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11-29-2013, 11:10 AM   #1
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spotmatic issues

Hi guys!

I bought a Spotmatic SPII almost a year ago but have rarely used it because
1. despite the seller assuring that the light meter works, it doesn't
2. i changed the battery to try and get it working but in doing so i screwed the battery cap back in too tightly and i can't unscrew it

any suggestions as to what i can try to do to get the light meter working and the battery cap unscrewed would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

11-29-2013, 11:50 AM   #2
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Original Spotmatic battery caps have two small holes drilled through in the coin slot. Sometimes a couple of metal "scribes" can fit in the holes and offer more torque.
11-29-2013, 12:06 PM   #3
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Is there an Australian equivalent of Eric Hendrickson?

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11-29-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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I solved the battery door issue in a spottie this way. I applied a drop of light oil in the thread area. Then I filed the edge off a 2 Euro coin. It's the correct diameter but a trifle too thick to fit perfectly. I twisted it out with the assistance of pliers.

11-29-2013, 01:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by iruox Quote
Hi guys!

I bought a Spotmatic SPII almost a year ago but have rarely used it because
1. despite the seller assuring that the light meter works, it doesn't
2. i changed the battery to try and get it working but in doing so i screwed the battery cap back in too tightly and i can't unscrew it

any suggestions as to what i can try to do to get the light meter working and the battery cap unscrewed would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
I always used a penny as the tool to open the battery cap. As far as the meter not working.. back in 1992 or so when mercury batteries were no longer available and I and everybody else in the US had to start using the non mercury batteries in our cameras. From that point on the meter in my Spotmatic underexposed pictures. I never found a solution to this problem but I bet there are plenty of members on this forum who might have some ideas. I was told back then that the "new" batteries had slightly less voltage than the original mercury batteries and as a result effected the cameras metering. The newer batteries also didn't last very long. After a while I just gave up on the Spotmatic....
11-29-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by iruox Quote
any suggestions as to what i can try to do to get the light meter working and the battery cap unscrewed would be greatly appreciated.
As suggested above, some WD40 brushed around the cap, and you may be able to shrink the cap holding an ice cube against it. I had a very badly damaged cap on one SP, and the only recourse was to drill two very small holes in it and use them to gain traction. As it turned out, with cleaning the contacts, the light meter worked again. In any case, not every camera had a light meter, and it is still a usable camera once you master the 'sunny 16' rule. Also make sure the battery is the right way around.
EDIT: You can use the latest A76 1.5volt batteries (silver is best). The light meter works fine with them. The batteries should last at least a year, but you need to make sure it is off, or that the lens cap is on if there is no off switch.
12-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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If the oil / WD40 doesn't work drip a bit of vinegar around the thread. If the battery has leaked and corroded the vinegar dissolves the acid residue. Then neutralise by wiping thoroughly with a damp cloth or wet-damp cotton buds. I've shifted some very badly corroded battery caps like this, but I always start with Zippo lighter fuel, thin oil or WD40.
12-04-2013, 05:51 PM   #8
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As far as the battery cap removal,I've found that if you put a nickle in a pair of vise grips,it gives the extra leverage needed.It's
worked for me a couple of times. Just my 2 cents.

12-22-2013, 03:24 AM   #9
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Original Poster
thanks everyone!

i tried everything that was suggested but the cap won't budge and honestly i can't be bothered with it anymore
obviously i can still use it without a functioning light meter but i'm more confident with it
i might buy another one or maybe a different slr altogether- any suggestions for which?
12-22-2013, 02:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by iruox Quote
thanks everyone!

i tried everything that was suggested but the cap won't budge and honestly i can't be bothered with it anymore
obviously i can still use it without a functioning light meter but i'm more confident with it
i might buy another one or maybe a different slr altogether- any suggestions for which?
My only concern would be the battery locked in there corroding things. If you have a Dremel and can drill two small holes on opposite sides, you will be able to insert the pointy end of dividers into them for leverage. As for other camera choices, my personal view is to stick with manual only. Automation brings problems with batteries and failing electronics. Meanwhile, I happily click away with manual cameras from the fifties, often using just the Sunny 16 rule. I find that very satisfying.
12-22-2013, 02:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
If you have a Dremel and can drill two small holes on opposite sides, you will be able to insert the pointy end of dividers into them for leverage.
The stock cap already has two small holes intended for just that purpose.


Steve
12-22-2013, 07:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by iruox Quote
thanks everyone!

i tried everything that was suggested but the cap won't budge and honestly i can't be bothered with it anymore
obviously i can still use it without a functioning light meter but i'm more confident with it
i might buy another one or maybe a different slr altogether- any suggestions for which?
I suspect that the battery has leaked and corroded the threads of the cap however that might not do much or any damage to the contacts inside. The positive contact looks to me to be pretty substantial and could survive some corrosion. If nobody has suggested it I would try maybe two drops of penetrating oil or sewing machine oil along the edge of the threaded cap and let it set upside down for maybe a minute or two then turn the camera right side up and let things soak for a day. Then maybe start some tapping on the cap with the plastic handle of a screw driver maybe 50 times then try the nickel and pliers trick. Would be nice to use the camera meter. Really is very nice and I miss the elegant simplicity of the old cameras...

Good luck to you and enjoy that beautiful old Spotmatic...
12-22-2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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you can also unscrew the bottom of your camera
take the battery out, and then use some vinegar /WD40 to loosen the cap
There was also a method using heat/cold cycles but try the other onw first
12-22-2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
you can also unscrew the bottom of your camera
take the battery out, and then use some vinegar /WD40 to loosen the cap
There was also a method using heat/cold cycles but try the other onw first
I tried that myself, but, at least some Spotmatics have the battery enclosed. I couldn't get at it.
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