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Sensible M42 metered body to use today?

johnha
Posted 12/04/2012 - 23:22 Link
Hi All,

Having used my recently acquired S1a for a while, I'd like to add a metered body to the mix. Nothing exotic, just a sensible camera for occasional shooting.

The obvious choice is a Spotmatic, but which one? I know they were designed to use mercury batteries and there are some solutions to this, but I've also seen that some models take different batteries (which are the most sensible today?).

I've read that the ES/ESII electronics can be a bit delicate which is why I'm primarily considering a Spotmatic.

I'm also looking for a period-like replacement leather strap for the S1a (the current one looks likely to break at any point), any ideas?

Thanks,

John.
johnriley
Posted 13/04/2012 - 00:06 Link
eBay for the strap, or perhaps a camera fair.

The Spotmatic, Spotmatic II or Spotmatic F should do fine. An overhaul would always be a good idea. Wein cells offer an alternative to the defunct Mercury batteries. The F uses a PX625 cell rather than the PX400 of the other Spotmatics.

The ES is rather unreliable electronically, although I expect some have survived. The ESII is better, but it's still early days for these sort of systems.
Best regards, John
doingthebobs
Posted 13/04/2012 - 00:19 Link
The Spotmatic F has advantages, in that it is one of the 'newer' Spotmatics and it has open aperture metering, when used with the SMC Takumars. All mechanical as well, apart from the meter.
Bob
Hardgravity
Posted 13/04/2012 - 08:32 Link
LINK

I use ordinary button cells with a smallspacer made from a tag tie in my bodies, they seem to meter OK.

I'd say any of the spotmatics before the F, that's what I would say though.

In general the Spotmatics are a solid body, don't be put off by the SP500, it does have a hidden 1/1000th above the 1/500th.

Just check the meter on what ever you get against a known so you know where you are with it.
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

PPG entries.
ChrisR
Posted 13/04/2012 - 09:26 Link
For all unusual and obsolete battery supply, including equivalents try.

www.smallbattery.company.org.uk.

Sorry don't know how to do the link thing.

If you cant find what you are looking for on their web site, give them a ring or email, with your requirement, they are very knowledgeable on battery equivalents, their customer service is very good. I would say, if they cannot help with a battery equivalent or advice, then its not available.

Disclaimer, I have no connection with the above, other than being a very satisfied customer/user.


Take care.
Chris R.

I. El. (Eng). (Rtd).
johnriley
Posted 13/04/2012 - 09:29 Link
Your link is fine ChrisR and I'll second the Small Battery Company as a good place to buy unusual batteries.

I suppose Amazon is always worth a try as well.
Best regards, John
ChrisR
Posted 13/04/2012 - 09:39 Link
Thanks John, one more small skill I have learnt, things are looking up.

Regards.
Chris R.

I. El. (Eng). (Rtd).
womble
Posted 13/04/2012 - 13:32 Link
Personally I love my ES and ESII and have had no problems with the former. The latter was purchased in a "repair or spares" state and sent to Eric in the US. It now works like new. They are a slightly acquired taste, however, as they have no metering on manual and therefore have to be used in Automatic or with a handheld meter. For ease of use, use S-M-C/SMC Takumar lenses which have the extra bit on the mount for full aperture metering. The Spot-F is manual only but I believe will also use the SMC/S-M-C for full aperture metering. The Spotmatic II is a nice solid camera which works well and has the advantage of a hotshoe compared to the original Spot. If you are happy to use a handheld meter (or the sunny 16 rule) The SV (or its bargain cousin the S1a) are nicely made and compact.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website
johnha
Posted 14/04/2012 - 00:28 Link
Thanks Guys,

Having done a bit of looking, I've gone for an SP1000 which should be on it's way. The reasoning for those interested:

1) I found one that apparently works and looks in good condition (have to wait and see!).
2) There's a gadget from the small battery company that allows using a silver cell with voltage reduction (which doesn't fit the F).
3) Apparently the F meter is switched on whenever an SMC Takumar is attached. Stop down metering seems less aggro (heck if I want hi-tech I'll get the K1000 out!).
4) I keep reading that a K1000 is basically a SP1000 with a bayonet mount, as such the two go well together.

All I need now is a contemporary meter for the S1a (it feels wrong to be using a Sekonic L408B).

John.
Hardgravity
Posted 14/04/2012 - 09:36 Link
You know Kris, I've looked at and used my spotties a lot, it never dawned that the SPII had a Hot shoe fitted until now!

I hadn't realised it was a permanent fixture, not a slip on addition.
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

PPG entries.
ChrisPlatt
Posted 15/04/2012 - 16:33 Link
Of all the Spotmatic series cameras I like the simple SP1000 best.
It lacks self-timer and hot shoe, features I never use.

All SP series camera exposure meters can work accurately
with a modern battery as they are not voltage dependent.

There is no need to purchase any special adapter.
The SP1000 works fine with a commonly available battery.
I recommend use of a silver-oxide cell as it will last
far longer than the zinc-air type.

Chris
Bring back the latent image!
Edited by ChrisPlatt: 15/04/2012 - 16:47
ChrisR
Posted 16/04/2012 - 09:30 Link
ChrisPlatt wrote:
Of all the Spotmatic series cameras I like the simple SP1000 best.
It lacks self-timer and hot shoe, features I never use.

All SP series camera exposure meters can work accurately
with a modern battery as they are not voltage dependent.

There is no need to purchase any special adapter.
The SP1000 works fine with a commonly available battery.
I recommend use of a silver-oxide cell as it will last
far longer than the zinc-air type.

Chris

I cannot comment on all the Spotmatic, models, but the meter in the Spotmatic II is certainly voltage dependant.

Battery equivalent, to the discontinued mercury cell for the Spotmatic II is the zinc air battery as used in hearing aids, the only problem, as soon as the seal to the small hole is removed allowing air to enter the cell, it will discharge, if you use it or not.


Take care.
Chris R.

I. El. (Eng). (Rtd).
george_in_georgia
Posted 16/04/2012 - 17:05 Link
For a cheap M42 SLR, one could consider the Praktica LTL. I have one bought in the early 70's and used heavily. It survived a crash to the sidewalk, scarred but operating. I pulled it out the other day and the shutter sounds correct, this after storage of 15 or so years. It has a center weighted meter, and a most convenient meter key immediately adjacent to the front panel shutter release. This arrangement is far superior to any other stop-down metering arrange I've ever seen, including Pentax.

The meter requires one to center the needle on a circle in the viewfinder, so I think it is voltage independent. http://www.praktica-users.com/cams/l/ltl.html This confirms my guess.

Film loading uses an ingenious arrangement which is even easier than the Pentax needles arrangement.

While the viewfinder has the usual microprism set up, it is not particularily bright, only adequate.

All in all, a good user for those wanting something just a bit different.
george_in_georgia
Posted 16/04/2012 - 17:13 Link
I just looked at RockyCameras http://www.rockycameras.com/index.asp?function=search Many LTLs are listed for 5 or 6 pounds. The same site lists Pentax K1000s for 30 to 40 pounds. You could buy a stable of LTLs!
Algernon
Posted 16/04/2012 - 18:35 Link
I've wanted a Pentacon Super with the f/1.4 lens since 1970

http://www.praktica-collector.de/119_Pentacon_Super.htm

Sadly too expensive nowdays!
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

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