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  1. #1

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    Pentax Spotmatic

    I've developed a sudden urge to collect older Pentax Manual SLR's. How much should I expect to pay for a fully functional Spotmatic (SP) with ,say,a 50mm super-takumar lens?
    Ole' St. Nick must have had it in for me this year as I didn't get so much as a roll of film.

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Well I bought a superb mint Spotmatic F +f2 lens last year for £25, and another Spotmatic in a multiple purchase on Ebay included a Chinon CE4 and 2 screw thread lenses for £30. £1 - 2.28$CAN

    They really are available at excellent prices and are remarkably well made and useable.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Not much even though they are great cameras with fabulous optics.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kennedy View Post
    I've developed a sudden urge to collect older Pentax Manual SLR's.
    Look out for the SV, too, the non-TTL but better-made version of the Spotmatic. These usually go for well under £50/$100 complete with f/1.8 or even f/1.4 standard lenses. The shutters are normally very lazy, though: +1 stop is normal at 1/250 and above.

    Heresy coming up, though: the older lenses are (in 40 years' experience -- I got my first SV in 1966) often overrated. The best are pretty good; many are indifferent; and none of them will have been improved by decades of use and wear.

    Cheers,

    R.

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    How the **** can a SV be a better made version of the Spotmatic? The SV was never a Spotmatic, as all Spotmatics have TTL metering.

    The SV was an an improvement on the S1a, of which I once had two, one I know is still working perfectly despite 25 more years of use since I sold it.

    One look at an SV compared to ant Spotmatic will show the body casting is different.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    I got a K1000 with 50 F2 for free, but the CLA cost me $75.

  7. #7
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    KEH has pretty much all the models and you can pay well under 50$ for the body and about the same price for the lens. If you want to go premium, shell an extra 50$ and go for the Spotmatic F model with an SMC lens. You'll have open-aperture metering (like on the K series), a shutter release lock, and the best multi-coating for your lenses.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Michel - totally agree about the Spotmatic F, I had one for my 21st birthday, and used it extensively until selling it to a friend as I needed faster bayonet mount lenses for work reasons. Trying to change lenses fast at rock concerts is difficult at the best of times but painfully slow with screw mount lenses.

    My Spotmatic F was the best 35mm SLR I've owned, so when I saw one being sold at a darkroom/gallery facility last year I had to buy it. It had been donated to help raise funds, after I'd paid for the camera I was told it's former owners name and it turned out we had been at University together.

    Ian

  9. #9
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Look out for the SV, too, the non-TTL but better-made version of the Spotmatic. These usually go for well under £50/$100 complete with f/1.8 or even f/1.4 standard lenses. The shutters are normally very lazy, though: +1 stop is normal at 1/250 and above.

    Cheers,

    R.
    Hi Roger,

    Perhaps it's a typo. I think you meant the SL...which actually is a spotmatic sans meter. The SV (and it's brother from Honeywell, the H3V) is the spotmatics' ancestor.


    To the original poster's question.."How much should I expect to pay?..."

    It varies very widely. Some things that seem to factor into the price...

    1) which 50mm lens. If the body comes with the SMC or "Super-Multi-Coated" Takumar 50/1.4 the price seems to go disproportionatly higher than say, the same body in the same condition with a 1.8 or, egad, the 55/2.0. The irony is that the 55/1.8 is actually a better (sharper) lens.

    2) whether or not the meter is known to work and be somewhat accurate.

    3) which model. The Spotmatic F commands a significantly higher price than all of the other models...I guess, this is because it was designed to use a currently available battery...I don't know. I think they later modela are at least as ugly as the early K-1000. That hot shoe on top just spoils it - for me.

    4) as with all things, marketing. For example, an item presented with good sharp photos always seems to a higher price.

    Personally, I'll pay a little extra for a kit that comes with the original lens caps or other little OEM bits (the accessory shoe for example). I tend to only look at cameras that appear to have either been little used or, well taken care of.

    Soem things to watch out for:
    Except for the 'F' and the 'SL', all spotmatics used a mercury botton cell to power the meter. When these leak they make a awful mess of the metal underside of the camera. The cloth focal plane shutters on these cameras are also getting old and weak. Not a big deal if it's going to sit in a display case I guess but, it is if you actually wanna use the thing.

    Oh, and I have to agree with Roger. The glass is now overrated. It is very good glass considering it's age but...

    Unfortunately, the current trend among Digital SLR users, and particularily the Canon breed, seems to be to get a 50mm, f/1.4 SMC-Takumar and an adapter and then go out and shoot 10,000 frames of garbage with the vintage glass and brag about how great it is to all you fellow digi-heads. Needless to say, this kind of behaviour is amusing at best. With any luck, this too shall pass.

    Brad.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    A quick question ? have you lost the plot :-)

    Ian

    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Unfortunately, the current trend among Digital SLR users, and particularily the Canon breed, seems to be to get a 50mm, f/1.4 SMC-Takumar and an adapter and then go out and shoot 10,000 frames of garbage with the vintage glass and brag about how great it is to all you fellow digi-heads. Needless to say, this kind of behaviour is amusing at best. With any luck, this too shall pass.

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