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05-23-2009, 01:46 PM   #1
Ole's Avatar

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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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Pentax K2

Year introduced
Meter range
1 - 18 EV
Meter pattern
ISO range
8 - 6400
DX ISO range
No DX coding
Exposure modes
Av, M, B
Exposure compensation
+/-2 EV
Exposure memory lock
Shutter speeds (auto)
8 - 1/1000s
Shutter speeds (manual)
8 - 1/1000s, B
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
1/125s, B
Self timer
Mirror lock-up
Auto bracketing
Multiple exposures
Built-in flash
TTL flash
P-TTL flash
Sync speed
Flash exposure comp
Autofocus sensitivity
Not applicable
Power zoom
0.88x, 95%
Viewfinder type
Diopter correction
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Image size
24 x 36 mm
Panorama format
2 x S76
Battery grip/pack
Size (W x H x D)
144 x 92 x 57 mm
680 g

Attached Images
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PENTAX K10D  Photo 
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PENTAX K20D  Photo 

Last edited by Ole; 05-06-2010 at 10:40 PM.
05-24-2009, 07:13 PM   #2
8540tomg's Avatar

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Location: Waterloo, Ontario
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Posts: 4,454
As the flagship of the Pentax K series of the mid to late 70s, the K2 boasted most of the features one would expect from a “professional”

camera or “professionally oriented” camera of its vintage. These features included: mirror lockup, depth of field preview, +/- 2 (1 EV steps)

over/under exposure compensation, a vast range of ASA from 8 ~ 6400, self timer 5~9 seconds, flash sync 125th of a second, automatic

shutter priority and full manual match needle mode. Metering is center-weighted, accurate and reliable. I tend to think of the K2 as a K

1000 on steroids. The K2DMD variant of this camera featured a motor drive, data backs as well as an aperture window. I can’t imagine

why anyone would buy a K1000 if a K2 were available. You just get so much more. To my mind one of the best features is you get AE with

all those great old K and M series lenses.

The K2 is built like a tank and was built to last. I find it suits my hand far better than my diminutive Pentax MX. I purchased a K2 used in

1992 and continue to use it to this day. The foam was recently replaced as it was in for a cleaning, lube and adjustment. It should be

good for another 20 years. It will probably outlast me.

One area many have difficulty with is setting the ASA. This is always brought up by detractors as a major flaw. Initially, setting the ASA

can be a bit difficult. In some cases it may indicate the need for a CLA. Over time the lubrication in this area dries out and becomes stiff.

Like any other mechanical device proper maintenance will take care of the problem. Once you figure out how it works it is actually quite

simple to set.

One thing the K2 has in spades is a “quality feel.” It is a substantial well-made camera and the sound the shutter makes when tripped is

sublime. The same level of quality applies to the K series lenses that were introduced with this series of cameras. Many of these lenses

shared the same optical designs of the highly regarded Takumars, which they replaced. The brass and glass construction of these lenses

shout quality. Pentax optics have always been highly regarded and with good reason. If both the lab and I do our jobs properly this

camera and lenses deliver remarkable images. That is the true test of any camera.

Last edited by 8540tomg; 11-10-2010 at 07:00 AM. Reason: typo
05-24-2009, 09:34 PM   #3
Ole's Avatar

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Original Poster
If I want an easy-to-use, manual focus work horse camera I may still grab my K2. The only feature I miss is exposure lock (which was luckily later added on the K2 DMD) so I tend to use manual exposure mode so that I avoid fiddling with the cumbersome exposure compensation.

On the plus side counts the generously sized mirror which means that there is no darkening of the top part of the viewfinder with super telephoto lenses.
05-08-2010, 04:11 PM   #4
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Pentax K2 Camera Review

Pros Well made and reliable
Cons none
Rating 10
Price $85
Years Owned 2
I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
I have a black one and a chrome one. The camera took over where the ES & ES II left off with an automated stepless metal shutter. This body has a true mirror lock up.

Camera Review
This is my favorite K-mount manual focus body followed a close second by the ME F (or Super) and SuperProgram (a very different beast). I have a black body paired with a M 50mm f1.4 and a chrome one paired with a M 50mm f1.7 as normal lenses supported by a plethora of other Pentax and 3rd part lenses from the era. Some people freak over the ISA dial around the lens mount. I guess seeing this arrangement for the shutter speed and ASA on the Mamiya NC 1000 and one of the early Nikon Bodies, it didn't surprise me like it does some people. It is o.k once you get the hang of it. Kind of like loading film. I'm not going to give it a 9 because of the ASA dial because the other K's don't have this shutter (except the DMD version of this one).

Note: The price is the average for both bodies.

Last edited by Blue; 05-08-2010 at 04:16 PM.
06-15-2010, 05:43 PM   #5
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,342
Pentax K2 Camera Review

Pros Build & looks. Metal shutter, automatic shutter speed option.
Cons ASA ring and no “Judas Window".
Rating 9
Price Black - $150.00, Silver - $75.00 (Estimated, was purchased in a kit)
Years Owned 2

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The K2 was released in 1975 as part of the new “K” series line of film cameras & lenses, featuring the new bayonet mount. The K2 was the top of the line.

The K2 is technically the best of the original 1975-77 “K” series film bodies and has these extra improvements over the KX:

- Extra shutter speeds of 2, 4 & 8 seconds.
- Automatic shutter speed option.
- Dedicated mirror lockup button.
- Improved film pickup and advance system.
- Exposure Control dial.
- Faster flash sync of 1/125 sec.
- 5-bladed metal shutter.

On the negative side the K2 does not have Aperture-reader (Judas) window and has the infamous dreaded ASA film speed dial. The ASA ring is also prone to getting stuck, which makes it more costly a camera to CLA.

Camera Review
I bought two K2s in 2008 and enjoy them very much. I use them mostly around town and in specialty situations, like indoor macro work & night shooting, when I need the extra camera features. I still prefer my KX for traveling.

The metal shutter in a K2 is truly amazing and its best feature as far as I’m concerned! The automatic shutter speed option is also handy if you want to shoot using a specific aperture and not have to worry about the meter needles aligning.

I would rate the K2 close to a 10, the ASA ring and the missing “Judas Window” is stopping it from getting a perfect score!
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