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  1. #11
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    You cannot go wrong with either. I have had both; both are excellent quality cameras. The K1000 is a no-frills body; no stop down mechanism on the body; no meter on/off. For stop down metering with the K1000 (or the SP1000, which is the M-42 version) one must use the stop down, "manual/auto" switch on a lens; and not all lenses have that feature.

    I think it safe to say that any Pentax made after about 1960 will outlast us all, given proper care, cleaning, lubricating, and adjustment. Earlier ones might be getting a bit worn by now.

    The fact of the matter is that there is nothing (in my opinion) that the K1000 or SP1000 cannot do that any capable photographer needs to do.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  2. #12
    BradS's Avatar
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    Lots of questions there let me see...

    The K-1000 is basically a Spotmatic F with a bayonet mount. The K series cameras got lighter with time as the company replaced heavy metal with cheaper plastic. In the bodies, this was generally a bad thing...all too often metal gears in the internals were replaced with plastic gears. Quieter and lighter but, not as reliable.

    I'm not really certain on this but I don't think any of the spotmatics have the split image focusing aid. None come to mind anyway. Neither does the plain vanilla K-1000. However, K-1000 SE does have a split image focus aid - and this is the chief difference between the 'K-1000 SE' and the plain jane 'K-1000'.

    The early K-series lenses are pretty much the same designs as their immediate predecessors - the M-42. As with the bodies, K-series lenses got lighter as plastic replaced metal....sometimes that wasn't such a bad thing.

    Keep in mind too that with the exception of the Spotmatic F, all spotmatics used mercury batteries - which have long been unavailable in the USA. There are work arounds but, really none are very good. With old spotmatics, one usually gets used to shooting sans meter. Shooting street with B&W film, it really isn't even difficult...with a little practice.

    Don't worry too much about stop down metering. All it means is that when you turn on the meter to take a reading, the lens stops down...no big deal. You just get used to focus first then meter then shoot. Tripping the shutter on the spotmatics turns off the meter and opens up the aperature again so that you can focus. (but, see my comments above about meters in general).

    The K-1000 meter is "always on". It just draws "not much" current when the lens cap is on. This is a little un-nerving at first...but, it's really not a big deal. Many K-1000 meters (well, four out of the five that I have owned in the past five years or so) are kinda...hmmm, unstable or irratic. That is, they don't always give the same reading fro the same light...maybe, I'm just lucky. Spotmatic meters suffer a whole host of ills of their own - they react slowly, they have kinda a memory and generally,...well, as you can probably see by now, I don't have a very high opinion of the spotmatic meters...they were a wonderful innovation at the time but...that time has long since passed. I love the spotmatics - and own and regularly use mine but, rarely bother with their meters anymore.

    Note that metering with a K-1000 is much easier than with the FX-3 that you're used to. With the FX-3 you must press slightly on the shutter button to take a meter reading - which makes adjusting shutter speed kinda hard while metering.

    Finally, get yourself a copy of The Pentax way by Herb Keppler. It explains everything you need to know about all things pentax...There are many editions and they covered the models that were current at the time of publication as well as a few of the older models so, try to get an edition that covers what you're interested in. I think the fourth edition may be a good place...not sure. Will have to look at my book shelf when I get home tonight.
    Last edited by BradS; 04-15-2009 at 12:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by altair View Post
    Oh, ok..thank you! But ermm, can the F meter wide open with other lenses besides the SMC glass?
    General advice: If you don't change lenses very often, go for the Spotmatic.
    At least for me, stop-down metering isn't a big deal, but changing
    screw-mount lenses very often is.

    The Spotmatic F can only meter wide open only with certain later Pentax/Takumar lenses (I doubt if all SMC glass works).
    On the negative side, the full-aperture metering cams sometimes prevent mounting M42 lenses of other brands (especially a number of German lenses).

    One advantage of an M42 mount is being able to use some excellent glass (though the original glass is often very good, it isn't always the best or the cheapest): Mamiya, Fuji, Zeiss Jena, Schacht, Arsat, Russar and Schneider are the first that come to mind.

    The K1000 is essentially a Spotmatic with a bayonet mount.
    What it's missing of the ability to stop down (DOF preview), a light meter switch (you really need that lens cap) and build quality in the later models.
    While many sheepishly go on about the K1000 being so "ideal", other models (K2, KX, KM) are better and sometimes cheaper.

    My advice:

    1) Get an earlier Spotmatic and do a CLA only if it really needs one (unless you have money to spare). If your 1/1000 isn't too far below 1/700, just grin and bear it (it won't get that much better even after a CLA).
    Try to put some Zeiss Jena & Schneider glass on it.

    Or if you do change lenses often, get a K- model, not necessarily the 1000.

    Have fun!
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  4. #14

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    Pittsburgh Camera Repair put a split-image finder in my Spotmatic IIa. Works like a charm. I definitely suggest getting any Spotmatic you buy CLA'd if for nothing else to get the shutter and meter tuned.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    One advantage of an M42 mount is being able to use some excellent glass (though the original glass is often very good, it isn't always the best or the cheapest): Mamiya, Fuji, Zeiss Jena, Schacht, Arsat, Russar and Schneider are the first that come to mind.
    Preach on. Ive got two Mamiya/Sekor M42s that are just awesome.

  6. #16
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    General advice: If you don't change lenses very often, go for the Spotmatic....changing
    screw-mount lenses very often is (a pain).
    Good advice...I sold all of my spare screw mount lenses for this exact reason. Changing screw mount lenses in the field is not fun. Now, I just have one lens per screw mount body. Makes life easy.

  7. #17
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino View Post
    Preach on. Ive got two Mamiya/Sekor M42s that are just awesome.
    Is that two Mamiya/Sekor lenses?

    I have been thinking about giving away some of the camera gear I have but dont use. Amongst the candidates for adoption is a Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL body.

    If you would like this as a matching body to to go with the lenses you have, send me a PM.


    Steve.
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 04-15-2009 at 03:31 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #18

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    I have had a fair amount of experience with both the Spotmatic F and M42 lenses. The Spot F is very well crafted, and M42 lenses are a superb value, usually going for pennies on the dollar.

    I ended up go with a later Pentax body, the Super Program, because I prefer having a camera that offers an optional winder, motor, or grip. I do not really need the speed of a winder or motor, but I much prefer using a camera with a winder, grip, or motor attached, as handling and balance are greatly improved.

    Even though I have a number of M42 adapters, I ended giving up most of my M42 lenses, as some are radioactive (i.e. treated with thorium). I understand well that the amount of radiation emitted is quite small, but I would rather err on the side of safety--especially with so many nice Pentax A-series lenses available. Some have commented that exposure to the sun (and other things) is a source of radiation. While this is true, I note that, in most situations, the sun is quite difficult to avoid, whereas I can avoid Takumar lenses quite easily...and not lose any performance in opting for an A-series lens.

  9. #19
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino View Post
    Preach on. Ive got two Mamiya/Sekor M42s that are just awesome.
    Just curious, which ones?

    Many of the lenses made for 35mm Rolleiflexes and branded as Rolleinar (or sometimes Voigtländer AR) were made by Mamiya.

    I've tried or tested most of them (comparing them directly to their Zeiss counterparts): Since they were apparently the same optical schemes used by their M42 line, I can only say that they are very very good. Often just *slightly* beaten by the Zeiss' in some parameters, but that is actually a great compliment!
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  10. #20

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    I have a Spotmatic F and love it. I will never get rid of it. I used it for years with lenses that wouldn't do open aperture metering -- not really a problem, just a different way to work. I have recently "upgraded" to an SMC Takumar, and with open aperture metering, it seems like a whole new camera!

    If you go to the K-mount, pick a later body than the K1000. The "cult" status means you pay $100 more than a slightly later (and often better) camera.
    My other camera is a Pentax

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