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02-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #1
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Spotmatic

I'm getting a Spotmatic with a 50 1.4, 24 3.5 and 135 3.5 this afternoon.

Never owned a Spotmatic or any M42 lenses before so I'm kind of excited to give them a try.

The seller bought them in Germany around 1970. He even has an unused mercury battery for the meter.

Anything I should look out for before I get it? I figure for the money I'm paying, even if the camera doesn't work the lenses are worth it.

02-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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Should be a great combination. I wouldn't worry about checking it out too much - a camera that old will need some things, so just plan on putting a bit more into it. The lenses are probably fine, but may have stiff focus from dried lube. The foam seals in the camera (lens bumper, etc) will likely be a gummy mess. The mirror bumper often disintigrates and leaves gunk on the edge of the mirror and bits over the focusing screen. I'd simply plan on sending it to Eric Hendrickson for a full service. He'll disassemble, clean, re-lube and repair anything that needs it. It may well need a new CDS meter cell at this age also. Eric's work is VERY reasonable, and it will be fine for another lifetime.
02-07-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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+1 for Eric www.pentaxs.com

I just sent him three cameras for adjustment and cleaning (CLA) 2 of which are your vintage and older.
02-07-2013, 01:01 PM   #4
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Get yourself a Pentax Adapter K and use them on your DSLRs. You'll like them even more than your Ms, as a bonus you can use them in AV mode. The 50 is likely to need some de-yellowing. Wrap the front element in tinfoil and place the lens in a south facing window with the rear element pointing towards the sun.

02-07-2013, 01:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
Should be a great combination. I wouldn't worry about checking it out too much - a camera that old will need some things, so just plan on putting a bit more into it. The lenses are probably fine, but may have stiff focus from dried lube. The foam seals in the camera (lens bumper, etc) will likely be a gummy mess. The mirror bumper often disintigrates and leaves gunk on the edge of the mirror and bits over the focusing screen. I'd simply plan on sending it to Eric Hendrickson for a full service. He'll disassemble, clean, re-lube and repair anything that needs it. It may well need a new CDS meter cell at this age also. Eric's work is VERY reasonable, and it will be fine for another lifetime.
OR,
Run it through all of the speeds to make sure they sound different. Be sure to check the slow speeds for sticking. Check the lenses by sliding the switch to A and pushing the aperture pin to make sure they are still snappy and not slow.

The mirror foam and light seals are easy to replace yourself, google can help you with that.

I'm totally against the the rather common practice of assuming an old camera needs a complete cla, especially if it works fine.

Save your money to buy film.

I have an original spotmatic that still works fine, and my 58 M3 hasn't been opened since the 70s but works flawlessly.

My 2 cents.
02-07-2013, 01:43 PM   #6
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WOW a 24/3.5! that lens is supposed to be a gem!
02-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #7
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You now own a classic, and a good range of lenses too!
Enjoy, Pickles.
02-07-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
WOW a 24/3.5! that lens is supposed to be a gem!
There's no doubt about it - it is a gem. I won't part with mine.

02-07-2013, 09:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mattco26 Quote
The mirror foam and light seals are easy to replace yourself, google can help you with that.
Jon Goodman for seals. PM me for his e-mail address.

That being said, I would check the mirror bumper foam before spending much time cycling the shutter. If the foam has gone to goo, the mirror will fling it all over the mirror and focus screen where it will not be easy to remove. So, check the foams first and replace them yourself if you like.*

After that you can examine the condition of the shutter curtains. With the back open, you should be able to see the shutter curtains as you wind on. With the shutter on B, press the shutter release and confirm that the leading curtain travels freely. Lift your finger and confirm that the trailing curtain also travels freely. Cycle through the slow shutter speeds from 1s through to 1/60s. Each step should last half as long as the one before. Estimate the time by listening. The shutter should work and sound like fine clockwork. That is, of course, what it is. If there is a shutter problem, it will likely show itself in the slow speeds with all speeds being affected to some degree. To really test the shutter, instrumentation is helpful.

You can check the meter against another camera. Use a blank wall as a target. You will probably not need the mercury cell, assuming that it still has any charge. A modern silver button cell will work just fine in your camera.

Or...you can simply send the camera to Eric. His prices for a CLA are very reasonable and worth it if you want to make sure that the essential parts are properly lubricated and calibrated for use for its second 40+ years. In some ways a CLA is worth it just to get the viewfinder free of haze and dust and the exterior free of grunge


Steve

*To check the seals, take a toothpick or similar wooden splint and gently touch the mirror foam. If it is anything but bouncy and pliant, it needs to be replaced. The same is true of the door seals. If either is bad, replace both. Replacement is not hard, but requires a bit of time, steady hands, replacement foam, an Exacto knife, and Ronsonol (lighter fluid) to dissolve the old seal material. Jon Goodman's kit ($10 USD including postage) includes pre-cut foam strips, detailed instructions for your camera, and a bamboo tool specifically designed to help remove the goo. Doing a good job takes about an hour to clean and replace the seals and about half that time if you have done it several times before.

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-07-2013 at 09:14 PM.
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