmatic I once owned.
04-19-2009, 04:59 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthomas Quote
Thanks for the info. I believe the 55/2 on this body is a Super-Takumar. The control layout is perfect, almost the same as a Spotmatic I once owned.
Yes, almost exactly the same. Film counter requires manual reset, bu that is part of the joy. Heh.

Where is the number etched in on the camera? I might have a baseplate lying around...

Don't be surprised if the camera needs a CLA. The S2/H2 is worth it if it is in good shape. Eric Hendrickson is your man. Home I think he's charging 55.00 these days for a very thorough job.

woof!

05-07-2009, 05:01 PM   #5
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Ok, today I brought this little camera home. It's a shame the original owner engraved their ID number on the baseplate, and it's obvious that the camera has traveled A LOT. There were travel documents in the camera case! I love owning a piece of history like this. The camera body cleaned up nicely overall but it still looks its age. The lenses are gorgeous! All are Super-Takumar, no SMC-Takumars. Can't wait to run some film through it.
05-07-2009, 05:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by woof Quote
Film counter requires manual reset, bu that is part of the joy.
Interesting - mine resets when I open the back! The serial number is 1721376, and there is another number on the lower right of the back of the baseplate (which is where the engraving and most of the wear is), below the lip where the back closes... it's 23030.

Also the mirror was obviously cleaned... repeatedly... oh well.

The viewfinder is overall not bad, I suppose the scratches on the mirror reduce the light transmitted... I suspect that this camera came to the antique shop through an estate sale, otherwise the travel docs wouldn't have still been in the case. Must have been the original owner...
05-07-2009, 05:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthomas Quote
Ok, today I brought this little camera home. It's a shame the original owner engraved their ID number on the baseplate, and it's obvious that the camera has traveled A LOT. There were travel documents in the camera case! I love owning a piece of history like this. The camera body cleaned up nicely overall but it still looks its age. The lenses are gorgeous! All are Super-Takumar, no SMC-Takumars. Can't wait to run some film through it.
Ah, the joy of a new toy!!
05-07-2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthomas Quote
There were travel documents in the camera case! I love owning a piece of history like this.
I bought some used Carousel trays on eBay several years ago.
The previous owner had used them for his travel slides from the mid-1960's.
Written on the boxes were destinations including India, Turkey, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

Man, do I wish I had those slides!
I wonder if they would match my 1960's National Geographic image of those places?
What a piece of history they would be...

Chris

05-07-2009, 05:22 PM   #9
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Sounds lovely. I wish film was a realistic option for me here, but it aint. I need to be rich and famous first.
05-07-2009, 05:27 PM   #10
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Great early Pentax line. I have a slightly later S3V..... basically the same camera. It's noticebly smaller than the later Spotmatics, nice & compact for it's era. The winder is also smoother than the later Spotmatics, not being ratcheted (strokes must be completed or started over..... no partial, smaller strokes as with the Spotmatics). Definitely worth a CLA, especially with the great lenses you also obtained. Pick up an adapter on Ebay (look for a Pentax adapter, not a cheaper knockoff) for about $30 & you can use them with your K-Mount DSLR.
05-07-2009, 05:30 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I bought some used Carousel trays on eBay several years ago. The previous owner had used them for his travel slides from the mid-1960's.
Written on the boxes were destinations including India, Turkey, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria. I wonder if they would match my 1960's National Geographic image of those places?
The documents in the case include a 1968 British Rail brochure on train travel in Belgium, and also US Customs documents from the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach, in February 1969. The customs form lists the purchase place as a US Navy PX in Yokosuka, Japan. Somebody sure did some sight-seeing!
05-07-2009, 05:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by raymeedc Quote
The winder is also smoother than the later Spotmatics, not being ratcheted (strokes must be completed or started over..... no partial, smaller strokes as with the Spotmatics).
My S2 actually allows partial winds. I wonder if I have a very late model? ...


No, nevermind, it doesn't allow partial winding - it's not ratcheted.

Last edited by rthomas; 05-07-2009 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Oops...
05-08-2009, 04:27 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthomas Quote
Interesting - mine resets when I open the back! The serial number is 1721376, and there is another number on the lower right of the back of the baseplate (which is where the engraving and most of the wear is), below the lip where the back closes... it's 23030.
Hah! You have a fixer...

The first camera to incorporate the auto reset was the S1, Despite the number, it came AFTER the S2 and even after the S3. (S2 = 1959, S3 = 1960/1, S1=1961).

I'd like to see pictures. What you PROBABLY have is an S1 that got dropped on its head or something and had the top plate replaced with an older S2 top plate. The S1 plates may not have even been available, or the shop had some older parts cameras... some scenario like that. I have a couple such camera in my collection. one in particular I still cannot fully figure out what it started as.

There is no way any S2 ever had auto reset or it would have shown up in S3 production. Still, I'd like some detailed pictures of the rewind mechanism and the camera and top plate generally.

woof!
05-09-2009, 06:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by woof Quote
Hah! You have a fixer...

I'd like some detailed pictures of the rewind mechanism and the camera and top plate generally.
Interesting. I will post some pics tomorrow!
05-10-2009, 08:11 AM   #15
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Pictures

Here are several pics of my "S2 hybrid" - please let me know what you think...
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