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The Grand Hotel in Cervia, where the event took place.
photo by Ermanno Barchiesi

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 Lastrucci.

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 exhibit.

That evening, we all had supper together with Protege staff and the two models which had just arrived from Venice, as scheduled.

Sunday’s 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. I’ll 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 SLR’s which superseded the K-series (apart from the K1000): the fully mechanical MX and the electronic ME, ME Super, MV, MV1, MG and the world’s 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 SLR’s. 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 it’s 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 were working.

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 didn’t 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 you’ll read details about it elsewhere.

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 70’s 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 didn’t 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 couldn’t meet.

5th Pentax Day Report (Part II)
5th Pentax Day Report (Part III)

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Members of the Historical Club Il Velocifero,  owners of the vintage bikes.
photo by Dario Bonazza
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The photo display.
photo by Silvio Simoncelli
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Pentax K-bayonet cameras on display.
photo by Giordano Cattaneo
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Variations of the Pentax LX.
photo by Giordano Cattaneo
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Lorenzo, Renato, Giorgio, Massimo and Ermanno manage the club table.
photo by Silvio Simoncelli
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Testing equipment at Pentax-Protege table
photo by Dario Bonazza
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Shooting in the morning
photo by Dario Bonazza
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Another view of the Grand Hotel
photo by Sergio Gremigni
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Pedro Oliveira and John F. deLoach  meet at Pentax Day
photo by Dario Bonazza

Page updated 13th Sep. 2000

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