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09-13-2010, 10:24 PM   #1
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pentax spotmatic f

hello i have a pentax k-x which is my main camera but my photography major requires me to learn how to shoot film & develop film ( which im glad to learn) but we had to purchase a 35mm slr film camera with manual exposure capability and a working meter. The teacher told us to just try to find one at samys but i went to a flea market and found a pentax spotmatic f camera. i need to know is this what the teacher was asking for because this camera and its specs are not in the camera section of this forum. i would also like to know where i can find a guide or something to learn how to work this film camera. thank you in advance

09-13-2010, 10:47 PM   #2
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Pentax has a downloadable PDF manual for that camera.

Manuals and Literature - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

Click on cameras, then on Film SLR in the list, then in the next list scroll down until you see the Spotmatic F, click that, and it takes you to the page to do the download.
09-13-2010, 10:57 PM   #3
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Wow I thought you were kidding about the camera database missing the spotmatic F. In fact, there are No M42 cameras in the database.

Re a manual, the ones at the Pentax site are poor scans. Try here instead

Pentax Manuals

Note that the password is Pentax

If your camera has a 50mm lens on it and a working meter, it's probably fine for your class. Even if the meter isn't working you can get an inexpensive handheld meter.

Good luck..
09-13-2010, 11:02 PM   #4
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My link you don't need a password. Guess Jeff didn't refresh the page or he would have seen my post...eh? LOL

09-13-2010, 11:16 PM   #5
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Different links, Mar. The manuals at my link are very nice color scans (for the most part) of the original manuals. All that I've ever pulled from the official Pentax website amounted to crappy xerox copies at best. Just offering another option.

09-14-2010, 12:12 AM   #6
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The one I got from Pentax on my K100D and both my film cameras have color to them also. I don't know how they put them up but I liked those I got.

Doesn't really matter where OP gets the manual, I guess.
09-14-2010, 12:32 AM   #7
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No, It really doesn't. Though I would say that the dSLR manuals compared to the classics manuals are apples and oranges on the Pentax website. The dSLR manuals are Acrobat type made made with a word processor documents, not scans of pages. They (most) are also clickable so all you have to do is go to the Index and find what you're looking for. At least the latest ones are. The classics such as the spotmatics however..

http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/SpotmaticF.pdf

for example..

Opposed to

http://www.pentax-manuals.com/manuals/m42/pentax_spotmaticf_manual_s.pdf

Remember the Password is Pentax (with the capitol P).

09-15-2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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Any Spotmatic would be good to learn on for sure....

09-17-2010, 04:05 PM   #9
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The SPF was a good camera; assuming it works, the main shortcoming I experienced was the meter, which I believe was not as sensitive as the SPII meter, or most other meters of the era. The SPF meter had an annoying feature which turned the meter off when it reached its low-light limit, inconveniently centering the meter needle.

Working the camera doesn't really require a manual - if you have a working meter, you just center the needle with whatever combination of aperture and shutter speed you want.

This is somewhat off-topic, but it seems like you learning film today would be like forcing computer science majors to learn to read punched cards by holding them up to the light (something we had to do in my first computer class, a long time ago.)

Paul
12-13-2011, 02:10 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote

This is somewhat off-topic, but it seems like you learning film today would be like forcing computer science majors to learn to read punched cards by holding them up to the light (something we had to do in my first computer class, a long time ago.)

Paul
Ok, so this thread is old, and I'm still pretty new to thoughtful photography, but I saw this comment and thought I'd offer my observation:

This is the fourth Major Subject I've been involved in where old-school vs new'school has been a hot topic. In the Navy, I was involved with an area of electronic study where some guys were trained to work on one very large system, using modern techniques, which pretty much involved following a flow-chart and doing what the voices told you. Other guys, like me, went through a course where several smaller systems were taught together, and because the theory was so varied, one system to another, what we were taught was analog electronics, which we would apply to whatever situation came to us. Every time the guys on my boat got stuck after 30 minutes of flow-chart troubleshooting, they'd just give up and come get me, and I'd approach their problem like a technician, not a librarian.

I then went into computers, learning odd systems first, then DOS, then Linux and Windows. Younger guys ask me how I can know certain stuff without having ever seen it before - it's not because I'm smarter, but because I know the heritage of Windows. The current system evolved from something that wasn't so complicated it took a rocket scientist to figure out, and so I'm able to extrapolate new information from what I do know.

Lastly, I work in an industry where the present systems are pretty, glossy, and PC-based. But I know the background of how each parameter, setting, and feature evolved. Turns out several competing systems in the field are essentially cut from the same cloth - and thus easy to figure out - to the person with the right experience.

In light of all this, while I don't know if it will work retro-actively, I'm going to teach myself to shoot film. My K20d died the other day, and so out of necessity, I"m pressing the Spotmatic I bought for nothing more than the 50/1.4 lens it came with into service. I've shot film before, long time ago, so it's not totally new. I can already attest to a better understanding of my digital shooting. More power to the original poster. Good for him, hope he learned lots!
12-13-2011, 07:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by groesener Quote
Ok, so this thread is old, and I'm still pretty new to thoughtful photography, but I saw this comment and thought I'd offer my observation:

This is the fourth Major Subject I've been involved in where old-school vs new'school has been a hot topic. In the Navy, I was involved with an area of electronic study where some guys were trained to work on one very large system, using modern techniques, which pretty much involved following a flow-chart and doing what the voices told you. Other guys, like me, went through a course where several smaller systems were taught together, and because the theory was so varied, one system to another, what we were taught was analog electronics, which we would apply to whatever situation came to us. Every time the guys on my boat got stuck after 30 minutes of flow-chart troubleshooting, they'd just give up and come get me, and I'd approach their problem like a technician, not a librarian.

I then went into computers, learning odd systems first, then DOS, then Linux and Windows. Younger guys ask me how I can know certain stuff without having ever seen it before - it's not because I'm smarter, but because I know the heritage of Windows. The current system evolved from something that wasn't so complicated it took a rocket scientist to figure out, and so I'm able to extrapolate new information from what I do know.

Lastly, I work in an industry where the present systems are pretty, glossy, and PC-based. But I know the background of how each parameter, setting, and feature evolved. Turns out several competing systems in the field are essentially cut from the same cloth - and thus easy to figure out - to the person with the right experience.

In light of all this, while I don't know if it will work retro-actively, I'm going to teach myself to shoot film. My K20d died the other day, and so out of necessity, I"m pressing the Spotmatic I bought for nothing more than the 50/1.4 lens it came with into service. I've shot film before, long time ago, so it's not totally new. I can already attest to a better understanding of my digital shooting. More power to the original poster. Good for him, hope he learned lots!
Well said and very true. Everyone should go through a b&w film course to understand photography. Even if they never shoot film again, the extra knowledge never hurts.

Phil.
12-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by groesener Quote
Ok, so this thread is old, and I'm still pretty new to thoughtful photography, but I saw this comment and thought I'd offer my observation:

This is the fourth Major Subject I've been involved in where old-school vs new'school has been a hot topic. In the Navy, I was involved with an area of electronic study where some guys were trained to work on one very large system, using modern techniques, which pretty much involved following a flow-chart and doing what the voices told you. Other guys, like me, went through a course where several smaller systems were taught together, and because the theory was so varied, one system to another, what we were taught was analog electronics, which we would apply to whatever situation came to us. Every time the guys on my boat got stuck after 30 minutes of flow-chart troubleshooting, they'd just give up and come get me, and I'd approach their problem like a technician, not a librarian.

I then went into computers, learning odd systems first, then DOS, then Linux and Windows. Younger guys ask me how I can know certain stuff without having ever seen it before - it's not because I'm smarter, but because I know the heritage of Windows. The current system evolved from something that wasn't so complicated it took a rocket scientist to figure out, and so I'm able to extrapolate new information from what I do know.

Lastly, I work in an industry where the present systems are pretty, glossy, and PC-based. But I know the background of how each parameter, setting, and feature evolved. Turns out several competing systems in the field are essentially cut from the same cloth - and thus easy to figure out - to the person with the right experience.

In light of all this, while I don't know if it will work retro-actively, I'm going to teach myself to shoot film. My K20d died the other day, and so out of necessity, I"m pressing the Spotmatic I bought for nothing more than the 50/1.4 lens it came with into service. I've shot film before, long time ago, so it's not totally new. I can already attest to a better understanding of my digital shooting. More power to the original poster. Good for him, hope he learned lots!
What does shooting film teach that digital doesn't?

Paul
12-22-2011, 06:54 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
What does shooting film teach that digital doesn't?

Paul
The convenience of digital :-)
12-22-2011, 06:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
What does shooting film teach that digital doesn't?
Film's an entire different beast, which generally requires a little planning ahead from when you load your film all the way to development. If you plan on pushing/pulling, working with the zone system to make sure you get all the detail you want, you have to keep all that in mind when you meter and shoot so you can adjust development times effectively. Where in digital, you can just do it easily in post.

In my film classes, I learned alot more about digital photography by doing it the old fashioned way. Granted I wasn't super rehearsed in Photoshop, but after spending time in the darkroom, I learned what half the tools in Photoshop were actually for. Burning, dodging, smudging, were pretty much lost on me until I learned the techniques in the darkroom and figured how to apply them in the digital world.

That's just a little bit of how shooting film taught me a few small lessons that diving into digital did not. I'm sure everyone else has had a different experience learning all this in various orders and mediums, though.
12-23-2011, 01:17 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
What does shooting film teach that digital doesn't?

Paul
Paul, you ask a good question, one that I hear in the other areas I mentioned quite often. The benefits are, admittedly, somewhat esoteric and difficult to nail down, and quite honestly, maybe not everyone gets the benefits. But when the benefit is experienced, it usually runs along these lines:

  • Connections. So much of modern technology is about not having to think about what we do so much, so we can get more done. Sounds great, and sometimes IS great. But the mind works on connections, and when you are working with digital, you're working with settings that, in reality, are an analogy of what we did with film, not the real thing. Having to use the real thing, i.e. film, lets the mind firmly grasp that analogy. I had a horrible time with a clutch when I was a young man, and my dad, who was teaching me, one time asked from his near-fetal position on the other side of the car if I had any idea how a clutch worked. I didn't, so he explained it. Never had another problem with the clutch. I just had to understand the connection between foot and lever.
  • Patience. When shooting digital, I can rip through 20 pictures without ever really thinking about it, and hope for the best. It's not the way I SHOULD do it, but I'm an impatient person with a short attention span, and if I CAN take a shortcut, I will. I pick up a film camera, and it costs me to shoot this way, so it becomes more important to work more methodically, to take the time to fully understand the effects of my different actions, so that I don't spend so much.
  • Appreciation. Like someone else just said, appreciation for the ease and added capability of digital.
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