It's Christmas time here in New Zealand (as I write this), and we are relaxing at home, having friends around for meals, and looking forward to a few weeks break.
Nancy and Eric Holman are a couple who we have been friends with since arriving in Greymouth 16 years ago. I worked with Nancy for a few years as part of a team with local professional photographer Stewart Nimmo (I was the graphic designer - Nancy worked in the retail shop). Her husband Eric also worked there part-time, and is a fellow Apple enthusiast and Rugby watcher. They are both retired now and run a church Op-Shop in the community.
They came around on Boxing Day for dinner (to help us eat the left-overs from Christmas) - and this time they came bearing gifts! Someone had dropped off a camera bag at the Op-Shop and they know that I am still shooting some film, so thought I might be interested in the contents of said camera bag.
Much to my surprise (and delight), however, Eric pulled out a Pentax SV in very good condition - complete with Super Takumar 55mm f1.8, 2x converter and Soligor 200mm f4.5 lens. A very quick inspection only added to my excitement, since the lenses themselves looked surprisingly clean and mold-free! Bonus.
Later that evening I pulled the gear out and had a decent look. Fortunately it only confirmed my initial thoughts, and I'm now the proud owner of an excellent condition Pentax SV kit. Thanks Nancy & Eric!
In terms of features, the list isn't large. It's an all-mechanical (no battery required) camera with shutter speeds from 1 sec to 1/100th sec plus Bulb. There is absolutely no meter (hence no need for a battery), no viewfinder information (it isn't even split screen to help with focusing), a self-timer placed under the film rewind/ASA wheel, a focal plane cloth shutter and a frame counter - and that's it. It's a 100% manual camera, using M42 screw-mount lenses. Hence its appeal and cult status among film camera enthusiasts.
My copy looks very clean, the shutter cocks smoothly, shutter speeds seem ok - and as already mentioned, the lenses look great - so I'm quietly confident that it will take some decent images. It looks and feels like a reliable, solid, no-nonsense film camera. In short- a classic Pentax. And I am really looking forward to shooting a roll of film through it. I may just have found my Christmas holiday project.