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06-27-2008, 07:07 AM   #1
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Best Body of the Super Takumar Era?--SV, H1a...

I am thinking of getting a "period" body for my Super Takumar lenses. Since I use a light meter about 90% of the time, I am thinking spot metering (or even no internal metering) would not pose much of a problem. Thus, which body of the Super Takumar era is best? I see that the H1a has an unmarked "1000" top speed, whereas the SV's "1000" is marked. The build quality of the bodies of this era looks fabulous...even better than my Spot F (if that is possible)

Thanks,
Glen

06-27-2008, 07:40 AM   #2
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I'm curious as well... here's a site with good info and beautiful photos of the cameras:
Cameras of my collection - the Original Asahi-Pentax
06-27-2008, 08:22 AM   #3
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The first question is, do you want a self-timer or not. The SV/H3v have a built in self timer while the S1a/H1a do not. These are probably your best options as most of the earlier models (S, K, "AP", S/H2, etc.) demand a premium price. And yes, most of these are of a sturdier build than later models. At some point, Pentax switched to plastic/teflon for the film advance gear train in the Spotmatics but these older ones seem to be all metal in the gearing. My only suggestion is to get a post 1964 model just because the catch to open the back is located on the body and not the door itself. To me, it just seems to be a little sturdier when attached to the body. In most cases, you can identify the post 1964 cameras buy the orange R on the rewind crank. Pre 1964 usually have a green R along with the catch on the door. If you can, you really should find the clip on light meter to go with one of these cameras. If Eric can fix the one I sent him, I'll have two of them.
06-27-2008, 08:39 AM   #4
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The Spotmatic F came out in '69 but was the best of the 60s bunch in my opinion. The only downside is the obsolete mercury battery that it requires. But there are several ways to work around that.


Side Note: Everyone that are using the new compact florescent lights to conserve energy, be sure to ship them to Al Bore when they are spent with no return address. I'm certain he knows where to dispose of the mercury that those alleged "green" bulb alternatives contain in them.

06-27-2008, 08:56 AM   #5
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straightshooter: I thank you for the detailed comments. Now that I have narrowed down the models, I hope to find a nice one. Are the SV and H3v basically the same camera?

Blue: I thank you for your input, but I already have two Spot Fs. I could not agree more about the flourescent mercury bulbs. My wife and I bought a few, then realized that these things are not as "green" as they may seem. I thought I had heard, though, that they can be recycled.
06-27-2008, 09:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The only downside is the obsolete mercury battery that it requires. But there are several ways to work around that.
The Spottie F uses the same battery as the clip on meters, the 625A. You can get either the Excell or Wein zinc-air batteries with the correct voltage. I ordered two of the Wein from Freestyle.

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Side Note: Everyone that are using the new compact florescent lights to conserve energy, be sure to ship them to Al Bore when they are spent with no return address. I'm certain he knows where to dispose of the mercury that those alleged "green" bulb alternatives contain in them.
From what I've been told, IKEA will take these for recycling. I've also heard but can't verify that there is less mercury in a CF bulb than in a can of tuna you eat. That's not necessarily a comforting thought.

QuoteOriginally posted by ZX-M:
Now that I have narrowed down the models, I hope to find a nice one. Are the SV and H3v basically the same camera?
They are the exact same camera other than when they were assembled, one got a top that said Asahi Pentax and SV while the other got a top saying Honeywell Pentax and H3v. Keep in mind that unless you luck into one that's already been done, you will need to have it CLA'd because the light seals, etc will be LONG gone. If you can find the field case for them, many had the cover with the larger top so you could fit it over both the camera and the clip on meter.

CW

Last edited by straightshooter; 06-27-2008 at 09:12 AM.
06-27-2008, 09:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
The Spottie F uses the same battery as the clip on meters, the 625A. You can get either the Excell or Wein zinc-air batteries with the correct voltage. I ordered two of the Wein from Freestyle.
CW
Yeah, that's one way. I just use the zinc oxide hearing aid battery and a rubber o-ring. I think the "best" way is have a competent Pentax tech adjust the meter to use silver batteries . . . but then those will probably get banned some day.


QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
From what I've been told, IKEA will take these for recycling. I've also heard but can't verify that there is less mercury in a CF bulb than in a can of tuna you eat. That's not necessarily a comforting thought.
CW
There are place that will take them, but they have been pushed hard by a lot of groups even here in Tally. The problem is, only residential houses have recycling. Commercial and rental here do not. Even the residential recycling will not take them. I mentioned them because I thought it was ironic that a battery that was small and limited in use was banned by efforts from the people that are now pushing the compact bulbs. The other irony was the use of mercury in children's vaccines. While it may or may not lead to Autism, it for a fact leads to brain damage with the classic example resulting in the phrase "mad as a hatter" and Minamata disease. Off my soap box now.
06-27-2008, 09:33 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
Blue: I thank you for your input, but I already have two Spot Fs. I could not agree more about the flourescent mercury bulbs. My wife and I bought a few, then realized that these things are not as "green" as they may seem. I thought I had heard, though, that they can be recycled.
After I posted, I realized that you had an F.

06-27-2008, 09:40 AM   #9
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Yes, straightshooter, I use the Wein battery in both of my Spot Fs. It seems like an excellent choice.
06-27-2008, 09:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
Yes, straightshooter, I use the Wein battery in both of my Spot Fs. It seems like an excellent choice.
The Wein is better than the ones I'm currently using. I have to order them since I can't get them here in town. On the flip side of that, I get 8 for $5. I don't trust the 625A silver batteries though in that I've seen a lot of bodies for sell that were in very good shape other than the meter being inoperable. I suspect the 625A as the culprit.

Last edited by Blue; 06-27-2008 at 09:50 AM.
06-27-2008, 10:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I mentioned them because I thought it was ironic that a battery that was small and limited in use was banned by efforts from the people that are now pushing the compact bulbs.
It would be interesting to compare the amount of mercury in the old camera batteries to the amount in CF bulbs (and a can of Tuna).

CW
06-27-2008, 10:51 AM   #12
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A meterless body neatly avoids the necessity of stop-down metering.

Chris
06-27-2008, 11:33 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
I am thinking of getting a "period" body for my Super Takumar lenses.
Strictly speaking, if you want a body period correct to the Super Takumars (as opposed to presets, Auto Takumars and Super Multi and SMC Takumars), then the following are your choices.

H3/S3 (1960) - Standard 55 mm f/1.8 Auto and Super-Takumar
S1a/H1a (1961) - Standard 55 mm f/2 Super-Takumar
H3v/SV (1962) - Standard 55 mm f/1.8 Super-Takumar
---
Spotmatic (meter) (1964) - Standard 50mm fl.4 or 55mm fl.8 Super-Takumar.
SL (no meter) - Standard 55 mm f/1.8 Super-Takumar
Spotmatic 500 (meter) (1971) - 55mm f/2 Super Takumar
(Spotmatic II first to have a standard SMC lens... out of the running...)

The H3/S3 are interesting in that they were originally shipped with an Auto-Takumar 55mm 1.8 that was in fact an early Super-Takumar 55mm 1.8. While it was labeled an Auto-Takumar, it was really a Super, and later units did come with a Super Takumar 55mm 1.8.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all of these bodies will accept the Super Takumar f/1.4 50mm lens! Starting with the Spotmatic, all listed bodies will accept the lens... HOWEVER, with respect to the earlier bodies there were early and late runs of the H3v/SV and H1a/S1a, and it is only the later runs of these models specifically that will accept the 50mm (the H3/S3 is OUT). These later models are identifiable by the back catch which is attached to body instead of the back and an Orange "R" on rewind knob. Generally speaking these models can be dated to 1964 and later, and the catch on the body as opposed to the back really is a better design.

IMHO, best of the non-metered cameras is the SV. My favorite is the H3/S3 simply because 1960 was my YOB.

Hope this helps.

woof!
06-27-2008, 08:20 PM   #14
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IMHO the Spotmatic II and the F are the best
they have all the functionality of their predecessors and added more features

IIRC both can work with standard Silver Oxide battteries
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