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10-20-2012, 01:15 AM   #1
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Honeywell SPII vs SPIIa?

Can someone show me what the flash shoe from the IIa vs the II looks like? I'm reading the manual that's specifically from the IIa and I honestly can't tell one from the other. There's no "a" in the guide on the top of the camera apparently to differentiate from the II model and I was just wondering if the hot shot looks at all different? How do you tell which one you have? The one I just got is a later model I think. The guide says something about it being made to use a certain dedicated flash and I'm trying to figure out if I can use the ones I have on it. I don't have a Pentax flash yet. I'm kind of hoping that I don't have the IIa if that is going to limit me to one type of old Pentax flash. All I've got flash-wise are Vivitar's. I actually rarely use a flash with Queenie, my Asahi SPII, but my one Viv works fine. I haven't really run into an old SLR that uses only a proprietary flash before. I'm just wondering if it's an SPII or an SPIIa and if so if I will need to find one to use it indoors. Thanks!

10-20-2012, 03:02 AM   #2
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Does your version have a sensor window on the remind side facing forward?

The hotshoe should not be different? I think the "Strobo-Eye" system from Strobonar was incorporated into the SPII making it the SPIIa?
10-20-2012, 07:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
Does your version have a sensor window on the remind side facing forward?

The hotshoe should not be different? I think the "Strobo-Eye" system from Strobonar was incorporated into the SPII making it the SPIIa?
Thanks, I wasn't sure exactly how that worked, whether it was something on the hot shoe or on the front of the camera, but no, I don't think so. I don't see anything that looks like an extra sensor in the pics. Good. I don't think I'd want to have to deal with a dedicated flash situation. I've never been able to find a Pentax flash I can afford. I've got about 6 Viv ones though....
10-20-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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If you have the "Viv" with a Off-flash-sensor feature, then that might be a nice match to an old camera.
The 285 had an accessory that allowed the sensor to stay with the camera and the flash to move off and around.

10-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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Nah, mine are garden variety Viv's but I'll remember that one and keep an eye out, thanks....
10-22-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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The SPIIa was a US only variant. The dedicated flash that they refer to is actually several of the Honeywell Strobonar line of flashes. I know that the Strobonar 772 and 882 worked with the SPIIa. I believe that there was at least one other model. I don't know if any of them were hotshoe models. The 772/882 were the side-mounted "potato masher" style.

The SPIIa is immediately identifiable because there is a flash sensor on the front of the camera, under the rewind crank. I don't really know how the flash communicated with the camera. The potato mashers used only a standard PC cable, so they may have done some fancy electronics to multiplex the signal along with the trigger switch.

You can find manuals for both the SPII and the SPIIa at Digital Cameras by PENTAX - Waterproof Digital Camera - Digital SLR. The manuals they have from that era are lousy quality. They look like PDF's made from sixth-generation photocopies. However, the top view is clear enough that you can clearly see that there are no extra pins in the hotshoe. The manual clearly shows IIa engraved on the top of the camera, just to the left of the prism housing, just like all the Pentax cameras of that era. If your manaul doesn't show it, then its probably not for the SPIIa.

The SPIIa was a US-only model, because the Strobonars were not made by Asahi. THey were made in Germany by Rollei. Honeywell was the US importer of Rollei flashes. For a brief period, Honeywell also imported Rolleiflex cameras.
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