Which Spotmatic to go for?


mayday

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 16:52
Thinking of buying a Pentax Spotmatic and was wandering if there was anyone out there who might have advice on what to, and what not to, buy. There seem to be quite a few versions. Also what common faults to look out for and maybe faults that do not take to much in the way of ££s to fix?
As you can see nor research done (at all) yet...
Regards
David

Retired at last - now all that time for photography - you would think: wink:

Dangermouse

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 17:54
There's an excellent site here devoted to Pentax screw-mount cameras and lenses, you should be able to find what you need to know there. I have an original Spotmatic and like it - the lack of a flash hotshoe makes it stand out amongst SLRs. I chiefly bought it as I had a Super Takumar 35mm f3.5, matching ever ready case and strap in the wardrobe from other lots, so decided to buy a Spotmatic to hold them together:



Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

gartmore

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 18:10
The 'F' was the latest and the letter designates full aperture metering, the previous ones you had to switch on the meter and stop down.

No known problems that I know of. I still have my original one from 1977 - battered with a mint case because I never used the case and a mint one from ebay a couple of years ago that has a pretty worn case. It came with all paperwork including Dixon's invoice for £29.

The usual lens is the excellent SMC Takumar 55mm f1.8
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

TOZZA27

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 18:16
Matt - I`ve still got my original Spotmatic 1000
Boxed,soft case,strap,body cover,battery,instruction manual and sales leaflet,original receipt card,my receipt from 1991......................... let me know if you are interested please.
Also got a black SP as an alternative !


Tony
K20D,*istD ( now a dedicated M42 digital ),K100D,MZ5N,P50,ME Super,Spotmatic 1000,Spotmatic,ESII,ES,H2.18-55 II,18-55,75-300 FAJ,35-80 FA,80-200 F,28-105 FA,Sigma 24-70 AF Aspherical,Sigma 28-300 Hyperzoom , Praotor II 500 M42,Centon 500mm mirror,and a few Pentax M42 Taks,super-Taks,smc Taks,A and M lenses.Benbo trekker,7dayshop monopod and a Lowepro rucksack.

I am now on Flickr which is nice !

Dangermouse

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 19:12
Tony, I think David might be! I've managed to get hold of one now (shown above).
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Hardgravity

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 20:30
The only problem with Spotmatics is they're hard to put down once you start shooting with one!!

I've a couple and use them occasionally.

Just as an after thought, have you considered a K1000?

It's a Spotmatic F with a K mount, just as good but a little more expensive, still they're readily available.

As an after thought these are mine.
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K5+Tammy 18-250, a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

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

I've some gallerieshere CLICKY LINK! and my PPG entries.
Last Edited by Hardgravity on 15/11/2010 - 20:31

womble

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 21:13
I personally love my ES for no logical reason I can think of. The auto exposure is surprisingly accurate. It's main drawback is that there is no metering in manual mode so I tend to use the exposure compensation system as I do for my K20D rather than manual. It works best with S-M-C or SMC Takumar lenses as they have the extra bits on the back to allow for full aperture metering (as they do for the F and the ESII).

I have an H2, S1a and a SPII but the ES gets the most use from my M42 cameras.

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

Dangermouse

Link Posted 15/11/2010 - 21:32
If you want a K mount Spotmatic then I'd go for a KM rather than K1000. The KM has a self timer which is very handy for long exposures as you don't need to remember a cable release - you can just park it on a suitable rock or wall, wind the timer, and set it off while standing guard "hands off" over it.

From my recent experience:

I was worried about being able to see the meter needle with the lens stopped down, this isn't actually a problem in daylight although I haven't tried any indoor shots with it.

The back part of the ever ready case is handy. It makes the camera a bit comfier to hold especially in cold weather, and also protects it from minor scrapes (such as when you rest it on a rock). The front part tends to be removed before use and left in the car as it's a pain - I do fit it but only for transport or storage.

I've no idea how skewed the metering is, it behaves differently to a KM or K1000 but I think it's about on the money. Given how tolerant Ilford HP5 is I'm expecting usable results, but I won't be risking colour slide on this one.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

gartmore

Link Posted 16/11/2010 - 08:01
The cases were known as (N)Ever Ready Cases.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Dangermouse

Link Posted 16/11/2010 - 11:41
True, but they are a bit better than the fake leather (cardboard?) ones which came with the M series. I wouldn't fancy stuffing the front part of an M series ERC into a pocket but the one on my Spotmatic is very soft and flexible.

Finding original leather straps for them can be a bit hard too - currently on the hunt for one for my SV, best I can find is £18 including post from the USA which is almost as much as I paid for the camera. Think I'll keep looking...
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Backhouse

Link Posted 16/11/2010 - 11:43
Spot F IMHO, just sold mine as its not getting the use it should because I have an ESII and I just like the ESII better, the Auto mode if very handy for longer exposure stuff at night (when you can't read the meter). I have some some long exposure stuff on the film in there (5-10min exposures) so I should soon see how accurate the metering is on the real dark stuff .

The open aperture metering is a real bonus though IMHO, makes operation that little bit slicker. I will agree though they look better without the flash hotshoe, I was looking to swap out the upper case on my F for this very reason (its called being a tart) but decided it would be happier left alone with a new home.

Only problem I have had is the silvering on the back of the prism de-laminating, you get a ragged dark line in the lower 3rd of the view finder than doesn't affect the pictures. If you can find a new prism they are fiddly but not THAT hard to replace.

gartmore

Link Posted 16/11/2010 - 12:23
Backhouse wrote:
I have some some long exposure stuff on the film in there (5-10min exposures) so I should soon see how accurate the metering is on the real dark stuff

Don't be too surprised if they don't work out. The film will almost certainly suffer from reciprocity failure at those exposure times.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Backhouse

Link Posted 16/11/2010 - 13:02
I went with std, and a stop over exposed, we will see

TBH I'm surprised the ESII would do an exposure that long anyway. I had no idea the exposure would be that long (due to lack of thought) I was aiming for about 30sec to a minute.

cgproudfoot

Link Posted 17/11/2010 - 00:39
I have not used film for a while but I had a Spotmatic F for many years. In reality I have not taken any better photographs than I did with that camera and a small number of primes!
Chris

Jetsam1

Link Posted 17/11/2010 - 09:43
I was using a Spotmatic F up Mam Tor yesterday. I have two and rotate them with my other film cameras.

TBH I get ok images, but still have quite a bit to learn with photography in general! SO not perfect but often showing some interesting character in comparison to the dSLR.

Both cameras probably need a service but are still really nice to use and the open aparture metering really makes a difference......
K5, K200 and several film Pentax cameras!
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.