Asahi Pentax M42

35mm SLR system • Discontinued



One of the most complete systems of 35mm photography.


  • Pentax - one of the first SLR cameras with pentaprism viewfinder that surpassed its existing counterparts in brightness, as well as the first Japanese SLR camera with the M42 screw mount. With its compact size, light weight, attractive design and ease of operation, the camera became a great success;
  • S - a short production model with standardized shutter speeds;
  • K - a model with support of semi-automatic diaphragm and a shutter speed range extended to 1/1000th of a second;
  • S1, S1a, S2, S3, SV - actually a K with some enhancements.


  • Spotmatic - the world's first 35mm SLR camera with TTL (stop-down) exposure metering. Its compact size, wide range of lenses and accurate exposure meter made this camera very popular;
  • Spotmatic II - a model with refined and improved metering system, for the Japanese market only;
  • Spotmatic IIa - a model with built-in Strobo-Eye automatic electronic flash sensor, for the American market only;
  • Spotmatic F - a model with open-aperture metering;
  • Electro Spotmatic (ES) - the world's first SLR camera with fully automatic electronically controlled shutter;
  • ES II - a model with shutter speed range extended up to 8 seconds and a self-timer.


  • Spotmatic SL - a Spotmatic without the exposure meter;
  • Spotmatic SP 500 and SP 1000 - a Spotmatic II without hot shoe and a self-timer, with top shutter speed of 1/500th of a second (SP 500 only), for export only.

Lenses for Asahi Pentax cameras were produced under the TAKUMAR brand. They can be divided into the following series:

  • TAKUMAR and Tele-TAKUMAR - early lenses with preset or manual diaphragms;
  • Auto-TAKUMAR - semi-automatic lenses. Introduced with the K;
  • Super-TAKUMAR - models with fully automatic diaphragm, a switch for automatic or manual diaphragm control, and improved single-layer coating. Introduced with the SV and S1a;
  • Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR - models with support for TTL open-aperture metering with the Electro Spotmatic (ES), ES II and Spotmatic F. Introduced from April 1971, when the Spotmatic II was released. These lenses had an index point for meter coupling, a cam linked to the diaphragm ring that transmitted the F-number to the camera, and a pin that prevented the diaphragm from being set to the manual mode by the switch;
  • SMC TAKUMAR - a cosmetic update with rubberized focusing rings. Came alongside the Spotmatic F.

Ranked among the very finest lenses of the time, TAKUMARs were noted for their superb resolving power which resulted in edge-to-edge sharpness even at full aperture. In addition to their superior optics, they incorporated outstanding mechanics.

Camera list

35mm film SLR cameras with the M42 mount (17):

M42 mount lens list

Accessories list

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