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Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-04-2021, 11:24 AM  
1957 Ricoh 500 Rangefinder
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 33
Views: 1,793
Bottom trigger-wind cameras are neat - until you want to use a tripod. Of course, Canon really pushed the concept in the 1950s with 3 generations of their rangefinders, claiming they were much faster to shoot action series. (But Leica had made rapid-wind baseplates for their rangefinders before, which Canon copied.) Since the left hand did the winding while the right had tripped the shutter, it was only faster if you didn't need to focus between shots.
Canon's first SLR (Canonflex) of 1959 also used a bottom trigger wind, but with a swinging design more like this Ricoh than their earlier linear-moving levers. Perhaps they got that idea from Ricoh?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-22-2021, 03:41 PM  
Poll: Should Pentax make a new film SLR
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 153
Views: 5,262
Glad to hear your M-A has been sound, as I'm sure most have been. Indeed most with satisfactory experience don't bother posting on these forums, so it does skew impressions toward the bad. I've bought many products in spite of on-line bad reports, and nearly all have been fine.
Yes, the M-A shares some features with both M3 & M4 (and M6 & MP), but the M3 is held up as the ultimate, so I think Leica uses that as the image. In 1968 I could have bought either a new M3 or M4 at the same price, and opted for the M4. I've never regretted it, and it is still going strong. If I were to buy a new film Leica I'd go for the MP, as my M6 spoiled me for its meter.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-22-2021, 01:05 PM  
Poll: Should Pentax make a new film SLR
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 153
Views: 5,262
As was noted in an earlier post, Leica never stopped making film cameras, last I knew both the MP (with light meter) and M-A (no electronics). The M-A (basically a modern version of the 1954 M3) was only introduced in 2014, as they found a pool of customers who longed for a classic, all mechanical, high-quality camera that would not go obsolete due to electronics.
However, even though this was basically a 50+ year-old design that required little development, there are a significant number of reports of problems, like scratching film, light leaks, etc. It's reported that all film Leica's are built by only one person at the factory. I suspect that all the accumulated, undocumented "art" of hand assembly and adjusting has been lost as the old workers retired. Even so, a part of me is tempted by a last chance to buy a new film Leica before I expire...
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-19-2021, 02:02 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8,000
Views: 1,039,007
I had both my Rollei and a Contax IIa serviced by Mark Hansen. Very good work, but no backlogged about 24 weeks...
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 03-25-2021, 07:08 AM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8,000
Views: 1,039,007
I disagree - I've used Leica M cameras since 1968 (M4 was my first) and have M2,3,4,5,6,9 & 10 and find the ZM finder clearer and easier to focus. The M10 is getting close, with better eye relief and very slightly higher mag. I wear glasses full time, so those who don't may have a different view.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 03-24-2021, 08:38 AM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8,000
Views: 1,039,007
I bought mine (silver) several years ago when the prices were lower (near $1,000). I got a deal because the RF infinity setting had drifted because a lock-screw had loosened. Took about an hour to fix, and it's been fine since.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 03-24-2021, 05:08 AM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8,000
Views: 1,039,007
Zeiss Ikon ZM - made from 2004-2012. Used Leica M mount, so can use all Leica rangefinder lenses. Made for Zeiss by Cosina in Japan. Viewfinder is better than any Leica M. Features similar to Leica M7 (aperture priority auto exposure). Very nice camera - too bad they didn't do a digital version to compete with Leica M9-10.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-19-2021, 09:58 AM  
Canon RF 800 mm for $ 1250 Cdn. ! Will this be a hit...or what ?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 34
Views: 1,591
Back in the 1960s - when Leica was still relevant - they released a 400mm f6.8 lens for handheld "snapshots" - used at the 1968 presidential conventions by David Douglas Duncan - where I saw it on TV news coverage. Lightweight lens with "trombone" focusing and removable shoulder support. It was also ridiculed for small aperture at a time when ASA 400 was fast film. But I still remember them showing a shot of Hubert Humphrey enlarged to 16x20, taken hand-held from across the convention hall. D.D.D. said it would not have been possible without that lens. It was not a "telephoto" - just a simple long-focus 2-element lens, but very effective.
It was designed to be used wide-open. I picked one up a while back, and have used it with the shoulder support on an A7, and it is quite effective.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-19-2021, 09:45 AM  
Got Squirrel Shots? (In memorial of Rupert)
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 2,930
Views: 277,991
F.I.P.
Frozen In Place
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-15-2021, 03:21 PM  
Replacement Leatherette pictures
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 69
Views: 4,811
I've replaced the covering on a few old Pentax, a Yashicaflex, and even a couple of pre-war Leicas. But in each case the old covering was beyond repair, and I stayed as close to original as possible. Aki Asahi did send me an extra cover that was quite a bright color (don't remember what...)
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-15-2021, 12:31 PM  
Got Squirrel Shots? (In memorial of Rupert)
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 2,930
Views: 277,991
The ice storm here has broken a ton of trees (Live Oaks and Cedars that still have foliage), then 6" of snow covered the ground feed (and froze our water supply pipes). So these ladies are dining on the fallen treetops that are now within reach. I know they are kinda large for squirrels, but they are also our common backyard denizens!
Attachment 525494
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-14-2021, 10:39 AM  
Got Squirrel Shots? (In memorial of Rupert)
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 2,930
Views: 277,991
Nice Texas weather!
Attachment 525379
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 12-24-2020, 06:11 AM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8,000
Views: 1,039,007
Well, I have Leica M2,3,4,5,6 (& digital 9 & 10) and while the M3 is a classic, I prefer the M2 & M4. In fact, when I bought my first Leica in 1968, M3, M2, & M4 were all available new. I worked at a Leica dealer, talked to the Leica area Rep, and bought the M4 instead of the M3 at the same price. I've never regretted it, and that M4 is still my favorite camera. I got a 90mm lens with the M4 when I bought it, and found the finder fine for it as well.
The M2 had several design changes from the original M3 (which also went through changes during its run, as it had many un-necessary complexities), and while the RF was simplified, it was just as clear and mechanically accurate, and was the basis for all subsequent Leica RFs. I have never had RF flare on M2 through M5 (which is another outstanding design).
However the M6 I added in 1985 did suffer from RF "whiteout" in certain lighting conditions, but I could always work around it by shifting my eye, etc. I finally had the finder upgraded a few years ago (including multicoated elements) and now it is flare free and very bright & clear.
I have always preferred the M2/4 style finders to the M3, even with a 50 mm lens, even though the M3 image is larger. The M3 50mm frame is always visible in the finder, with the 90 or 135 frame added if you mount those lenses. The M2 shows only the frame (35, 50, 90) matching the lens mounted. The M4 added a 135 frame in the middle of the 35 frame (both visible with either lens), but it's easy to keep them separate. In later Leicas with the 50/75 frame combination it can be distracting.
My oldest M3 is from 1955, and it is very carefully made and fitted together, and uses a glass pressure plate, and requires two short strokes to advance the film, while my 1962 M3 is more conventional (metal plate and single-stroke), with many other details simplified.
I don't find quality differences among all my film Leica enough to be a concern.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-18-2020, 06:08 PM  
Unusual Bulk Film Magazine
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 5
Views: 628
Of course the old Leicas didn’t have removable backs, but from 1934 to 1953 they made the Leica 250 Reporter which held 250 exp reels in bulges on both ends of the body. A major use was for commercial street portraits of people on holiday at England’s beaches. Companies would have several and send out a number of photographers to work the crowds all day without having to change film. The cameras got a lot of wear doing this on the sea beaches, but some still work and go for high prices to collectors.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 12-14-2020, 07:19 PM  
Sony A7 autofocus
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 36
Views: 1,540
I picked up an original A7 body for my old manual SLR lenses, including Pentax. I find the VF quite adequate, and I can judge sharpness for manual focus much more accurately with it than with any dSLR. Of course more recent mirrorless have much better EVFs, but the A7 works fine for me. In dim light the finder refresh slows, but the image stays bright.
I did pick up an inexpensive Sony 50 f1.8 plastic-fantastic autofocus lens to try (I generally hate autofocus) and in decent light I've been surprised by how accurate it is at f1.8. It sure isn't instant, but very usable. I still prefer manual focus lenses, but my wife likes this one.
I've used SLRs since 1965, and actually prefer the old true ground-glass screens, dim as they are, for accurately judging focus.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 12-07-2020, 01:45 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8,000
Views: 1,039,007
Welcome to Mark Hama Ltd.
A year or so ago Mark did a CLA on a Sawyers IV (127 4x4 TLR) for me, and after that a Nikon F. His work was fine, price reasonable.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 11-26-2020, 11:49 AM  
My take on the new Sony A7C vs the K-1 ii
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 22
Views: 1,351
This was a good feature comparison, which is appropriate as most people want the most features - even if they never use them. I've been a film SLR user since 1965 (starting with the Pentax H1a), and never even moved to autofocus, let along dSLR. (Well, I've tried dSLRs including a K5, but could never get past the tiny tunnel-view viewfinders that are so poor for manual focus, even compared to my old H1a.) I finally tried the original Sony A7 body for my extensive film-era manual lenses, and found the EVF much superior to dSLR for manual focus, as it works well for judging sharpness (leaving the focus aids turned off). I haven't touched a dSLR since.
I like spot-metering, and the EVF of the A7 shows how the scene brightness changes as you meter different "spots" of the scene in manual exposure modes. A big plus for EVF implementation.
I know the Sony menus are criticized a lot, but I hardly use them once I had the camera set for the way I work.
The A7C might be a good replacement once my A7 stops working, but otherwise I see no reason to change.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-22-2020, 06:20 PM  
ADVISORY: Pentax 6x7, 67 METER COUPLING CHAIN AND TTL METER PRISM
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8
Views: 6,830
Removing the prism with the lens on is not a problem, but notice the manual says to remove the lens before mounting the prism back in place - failing to have the lens off when mounting the prism is the problem.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 11-19-2020, 06:20 PM  
Leica SLRs - any catch?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 24
Views: 1,287
Sounds reasonable for that combination in exceptional condition. The R8 is quite big and heavy, but is nice in use. No repair parts available. I have one, but prefer my LeicaflexSL2.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 11-14-2020, 06:33 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8,000
Views: 1,039,007
I actually preferred the larger diagonal micro-prism focusing spot of the H1a to the SV screen. Otherwise (except for self timer) same camera. Of course, it was my first SLR in 1965, so there's an emotional factor.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 11-14-2020, 04:52 PM  
Leica SLRs - any catch?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 24
Views: 1,287
And then people realized that the VT could not use Canon reloadable cassettes, as it had no baseplate key to open them. So they belatedly added a key for the cassette, but it took a new style cassette as the original mechanism required the bottom baseplate to engage it.

I have a couple VT (early and late) VI-T, and a couple of the L models that kept a thumb lever instead of the bottom trigger to advance film. I think the IVSB2 (just before the VT) was the best made Canon - and I'd say workmanship was better than the Leica IIIf of that time.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 11-14-2020, 01:35 PM  
Leica SLRs - any catch?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 24
Views: 1,287
Loading Leica and similar cameras was much easier when I started using them, as back then all commercial 35mm film came with a “long leader” (4 1/2”) already trimmed on the roll. Leica was the first (~1924) 35mm on the market, and was about the most popular until after WW2. Many others copied the Leica loading system - including Canon throughout the 1950s, so film was provided that needed no trimming.
I remember when I first bought a roll with the modern short leader: I thought it must have been a manufacturing error.
My oldest Leica was made in 1929. I have others from the 1930s & 40s, and all are still working fine.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 11-14-2020, 10:49 AM  
Leica SLRs - any catch?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 24
Views: 1,287
After Leica discontinued the R line, they sold off ALL parts to a single company, and Leica specialists are now unable to get repair parts. The R models based on Minolta designs are not aging well, and problems are common. One of the top USA Leica repairers (DAG) says he will no longer repair R bodies, as too often they fail for unrelated issues after servicing them. I’ve used an R4 - R6 since about 1986, and have gone through 4 or 5 bodies recently trying to keep one working. The R6 shutter is all mechanical, so may be more reliable than the other models, but metering may be an issue.
On the other hand my original Leicaflex and SL and SL2 models are still doing fine. These were original Leitz designs before the Minolta models. Meter CdS cell aging can still be an issue with these.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-22-2020, 10:52 AM  
Now in stereo!
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 11
Views: 872
I used a Stereo Realist 35 mm camera for some years in the early 1960s before I switched to an H1a. Stereo slides were quite popular through the 1950s, and the Realist was my dad’s only camera. I still have his 20+ year collection of Kodachrome slides from all over the world, along with his 3-D projector, etc. Brings back memories.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-20-2020, 11:13 AM  
Battery
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8
Views: 783
It's also common on these old cameras for the wire connecting to the battery terminal under the bottom cover to break off from corrosion. Easy to remove the cover and see, resolder if needed.
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