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Asahi Pentax Original - 1957
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• First modern SLR

• First Japanese SLR with pentaprism and instant-return mirror

• $195 with f2.2 lens in 1957 ($1513 in 2010 dollars)

This Pentax was the first SLR to have all the controls in what we now would call the usual places: right-thumb winding crank; shutter-speed selector on top; shutter on top, next to the speed selector; rewind knob, with fold-out crank, on the left; built-in pentaprism; hinged back. It's as though Pentax figured it out all at once. Two years later the Nikon F adopted mostly the same arrangement, and then so did most everyone else.

Asahi Pentax OriginalAd from Modern Photography, Jan. 1958From the 1958 Sears Camera Catalog. Interestingly, they don't mention the instant-return mirror anywhere, for the Tower 26 or the Tower 23 (Asahiflex IIb).
Review from Modern Photography, Jan. 1958Review from Modern Photography, Jan. 1958

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