More on the Pentax film camera project

How many MPs do you see used enough to get brassed. MP & Summaron?..... hands down no question!


The MP came home today… the tipping point was realising it has the 0.85 viewfinder.

I’ve left the Summaron for the moment as I already have too many 35s. If I rid a few I might go back.
Thanks for this. Good review and good photos.
You're welcome. Analog Insight is a great YouTube channel. (How rare it is to say that.) If you go back a way on that channel, they have really good reviews of the OM-1 and Pen S that I imagine you might find interesting.
Here is another interesting and well balanced (mostly positive) review:

I was struck by the fact that the photographer in this video advanced the film right after each shot.

This was common practice with snapshot cameras. However, when I got my first "serious" camera, an SLR in 1972, I always advanced the film just before the shot, so that the shutter wouldn't be left cocked. This worked well for me and my style of photography.

It occurs to me, however, that street shooters might prefer advancing the film immediately after each exposure, so that they can react more quickly to the next potential image.

This all became moot with internal auto-advance and with digital cameras. I wonder how others approached this back in the days of manual film advance.

- Murray
Even with my first camera, an AE-1 back in 1982, I would advance as soon as I was lowering the camera from my eye. I never worried about leaving the shutter tensioned, rather I worried about not being ready for a surprise shot. I still do that to this day with my manual advance cameras - especially 120 roll film cameras (doubly so if red window) since they're always more fiddly to advance even if they have a lever.

Just one data point, YMMV & etc.
Same here. Most of my work is street or event photography, so I want to be ready for the next shot. Once the shutter is released I advance the film without even thinking about it. I don't think I could stop myself even if I tried. Occasionally I accidentally trip the shutter, but not as often as you might expect, though I do have a few shots of my foot, the sidewalk, the seat of my car, the top of a table in a restaurant, an unidentified blur here and there, to document those times when I do.
Shooting FSU Barnacks started me advancing immediately years ago and I do it on everything now. The only downside is I occasionally push the shutter button when putting my cameras in my small carry bag. But I shoot a lot of film and that happens less than once a month.

My Pentax 17 seems to be perfectly happy with an immediate advance.
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Because they didn't want to compete with the three million plus K1000s they already made in the used market. The K1000 was priced at $315 (body only) when it was discontinued in 1997 (Pentax K1000 - Wikipedia). Adjusted for inflation, that works out to about $620 in today's dollars. You can buy a perfectly good K1000 with a lens for around $200 today (less if you're patient or lucky). While you can't compare the price of a brand new camera to a 40 year old used camera, I think at least for this initial offering Pentax needed something that would differentiate the camera from what's available in the used market for one-third the price they would have to sell a new camera for. (And I expect if they recreated the original all-metal K1000 and not the later Chinese-made plastic version it would cost a great deal more than $620. The price of the K1000 when it was introduced in 1976 was $299.50 with a 55mm f/2 lens—that's $1,653.14 adjusted for inflation.)

I'm also unclear on why you would think a 35mm SLR is economically unrepairable. If the camera is not damaged, a routine CLA should get it back up to factory spec at a very reasonable cost. I've had a couple of mine serviced and the cost was in the $75–$150 range.
I agree with your reasoning regarding Pentax's desire to introduce a film camera that steers clear of used Pentax 35mm SLR's.
Leica has a similar problem, new film cameras competing with the used Leica market.
But, buying a used K1000 or similar body for my students is a risky affair.
Most of these +-40 year old cameras require a CLA and precious time to perform that CLA.
The semester goes by quickly and the students need cameras that work properly from DAY ONE.
I have a closet filled with non-functioning 35mm SLR cameras that are not worth the cost of repair.
In my opinion, if Pentax had introduced a new version of the K1000 (even in plastic) for under $500 with a lens or under $400 body only, it would sell very well.
Why try to reinvent the "K1000-type wheel" with an automatic half-frame point and shoot?
Based on the video interviews and official communications from Pentax I don't think they are trying to re-invent the K1000. I recognize that there are a lot of people, myself included, who are looking forward to a 35mm Pentax from this project but I suspect that my grandchildren may not be quite as interested in the same type of camera as I would be.

I could be wrong but I am not even sure that Pentax is interested in producing this camera for very long. They could be looking at one or two years and move on to something different. Face it, my grandson isn't even playing the same video games he did two years ago. Film is fun right now but two or three years from now he may be getting married and having kids of his own. Things can sometimes change pretty fast for young people.
Though I was a bit sceptical about this project at first, and especially when I saw that it was half frame, it has piqued my interest. It's an interesting camera, appears to be well designed and constructed, and looks like a lot of fun. I hope it will attract a younger group of film users. I've just recently started shooting film again myself after a hiatus of almost five years, and I'm enjoying using my OM-1 again, and others.

I've never really thought much about half frame, but after seeing the reviews of the new Pentax I began reading about the format, the history and the cameras, and relevant posts from RFF. I had just about decided to buy the new Pentax but ordered a newly CLA'ed Canon Demi EE17 from Japan instead, for about 1/3 the price. It's a beautiful camera and I'm intrigued by using portrait mode more often, and thinking in diptychs, not to mention getting 72 exposures from a roll of film given its high cost these days, though I may switch to 24 frame rolls for half frame.

If I find that the new (to me) format resonates, I'll seriously consider getting a new Pentax, or a used one when they start showing up at KEH. At any rate, these are interesting times and I'm looking forward to seeing what Pentax does next. And I hope they are very successful.