Interested in some Pentax 43/1.9 Leica 43thread mount lens info?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by alex_es, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. Dear Friends,

    Last week (was it?) someone in the Forum asked about the Pentax 43/1.9
    Leica screw mount lens. Well, a few hours ago I bought one in Osaka.

    I had been very impressed with the viewfinder that came with this lens
    when Tom Abrahamsson showed it to me back in 2001. I was not,
    however, about to spend 150,000 yen (or the discount 120,000 yen) on
    this excellent but odd-ball lens. The black lens in this little shop
    in Umeda Station was going for 39,000 yen--new, with guarantee. I
    recalled Zorba the Greek's remark about "God forgives all sins except
    one...." and bought it.

    After an afternoon with this lens on my Bessa T I have to say that,
    first of all, I am in love with the very well made 43/50 external
    finder. It has a diopter built in which is excellent. It show the 43
    and 50 frames and has a little unspoken bonus. The edges, which look
    like the 35mm frame of the old Leica 35-50-85-90-135 external finder,
    are a perfect 35mm. I mean spot on. I compared it with the mentioned
    Leica finder I was carrying and with the 35mm frames in my M6. On the
    money. The frames are highly visible--even in low and very contrasty

    The 43/1.9 has a focusing tab. It is not as comfortable as the
    focusing tab on my 'cron 50/2 and took a little getting used to. The
    aperture ring is a little bit stiffer than Leica. The lens, while
    heavyish, is verll well balanced. It has a retractable hood which,
    like all retractable hoods, is an abomination in the eyes of all the
    gods of the universe (I'm joking of course); but at least once
    retracted it stays put. This means you can put a screw-on hood on it
    and won't have the built-in one banging against it. The lens takes
    40.5 filters, like the Rokkor 40/2.

    Back home, I tried it on my CLE. Nice balance and the lens did not
    protrude into the 40 frame lines! I compared the CLE's 40mm frames
    with those to external finder's 43mm frames. There is a noticeable
    difference. Think of the this lens as being closer to a 45mm lens
    than a 40.

    There is a screw in lens cap. No cases for the lens and finder. The
    d. of f. scale is very good. I believe the build quality is outstanding.

    Pentax tried to get into the boutique lens for Leica market with this
    one and, I guess, failed. A pity in a way. The 77/1.8 and 30/1.8
    would have been fun lenses to throw on a Leica.

    I rather like the 43mm persective so far.

    I reserve further judgement until I see what kind of pictures this
    lens takes--except to say that all I've heard and read has been

    Now, does this lens go to France with me tomorrow?


  2. My understanding is that the Pentax 30, 43 and 77mm lenses were created for an aborted rangefinder camera project. I've used the 43 on a Pentax's a very nice lens indeed. (Note: the SLR version of the 43 is an autofocus lens and is quite different mechanically to the LTM version.)

  3. Congrats Alex! Great bargain-hunting. Did you buy it from the No.1/2/3/4 Building or an underground store? I was in the same area last June but found the used stuff priced on the high side.
  4. I've forgotten -- which sin is that? Not impulsively buying lenses, I guess.
  5. "I reserve further judgement until I see what kind of pictures this lens takes..."

    I.e. after all the rhetoric you admit you did NOT photograph with it?!!
    Holy *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#*..
  6. i.e. after all the rhetoric you admit you did NOT photograph with it?!! Holy...

    didn't you read that he just bought it a few hours ago? and didn't your mom always tell you to refrain from using that word?
  7. Hello Friends,

    In a few hours I'll be off to France. Hence, the breathless tone of this posting.

    Thanks for the congrats, Andrew. Actually I got it at A.S.D. Yaotomi Camera, just past the Hanshin RR entrance. There is a rontunda and you go right. Not bad prices. The chap wanted 5% more because I used a credit card and 3% sales tax--a bit nasty but I wasn't going to let this bargin go.

    Actually, John, what Zorba said was, "God forgives all sins except one: When a woman offers you her bed and you refuse." The analogy is that when a great pleasure is put before you and you refuse it you suffer great agonies forever. This lovely lens at less one third the original price was definately one of those pleasures.

    And not to worry, Michael, I actually did shoot with this lens--minutes, in fact, after it was on my trusty Bessa T. My first subject was a group of young ladies in Santa Claus outfits handing out information about cell phones. I was immediately struck by how comfortable the 43mm frame was. I felt the same when shooting a construction site a little later. The film has yet to be developed. Having worked with Pentax lenses extensively I expect the pictures to be a bit on be warm side; I have no worries about sharness and contrast. I did half of my shooting underground in Uemada station and half above ground. The day was cold, windy and overcast. I also shot with my Summicron 50/2, so it will be an interesting comparrison. One thing I did do when I got home was to put metal hood on this lens--the sliding built-in hood is a pain. I even found an old metal Pentax hood to put over it. The screw in Pentax cap is elegant--velvet padding inside--but a bit fumbly putting on a removing.

    I'm now debating whether to take the Bessa T with this lens to France. I am definately packing my M6 and Bessa L with the 12/5.6, plus a 50, 35, 21 and 90. Three cameras???!!! Oh what the hell...

    And Steve. Great information about Pentax's aborted RF project. Too bad they didn't continue with it. Imagine an M camera with 31, 43 and 77 frames.

    Oh yes, there may be more of 43/1.9s available at the price I paid. I saw an ad in the latest Nippon Camera offering this lens at "? 9000 yen."



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