Pentax AP

The name "Pentax" was originally not a brand, but a model of camera.  The Asahi Optical Company had made a series of cameras under the name "Asahiflex" but the Pentax was their first SLR with a pentaprism.  As the name Pentax came to mean the brand (and was eventually adopted as the name of the company), the original camera is often referred to as the "AP".  It was launched in May 1957 and produced for only a year.  As with most cameras of that date, it has no lightmeter, and the lens has to be stopped down manually.  The shutter speed dial is split in two, with the slow-speed dial on the front of the camera.  Here the AP is fitted with a Takumar 135mm lens.

Despite being very basic, the AP has an elegance which most Pentax cameras inherited.  Camera technology developed quickly over the next few years with the introduction of semi-automatic, and then automatic lens apertures, and TTL metering,

Sadly, this example is not working, but I hope to get it restored.