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05-23-2009, 01:48 PM   #1
Ole's Avatar

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Pentax K2 DMD

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
685 g
Compared to the K2, the K2 DMD accepts a motor drive, a data back, and has an exposure lock button

Attached Images
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PENTAX K10D  Photo 

Last edited by Ole; 05-06-2010 at 10:40 PM.
05-24-2009, 02:45 PM   #2
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Location: Belgium
Posts: 94
I picked this one up for a bargain together with some lenses.
Haven't done much shooting with it, I'll update this when I have.


Seems like a very sturdy and rugged camera. I'm pretty confident this thing would survive a war

A lot of features, especially for a camera this old. Things like DOF preview, self-timer, X-sync socket, manual as well as automatic lighting, ... (see chart above)

Winder available, yet hard to find. Once you attach it it'll give you 2 fps.

These aren't as easily found as some other models, so if you see one definitly check it out. Also, this one came with a 50mm 1.4 as standard lens, which only shows that this camera was aimed at the more advanced photographers. So if you see one 2nd hand, be sure to check out the lens.


The ASA dial is extremely awkward to use. It's positioned around the lens mount, which is a very illogial place, especially if you compare it to the ease of the mechanism on the K1000 (at the shutter dial).
Takes a while to get used to, and always seems to block when you're in a hurry

Compared to models as the K1000, it's pretty heavy. I can imagine that combined with the grip, this thing might get a little too heavy for some people.

Doesn't have a TTL flash mechanism, but I'm not an expert in flash photography with film, which is why i avoid it, so this doesn't bother me.

Nice, sturdy camera, which is built to last. Apart from some weird design choices that were corrected in later models, this is a camera that'll be a pleasure to use even after so many years.

These were just my initial impressions, but I'll update this once I have some more experience with this camera after this summer.
05-27-2009, 08:10 PM   #3
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The "Large Body" Pro Camera - 9.5

The Asahi Pentax K2 DMD follows in the line of the K1000, KM, KX and K2 as somewhat large, sturdy, nearly indestructible cameras, introduced just as Olympus set the world on its ear with their small camera body.

I prefer the size and heft of this camera body style to the M-series, since I have size 10+ hands. The heavy, brass and aluminum K-series lenses balance well on this camera and make a nice, integrated package. The mass of a 135/2.5 mounted on this body offers a very stable platform for hand held shooting - I can't prove it, but I swear I gain a stop if I manage breath control.

The K2 DMD is a complete package for the enthusiast film shooter today:
  • when desired it can be a fully-mechanical camera
  • when desired it can be an Automatic Av camera with a stepless, electronic Seikosha shutter
  • when necessary it offers Exposure Lock
  • it offers mirror lock, self-timer and DoF preview
Pros: The large, bright viewfinder comes standard with a split-image focusing reticule, surrounded by a micro-prism ring and the matte screen. The oversized mirror prevents any kind of image impairment due to lens length.

If you can find them, there is a fairly complete suite of system accessories for action shooting - data back, including a mechanical clock to imprint date and time on images, 250 shot bulk film back, motor drive / grip (1/2 - 2 FPS and single) powered by either a rechargeable NiCad battery pack (the bateries usually need to be replaced now) or a long handle holding 12 penlite battereis (AA). A 3 meter and 10 meter power cable were available for remote shooting, usually of skittish fauna on a tripod from a blind, or hazardous-area shooting. There was even an AC power source similar to the LX studio power source (maybe the same item).

Viewfinder information (mechanically linked) incudes the aperture setting through a backlit Judas Window, shutter speed, match needle meter and exposure comensation indicator. The ASA ring never bothers me - just another thing to become accustomed to, then it is fine.

There really isn't much on a modern digital camera that a K2 DMD didn't have in analog form - except ASA (sensitity) control (without changing film!!).

Oh, and for a machine-lover like me, the feel and sound of the Seiko shutter firing is sublime - nothing in the ACT of taking a photograph is more satisfying to me (unless it is the KX shutter firing).

Cons: I can imagine it would be tiring to shoot with this heavy camera all day long - while carrying a bag full of K-series lenses. I rarely use it for more than an hour or two at a time so that doesn't affect me.

1/125 Flash Sync

Last edited by monochrome; 09-20-2009 at 01:35 PM.
09-16-2009, 08:56 PM   #4
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Great camera with a old-world pro-quality feel about it.

Yes it is built like a tank but its achilles heel is the electronics.

My camera developed a problem with the electronically-controlled shutter speed. I was told that it was irrepairable as the problem was in the circuit board and parts are no longer available for this camera - let alone new circuit boards.

In the end I had to sell it to someone who wanted it for spare parts. A very sad end for a great camera.

06-15-2010, 07:40 AM   #5
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Pentax K2 DMD Camera Review

Pros Shutter, build & looks, Split-microprism focusing screen, “Judas Window”.
Cons ASA Ring
Rating 10
Price $475.00
Years Owned 3 Months

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The K2 DMD is a beefed up version of the top of the line "K Series" K2 film body. It was released one year after the K2 in 1976 and remained in production for four years.

In addition to the features of the K2 Pentax added the following on the K2 DMD:

- The “Judas Window” Aperture Read-Out
- Exposure Compensation Warning
- Built-in Eyepiece Blind
- Low Battery Voltage Warning
- Photo Memory Lock
- Extended Photo Memory
- Split-Microprism Focusing Aid
- Interchangeable Backs
- Motor Drive Unit (Optional)
- Battery Grip (Optional)
- Data Back (Optional)

Prices in January 1978 were as follows:

K2DMD Body, Black - $566.50
Data Back MD - $447.50
Motor Drive MD - $343.95
Motor Drive Battery Grip M - $124.95
Motor Drive NiCad Battery Pack M - $124.00
Motor Drive Charge Pack M-120V - $33.35
Motor Drive Power Pack M - $207.00
Motor Drive Power Cord M 3M - $15.00
Motor Drive Power Cord M 10M - $25.00
Motor Drive Trigger Cord M - $15.00

Camera Review
I only have the K2DMD body, without the expensive options listed above. I found a close to mint CLAed copy a few months ago and already I can tell this is the best K series film body that Pentax made. With all the additional features added to the already great K2, this is a perfect film body without being too complicated. The build & looks of this camera is second to none and it’s only available in black!

Even with the infamous ASA ring, that truthfully you get used to after awhile, this camera has no faults.

And yes the sound of that metal shutter will give you Goosebumps!!
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