asahi pentax spotmatic sp

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by peters8, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. peters8

    peters8 Member

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    Hi! what about this camera?
    positive and negative features...
     
  2. antmar

    antmar Subscriber

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    All time classic, you can't go wrong with a Spotmatic & a Takumar lens!
     
  3. peters8

    peters8 Member

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    Thanks.
    is the photometer good?...is the mirror movement silent?thanks
     
  4. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    Spottys are a good basic camera ,solid without lots of bells and whistlesto get in the way. There are lots of great M42 lens's out there. Really from my standpoint the only drawback to spotmatics now are the stopdown metering and the fact that at their age you can figure there is a good chance the shutter could be a little slow and need a cla. From your standpoint the spotty suffers from a loud mirror slap well normal for pentax loud for other brands lol. when I was looking for an slr a few months back I was primarily looking at spottys till I saw a km at a great price.
     
  5. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Decent tough basic camera for daylight field use. Forget the 1/1000 and 1/500 speeds, those are usually busted (too slow and/or overlapping curtains). Meter is good enough for negative film, analogue potentiometer exposure indicator is absolute joy to use compared to newer led indicators.
     
  6. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    I have had a few of the classic Pentax models from a S1a right up to a ES11 and all have been good cameras. Dated now, but there is little to go wrong with them in the electrics department and can be considered very reliable. They were comfortable to hold and they lived up to their advertising slogan in the 70's which was 'Just hold a Pentax'. And they lived up to what they were suggesting.
     
  7. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    Get a $75 CLA and it should be good as new. Otherwise there will be problems. Great camera. Much better build than a K1000.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The Spotmatics weren't particularly quiet shutters, I've a couple an SP and an SP F plus an SIa I bought for £1 :smile:

    The fast shutter speeds are fine on all 3 cameras.

    Ian
     
  9. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    Hi , decided i wanted to add a bit more to my earlier post . Knowing mirror slap volume is an issue for you perhaps you should consider a rangefinder no mirror slap and if you get one with a leaf shutter it's literally whisper quiet something like a yashica gsn. If you do go for a spotmatic eric at pentaxs.com is the go to man for pentaxs great work for great price on cla's.
     
  10. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Odd, I must have had especially bad luck then. All my 4 or 5 SP/SP500/SP1000/II have issues with fast speeds. Not a problem for me actually, usually running 1/15-1/125 anyway.
     
  11. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    I might go a little more recent unless you already have a good selection of M42 mount lenses. Look for a Pentax KX or K2, the metering on these is much more accurate and it's open aperture too. The K2 was their first production model with an electronically controlled metal shutter so the speeds tend to stay accurate and it makes a lovely solid "crump" noise when you press the button.

    I have a couple of SPs and while the build quality is first rate they definitely need attention after so many years. My KX on the other hand has had nothing but a clean, new light seals/mirror foam and some tweaking to make the aperture display window work. It still seems accurate enough for slide film at all shutter speeds, judging by the rolls I've had back from it. The K2 has had a bit more work to straighten a bent hotshoe (turned out the top plate was dinged, so took that off and beat the dent out) and replace a broken spring intended to hold the winder lever against the body but the meter and shutter both seem very accurate.
     
  12. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I have seen a good number of recent threads that people are so concerned with the noises an SLR makes. Unless it means something is wrong like the shutter is going etc.. if one is concerned about mirror slap and shutter noise then should really look at rangefinder instead.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well I did just that in the late 1980's and bought an M3 Leica. However I had by moved to K mount cameras a few years befor and my M series Pentax cameras were very much quieter than my Spotmatics.

    I didn't change becasuse of the shutter noise but it's a valid observation which people ask about.

    Ian
     
  14. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    I've now owned 5-6 different Spotmatic bodies over the past few years with most being from thrift stores, and some being hand-me-downs/gifts. They've all been accurate enough to run slides through, and have matched my EOS 3/DSLR bodies meters close enough to not be an issue. I'd recommend them but only if you are comfortable reducing flare in your own technique/methodology. The lenses you can run are definitely not up to modern standards if you don't know some techniques to help out.

    The longer lenses are definitely not up to modern standards in IQ either.
     
  15. Yashinoff

    Yashinoff Member

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    In my experience you can expect the shutter to run a bit slow. Capping and dragging is also fairly common, but is sometimes simply a symptom of a lack of use and will clear after some exercise. Whatever you do, do not try to "clean" the shutter by dripping lighter fluid into the camera, you will cause the shutter curtains to come unglued from their spindles/drums. This sort of thing can be expected of any camera that is 40 or so years old.
     
  16. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    I have a few M42 Pentaxes and lenses, and have used them extensively for some years. The bodies are of very high mechanical quality, but after 40 or more years, many of them perhaps sitting unused in a drawer (or worse: an attic or a cellar), they will most likely need a CLA. Other than the need for a CLA, the main issues with these cameras are that the viewfinder is a litte dim, which can be a problem with slower lenses, and that the meter in the Spotmatic, at least in my view, isn't very useful, even when working correctly. I usually prefer using a handheld meter anyway, so the meter issue doesn't bother me.

    When it comes to lenses, they are generally good, but a lot happened in lens design during the 60's. Some focal lenghts came in new versions during that time, and especially some of the wide angle lenses were considerably improved (f. ex. the 28mm 3.5 and 35mm 2.0), although some were very good even though they were early designs, such as the 35mm 3.5. When in doubt, try to get the later versions.

    The Super-Multi-Coated lenses are obviously better when it comes flare and such, but I haven't noticed any particular problems with the single coated lenses. It's always a good idea to use a hood anyway.

    Trond