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04-09-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
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Asahi Pentax Spotmatic

Total newbie here! I have just dug out an asahi pentax spotmatic that belonged to my father. It hasn't been used for at least 15 years, although all the moving parts appear to do so. I'm not sure of the age of it, the serial number starts with a 3. I have used film SLRs in the past (praktica) but am completely unfamiliar with this particular camera and very rusty on their use in general!
I have a couple of questions: apart from a new battery, is there anything I should do / check before using it as it's been inactive so long (has been properly stored in it's case inside a box, indoors)? Also, there is a button marked 'SW' with an arrow pointing upwards - what is it and what does it do?

I will probably be back with questions about the various lenses that are with it as well...

04-09-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
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My first suggestion is to go HERE and download a free manual for your particular Spotmatic. The actual model name/number is usually engraved on the top, to the left of the prism (when the lens mount is facing away from you) such as "SP" or "SP ll" or "SP F".
04-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
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It will need a battery to get the light meter to work, but nothing else on the camera requires the small battery. When you take your first photos and if the meter is not working, take readings from another camera or look at the film package which should give you some general directions for exposures for different light conditions.

And you also have lenses. This should be a lot of fun, best of luck.
04-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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There is not much to check except the meter. In my own experience, when Spotmatics fail and need mechanical repair, usually it is the mirror intermittently and then permanently sticking in the up position. I would shoot 50 or so times without film to be sure this doesn't happen, before using the camera.

The "SW" turns on the meter and, if it is an older (pre-Spotmatic F) model, stops down the lens.

04-09-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paperweight Quote
I have used film SLRs in the past (praktica) but am completely unfamiliar with this particular camera and very rusty on their use in general!
If you shot with a Praktica, you might find the Spotmatic to be similar. Like most Spotmatic models, most Prakticas had stop-down metering with a M42 screw mount lens. Check out the manual online and be prepared to enjoy a fine camera.

BTW...The foam light seals and mirror bumper on most older cameras have degraded over time and generally need replacement. The mirror bumper is particularly problematic since it turns into a gummy slime that gets flung onto the mirror and focus screen where it is hard to clean off without damaging the fragile surfaces. Replacement can be done as a DIY project or as a relative inexpensive service be a repair shop.


Steve
04-09-2012, 11:54 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. Very helpful, especially the manuals link. The foam looks to be in good condition - I presume it would be fairly obvious if it was degraded? I know my dad would have made sure everything was in good order and was pretty meticulous with the camera.
04-10-2012, 09:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paperweight Quote
...The foam looks to be in good condition - I presume it would be fairly obvious if it was degraded?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The test is inspect visually and touch with a toothpick. If it is gummy, hard, or missing...time to replace.


Steve
04-10-2012, 02:09 PM   #8
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Open the back and rub your finger across the bottom lip of it. If you have black goo on your finger, the foam seals need to be replaced.

04-10-2012, 02:16 PM   #9
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Go to this thread https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/180904-what-ba...tic-meter.html for info about batteries.

Consider joining the Yahoo! Spotmatic Group. Link is below my sig.
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