My Pentax

Pre-Spotmatic - Early Screw Mount

Pentax Screw Mount Cameras

In an old book about Pentax cameras by Herbert Keppler (“The Asahi Pentax Way”, resp. “Das Asahi Pentax Buch”) I found a drawing of the first Asahi Optical SLR camera, the Asahiflex, and got interested in these old cameras. Back in these days there was not much information available and the Asahiflex seemed to be quite rare. In the early 2000’s I finally could acquire my first Asahiflex IIb.

Click on an image for more details.


The Asahiflex was the first Japanese 35mm SLR camera. It has a 37mm screw mount, waist-level viewfinder and an additional eye-level viewfinder. The Asahiflex I was introduced in 1952.
In my opinion the Asahiflex is a wonderful camera. It feels like an old Leica and is not much louder than a Leica M, even the IIb and IIa have an instant return mirror. Taking pictures with an Asahiflex isn’t very comfortable but a lot of fun.

Asahiflex IIb (1)

The world’s first SLR with an instant return mirror.
1954 - 1955.

Asahiflex IIb (2)

In fact a IIa without slow shutter times.
According to Gerjan van Oosten one of the rarest Asahi cameras and in fact it was really hard to find a working example.
1955 - 1957.

Asahiflex IIa

Asahiflex top model with slow shutter speeds.
1955 - 1957

Asahi Pentax

The Asahi Pentax was introduced in 1957 and featured a built in pentaprism, rapid wind film advance lever and M42 screw mount.

Asahi Pentax (AP)

1957 - 1958.

Asahi Pentax S2

1961 - 1963.

Asahi Pentax S1a

(incl. Clip-On Exposure Meter Model 1)
1962 - 1968.

Asahi Pentax SV

(incl. Clip-On Exposure Meter Model 2)
1962 - 1968.