Asahi Pentax MG

| No Comments
Classic Pentax M42 & K Mount SLRs:

Asahi Pentax MG
by Karen Nakamura



Overview and Personal Comments


This camera has great sentimental value for me because it was my maternal grandfather's. After he retired from a mining company, my grandfather embarked on a grand project to photograph and catalogue all of the "nijuu'notou," the special decorations that adorn the top of Japanese Buddhist temples and which look like funky lightning rods. He had amassed several volumes of notes and photographs before his death in late 2001. He shot all of them with this Asahi Pentax MG with 70-200 zoom lens. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

My grandfather gave me his camera the summer before his death. The camera itself is annoying to use (program auto-exposure only) and the zoom lens is typical 1980s low quality generic brand. And yes, if you look at the zoom lens carefully, you'll notice the front element is separating. C'est la vie. So I don't use this MG in my own photography, but it has a very special location in my heart along with my father's Spotmatic SPII.



Interesting quirks



Technical Details

Camera Name
Pentax MG
Asahi Optical
Place of Manufacture


Date of Manufacture
Focusing System

Single-lens reflex with pentaprism eye-level viewfinder

Lens use helicoid focusing

Lens mount

K-mount (bayonet)


Focal plane shutter

Metering System



Film type / speeds

135 type (35mm standard film)
24x36mm frame size

Battery type
Dimensions and weight

Note: Using the text or images on this site in an ebay auction without permission is a violation of your ebay Terms of Service. I will report you to ebay if I discover such a violation taking place.



About Asahi Optical Co.

You see both Asahi Pentax and Honeywell Pentax cameras on the market, what's the difference? Asahi Optical Company is the manufacturer of the cameras and has a very hallowed history. It was founded in 1919 to make optical lenses. It came out with its first SLR, the Asahiflex I in 1951. Pentax is the name of their first SLR with a pentaprism (penta-prism = pentax) which came out in 1957. Since then, it's been their tradename for their series of SLRs, just as EOS is the trade name for Canon's electronic SLRs.

Honeywell was the U.S. importer for Asahi cameras until the mid-1970s. Cameras that they imported are stamped "Honeywell Pentax" on the nameplate, not Asahi Pentax. With the minor except of one camera that was designed to accomodate a Honeywell flash unit, Honeywell Pentaxes are identical to Asahi Pentaxes.

About the only things with a stronger cult following than the Pentax screw mount cameras (Spotmatics) are their K-mount cameras, including the K1000. The K1000 which is now being made by Chinese companies and branded under Chinon and other labels, is often recommended by photography instructors. This has caused the price to stay about $200 for a new set. My own recommendation is to stay with the screw mounts. There is a wider variety of lenses and prices are relatively good. There's also a very strong cult following around their gargantuan Pentax 67 medium format SLRs.

Trivia: "Pentax" was one of the names the Nippon Optical Corporation cycled through when coming up with the name of their new camera in 1948. They ended up calling it the "Nikon" instead.


On the Net

Leave a comment