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  1. #1
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Pentax Spotmatics, any fans out there?

    There was a camera show here in Toronto today I could not attend due to work, my brother scored on behalf a Pentax Spotmatic with a 55/1.8 and a 28mm wideangle for a steal. Now which battery should I get for the meter and where can I get a good source for lenses as I want a telephoto/portrait lens. I can thank my brother for this as he is a fan of his spotmatic and I hear the lens system is really good.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
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  2. #2
    geraldatwork's Avatar
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    They are excellent cameras. During the late 60's and 70's they competed with different models from Nikon, Canon and Minolta. Probably the easiest place would be ebay.
    "When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers"
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    IRAQNAM is Bush's legacy

  3. #3
    gma
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    Congratulations. The Pentax/Praktica/Edixa 42mm screw "universal" mount was used by many camera manufacturers in the 1960's and 70's. There are a tremendous number of Asahi Pentax, Zeiss,Yashica, Mamiya and even more aftermarket lenses available at very low cost these days. Most consider the screwmount camera a cumbersome antique. If you have an early Spotmatic with stop down through the lens metering you can use automatic, preset or even manual lenses and still have the benefit of the through the lens meter. If you have the later Spotmatic F or the ES probably you will want to buy newer Pentax lenses with the extra lever that can be metered at full aparture. Batteries of the correct voltage can be purchased from Freestyle and other mail order sources. The original mercury batteries are no longer available. Do not try to use alkaline or hearing aid batteries. If you have an accurate hand held meter, by all means check the Pentax meter for accuracy before you shoot some important subjects. Old meters often are not accurate through the whole range. Pentax cameras were precision made and last a long time. A real bargain used 35mm SLR. You might want to pick up a spare body on the web for $30-50. Even if the meter does not work you can still use the camera to make quality photographs.

    I have a Spotmatic SP500, three Prakticas and a Vivitar 220SL all of which are 42mm screwmount and all sorts of lenses.
    [FONT=Century Gothic][/FONT][SIZE=7][/SIZE][COLOR=DarkOrange][/COLOR] I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up!

  4. #4

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    Not to flog the standard source, but KEH has a nice selection of real pentax screwmount lenses right now. The bargain choice would be the super-takumar 105 2.8, though the 85 1.8 is also there, or the 100 f4 macro. They'd be my first choice.

    I've shot quite a bit with my scavenged and refurbished ones in the last year, and they're nice camera. Probably going to list them here shortly though, as I prefer my old Nikon F for most purposes. Nothing wrong with them, but I have too many blooming cameras around here.

  5. #5

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    Spoties aren't battery snobs. You can stick any silver oxide battery that fits the battery. Other then shorter life I'm not sure why you couldn't fit an alkaline battery. The meter is designed well enough to handle non-standard batteries.

    Off the top of my head I don't remember the battery that fits perfectly. I want to say a 387 or 400 watch battery. When I was looking I had no lucky finding either in Toronto. The battery shop that Radio Shack runs had a smaller battery in a little rubber ring. Kind of expensive for just a little rubber washer.

    The real bargain lenses tend to be the 135mm. Basically ignored by many but very common. Pentax made good ones. So did Mamiya. I've got a real nice Mamiya 135mm. You can also get various Soviet M42 lenses.

  6. #6

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    Uncle Bill, I'm a Spotmatic anti-fan. This for two reasons.

    When I went shopping for my first SLR, I found stop-down metering an, um, impediment to progress. I fully appreciate that it can be lived with.

    I spent 1970 in the US Army in Germany. Most of my fellow soldiers took their snapshots with Spotmatics, which were then the least expensive nice camera in the PX. I don't know whether it was due to the users or the cameras, but enough of the Spotmatics I was acquainted with to notice had shutter failures.

    I didn't get a Spotmatic, instead bought a Nikkormat at the 4 Wing RCAF's spring photo fair, still think its the better choice. Heavier, though. Having the shutter speed control concentric with the lens mount still seems more natural than putting it on the top plate.

    And your brother's right, there's a lot of very good used glass around for M42x1 SLRs that's now quite inexpensive.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  7. #7
    cao
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    When I went shopping for my first SLR, I found stop-down metering an, um, impediment to progress. I fully appreciate that it can be lived with.

    I spent 1970 in the US Army in Germany. Most of my fellow soldiers took their snapshots with Spotmatics, which were then the least expensive nice camera in the PX. I don't know whether it was due to the users or the cameras, but enough of the Spotmatics I was acquainted with to notice had shutter failures.
    The Spot Fs can do open aperture metering with the SMC Tak lenses. Also, they can work with an Alk 625 cell since the meter is a bridge circuit. I am unsure the earlier Spotties
    use that circuit. Nevertheless, I tend to use a Gossen or Minolta handheld meter most of the time.

    I'm a comparative newcomer to photo, but I've run more than a bit of film through my Spotties for class work, school paper, and personal pics, and think the shutter failures were a matter of abuse. Were the cameras kicking about in a ditty bag?

    For the counter, I've had the loan of an F3hp for a while from a friend who is unsure about shooting film again, and I'm just finding it a heavy awkward lump in my hands. This might have to do with only having my adaptall zooms and his 55/3.5 which don't suit my style that well, but the F3 didn't make my heart sing though I recognize it as a great camera, and I'll always be slightly envious of the butter smooth wind-on. The next few days, I'll be going through the same routine with an A-1 I've been given; I'm unsure the results will differ. I may just have a Spotmatic/RB67 shaped brain.
    Last edited by cao; 05-30-2005 at 10:45 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added some details

  8. #8
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    I also have a Nikkormat Ftn which is a tank. I am just getting a spotmatic as an inexpensive system when I don't want to shoot with my Nikon F/Nikkormat or the AE1 or definatly my M3.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  9. #9
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Next Question I have a Hannimex 105/2.8

    with a universal screwmount, would that fit a spotmatic or more importantly will it work with a spotmatic? Currently its on an Fmount adapter for my nikons.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  10. #10

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    I've never owned a Pentax Spotmatic but the first "serious" camera I ever used was one. I got the photo bug due to those cameras. I really should buy one since they are available so cheap these days. They had some great lenses.

    The "universal" 42mm screw mount fits the Pentax directly. It was also known as the "Pentax/Praktica" mount. It was replaced by the "K-mount" which became something of a "universal" bayonet mount in it's day.

    There were other screw mounts. The 39mm "Leica thread" mount was used in rangefinders. The "T-mount" was a screw mount that took adapters to use on various SLRs. There were probably some others I'm not aware of.

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