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10-12-2020, 01:04 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Long Time Pentax Spotmatic User

I have been using Pentax Spotmatic cameras for 50 years. I was a US Army combat photographer in the Vietnam War (1968-70) serving two back-to-back combat tours and winning a Bronze Star. The Pentax Spotmatic is the only camera I used in Vietnam which never failed. In the years since doing combat photography, I have never had a Pentax Spotmatic camera or Takumar lens fail. I recently had Eric Hendrickson (Knoxville, TN) service two of my Pentax cameras (adjust shutter speeds, replace battery, etc.) and he did an excellent job. I currently own four Pentax film cameras with M-42 screw mount and over a dozen Takumar lenses. I also own a Sony a7R E-mount camera which I can use Takumar M42 mount lenses on. I shoot medium format and 4x5 too. I think the Pentax Spotmatic has one of the best user interfaces ever designed. It is a pity that most high school and college students are no longer learning photography on this film camera. Many great 35mm films are available - Kodak Ektar 100 (color neg), Kodak Tmax 100 & 400 (B&W neg), and Rollei infrared (B&W neg). Reasons to shoot film in addition to digital include: film cameras work well in winter at much lower temperatures, you can shoot 35mm film when you don't want to risk expensive digital equipment, you can shoot separation RGB + infrared using two film cameras and filters, the Spotmatic is easy and fun to use, film lasts virtually forever, etc.


I have two degrees: a BFA with Honors in Film from Art Center College of Design and a BSEE in computers from Calpoly Pomona. After Vietnam I worked in every room of the lab at Newell Color Lab and was Friday night and weekend manager there. I freelanced in Hollywood after graduating from Art Center while teaching cinematography there. I later worked as an R&D engineer after Calpoly winning awards from Hughes Aircraft, Sony and Walt Disney. I mostly worked on displays and imaging systems as an R&D engineer. I began doing photography using my Dad's 35mm Weltini and Leica WWII era cameras as kid. We had a B&W darkroom in the garage where we mixed all our chemicals from scratch. My interest now is in doing film and digital for shooting at the front end, developing film and scanning it to digital, and using an image editor and ink jet printer for post-processing (I have ZERO interest in old fashioned printing). I recently rebuilt old beige computer cases (circa 1990s) to be state-of-the-art Linux workstations using AMD CPUs and GPUs. Pentax cameras and Takumar lenses are still very affordable on eBay and many younger folks who exclusively shoot digital ought try shooting film. In recent years vinyl records have regained popularity. I am hopeful that a similar trend will develop for film photography and exceptional cameras and lenses like Pentax and Takumar, where the reasons are even much stronger for keeping these technologies alive.

10-12-2020, 01:17 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Ed!
Love your intro post.
10-12-2020, 01:53 PM   #3
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Welcome from the UK, Ed!
10-12-2020, 03:55 PM   #4
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Great story! Welcome to the forum!

10-13-2020, 04:54 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, enjoy your time here
10-13-2020, 02:36 PM   #6
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Welcome Ed!!
10-13-2020, 06:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Scott Quote
I have been using Pentax Spotmatic cameras for 50 years. I was a US Army combat photographer in the Vietnam War (1968-70) serving two back-to-back combat tours and winning a Bronze Star. The Pentax Spotmatic is the only camera I used in Vietnam which never failed. In the years since doing combat photography, I have never had a Pentax Spotmatic camera or Takumar lens fail. I recently had Eric Hendrickson (Knoxville, TN) service two of my Pentax cameras (adjust shutter speeds, replace battery, etc.) and he did an excellent job. I currently own four Pentax film cameras with M-42 screw mount and over a dozen Takumar lenses. I also own a Sony a7R E-mount camera which I can use Takumar M42 mount lenses on. I shoot medium format and 4x5 too. I think the Pentax Spotmatic has one of the best user interfaces ever designed. It is a pity that most high school and college students are no longer learning photography on this film camera. Many great 35mm films are available - Kodak Ektar 100 (color neg), Kodak Tmax 100 & 400 (B&W neg), and Rollei infrared (B&W neg). Reasons to shoot film in addition to digital include: film cameras work well in winter at much lower temperatures, you can shoot 35mm film when you don't want to risk expensive digital equipment, you can shoot separation RGB + infrared using two film cameras and filters, the Spotmatic is easy and fun to use, film lasts virtually forever, etc.
Chopped your intro as I quoted it, Great to have you on board Ed, looking forward to see some of your work! I am sure I have seen some from your days during the Vietnam war!

Cheers and welcome to the forums!
11-01-2020, 07:38 PM   #8
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Negatives from 100+ years ago can still be printed. Digital photographers have hope for the future. Is there a current card reader that uses smart media cards?

11-08-2020, 06:48 PM   #9
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Welcome to the PF, Ed, from Tennessee.
11-08-2020, 06:50 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forums

you will find friendly members and a lot of knowledge here

enjoyed your introduction message
1 Day Ago   #11
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Hey Ed....Welcome aboard.


Like you I discovered Pentax SLR photography on a troopship headed for Vietnam in 1966. One of grunts gave a "class" on SLR's using his Asahi Spotmatic as the example. I was fascinated with them and after I got home I bought a Honeywell from our local camera shop. The owner used to laughed at me when I came in to his shop once a week and drooled after that camera. When I had enough together I finally bought one. I love their simplicity and I still shoot with one - though I have a Canon digital Rebel, too, now. I still have my original camera and lenses although I've added a ton of "new" used glass because there is so much available for cheap.
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Scott Quote
I have been using Pentax Spotmatic cameras for 50 years. I was a US Army combat photographer in the Vietnam War (1968-70) serving two back-to-back combat tours and winning a Bronze Star. The Pentax Spotmatic is the only camera I used in Vietnam which never failed. In the years since doing combat photography, I have never had a Pentax Spotmatic camera or Takumar lens fail. I recently had Eric Hendrickson (Knoxville, TN) service two of my Pentax cameras (adjust shutter speeds, replace battery, etc.) and he did an excellent job. I currently own four Pentax film cameras with M-42 screw mount and over a dozen Takumar lenses. I also own a Sony a7R E-mount camera which I can use Takumar M42 mount lenses on. I shoot medium format and 4x5 too. I think the Pentax Spotmatic has one of the best user interfaces ever designed. It is a pity that most high school and college students are no longer learning photography on this film camera. Many great 35mm films are available - Kodak Ektar 100 (color neg), Kodak Tmax 100 & 400 (B&W neg), and Rollei infrared (B&W neg). Reasons to shoot film in addition to digital include: film cameras work well in winter at much lower temperatures, you can shoot 35mm film when you don't want to risk expensive digital equipment, you can shoot separation RGB + infrared using two film cameras and filters, the Spotmatic is easy and fun to use, film lasts virtually forever, etc.
Welcome! It is nice to know that one can use a camera for such a long time.

I also began photography over fifty years ago, but after using rangefinder cameras 1969-79, I got a Pentax ME/SE in 1979, then switched to KA lenses in 1983, and to AF in 1995, and to digital in 2007.
22 Hours Ago   #13
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Welcome to the forum. Very interesting introduction. My first pictures were taken in the year 83-84 at Zorkiy-4, I developed the film myself and printed it in a small toilet. Then everything was forgotten. Now I started filming again. You are right there is something in the tape.
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Welcome.
14 Hours Ago   #15
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Welcome from Berlin.
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