Pentax km or spotmatic?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by LarryP, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    In the next few days I'll be in a position to replace my fed 5b with a slr. I had pretty much decided on a spotmatic for various reasons, but have noticed a KM at keh in the same price range. Spotmatics I'm familiar with and had a k1000 but never handled the KM. Just wondering if there are any real advantages to the km other than the mount?
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I always suggest the KM to people looking for a K1000 as it is better featured and usually comes cheaper as it doesn't have the K1000's cult status.


    Steve.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The K mount is an advantage as is Full aperture metering in all the K/M series, although the Spotmatic F offers this feature.

    Last Sunday I could have bought some nice Spotmatics at £10 ($17) each, the original/SPII and SP1000 (budget) versions all fully functional, however I already have two sat idle, as well as a KM. MX, ME etc.

    Really it's down to do you want the faster bayonet lens change compared to screw thread, many years ago I decided I did and didn't regret it. I was shooting a lot of rock concerts and the change helped enormously.

    Ian
     
  5. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Advantages of the KM:
    Bayonet mount - especially if you change lenses often, screw mount can be a PITA
    Full-aperture metering - haven't used the KM enough to be sure it does much better, but the Spottie's stop-down metering is slooowww (the reaction time of the needle)
    (Possibly also has a brighter viewfinder)

    Advantages of the Spotmatic:
    Can use all M42 lenses...
    (yes the KM can too with an adapter, but it's a PITA).
     
  6. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    Pentax KM hands down
     
  7. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    I think it depends on the condition of the bodies. Go with the better. An advantage of the KM is it can take the M42, with an adaptor, and K mount. Advantage of the Spotmatic is it will probably outlast the KM because of the build, at a time when reliability was key, where robustness = reliability and, metal was king. I just bought an earlier S1a that does not even sport the meter, so no battery. The Spotmatic's meter is not mercury battery dependent as is so many older cameras so, that is not an issue.

    If the bodies are close to being the same condition, then it comes down to body features. I've used M42 lenses on K mount cameras and I se no issue but I am used to using M42 lenses as my first slr was a Spotmatic. I bought it not long after they were coming back from overseas with a lot of returning service personnel. had a friend who bought a very complete kit, came home and needed the money to get married.
     
  8. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Well, do you like M42 or K mount better? Also as said before the Spotmatic is solid, I'd choose that over the KM alone. But if you wanna go to town with Pentax, why not look up for a Pentax LX?
     
  9. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    Spotmatic without the shoe looks waaaay cooler.:wink:
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As Rol_Lei nut points out it is possible to use M42 lenses with an adapter to fit K mount cameras. Another option is to use Tamron Apdaptall II lenses and have monunts for both screw and K mount. I have 2 or 3 Tamron SP lenses with Adaptall mounts very useful particularly as I can use at a push on my EOS cameras as well.

    Ian
     
  11. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Since the Spotmatics aren't getting as many votes, I'll add one for the Spotmatic F.

    I recently picked one up from a subscriber on this site and it performed. From the first roll through I made three prints and there is the potential for more. From my perspective, that is the true measure of a camera, the yield of print-worthy pictures.

    The high speeds don't work due to lack of maintenance, but I believe inside the camera is like new (so I expect a CLA will restore it to new performance).

    If you are already familiar with Spotmatics, then you will be able to use one immediately. I haven't handled any K-mount so I cannot offer a comparison. But Spotmatics are useful.
     
  13. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I bought my first Spot in 1966, used, it still works just fine. I take it out a couple of time a year and run a roll though it. But I think a KM is a better buy more features, will work with M42 lens with an adpator. There are lots of manual thrid party K mount lens which are good performers at bargin prices. K1000s are fine camera, just in my estimation overpriced.
     
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  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I will give it a vote too. I recently bought a very nice Spotmatic F locally for £20.

    Just to be fair though, I will give the KM a vote too.


    Steve.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I had a new Spotmatic F for my 21st birthday, a wonderful camera, eventually I sold it for a K mount camera in the early 80's. Possibly the best SLR I've ever used and I picked another one up donated to a comminity darkroom early 2000's (turned out it had belonged to a fellow MA student & friend).

    My favourite K/M series Pentax though is the MX small light and mush quieter woderful camears to use.

    Ian
     
  17. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv Member

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    I've never used a Pentax K mount other then an ME super (which was ok I guess) but I adore my Spotmatic SPII. It's just got this really pleasing feel to it—mechanical, sturdy, classic. It's also a very attractive design. If you're the type of SLR user that is fairly deliberate when picture taking, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Spotty. If you really aren't comfortable without ultra quick metering, a K mount (or Spotmatic F) is IMO a better bet.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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  19. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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  20. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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  21. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Yes. Any camera with a bridge circuit (such as all the Spotmatics) will show correct exposure with the meter in the centre which is its resting place with no current flowing through it. With no current, the voltage is irrelevant.

    Basically, any camera which shows correct exposure with the meter needle in the middle is insensitive to cell voltage. These cameras will also have the meter needle rest in the centre position with the power off.
    Cameras which require you to set one indicator relative to the meter's needle position are usually dependent on the cell voltage for accuracy. With these cameras, the meter's needle rests at one end of its travel when switched off.


    Steve.
     
  23. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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  24. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    OK, I just came across this at Butkus :

    Depending on the circuits in an exposure meter a constant voltage is actually necessary or not. A Pentax Spotmatic, for instance, has a ‘bridge’ measuring network and does not need an exact 1.35 volts. This camera works perfect on a 1.55 volts alkaline or 1.6 volts silver-oxide cell.

    Is this true for ALL versions of the Spotmatic? If so, then all I need is a PX400 form factor 1.5V silver oxide battery?
     
  25. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Alright, thanks!
     
  26. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Yes, all versions. Some people will tell you that it doesn't apply to the F but it does. Most Spotmatics have a standard Wheatstone bridge circuit. The confusion arises because the F has a different circuit where the meter has dual coils working out of phase. Current through one, controlled by the aperture, shutter speed and ISO setting, pushes the meter in one direction. Current through the second coil, controlled by the metering cell, pushes the needle the other way. Correct exposure is shown when the current through both coils is equal so there is zero net movement of the needle. If the supply voltage changes, the current through both coils changes proportionally which does not cause the needle to move to a different position.

    http://pentax-manuals.com/manuals/service/spot_f_meter.pdf


    Steve.