New Vintage Equipment

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by magkelly, May 20, 2010.

  1. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    Guess what I got an hour ago for FREE?

    A whole big box of vintage gear!

    It's not the K1000 they suggest at the local schools but in the box there's a Honeywell Pentax SP1, VGC, and it seems to be working okay. (I don't have the right battery to check the light meter as yet.) Also a Canon AE-1 but I'm not sure about this one. Looks near perfect, but the film advance lever is stuck. There's no shutter click when you press the button. There's no film inside so I'm not sure what's going on there as yet. I hope this camera is salvageable though. It's got some good reviews, the AE1. It's a black version which I like. Very sweet looking old camera. It also has a nice zoom lens to go with besides.

    There were several lenses for both. I'm trying to figure them all out now, but the whole box was quite a haul. There are two really nice Super-Takumar lenses, two Vivitar teleconverters. I understand these S-T lenses are lovely. In excellent condition from the looks of them. No mold that I can see, no yellow. Most of the lenses are in the original leather type cases. The cameras both have them too. Really nice condition.

    It's like the guy never used it, and he said he did, all the time, for years. I have 3 manuals, a couple of bigger books for these cameras. Basically I've got 2 starting film kits here, and at least one is working, the Pentax. Me, I'm very happy I don't have to take anything out of the DSLR kitty now to have a film camera for school!

    S-T 1.28/105 #2348354
    S-T 1.14/50 #3291508
    Vivitar Auto 3X tele-converter Model 3X-1
    Vivitar Auto 3X-8 tele-converter
    Canon Zoom FD 1.4 35-70 MM
    Flash-Sunpak Auto 101
    Flash-Rollei Beta 2

    Not bad, huh?

    I'll take some quick pics in a little while. Got to ask you vintage camera pros some questions and I need to do some searching to see if I can put a hot shoe on this SP1 or not. I think I can, and that would be practical as these old flashes and the one I already have need one.

    Also I just found these really odd Soligor Elitar lenses in my Grandad's old stuff! Not for film cameras. I think they are for an old movie camera. They are labeled 1.19/6.5MM # 197551 and 1.19/38MM #27702. I'm trying to look them up and see what to auction those for, no use here, but I can't even find any so far.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Mag, the Canon AE1 needs a battery to function. It is not a purely mechanical camera nor does it work on only one speed like other cameras (without a battery). Installing a new battery might solve the problem. If the film winding lever is stuck in the folded position, then it's most likely the battery which went dead. As soon as you replace it with a fresh one, it should come back to life.

    Good find!
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    The SP1 and both Super-Taks are good pieces. You can't get the original RM400 battery for the SP1. There may be some modern substitutes, but any would require some form of adjustment or compensation. Other than the metering difference and the screw mount instead of bayonet mount, the SP-1 (aka Spotmatic) is pretty much the same camera as the K1000.

    The Vivitar 3x tele-converters are junk.

    The Sunpak flash was a good flash, although a rather small and weak one, in its day. Electronic flashes don't always age well, particularly when unused for a long time. The Rollei is much the same.

    The Soligor Elitar seem to be cine lenses, probably D-mount for 8mm. They aren't of much use.

    As Mitica said, the AE-1 is an electronic camera with no mechanical backup. You must have a good working battering in it to do anything. It uses a more modern PX28 silver oxide battery, not an evil mercury based one like the SP-1, so they are still available. The AE-1 is a decent camera and the 35-70 f/4 is adequate for general use, though the older Super-Takumar primes are likely to prove distinctly better.
     
  4. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, thanks. I just figured that out. (It really helps if you read the whole manual before you play with the pretty camera!) I hadn't read a whole lot in the books as yet when I typed about it. I had them but I'd only gotten to glance at them. I was still in the process of looking everything up at that point and hadn't gotten to sit down and really read all the info that came with.

    I did some research this afternoon. It looks like there are a couple of variants on a theme, watch and digital pointer batteries out there that I can use for the Pentax Spotmatic so actually that's not going to be that hard to get. The one for the Canon is a really easy find, yes, so that's handy.

    I'm going to hit the local drug and watch repair stores to get a couple of the Pentax substitute and one for the Canon too, just to see if it will come back to life with a fresh one tomorrow. Amazon has them in bulk too but I want to see if the suggested ones I've found on the Pentax forum actually do work before I order a bulk pack. I want to see about ordering a hot shoe also. Looks like you can use the eyepiece to install one and I'm definitely going to do that. I'm not going to waste money on a hand held flash when I've already got 3 hot shoe ones to choose from. (I've already got a better flash than these two vintage ones so if those don't work, no real loss.)

    I'm thrilled to see the Takumars in there actually. I've read a lot of really good things about those and always thought that if I got a Pentax I'd really like to have me a few to play with. I'd like to get a couple of other Takumars, maybe a 35MM and a 200 or 300 MMM at some point, but I'm pretty happy playing with these for now.

    I couldn't care less about the tele-converters. Everything about using those that I've ever read isn't very good. Dark pics and the like. They sound pretty useless. I don't even get why people would want to go there. I'd much rather just get a couple more real lenses than try to fake it. I'll probably just dump these two on CL or something. See if I can get a buck or two for them. I doubt it, but you never know, some film student in the area might want them.

    I'm probably just going to work with these for a while excepting that I will have to get a basic 55MM lens for the Canon if it actually turns out it works with a new battery. I really need to learn to use these though before I get too brave and spend any real money on more film stuff. I've had very little experience working with real lenses. I understand how they work, but that's not the same as actually being fluid with them. The ones on my Fuji are just a joke really. These are a whole other thing for me.

    Also, and this is going to sound very dumb, I'm just charmed with all these vintage lens cases. The tele-converters can go, but the cases they're definitely staying! I'm not much on modern plastic and canvas cases. Never have been. I think they're really ugly to tell you the truth. I don't think these are real leather, or the camera holders either probably they are some kind of leatherette, but they're definitely a lot more stylish than anything else that I have now.

    These cameras have quite a history of travel I'm told. They've been to China and Vietnam, and several other places besides. They sure don't look like it though. The guy who had them must have been very careful indeed with his gear. I'm impressed. I've never seen vintage cameras that weren't all banged up except on the info sites online. These aren't showroom perfect, but for cameras that have been all over the word they're pretty darned sweet looking.

    I'll take pics for you all to see tomorrow. I have to grab another set of bulbs while I am off getting the batteries and trying to find some reasonably priced 35MM film to try these out with. Mine are pretty much kaput and I can't take some good shots of these till I get some more. I can probably find some film, but the fun part is going to be trying to find someplace locally to drop the film after. All the film processing places are long gone. I think Walgreens still sends it out, but it will probably take a week and cost a small fortune just to process two rolls.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah, TC aren't that much of a help, one's much better off with primes. However, I just had an idea... Since they're free, you might want to knock the glass out of them and turn them into macro extension tubes. My guess is that they could be a bit too long, resulting in loss of few stops on the way but mounted on a tripod and with flex shutter release and longer exposure times might do the trick. I dunno... Just an idea.

    Anyone else tried this?
     
  6. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    I'd rather just have a great macro lens, I think, but that's an interesting idea.

    Actually I am seriously considering selling/swapping those with the AE-1 since it's only got one good lens and the black AE-1's seem to be slightly more collectible. It will all depend if it works okay with a new battery, but it's on the table because I'm not too sure I want to spend more on the Canon vs the Pentax.

    I do really want to grab a 200/300mm telephoto and/or maybe a proper wide angle/macro lens, preferably Takumar, for the Pentax. What I can get for those things would likely cover at least one more lens, maybe even two if I get lucky.

    I do like the Canon but I'm really a major Pentax lover anyway and I'm thinking it's probably better to have one good Pentax SLR kit with several excellent Takumar lenses that match than two kits where they don't. I plan on getting a Pentax DSLR anyway and that way I will be able to transfer all those lenses over to it via using the adapter.

    My ultimate goal is to have two Pentax DSLR bodies, plus maybe one film body if I get into that seriously, and a good lot of Pentax lenses, classic and new. If all the lenses can be swapped between them that's all for the good. I'll have far less gear to lug that way.
     
  7. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    Well unfortunately it does look like the AE-1 is officially out of commission. Pity, it was the black model and very nice, but even with a correct and brand new battery, no function. I still can't get the shutter etc to respond at all. This is what I don't like about semi-mechanized cameras. The computer chip goes and there goes the whole camera. Still haven't gotten the battery for the Pentax but at least I know I can use that one anyway even if the light meter is gone!
     
  8. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sorry to hear that! There is still hope... I was able to revive a Canon AE1 after I took the bottom plate out and cleaned the contacts and gears. You do not need to disassemble anything besides the bottom plate but you will need some lighter fluid or Naphta to add a few drops to the gears and hopefully soften the old oil and dirt. If you look at the bottom of the camera with the plate off, there is a small U shaped solenoid which is many times the part at fault. The little levers actuating it most likely are stuck due to inactivity and a little Naphta and moving them around with a narrow tool (small screwdriver) might make them come back. Not a guarantee but what do you have to lose. Caution: find a small screwdriver that fits perfectly the slots of the small screws of the bottom plate and don't forget to re-align the rewind button with its hole upon re-assembly.

    Oh, just remembered! Is there any light/activity in the viewfinder when you turn the camera on? Anything at all?
     
  9. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    Nothing so far but I'm still re-reading the manual for about the 5th time. I'm half convinced I'm just doing something pathetically stupid and I'm just not turning it on right or something, laugh. The guy I got it from swears it was working recently!

    I'm feeling really stupid about now, but this is the only the third manual camera I've ever really had a chance to play with for a while. First non-Pentax SP, and unlike those of course it's semi-automated. I'm used to using a battery for the light meter on a Pentax, but this Canon cam is quite a bit different and I'm really hoping it's just me!


     
  10. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    I don't have any idea of what I just did differently, but I just got the shutter to fire and now the AE-1 it's working like mad! I think even the light meter looks okay. Well, DAYAAAM! Wish I could figure out what I did differently but at least it was me and not the freakin camera! Could be the new battery needed some time? It's an alkaline though so I wouldn't think so?

    Anyway, I got it going, and I am going to run a roll of film through it, but ultimately I still think I much prefer the Pentax to this one. It's pretty, but it's a lot less intuitive and harder to use than the Pentax. It's also a ton heavier. I don't like that. It's tank solid, probably good I guess, but it's very heavy compared to the SP1.

    I'm definitely gonna find this cam/lens a good home and get me some more Takumar. I've been messing with those and while this Canon lens looks pretty good to me, I have a feeling those 2 Takumar lenses likely just blow it away.

    Okay, I guess I am still a Pentax snob at least when it comes to shooting retro!

    :sexywink:
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Loyalty is only snobbery when you deny the worth of anything else. ;)

    Enjoy your Pentax!!
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    "New Vintage Equipment"

    I love oxymorons! :thumbup:
     

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