Pentax ES II

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The Pentax ElectroSpotmatic (ES) II was the most advanced camera of the Spotmatic family. It was launched by Asahi in 1973 as an improved version of the Pentax ES, sold in the US under the Honeywell brand. It was available in black and chrome finishes, as well as in a Motor Drive and Data II versions. It stayed in production until 1975 and approximately 158,000 were made. [1][2]

Among the differences between the ES and the ESII is noticeable the return of the self-timer, due to the change in battery housing (now under the lens housing) which made space for it. Several features are different from the earlier model:

  • A delayed-action (self-timer) is added, which can be cancelled by returning the lever to its normal position.
  • Although the AE (electronically timed) and manual (mechanical) shutter speed ranges are the same as in the ES, the full range of speeds (up to 8 seconds) can be displayed in the viewfinder (the ES gave electronically-timed exposures up to 8 seconds, but the scale in the VF only went to 1 second).
  • The metering sensitivity is the same, but allows the film speed to be set up to 3200 ASA (cf 1600 in the ES).
  • A locked position is added to the shutter release button.
  • The battery is now specified as four S76E (SR44) silver oxide cells, in place of the single 4SR44/PX28A used in the ES. The battery compartment is also moved to the base. The battery check is unchanged (the meter needle should fall below the notch in the middle of the VF scale).
  • A viewfinder blind is added. This is closed (for use with the camera away from the eye) by a setting on the shutter speed dial.

Specifications [3]

    • Horizontally-running focal plane shutter with electronic or mechanical timing
    • In AE, shutter speed is continuously variable from 8 - 1/1000 second
    • Mechanically timed shutter speeds 1/60 - 1/1000 second and 'B' can also be set manually
    • Self-timer (delayed action) lever for 5-11 second delay; cancellable.
    • Shutter cocked by advancing the film (shutter-cocked indicator: red dot in window next to shutter release)
  • Metering:
    • CdS-activated TTL meter for open-diaphragm or stopped-down metering.
    • Sensitivity EV 1-18 at 100 ASA.
    • Film speeds 20-3200 ASA can be set.
  • Flash synchronisation: Hot shoe (synchronised for X-synch. at 1/60 sec) and separate PC sockets beside lens mount for X- and FP-synch.
  • Film advance: Ratchet type rapid wind lever
  • Film rewind: folding crank; rewind release button on base
  • Depth-of-field preview (and stop-down for stopped-down metering): lever to left of lens mount to be used in preference to the lens' stop-down lever.
  • Weight: 678 g (without lens); 930 g with 50 mm f/1.4


  1. Gerjan van Oosten, 2021, "The Definitive ASAHI PENTAX Collector's Guide 1952-1977". 2nd Edition ISBN978-90-9034415-7
  2. Herbert Keppler, 1974. The Pentax Way. 8th ed ISBN 0-240-50889-0
  3. Manual of the ES II at Kim Coxon's Pentax-manuals site