IMHO Spotmatics are lovely cameras - reliable and handle marvelously.
I keep mine as a camera for dangerous situations. The only reason I don't use it more often is because changing lenses with the screw mount is a PITA.
(I've often dreamed of putting a Rolleiflex QBM mount on one).
I also wish it had a centre-weighted or spot meter.
But if you don't frequently change lenses, a lovely little camera...
I thought only the Spotmatic F used a bridge circuit, and the older Spotmatics don't read accurately with the wrong voltage battery.
Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut
My Spotmatic and SP 1000 both have alkaline cells in them and the meters are spot on....
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
I thought all Spotmatics used a bridge circuit and were not sensitive to voltage variations. My non F model is fine with alkalines as is my SP500.
It's easy to tell. If the meter position for proper exposure is in the centre and the meter needle goes to that position when the meter is switched off, then it's a bridge circuit and an alkaline or silver 1.5 volt cell will do.
The meter in a bridge circuit displays the difference in voltage between two potential dividers. At correct exposure, this difference is zero so it cannot vary with cell voltage.
If the exposure is set by lining up one needle with another then it is not a bridge circuit and will be sensitive to voltage change
The camera is repairable if you are lucky, but the lens is a gem so hold on to it and can be used with any number of cameras with a suitable convereter...it is my low light lens on my EOS with an M42 to EF converter...
The only problem I can see is that the battery cover is stuck. Is there a specialised tool (ie. one that is not a coin) that can get these off? From reading around it sounds like a PX400S battery would be a good replacement battery, if I can get the cover off.
A routine problem. Sometimes the only solution is to drill out the cover and replace. Having been faced fairly often with this problem, we made our own tool. A large screwdriver. We ground the head of the screwdriver to match the curve of the Pentax slot. Then we could apply plenty of push (to preclude buggering the slot) and plenty of turn at the same time.
My father had a Spotmatic (I think I have it now) on which the battery cover resisted almost all attempts at opening. It had been abused by a previous owner and the coin slot looked more like a ploughed furrow.
The only way we could open it was to drill two small holes in it and use a pair of needle nosed pliers to apply rotation. There is a risk of drilling into a mercury cell with this method though.
Spotmatics (original, II, F) all used mercury oxide batteries, and given the stable voltage from those batteries it would be surprising that a bridge circuit would have been used. Nevertheless, the Olympus OM-1 is absolutely dependent upon constant 1.3v, its meter does not align two needle but is similar in appearance to the Spotmatic (align needle to center of indicator area), its needle swings out when power is off.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
It will go for peanuts on E-Bay.
I would forget about the battery. Just get a hand held light meter, or learn to guess exposure, and you will get far better exposures than the in-camera meter would give you anyhow (and it will be far less of a PITA than stop-down metering anyhow).
If the battery corrodes (which it probably already has, or will) and ruins the camera (which it probably will not), just throw it away and get another one for $25. Sad that it is at this point, but it is.
If you must, just take the camera to a repair person and let them get the meter running for you.
Whatever you do, I would grab the camera. They are great.
That's what I do. I bought my first Spotmatic in 1964. I have 5 now. I think they are excellent cāmeras and the Super-Multi-Coated Takumars are top notch.