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12-19-2013, 11:20 AM   #1
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Pentax Spotmatic II

Hello everyone, i'm brand new to the forum. I have a problem with an old SPII which I've inherited. I have replaced the old mercury battery, that fed the lightmeter, with a new Weincell MRB400 as recommended in various places. Having put the new battery in, nothing happens when I turn on the lightmeter. Can anyone tell me what might possibly be wrong? I'm guessing it's something internal. The battery housing is corrosion free as it had not had a battery in for many years.

12-19-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
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Use a silver battery instead of the wein
and then check if the battery powers the meter

the only thing I can think of is whether any cable got corroded or lose?
12-19-2013, 12:33 PM   #3
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Try flipping the battery the other way - I thought I had a problem with my SPII when it was just the battery turned upside down! You can use a modern 1.5v silver oxide battery in the SPII.
12-19-2013, 12:49 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nikonitis Quote
Can anyone tell me what might possibly be wrong?
Battery in upside down? The "+" side should face the top of the camera.

Did you remember to activate the Wein cell?

Beyond that, your camera's meter is not voltage dependent and a modern silver cell will work just fine (no Wein needed). A direct replacement (S400PX) is readily available online and from battery specialty stores such as Batteries Plus. It is a common small silver cell (often a 394) pressed into a plastic collar to allow fit into the Spotmatic battery chamber. When it is depleted, simply replace the battery part.

To test the status of a new or old battery, put the shutter speed dial in the "B" position and turn on the meter. The meter needle in the viewfinder should move rapidly downward.

Manuals (early and late) may be downloaded from HERE. Password is "Pentax".

Take care with the battery cover. The slot is easily damaged and replacements are almost impossible to find.

BTW...Welcome to the Pentax Forums!


Steve

12-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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Pentax SPII lightmeter issue

Many thanks to all for the replies. Issue is now resolved. Derrrrrrrr!!! There was a thin plastic film over the positive side of the battery. I though this was part of the battery. It peeled off and voila the lightmeter now works. It will be so exciting to use this camera. It has been in a box in storage for many years and prior to that languished in a cupboard in my Father's house.... it still has film in it!!! 10 frames have been taken, when, I have no idea, maybe 15 years ago, we'll see when it is developed. Watch this space!!
12-19-2013, 01:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nikonitis Quote
voila the lightmeter now works.
Cool! Be aware that the Wein has a limited lifespan once activated. Over the span of several weeks it will simply die whether the camera is used or not.


Steve
12-19-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
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re Wein battery expiry

Hi Steve, thanks for the heads up on the battery life span. I was unaware of this. Given its 6.00 cost it would be useful to know if there are any other alternatives that may last longer. Do you happen to know?
12-19-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Battery in upside down? The "+" side should face the top of the camera.

Did you remember to activate the Wein cell?

Beyond that, your camera's meter is not voltage dependent and a modern silver cell will work just fine (no Wein needed). A direct replacement (S400PX) is readily available online and from battery specialty stores such as Batteries Plus. It is a common small silver cell (often a 394) pressed into a plastic collar to allow fit into the Spotmatic battery chamber. When it is depleted, simply replace the battery part.

To test the status of a new or old battery, put the shutter speed dial in the "B" position and turn on the meter. The meter needle in the viewfinder should move rapidly downward.

Manuals (early and late) may be downloaded from HERE. Password is "Pentax".

Take care with the battery cover. The slot is easily damaged and replacements are almost impossible to find.

BTW...Welcome to the Pentax Forums!


Steve
Awesome!

I just picked up a Spotmatic SP II myself, so these manuals will come in handy.

Quick question: There are two versions of the manual (early and late). What is the difference between the two versions (if any) and how can I tell if my Spotmatic II is an early or late one? (the serial # on the top plate is 6206439)

12-19-2013, 07:02 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nikonitis Quote
Hi Steve, thanks for the heads up on the battery life span. I was unaware of this. Given its 6.00 cost it would be useful to know if there are any other alternatives that may last longer. Do you happen to know?
You mean an alternative like this?

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
A direct replacement (S400PX) is readily available online and from battery specialty stores such as Batteries Plus. It is a common small silver cell (often a 394) pressed into a plastic collar to allow fit into the Spotmatic battery chamber. When it is depleted, simply replace the battery part.


Do a Google search for S400PX.


Steve
12-20-2013, 03:23 AM   #10
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Hi.

I would say that you have the later version going by the serial number in Gerjan van Oosten's book, Asahi Pentax Screw Mount Guide, 1952 - 1977. Does it have a resin or aluminium light meter switch as the later ones have the latter.

Regards.
12-20-2013, 03:27 AM   #11
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Hi,

Going by the serial number and referring to Gerjan van Oostens book, Asahi Pentax Screw Mount Guide 1952 - 1977, it is the later version. Does it have a resin or aluminium light meter switch as the later ones had the latter.

Regards.
12-20-2013, 11:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gordon_l34 Quote
Hi.

I would say that you have the later version going by the serial number in Gerjan van Oosten's book, Asahi Pentax Screw Mount Guide, 1952 - 1977. Does it have a resin or aluminium light meter switch as the later ones have the latter.

Regards.
Cool! I too was wondering how to tell the difference. Besides the switch, what other changes were made between the two? Is there any chance you could request that Adam revise the review entry on this site to include the serial number ranges and differences between the early and late versions?


Steve

(...mine is the later version...)
12-20-2013, 01:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by gordon_l34 Quote
Hi,

Going by the serial number and referring to Gerjan van Oostens book, Asahi Pentax Screw Mount Guide 1952 - 1977, it is the later version. Does it have a resin or aluminium light meter switch as the later ones had the latter.

Regards.
Thanks for the info!

Yes, my light meter switch is aluminum. I'll probably go through both manuals anyways, but I'll focus on the one for later versions.

If anyone else knows any differences between the two (I'm more interested in performances differences rather than cosmetic differences, though it's nice to know both) that would be appreciated.

Thanks again!
12-29-2013, 09:57 PM   #14
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I had to share this.

I was out and about today, so I spent a good chunk of time looking for a 394 silver oxide battery. London Drugs and The Source did not have them in stock. I found one at a watch store, but it was $14 for a single one.

When I got home I decided to give Amazon a check. I found a pack of 5 Renata 394 for $6.45! Unfortunately, the shipping cost was a little prohibitive, so I decided not to go through with the purchase.
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12-30-2013, 06:53 AM   #15
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All of these shpoul dbe the alternatives:
Energizer Batteries 394/380 Silver Oxide Watch Battery Replaces - 394 1161SO SR45 D394 SR936SW V394
Thes eguys have them for cheap (in the US/canada)
And there is always Batteries Plus
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