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01-08-2015, 05:13 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
It's in the manual.... you can find a good copy at
PENTAX MANUALS
What he said. The meter is simple to use. A couple of notes:
  • There is no exposure automation, even with the meter on you must dial in the appropriate shutter speed. Exposure is fully manual.
  • You need not have the meter on for the aperture or shutter speed to work
  • Meter once for the scene and keep those settings until either the light or the subject changes. You do not need to re-meter between frames.
  • The appropriate replacement Silver cell battery will have a plastic collar around a smaller battery. The number on the smaller battery may or may not be the size you want. The collar may be recycled to allow use of more widely available cells. Goggle "S400PX" or "387S" to see the various brands.
  • To test the battery put the shutter speed on "B" and turn the meter on. There should be a full negative deflection of the meter needle.
The battery looks like this:




Last edited by stevebrot; 01-08-2015 at 05:19 PM.
01-09-2015, 08:40 AM   #17
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Yep, that looks like the battery I pulled out of the camera. It was even an original 400px.

I take it you're reading from the manual. I mean that's basic newbie stuff.

Based on Edmond's comments, it sounds to me as if the meter on the old Spotmatic has no centerweighting. That sort of thing is useful to know. Although one of the first things I do with any camera when I take it out is to see how it meters. If it's a scene with complex lighting, I just look for anything that's 18% gray and meter it. That usually does the trick.

Last edited by cooltouch; 01-09-2015 at 08:51 AM.
01-09-2015, 09:04 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cee Cee Quote
there is no switch for the light meter it is activated by light when you take the lens cap off ( or if you put the lens cap on there is next to no current drain from the battery) the switch you refer to on the side next to the lens mount is the depth of field preview switch for the automatic aperture system.

Pentax Manuals
Not correct. On the SP the switch on the side of the lens mount does, indeed, activate the meter. On the Spotmatic F and the K1000, the light meter is always on and the use of a lens cap is imperative. On the F, the switch is merely a DOF preview. The k1000, of course, does not have DOF preview. This is true of all Spotmatic models up to the F, including the SP500 and SP1000.

BTW, to test the battery, set the ASA film speed to 100 and turn the shutter speed dial to B. The meter needle should do a full deflection. If not, the battery is no good.

---------- Post added 01-09-2015 at 11:10 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
Yep, that looks like the battery I pulled out of the camera. It was even an original 400px.

I take it you're reading from the manual. I mean that's basic newbie stuff.

Based on Edmond's comments, it sounds to me as if the meter on the old Spotmatic has no centerweighting. That sort of thing is useful to know. Although one of the first things I do with any camera when I take it out is to see how it meters. If it's a scene with complex lighting, I just look for anything that's 18% gray and meter it. That usually does the trick.
True, the Spotmatic's (all models) meter is purely averaging, with no center weighting. The prototype Spotmatic, shown at Photokina, did have center spot-metering, Hence the name SPOTmatic. However, before it went into production the meter system was changed.

The prototype had a sensor that was positioned directly in front of the shutter. Just before the shutter opened, the sensor would swing out of the way. I imagine that they decided that this system was too expensive and failure-prone, so it was dropped, in favor of an in-the-prism averaging meter.
01-09-2015, 02:21 PM   #19
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Yeah, I'm familiar with the Spotmatic's history. Sounds like they're describing the semaphore meter that Leica installed in -- what? -- the M5, was it? From the problems I've read Leica had with theirs, it's just as well Pentax chose to nix that design before production began. Still, it's always struck me as a bit odd that they stuck with that name for as long as they did.

01-09-2015, 07:07 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
it sounds to me as if the meter on the old Spotmatic has no centerweighting
That is true. It is a true averaging meter across the field.


Steve
01-12-2015, 02:02 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
Yeah, I'm familiar with the Spotmatic's history. Sounds like they're describing the semaphore meter that Leica installed in -- what? -- the M5, was it? From the problems I've read Leica had with theirs, it's just as well Pentax chose to nix that design before production began. Still, it's always struck me as a bit odd that they stuck with that name for as long as they did.
As an M5 owner I feel obliged to say that the spotmeter of this camera didn't have any issues, besides the fact that it's installed on a floating arm that moves in the middle of the lens when you advance the film, and this arm can be damaged by some lenses.

For the rest, it's very sensitive and accurate, but the visualisation inside the viewfinder is extremely unusual, I've never seen anything similar in my life.
01-12-2015, 03:08 PM   #22
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So they were ahead of the Minolta/Leica CL and the LX!!!
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