Asahi Pentax SV

Asahi Pentax started making waves in the 35mm SLR market in 1957 with the release of the original Asahi Pentax (aka AP). Several models were to follow and then in 1964 the game changing Spotmatic was released and went on to set all sorts of sales records. But the SV is a unique camera that came out in 1962 as a part of the S line and was the last model released before the Spotmatic. Put simply, it is compact, stylish and elegant and it went on to become a best seller in its own right, continuing to be marketed for a full decade.

This beautiful jewel of a camera feels great in the hand and exudes the aura of quality craftsmanship. While the Spotmatic had an industry leading TTL metering system built in, the SV is 100% mechanical. No battery, no electronics… no worries! My SV is in great condition and everything works perfectly.  This camera operates with a mechanical smoothness that sets it apart from most others. The one rather unusual feature is the self timer that is set by a control knob that wraps around the rewind lever.

Look here for some photos taken with this camera.

Asahi Pentax SV

Asahi Pentax SV

Asahi Pentax SV

Asahi Pentax SV

Asahi Pentax SV

Asahi Pentax SV

Asahi Pentax SV

Asahi Pentax SV

Asahi Pentax SV


15 Responses to Asahi Pentax SV

  1. Pingback: Presto on Asahi Pentax SV | Chemical Cameras

  2. briana says:

    My boyfriends aunt gave him this camera and we have no idea how to change the battery. Help please :)

    • revdocjim says:

      If you read my post you will see that this camera has no battery. That’s part of the appeal of this awesome camera!

    • Patrice Remy says:

      There exists a separate light meter that goes on top of the camera (with its own battery).
      You can still use the camera without any light meter, using the ‘sunny 16’ rule.

  3. joematthewstech says:

    Great write up. Just ordered a SV off eBay. I’ve been looking for a 100% mechanical, no battery SLR. The Nikon F/F2 are out of reach, but the Pentax S1,S2,S3, SV & SV2 can be had for much much less (and the lenses are cheap!). I might also get a Pentax SL when I can find a decent price.

  4. shawkparson says:

    used this camera a lot … still have its half-broken body somewhere i think, which i’m sure is repairable … bought it in 1974 or 1973 i think, used but in very good condition … its light meter came with it in the ‘kit’, including a nice classic Pentax carrying case, an Asahi 1.4/50mm, an Asahi 3.5/135mm and a Panagor 2.5/28mm … lost the light meter unfortunately due to my own negligence … dropped the 1.4/50mm in dirty gutter water by yet another careless mistake but used the rest for quite a long time even after i got myself a couple of lovely MX cameras and more Pentax lenses and other goodies a few years later … i miss all those damaged / lost / sold items a lot and i really feel sad how negligent i was as a teenager despite all my attention to take good care of all the gear i had … i’ll try to collect all these items again someday though …

  5. Terry says:

    I have my father’s old SV. I need help to find the film speed dial index mark. There is not obvious arrow, red mark, etc. What should I look for?

    • shawkparson says:

      hi Terry

      i know what you mean but even after taking a close look on the shot provided here on this page i can’t remember where that ‘marker’ or arrow whatever was and unfortunately the camera itself is not at hand right now to examine it even more closely and tell you if i could find the answer …

      there must be a workaround though: since that ISO / ASA dial thing on the SV is just a reminder and it’s not connected to an actual internal lightmeter (which the camera doesn’t have by default anyway!) you may want to use some kind of a permanent marker pen or something and make the ‘arrow’ yourself … (possibly make an indent using a sharp object for example, although that doesn’t sound like the best idea, i agree! a permanent marker will fade away after some time and won’t damage the camera)

      check out this image, and see if there is a very tiny indent on the lower area of the dial, is there? i’m not sure though … is it not underneath the crank handle, when you raise it up?

  6. revdocjim says:

    That’s right. It’s just to the right of six o’clock on the outer dial.

  7. shawkparson says:

    att. admin:
    sorry for the repeated comment!
    please delete!

  8. Terry says:

    I appreciate the prompt reply, no problem. Thanks for helping me out. I did see the red mark on the movable dial, but I didn’t think that was the index I was looking for because other models have a fixed mark.

  9. U-77 says:

    I have an Asahi Pentax SV dated 1968 with the orange R. It is indeed a jewel. I also had a Nikon F2a. I sold the F2A and kept the Pentax SV. Mine is CLA’d. Shuttertimes are good and no sticky mirror. I can confirm using lots and lots of cameras, the SV is something. I will never sell it and use it sometimes when I want rich colours. Everytime I use the camera I am surprised how simple and smooth this instrument works. Prices are ridiculous low.

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