Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The User's Review: Sears Tower 26, A Rebrand Asahi Pentax, Made Between 1957 - 1958

One week ago, I got it  from a local guy who had wanted to sale it for a long time (Meiyuan er shi). 

I did not know any about this model before did research on it. Now I realize that it has the following story and features:  
A: The same model marketed under two brand names (Asahi Pentax AP and Tower 26), an icon in both 35mm film SLR and American mail retail history (Sears’ Tower camera brand, popular in 1950’s, came before Sears Tower of 1973)
B: The model promoted the general/standardized layout of 35mm film SLRs.
C: The first SLR with a right-hand single-stroke film advance lever
D: The first Japanese SLR with a fixed pentaprism
E: The only model has Pentax as its model name, and then Pentax has adopted as the brand name
F: Two shutter speed dials with both B and T settings
G: Two aperture rings in the front section of its original lens (an aperture ring with a preset ring)

Let's open it and see what it looks like:

Pentax AP

To celebrate its 50th anniversary,  Pentax revealed a 'Design Study Model' of AP 50th Anniv DSLR in 2007.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The User's Review: Canon Pellix QL, A Fixed Mirror 35mm Film Camera Released in 1966

Canon Pellix (1965) is the first marketed pellicle mirror camera. Pellix QL is a Pellix with a 'Quick Loading of film' device inside the film door.

There two things I like to point out here:

1. If you want to buy a Pellix or Pellix QL to use, you better get a copy with an active built-in light meter. Since the pellicle mirror always reflects a portion of light coming into the lens, I believe, it is not that straight forward to measure the light reaching the film behind the mirror by using a hand-hold or shoe-mount meter. Well, even with a working meter inside the camera, the next question is how to find the required cell battery of 1.3 v. There are several ways to solve this issue as suggested online.

2. In the Pellix manual, it says that Pellix accepts Canon FL lenses. I do not have one. Therefore, I tried my FD lens. At beginning, I could not mount the FD lens to Pellix. Then, I figured out that the FD lens could be mount unless the aperture ring was moved away from 'A' setting. It's understandable because the built-in meter is the kind of 'stop-down'.

If you really want to experience a pellicle mirror camera, I believe that the AF body, EOS RT compatible with more common EF lens, is more practical to use and is less expensive.

The QL device within the back door, on the right side of the image

See the image of built-in meter sensor? It's located between the mirror and shutter blades. It will stand up when the  meter handle is pushed leftward.

The battery chamber with two contacts for meter booster

I saw at least two versions of Pellix cases with the same base, which consists of three layers (leather, metal and cloth)

The front upper sections with the Pellix label have two versions.  The one  on the left has a flip upper back  and a metal layer. the other on the right without the flip has no internal metal layer