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01-27-2010, 02:31 PM   #1
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Spotmatic Lightmeter

I've just put a new battery into the light meter of my Spotmatic. When i switch it on the needle immediately drops down to the bottom, what does this mean?

01-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Sparkly One Quote
I've just put a new battery into the light meter of my Spotmatic. When i switch it on the needle immediately drops down to the bottom, what does this mean?
It means that whatever you are pointing the camera at is way underexposed.

Start here and look for similar articles..


Also, tell us about your complete setup. Camera, lens, where you are trying to check the meter, etc. All your initial statement tells Me, is that the meter is not dead.

01-27-2010, 04:14 PM   #3
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ooooh ive made it go right up to the top now too!

currently i have panomar auto 1:2.8 f=135mm lens on it, because thats the one it came with. I dont like it

when i first tried it i didnt have the lens on, which may have been the reason

so to get it right i just have to turn the shutter speed dial?
01-27-2010, 05:40 PM   #4
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To try out your meter

It may sound basic,

1. Remove the lens cap.
2. If there is an A/M switch on the lower part of the lens, set it to M
3. Set your ISO/ASA to whatever is in the camera or 100 (something like that).
4. Set your shutter speed to 1/60 or so
5. Point your camera at some light source and operate the aperture until the meter reads centered (in general for most subjects).
6. Focus and take your picture.



01-27-2010, 05:47 PM   #5
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i do believe my lens is broken!

when you turn the aperture ring the blades are supposed to move in and out to change the size of the hole aren't they? Mine don't move

when i turn the aperture ring it sounds like there is grit underneath it too

and one more thing (i may be being really stupid here) which way up should the battery go?
01-27-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Sparkly One Quote

and one more thing (i may be being really stupid here) which way up should the battery go?
[edit]not a stupid question at all.

Point it at a bright light source and turn the meter on. If the needle goes up then you got it right. If the needle goes down, flip it around.

The needle goes up to indicate too much light and goes down to indicate too little light.
01-27-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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cool, the battery is in the right way up now!

thanks for your help

so basically if its too dark the needle goes down, meaning that the photo will be underesposed, so i then have to change the shutter to a slower setting and then play with the aperture ring... do i have to change it to a higher number to let more light in?

as you can tell I'm a complete novice at this sort of thing!
01-27-2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Sparkly One Quote
cool, the battery is in the right way up now!

thanks for your help

so basically if its too dark the needle goes down, meaning that the photo will be underesposed, so i then have to change the shutter to a slower setting and then play with the aperture ring... do i have to change it to a higher number to let more light in?

as you can tell I'm a complete novice at this sort of thing!
Yes, the needle down shows underexposed and the needle up shows overexposed. You generally want it level in the middle.

You don't have to change both shutter and aperture; you could just change one. Aperture number actually works the opposite way around. The smaller aperture number lets in more light.

Check out this:

Aperture, shutter and ISO value | SLR Camera Simulator

Play with the settings and watch the difference in the image. Each setting, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will have their one effect on your image.

01-27-2010, 08:05 PM   #9
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Your aperture

QuoteOriginally posted by The Sparkly One Quote
i do believe my lens is broken!

when you turn the aperture ring the blades are supposed to move in and out to change the size of the hole aren't they? Mine don't move

when i turn the aperture ring it sounds like there is grit underneath it too

and one more thing (i may be being really stupid here) which way up should the battery go?
Sounds like you got the battery issue resolved..

Your aperture.. I'm not familiar with your exact lens but..







shown above is one of my two screw mount lenses. When the lens is set on A, the aperture will be wide open until you take the picture. It will stop down to the chosen aperture when the plunger is pushed by the camera (or you if the lens is not mounted). When the lens is on M, the plunger does nothing and the aperture should be as dialed all the time.

The aperture ring should have Clicks as you turn it and when set on M, you should see it change. You will not see it change on A.

This is all unless your lens is a Preset lens. It will have what seem like 2 aperture rings. One sets the aperture and the other you must physically turn to change the aperture.

????


Last edited by JeffJS; 01-27-2010 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Add information
01-27-2010, 10:19 PM   #10
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pre-empting the next questions, such as how to load film, here's a link to the manual for your camera: Pentax Spotmatic, Pentax SL, user manual, instruction manual

other considerations for older camera can be deteriorated mirror bumper and light seals foam(simple to replace), and possible sluggish shutter speeds (easily tested with first roll of film).
01-29-2010, 09:25 AM   #11
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thanks everyone loading film is about the one thing that i do know how to do!

I took my lens to my lodal camera shop, and they confirmed that it had definitely had it, but they didnt have any screw mount lenses. hmmmm
01-29-2010, 12:45 PM   #12
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Spotmatic Manual

You can download a copy of the Spotmatic owners guide from Manuals and Literature - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

Its not a very good copy. It looks like they created a PDF file out of a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of the original. But the information is all there.
02-05-2010, 02:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for all of your help everyone, My new lens arrived today and it works really well, so I'll be out taking photos tomorrow
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