9th PENTAX DAY
At last, the sun
raised over the Umbrian hills and some good mood pervaded everyone, as in
truth the day before we were a bit worried about bad weather. We were
lucky, at least in the morning, when the weather was unsettled but never
immediately saw a good public attendance - not just members - also because
a lot of people were attracted by a flea market in front of the hotel.
As usual, you could
find the Protege table, featuring some extra attention toward digital
compacts and the terrific medium format 645nII and 67II. Other tables were
managed by Il Fotografo magazine, whose journalists had to choose the
pictures for the AOHC calendar 2005, and by Manfrotto Trading and their
professional equipment. Epson, a new entry, allowed everyone to download
digital images from memory cards and print them on the spot. The precious
table held by Tecno 2000 - official Pentax service - was present too and
offered a free check up and in case an admission for recovering our "babies".
This year, two ill "daughters" of mine, a ME Super and a black
MX, were cured by Tecno 2000, soon sent back to me perfectly working. This
is not advertising, the truth is that I was a bit worried for them and the
perfect surgery reassured me a lot.
Of course, members
were welcomed at AOHC table for registration, thanks to some willing folks
doing the job. The most visible stuff on our table this year was the long
awaited book on the screw mount Asahi Pentax cameras, written by Danilo
Cecchi with AOHC cooperation and published by "Il giardino del libro
fotografico". Our club cared about the specification charts, tables,
final chapters and all iconographic aspects. That book is of great
historical value, essential not only in the bookshelf of any AOHC member,
but for any camera collector. Despite being a big fan of Pentax bayonet
system, I found myself hurrying buying the book and, once at home, I drank
it deep, discovering a lot of information that I couldn’t even imagine.
In my opinion, such a book is a precious compendium especially for those,
like me, who always followed the screw mount stuff from a distance,
because it allows you to understand the most important events of that
fascinating world which anticipated my beloved K-generation SLR cameras,
all at once in a single volume.
The screw mount
system fan will find a lot of information spread in various issues of
Spotmatic magazine and not included in the book, but no doubt that such a
complete and exhaustive publication in Italian was never available before.
I believe that now a lot of people, including myself, are waiting for a
similar volume dedicated to the bayonet system. We’ll wait with
Two more important
events of the day were the start of the Spotmatic historical register (where
I immediately recorded my Spottie, just second after Ermanno’s one) and
the contest for the oldest Spotmatic (won by Ermanno himself, which on the
other hand is a renowned "screwist").
Like it happens
every year, it was nice to exchange impressions with other members about
our equipment and share lenses for testing them, sometimes touching
excellent optics for the first time ever. For me, it was curious getting
and answering questions by members far more skilled than me, becoming
aware that everybody can have something to share with others. A few days
later, it was also funny debating with another Pentax fan in the internet
and then realize we already met at the Pentax Day and we chatted there too.
Back to the
chronicle, this year’s display cases were completely dedicated to the
Spotmatics and their lenses, Super Takumar and SMC Takumar, featuring
truly valuable items and all Spotmatic, Electro Spotmatic, ES, ES II, etc.
models, on show with their plain and elegant style, still unique and
fascinating 40 years after their debut.
As opposed to that
vintage equipment, at the Protege table you could test the latest and
modern DA-series lenses, exclusively dedicated to the *ist D, with an
absolute preview of the 14 mm f/2.8. Too bad this jewel cannot cover 35mm
And now let’s
report about the probably most awaited event of the day: models and
vintage bikes. In this case, the problem was the harsh morning sunlight.
Our models’ faces were badly lined by deep shadows, despite all the
efforts by Maurizio Marani for softening them with large reflectors. Only
a flash could help. From time to time, a few thin clouds were trying
veiling the sun, but they were just moments.
On the other hand,
in my opinion Shanti and Irina were just stunning: wonderful and truly
clever. Almost unbelievable was their patience and helpfulness in
satisfying even our most bizarre ideas for posing at the limit of
funambulism on those valuable vintage motorcycles supplied by Mr. XXXX.
Apparently, the girls were posing for each and every of us, like they had
only one photographer to follow, instead of a hungry crowd of frantic
In the afternoon,
when the rain forced us to shoot indoors, Irina and Shanti continued
following us, even simulating a vampire bite. Yes, you’ve read well dear
I cannot omit citing
the excellent and varied buffet served in the hotel dining room, once
again offered by Protege.
Our annual general
meeting was also long and eventful, also because our agenda included
elections for the board. In fact, we saw two new members from Rome
entering the board, Fabio Cittadini and Alberto Sarandrea, who
spontaneously run for feeding new ideas and new thought to the club.
Everybody felt we have to look for new members, in order to increase
membership and better funding club activities. However, it is probably
better that this topic will be explained by someone else, more entitled in
could mention of the missing extemporary contest for digital cameras,
which was on schedule. In late afternoon, we discovered that Epson wrongly
gave back authors all their own printed pictures, so that nothing was left
to select. However, I heard no complaints for that trouble, probably
meaning that there’s not yet a great feeling between AOHC members and
digital photography, but I could be wrong.
At the end of the
day, prize-givings took place: best picture, member coming from farthest
distance, twelve pictures for the calendar and the oldest Spotmatic. Then
some special prizes: one for the most aged member, one to Protege’s Dr.
Augugliaro for his crucial help in managing this successful Pentax Day and
another one to Protege, for their enduring and profitable cooperation with
The next appointment is for 2005 in
Vicenza area, so I’ll be there, together with all local members, waiting
for you all for another Pentax Day. Hopefully, it will be similar to this
one in all respects but temperature.