5th PENTAX DAY (PART I)
Another year has passed, and here we are reporting on the 5th
Pentax Day. This time we got together in Cervia (RA) at the Grand Hotel (thanks to
Protege, who provided the site) and we have only memories of a happy day: in fact the
event developed smoothly, with no problems at all!
Of course, Saturday saw some problems during setting up, but they were
solved quickly by the many members who came and helped Dario, Maurizio Bertozzi and Carlo
Pedro Oliveira from Portugal was also already present since Friday and
was very active in setting up the Pentax Day. Some members from Veneto and Lombardy worked
hard assembling display cases and framing the many pictures sent by members for the Club
That evening, we all had supper together with Protege staff and the two
models which had just arrived from Venice, as scheduled.
Sundays event opened with the arrival of the vintage motorbikes
of the Sport Club "Il Velocifero" from Rimini. They supplied some interesting
Italian and Japanese motorcycles manufactured between the Seventies and the early
Eighties. In fact, since the day celebrated 25 years since the introduction of the Pentax
K bayonet and 20 years of the LX, so we also wanted the motorbikes and the models to be
focused on this era. A Laverda 750SF, a Kawasaki 900, a Benelli 750 Sei and two
six-cylinder Honda CBX made a fine show. Ill also gladly remark the presence of a
Honda Dream 50, replica of a classic 4-valve DOHC 50cc racer, a limited edition
manufactured for the Japanese market only. Some more low-powered Hondas were also present.
As planned, the 5th Pentax Day officially opened at 9, with all photos
on display, the tables ready to welcome members and visitors and the "AOHC day
museum" displaying very interesting cameras and lenses.
The historical display was divided into four showcases. The first one
was dedicated to the screw mount cameras, whose star was probably the rare black Heiland
H2 Store Demonstrator of 1959, discussed in the last issue of Spotmatic.
The second showcase celebrated the 25th anniversary of the K-bayonet.
You could see all of the K-series cameras and many lenses of that era, ranging from the
both automatic and manual K2, to the complete KX, the KM and the K1000 (the 35mm SLR which
recorded the longest production run in camera history), including motor driven versions
and the K1000 SE.
The third display case was dedicated to the M-series, the compact
SLRs which superseded the K-series (apart from the K1000): the fully mechanical MX
and the electronic ME, ME Super, MV, MV1, MG and the worlds first 35mm autofocus
SLR, the ME-F. Also, an interesting cutout ME-F for demo purposes was on display. You
could also look at some special models like the MF-1 for microscopy and the very rare MX
Data for scientific purposes, which is discussed elsewhere in this same magazine. Several
M-series compact lenses and accessories of that same era completed the display.
The fourth showcase was dedicated to the LX, on occasion of its
twentieth anniversary. In addition to the standard LX, complete with professional
accessories like the Motor Drive and the 250 Exposure Bulk Film Back, various finders and
some Star-Series lenses, also a cutout LX and the special version LX Titan were displayed.
Sure the queen of the display was the LX Gold, manufactured in 1981 to celebrate 10
million Pentax SLRs. Only 300pcs were manufactured, thus making it a true jewel,
which only few lucky collectors can show. According to information by a Protege manager
who worked for more than 25 years at Api (former Pentax importers for Italy), only 3 LX
Gold were officially imported in Italy. Only present in pictures (but its already a
lot), you could also see for the first time the Asahi Pentax AP, the mysterious prototype
of the LX which you can see discussed elsewhere in this same number of Spotmatic.
As usual, all of the historical stuff came from private collections of
AOHC members. The showcases of the day museum were in the wide conference hall of the
Grand Hotel, together with all other tables. The Club registration table was just next to
the door, while Protege was at the end of the hall, displaying all current Pentax line.
The Pentax check-up, managed by Tecno 2000, was also busy. Another table displayed the new
Pentax digital cameras: the compact EI 200 and the SLR EI 2000, jointly developed with
Hewlett Packard and introduced last March at PMA in Las Vegas. As opposed to their early
introduction in USA and then at PhotoShow in Rome, at Pentax Day these digital cameras
Both Manfrotto and Ferrania tables were on the right side of the hall.
Manfrotto was displaying a large amount of tripods and stands, including the new carbon
fiber tripods. They also arranged a photo set with backdrops and lights for model
shooting, but we didnt make use of it due the good weather.
Ferrania introduced new color print films Imation Color FG 400 and 800
ISO, which were distributed free in order to have them tested by AOHC members. To that
purpose, a photo contest has also been announced and youll read details about it
Opposite, there were tables of Portuali Photo Club and ANAF
(Associazione Nazionale Arti Fotografiche, meaning National Association of Photographic
Arts), which supplied frames and display panels for the photo exhibits.
Our welcome table was quite busy in the morning, registering members at
they arrived. Nine new members joined the club and a total of 66 members attended the
show, the highest score ever. All members received the day gifts: the official club gadget
for this year is a nice metal keyring showing an LX 20th anniversary logo on the front and
the AOHC logo on the back. We also dispensed 5th Pentax Day stickers. Protege gave away
some Sam Haskins calendars and offered each member a voucher for a meal. As already
written above, Ferrania gave each member two rolls of film, one 400 ISO plus one of 800
ISO speed, together with info brochures.
The two models arrived late in the morning and started posing among the
classic motorcycles on display. The girls were dressed in 70s style and their
presence was also noticed by soccer players of the Cesena football team, which stayed at
the Grand Hotel.
The photo session was prolonged well after noon, when everybody reached
the veranda for the excellent brunch hosted by Protege.
After the dinner break, the AOHC annual general meeting took place in a
separated meeting room of the hotel. The agenda, the discussion and the decisions are
published elsewhere in this same magazine. Participation to the meeting was total, as in
practice all registered members attended. The meeting finished with an auction of items
kindly contributed by members with the proceeds donated to the club. Among the various
accessories on sale, I wish to highlight a unique and special item: a glass paperweight
with club logo, made by Ian Shephard, which we all thank heartily.
Among members who attended, you could spot John F. deLoach from
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., who combined a vacation trip to Italy with the Pentax Day. John
didnt limit himself to attending the event; in fact he brought many gadgets made by
Pentax Corp. in USA and distributed them to members. He also kindly donated to the club
two 6x7 strap connections to be auctioned. He also reported us that in the Sixties he
managed sort of an American Pentax Day for Honeywell. He also expressed to Dario and the
whole club his compliments for the good organization of this day, asking us to greet all
members he couldnt meet.
5th Pentax Day Report (Part II)
5th Pentax Day Report (Part III)