Asahi Pentax S1a SLR Camera

Asahi Pentax S1a SLR camera
Asahi Pentax S1a SLR camera

I’ve been given one of these cameras along with a zoom lens and 55mm prime lens by Amy. I did some research on the web and discovered the camera was the first SLR camera with a pentaprism and dates back to around 1960. I stripped it down and discovered the clever simplicity of totally manual SLR cameras, there’s nothing inside them!

Really nothing, I took the lens off, opened the back, set the shutter to “Bulb” mode and upon pressing the shutter release ended up with a giant 35mm hole going right through the camera. Nothing on this camera is electronic, and it’s so obvious now looking through the lens and twisting the aperture ring to work out how that affects the image.

It’s been cleaned out and loaded with film. I’ve already shot ten “test” shots and will take it for a ride about on my bike tomorrow if it’s not raining. The Asahi Pentax camera is all metal, with a zoom lens that weighs more than my Nikon DSLR body and lens! The lens also has “Made in USSR” stamped on it πŸ™‚ This is a camera I’d be quite happy dangling from my neck while walking through town – if anyone tried to steal itΒ  I’d just whack them on the head with it πŸ˜‰

I took a few photos of it, and a few photos looking through the lens. Meta-photography is sort of amusing.

Once I’ve used up the film and found somewhere that can develop it, and assuming the camera doesn’t leak light like a Lomo I should have some nice photos. It’s quite hard guessing the exposure settings by eye, but since I shoot in manual on my DSLR I’m constantly altering the aperture and shutter speeds anyway and I think my guesses should be good.

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