Asahi Pentax S2 and Takumar lenses

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by rthomas, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    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.
     
  2. mudman

    mudman Member

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    check out the pentaxforums for more information, they're really know they're stuff on the old bodies. It sounds like a great deal to me. If you ever get a newer Pentax, be careful - some of the really old lenses don't mount well and can damage the camera (according to Keppler's the pentax way).
     
  3. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Yes, I posted this there too, and I have gotten some information about the camera's production run; I'm not a collector exactly, but this is one worth having. It is a beat-up little camera - maybe I should post it in the Abused Cameras thread!
     
  4. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    That seems like a pretty good price to me. I'd be surprised if the lenses weren't worth more than that alone.

    I sold my 135/3.5 a couple of years back for the UK equivalent of about 40-50 USD. It was a good lens, too.
     
  5. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Does your S2 have a 1/1000th speed?
    I bought one on ePay and thought nothing of it until I read Daniel (Long Italian name!)'s book "The Pentax Story". It seems that S2s made for the home market and some others had the extra speed instead of going only to 1/500th and were known as S2 Supers. I checked on mine and found that it was the Super version, which stacked up because the seller had told me that her father had bought it in Japan when at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Worth a look...

    Steve
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    A lot of the cameras in this series, S1, S1a, and the SP500 have dials which only go up to 1/500 but the 1/1000 position is still there but un-marked - and it works. It is probably closer to 1/750 though.


    Steve.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Many of the early Pentax's had an unmarked 1/1000th, the shutter dial would turn past 1/500th to set it, but it wasn't regulated so not necessarily accurate.

    Ian
     
  8. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    The S2 Super's 1/1000th speed is marked as such.

    Steve
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Obviously - that's why it's marked as such, but the models with the un-marked but still functioning 1/1000th are not likely to be as accurate.

    Ian
     
  10. tokam

    tokam Subscriber

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    I was given a Pentax S2 late last year, belonged to my late father-in-law. After a fairly comprehensive and expensive overhaul, including new shutter curtains and a 'Sync bar', (whatever that is), it could be the best S2 in captivity. Lovely to handle and when cleaned up the viewfinder is impressively bright - microprism focus aids only, no split screen. In deferrence to its age I haven't tried the unofficial 1/1000th shutter speed. I have another Spotmatic which can handle that task in addition to the TTL metering duties. This a completely manual camera, no built-in metering of any sort. Considering that Spotmatics can be had here in Australia for around $30 - $40 with 50/1.8 I feel that $US75 may be a little high but then your CLA costs may well be a lot lower than the $250 I paid for a complete overhaul. Notwithstanding the price, when the camera is brought back up to proper working condition the feel of the wind on and the shutter sounds are very smooth and definitely indicative of a precision instrument. My Canon FD bodies by comparison sound positively agricultural even though they are in excellent condition. From what I have found the production of S2's ran from '59 to '60 or '61, followed by the S1 then S3.
     
  11. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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  12. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Some discussion on http://www.pentaxforums.com has revealed that this is indeed probably an S2 Super. It has a film counter that automatically resets (the S2 had a manual one) and it has a marked 1/1000th speed. Also, the serial number (172xxxx) is consistent with an S2 Super. There were US Customs documents, dated February 1969, in the camera case that show it was purchased new at a US Navy PX in Japan (probably in 1968, near the end of production for the S2 Super but years after the S2 was discontinued in 1963). A nice find indeed! I shot some film today, we will see how the camera did.
     
  13. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Was that not called the H1a in the U.S.A.
     
  14. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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  15. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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  16. PentaxBlue

    PentaxBlue Member

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  17. PentaxBlue

    PentaxBlue Member

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    This mainly holds true with the S1a since it is really an SV in disguise.
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG.

    Other way around, the S1a came first.

    I had 2 S1a', sold them years ago (late 70's) but interestingly I met the owner of one of thm last year and he still loved it. They are great cameras and the clip on meters are excellent too.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2009
  19. PentaxBlue

    PentaxBlue Member

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    I never said which one came first. I think they came out at the same time. I said they were essentially the same except that the S1a shows a 1/500 top shutter but is the same as the SV and they have the same manual. Go back to the above manual link. The S1a early type was made from 1962-64 and the late type was made from 1964-68. The same dates hold true for the early and late SV (H3v).

    http://www.aohc.it/slr02e.htm

    Edit: Regardless, and S2 is NOT an S1a. I have seen a lot of bodies with damage from those clip on meters that screw up the beautiful lines of these cameras.

    Edit: Edit: Here is a good article on the SV and its little brother.

    http://www.pixis.info/CameraPages/PentaxSv.html
     
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  20. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Indeed, this camera has the features of the S2 Super; Seaain and several other posters at PentaxForums.com have pretty much concluded that this camera is an S2 Super. Here is the evidence:

    It was originally purchased in Japan around 1968 (the last year the S2 Super was produced), it has a marked 1/1000th shutter speed (which appears to be accurate, based on my test roll), it has an auto-reset film counter, and it has serial number 172xxxx. There is a picture of another S2 Super online with serial number 170xxxx, and I have located an original S2 with serial number 23xxxx (six digits only).

    Given the many Pentax model names, I think that there are probably other S2 Supers out there in camera shops mislabeled as S2s because the seller isn't aware of the difference. If you see one check the information above.

    PS - if anybody is aware of a database of Asahi Pentax serial numbers, please post a link!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2009