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12-01-2014, 04:29 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Spotmatic anniversary

I don't know if it has already been discussed, but the Spottie is 50 years old. I found this interesting thread on another board...interesting at least until some crazy Leica fanboy came out:

SPOTMATIC: Happy 50th Anniversary

Long live the Spotmatic.

12-01-2014, 04:43 PM   #2
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I got a SPII, great camera! Too bad I lack a wide lens for it.
12-01-2014, 04:47 PM   #3
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Yeah, there were some...interesting...contributions to that one. The sort of Leica users I enjoy winding up as they get amusingly cross in trying to defend spending £300+ for a body.

I'd rather buy a £10 P30 and spend the rest on lenses, and will probably get better images for my outlay...

It'll be the fortieth anniversary of the K mount next year too, hopefully Ricoh will do something to mark this.
12-01-2014, 05:00 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dangermouse Quote
Yeah, there were some...interesting...contributions to that one. The sort of Leica users I enjoy winding up as they get amusingly cross in trying to defend spending £300+ for a body.
Well, as a Voigtländer camera shooter I can't really point fingers.

12-01-2014, 05:20 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Long live the Spotmatic
Yep one of the all time classic cameras!

QuoteOriginally posted by Dangermouse Quote
It'll be the fortieth anniversary of the K mount next year too, hopefully Ricoh will do something to mark this.
This is when I joined the Pentax club. My KX will also be 40 next December and
I’m planning a party with cake!

Phil
12-01-2014, 05:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Yep one of the all time classic cameras!



This is when I joined the Pentax club. My KX will also be 40 next December and
I’m planning a party with cake!

Phil
Remember to bring cakes for ALL the forum...btw is there a registry for the Spotmatic serial numbers? We have one useful for K1000, even if it would be better to have the serial numbers in order.
12-01-2014, 05:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
btw is there a registry for the Spotmatic serial numbers
Yep:

Pentax Spotmatic Serial Numbers - Pentax Serial Number Database - PentaxForums.com

Phil.
12-01-2014, 06:31 PM   #8
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I bought a new Spottie F in college, lost a decade later in a NYC break in, but now have an SPII to go along with some nice Tak lenses. Great to celebrate this.

12-01-2014, 07:25 PM   #9
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I had been using other system cameras (Alpa and then Nikon); however, a relative gave me two Spotmatic bodies and three Super Takumar lenses. And that is why when I went digital I knew enough to go for Pentax. So I am doubly pleased about the Spotmatic.

It is interesting to compare the 1964 Spotmatic to other SLRs of that time. Namely the Alpa 9D and Nikon F (and Topcon)--having used the Alpa extensively, and the F slightly, the Spotmatic has held up brilliantly and does not feel dated--the Alpa certainly does feel very dated, and the Nikon F was rather "brutal" but apparently reliable.
12-01-2014, 07:45 PM   #10
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Compared to my German cameras the Spotmatic feels natural, so easy to use and extremely reliable. Even taking in a account that the Spotmatic also might have lost its shutter speeds a tad they still beat the German leaf shutters when CLA'd for accuracy. The German cameras are like learning photography all over again everytime you get a new camera, though it gives them quite an eccentric personality I like.
12-02-2014, 04:11 AM   #11
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My only rangefinder is a FED II with the collapsible Industar 50mm.

I think I've probably got a good one, as it's smooth, quiet, and accurate. I've put a couple of films through it and the only exposure faults are of my own making (misjudging the light).

However, the need to add an extra viewfinder to use any other focal length of lens means that I will never buy a Leica. I can't really see having to switch between one window to focus and another to know what'll be in the frame as a positive thing! It's a fun experience and I'd recommend buying one if you're curious, but it's nowhere near my H2 (oldest Pentax body I own, admittedly probably made about ten years after the FED) in terms of ease of use or flexibility.
12-02-2014, 04:12 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Happy Birthday Spotty you have made the half century.
I bought mine in December 1968, took many thousands of pictures and did not have a single problem and it was gracefully retired when I bought my K10D. What a great camera it was in its day. I still have the camera and lens a 1:3.5/35, 1:1.8/55 and a 1:3.5/135 and when I have a moment I should give them a run on my new K5 IIs.
12-02-2014, 09:13 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dangermouse Quote
However, the need to add an extra viewfinder to use any other focal length of lens means that I will never buy a Leica.
Almost all quality interchangeable lens rangefinders since the mid-1950s have frame-lines for the commonly-used focal lengths*. It is only for unusually wide or long lenses that an auxiliary finder is needed.**


Steve

* The exception would be former Soviet cameras which trace their workings to pre-WWII German designs.

** Note that focus accuracy of most rangefinder systems is inadequate for lenses over about 120mm focal length.

---------- Post added 12-02-14 at 08:18 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
It is interesting to compare the 1964 Spotmatic to other SLRs of that time. Namely the Alpa 9D and Nikon F (and Topcon)--having used the Alpa extensively, and the F slightly, the Spotmatic has held up brilliantly and does not feel dated--the Alpa certainly does feel very dated, and the Nikon F was rather "brutal" but apparently reliable.
The Spotmatic and Nikon F were definitely modern cameras. The Alpa 9D was modern, but different...very, very different. I would love to have an Alpa.


Steve

---------- Post added 12-02-14 at 08:22 AM ----------

Back to the Spottie...I have two, with this one on permanent display on my fireplace mantle as "art"...



...and this one in active rotation with the other film bodies...




Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-02-2014 at 09:23 AM.
12-02-2014, 11:38 AM   #14
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I mentioned the Alpa 9D and Topcon (Topcon D?) as they and Pentax (Spotmatic) claimed to be the first w/ thru the lens metering. And Nikon F because that was THE professional camera (for war zones, arctic, and the like).

The Alpa was very professional--and was brilliant for slow methodical work and likely had the most complete macro attachments--and one of the macro (to m=1/3 about) lenses was the lovely/very sharp Kern Macro Switar 50mm f/1.8. The Alpa has the smallest register distance of all 35mm SLRs.

The Alpa and the Nikon NIkonos (I-III) underwater camera were the only 35mm cameras that I knew of and (I) used that had the film advance lever go backwards instead of forwards. It did not make the Alpa faster to use (unless you wore glasses, I presume). On the other hand the NIkononos III was the fastest mechanical unassisted film advance camera to use (one stroke advanced the film and cocked the shutter, and the second stroke tripped the shutter)--and the 35mm lens was of very good quality in air. It was my standard camera for vacation trips ranging from cities to canoe portages, and I gather was the mainstay for Vietnam war zone photographers.

But getting back to the Spotmatic--it was light weight, fast to bring to the eye/focus/shoot, and elegant. It was brilliant and svelte (which the cameras I mentioned above were not) in ways no other SLR I encountered was. And I still feel that way about it.
12-02-2014, 05:22 PM - 1 Like   #15
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My Spottie f:



And a Spottie F landscape to celebrate the anniversary.

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