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06-22-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
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Questions about light meter on Spotmatic.

I have fallen in love with the Pentax prime lenses and it has become a slight obsession. In the process of buying these lenses I have ended up with a few SLR camera bodies. I now carry a Spotmatic film camera with me as well as my DSLR and Pentax lenses.The light meters on them don't work as the batteries are dead. If I use the light meter on my DSLR can I just set the film camera up according to what the digital says to do, and can I get reasonably close if I have a different focal length on each camera?

Thanks
Morgan

06-22-2013, 01:46 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by captmorgan23 Quote
If I use the light meter on my DSLR can I just set the film camera up according to what the digital says to do, and can I get reasonably close if I have a different focal length on each camera?
The short answer is yes.

Using a second camera body with a meter is a pretty standard solution for those of us that regularly shoot with meterless cameras. As for different focal lengths...what the meter "sees" is the basis for the reading. Keep that in mind and you should be fine. You might want to consider picking up a battery for your Spotmatic. The PX400S battery (modern silver cell) is the right size and will work properly in your camera. (The Spotmatic meter is not voltage sensitive, so the 1.5v batteries work just fine.)


Steve
06-22-2013, 02:19 PM   #3
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Thanks! I was under the impression I needed a 1.35 volt battery. I will grab a battery today and see what happens.
06-23-2013, 06:23 AM   #4
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that works just fine, you can also:
- Buy a battery (silver) for you soptmatic. The lightmeter can take those
Before putting ht battery in the camaera clean the contacts using an eraser, the ones at the end of pencils are best
Then make sure polarity is OK, set camera ASA in 100, speed on B and then flick the meter switch
it should go to the - side (bottom) like a rock... if it goes up your battery is backwards
if it doesn;t move your metr is dead

- If meter is dead you can also buy a small sekonic lightmeter (they go for ~10 bucks at ePay)

QuoteOriginally posted by captmorgan23 Quote
I have fallen in love with the Pentax prime lenses and it has become a slight obsession. In the process of buying these lenses I have ended up with a few SLR camera bodies. I now carry a Spotmatic film camera with me as well as my DSLR and Pentax lenses.The light meters on them don't work as the batteries are dead. If I use the light meter on my DSLR can I just set the film camera up according to what the digital says to do, and can I get reasonably close if I have a different focal length on each camera?

Thanks
Morgan



06-23-2013, 06:36 AM   #5
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I agree, get a battery, 1.5V should work. The pencil eraser trick is the best way I know of to clean contacts, I've used it lots of times on cameras and computers and other things. If it has a lot of green corrosion some spray contact cleaner will help, in that case be sure and let it dry overnight before putting batteries in. If you have to use contact cleaner, go with a Q tip first, get the majority of the corrosion off, then once it's fairly clean go to a pencil eraser, and some canned compressed air might help blow out most of the leftover dust and Q tip fibers.

Oh...don't make the mistake I did and tighten the battery cap really tight, it only needs to be snug...a penny or dime works great. I trashed the slot on one of mine trying to get it open when I needed to swap batteries...I just pulled one from a dead camera, you might not have that option...
06-23-2013, 10:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
I trashed the slot on one of mine trying to get it open when I needed to swap batteries...
The matter of the battery cover slot on a Spotmatic cannot be over-emphasized. Once trashed, getting a replacement is not easy. The supply of caps in good condition is extremely low since almost all Spotmatic owners, at one time or the other, has had problems with the cap and screwed up the slot trying to get it open.

My understanding is that the problem is caused by the dimensions of the slot. The standard story is that the slot was designed to fit a Japanese coin for which there is no good U.S. equivalent. It is also true that the slot in the Pentax cap is somewhat shallower than that used by other makers. The result is that it is difficult to get purchase and easy to mangle. I have found that a U.S. nickle (5-cent) works the best if you are using a coin. I also use the head of one of the keys on my ring that just happens to be the right thickness and radius.


Steve
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