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Asahiflex Bonanza
Posted By: RobA_Oz, 04-30-2015, 11:05 PM

The German Pentax eBay seller, kilo404, has not one but four Asahiflex bodies (two with lenses) on offer at the moment, including a Tower 22, a IIA and two IIBs. Conditions vary, but for someone looking to collect the early models, there may be something worth looking at here.

Links are:
Tower 22 (IIA)
Asahiflex IIA
Asahiflex IIB
Asahiflex IIB
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05-01-2015, 11:18 PM   #2
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Those are really spendy. With shipping from Japan, I was able to pick up two of those models earlier this year for $119 and $152.
05-02-2015, 12:33 AM   #3
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European Prices, I guess, possibly including taxes. I have occasionally bought from them, but only when the prices were reasonable and the items unobtanium elsewhere.
05-02-2015, 01:37 AM   #4
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Sorry to chime in but why would anyone want to buy these early models, when they clearly are inferior even to a humble Spotmatic, not to mention all the K bodies ? I get that the lens might possible be worth something, but these bodies are generally awful, terribly outdated, with worn mechanisms , filthy mirrors, dim viewfinders, low max shutter speeds, etc. etc.. what is that I do not get about these ? (and spare me the 'collector's value' argument which in most cases is just an excuse for growing LBA problem :P )

05-02-2015, 03:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by manntax Quote
Sorry to chime in but why would anyone want to buy these early models, when they clearly are inferior even to a humble Spotmatic, not to mention all the K bodies ? I get that the lens might possible be worth something, but these bodies are generally awful, terribly outdated, with worn mechanisms , filthy mirrors, dim viewfinders, low max shutter speeds, etc. etc.. what is that I do not get about these ? (and spare me the 'collector's value' argument which in most cases is just an excuse for growing LBA problem :P )
Fun. Never had a Tower but I had a K and Zebra for a while.

Once they're CLA'ed it's fun to shoot with them.

Of course an LX is sublime - but the experience is kind of sterile and technical . Same for an MZ-S (except with an FA43 - that's fun).

AFAIC the SV (1958), KX and K2DMD are the most fun to take out for a walk or a day but the 'K' was plain thrilling to use. I sold it off because it was just too valuable to keep.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-03-2015 at 06:44 PM.
05-02-2015, 04:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by manntax Quote
Sorry to chime in but why would anyone want to buy these early models, when they clearly are inferior even to a humble Spotmatic, not to mention all the K bodies ? I get that the lens might possible be worth something, but these bodies are generally awful, terribly outdated, with worn mechanisms , filthy mirrors, dim viewfinders, low max shutter speeds, etc. etc.. what is that I do not get about these ? (and spare me the 'collector's value' argument which in most cases is just an excuse for growing LBA problem :P )
I gather from what you say, that you have no interest in acquiring an old mechanical device, taking it apart, finding out how it works and how to fix what's wrong with it. If that's the case, then you probably won't see why people buy old motorcars that are not the easiest to drive, or most efficient, or fastest of their eras, but there are plenty of people who do.

Some people just like it. There's no rhyme or reason to it: they just do, and they don't need to be excused by anyone.
05-02-2015, 04:57 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Fun. Never had a Tower but I had a K and Zebra for a while.
I totally get the fun factor - but as you say even SV would give you the same manual experience - so why bother with these old overpriced rarer versions ?

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
I gather from what you say, that you have no interest in acquiring an old mechanical device, taking it apart, finding out how it works and how to fix what's wrong with it. If that's the case, then you probably won't see why people buy old motorcars that are not the easiest to drive, or most efficient, or fastest of their eras, but there are plenty of people who do.
That makes sense .. despite the fact that e.g. Spotmatic is easier available, with greater access to the parts etc.. and probably the mechanical principle of working pretty much the same as these rarer versions..

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Some people just like it. There's no rhyme or reason to it: they just do, and they don't need to be excused by anyone.
Fair enough ...
05-02-2015, 05:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by manntax Quote
That makes sense .. despite the fact that e.g. Spotmatic is easier available, with greater access to the parts etc.. and probably the mechanical principle of working pretty much the same as these rarer versions..
Degree of difficulty, personal challenge: who knows? Some folks are just built differently to the rest. Standing up in a hammock, if you know that story…

05-02-2015, 07:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Standing up in a hammock, if you know that story…
Never heard this one! Can you fill us in?
05-02-2015, 08:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fat Albert Quote
Never heard this one! Can you fill us in?
I can picture a Vaudeville slapschtik routine.

I can guess the key lines -

Why would you try to stand up in a hammock? A hammock is perfectly engineered to lie down in!! The floor is perfectly engineered to stand up on!!!!

To see whether I could stand up in a hammock.

Of course the story is all in the details and the telling.
05-02-2015, 02:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fat Albert Quote
Never heard this one! Can you fill us in?
Not until the children are in bed, but I can tell you the story involves a man whose hallmark was finding the most challenging ways to achieve things, on his wedding night…
05-03-2015, 06:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by manntax Quote
Sorry to chime in but why would anyone want to buy these early models, when they clearly are inferior even to a humble Spotmatic, not to mention all the K bodies
I had a working IIB for a while, but one of the parts was really old and failed. It was a lot of fun to use. The different interface of older cameras forces the photographer to spend more time thinking about how to take the shot and double check that everything is correct. Since I use camera from basically all the major systems, I'm pretty used to it. But if you've never tried it, trying a completely different type of camera is great for your photography as it forces you to re-learn and break old,, bad habits to replacethem with new, better habits.
05-04-2015, 01:00 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by K David Quote
I had a working IIB for a while, but one of the parts was really old and failed. It was a lot of fun to use. The different interface of older cameras forces the photographer to spend more time thinking about how to take the shot and double check that everything is correct. Since I use camera from basically all the major systems, I'm pretty used to it. But if you've never tried it, trying a completely different type of camera is great for your photography as it forces you to re-learn and break old,, bad habits to replacethem with new, better habits.
Don't get me wrong - I am all for the fun of vintage cameras and lenses,, After all I started with Kiev 4 back when I was 13 and had to figure all our by my self - that was a lot of fun and that very camera continues bringing me a lot of joy even now ... The point I struggle with is paying pretty dollar for an old camera which doesn't really cut it for me personally. How different is using this asahiflex slr really from using an old SV or SP ? Many vintage cameras offers the same level of vintage experience, and often are cheaper more common and often more reliable.... but to each their own
05-04-2015, 02:12 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by manntax Quote
Don't get me wrong - I am all for the fun of vintage cameras and lenses,, After all I started with Kiev 4 back when I was 13 and had to figure all our by my self - that was a lot of fun and that very camera continues bringing me a lot of joy even now ... The point I struggle with is paying pretty dollar for an old camera which doesn't really cut it for me personally. How different is using this asahiflex slr really from using an old SV or SP ? Many vintage cameras offers the same level of vintage experience, and often are cheaper more common and often more reliable.... but to each their own
You could ask old car people the same questions and you'd get the same answers.
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