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04-26-2016, 08:56 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
Yes it is - I also have a P, and the clip on meter that fits it (and the bottom-wind VIT, which I also have). The P is smaller (without the meter) and handles well, but today was my first try with the 7s after adjusting a stuck RF.
The 7s reminds me of the Leica M5: bigger, more features, an attempt to compete with SLRs. Both the 7s and M5 expected to be the last rangefinder by both companies, but Leica's users kept buying the M4, then the M6,7 and on into digital. Since Leica's SLRs never gained much market, it was the M series that kept them going.
The M5 was a step function in $ and did not sell that well.
It has only now become popular as a collectors camera...
Leitz struggled with the M4-2 etc until the M6 rescued them to a degree the M8 sold like hot cakes...

Canon struggled with Leica LTM copies never making large production runs until the Canon P. Which turned them from a cottage industry to a giant almost overnight providing the profit for their SLR and Canonet series.

Nikon went straight from the SP to the F, leaving every one else to catch up.

I wish I'd kept my Pentax S1a.

04-26-2016, 09:25 AM   #17
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I started with a Spotmatic F after using SP500 in college. Both my wife and I had Spotmatic Fs until we upgraded to the SF1n/SFXn pair which my wife still uses one if she ever wants to shoot 35mm.
04-26-2016, 10:02 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Both my wife and I had Spotmatic Fs until we upgraded to the SF1n/SFXn pair which my wife still uses one if she ever wants to shoot 35mm.
That's an interesting progression, but a very logical one. After all, if you have an F and you're happy with the Super Takumar lens range, who needs a K1000 or KM? (And match-needle metering is really no more than a matter of taste.) If you're happy with the size, who then needs an MX? If you're quick on the controls and don't need aperture priority either, who needs the ME, ME Super or any of the autoexposure-mode manual focus derivations? The next logical jump in Pentax film land is one which integrates AF, autoexposure and motor drive all within the camera body, and once you have a flagship camera in that category, everything else is just window dressing to taste.

The only thing the F didn't come with, which I would really appreciate sometimes, is a split-prism focusing screen (and I'm not sure you couldn't retrofit that if you really wanted it).

I can see my camera collection taking a MASSIVE cutback by the end of this year.
04-28-2016, 10:13 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Yes, the progress of 'technology' was dramatic in those 8 years
As history has proven, 'progress' and 'technology' don't necessarily go hand-in-hand.

05-13-2016, 02:12 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
As a comparison and contrast, I also got hold of a Fujica ST705, and there are features it has which I'm going to enjoy as well, particularly a fatter body that feels more ergonomic and also a split prism focusing screen, but that's not Pentax so I'll leave that for another day and another forum.
.
The pinnacle of the M42 development were the SPF, the ST705 (I prefer the more recent ST705W with improved ergonomics but it's rare) and the Praktica VLC.

They were the first and only M42 that didn't require step down, with a bright finder and in the case of the Praktica and the Fujica a split screen...all stuff that you could have with bayonet professional bodies like the Nikon F2 and Canon F1, but I think at that time they were the only consumer's grade cameras that offered pro features.

QuoteOriginally posted by Xmas Quote
The M5 was a step function in $ and did not sell that well.
It has only now become popular as a collectors camera...
Leitz struggled with the M4-2 etc until the M6 rescued them to a degree the M8 sold like hot cakes...
I have a Leica IIIb, a M3, a M4-P and a M5 and the latter is the best rangefinder ever, at least for me. If I had to choose one for REAL everyday use I would pick the Five immediately, especially for colour slide.

Last edited by Cuthbert; 05-13-2016 at 02:17 PM.
05-14-2016, 06:29 AM   #21
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"The pinnacle of the M42 development..." is there a particular reason you're not naming the ES-II here? I'm not disputing you here; just generally interested in hearing your reasons.

There are days when I think the only thing which keeps the Spotmatic F from being my favourite camera is the lack of a split prism. I vaguely recall a forum member saying he actually got his converted to split prism by Pentax, but how this might be done today is a mystery. Should I perchance be looking for a dead K-series camera to scavenge from?
05-14-2016, 10:43 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
There are days when I think the only thing which keeps the Spotmatic F from being my favourite camera is the lack of a split prism. I vaguely recall a forum member saying he actually got his converted to split prism by Pentax, but how this might be done today is a mystery. Should I perchance be looking for a dead K-series camera to scavenge from?
A split prism from a K1000SE may be an option, but you would have to check with Eric if it will fit. If I remember correctly the screens are different between the K1000, KM & KX, compared to the K2 & K2DMD screens.

Phil.
05-14-2016, 10:52 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
A split prism from a K1000SE may be an option, but you would have to check with Eric if it will fit. If I remember correctly the screens are different between the K1000, KM & KX, compared to the K2 & K2DMD screens.

Phil.
I would also be interested to understand if it's possible to modify a SPF that way, I also have the same "problem", plus the screen of the K1000SE is interesting because the split circle is HUGE.

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
"The pinnacle of the M42 development..." is there a particular reason you're not naming the ES-II here? I'm not disputing you here; just generally interested in hearing your reasons.
I don't have the ES-II and I always had the impression that being electronic (from the early 70s) it might be delicate.

05-14-2016, 11:58 AM   #24
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The Vivitar XC-3 m42-mount SLR body (in their 1978 catalog) had the hot shoe, but not the other advances of in the Spotmatic F. My original m42 camera was a Ricoh TLS Singlex (with no hot shoe), the normal lens for which I replaced with a Super-Takumar 55mm f1.8. Eventually, I replaced the Ricoh with a relabeled Ricoh "Sears KS1000" imitation of the Pentax K1000. Although, I got an M42 lens to K mount adapter, some years ago I found a Vivitar XC-4 at a thrift shop, giving my m42 lenses a home on a body made for them.

I think the oldest SLR body I have with aperture wide open metering is another thrift shop find -- a Konica Autoreflex T. It had an f1.4 57mm lens on it I couldn't pass up. Though it works well, there are some intermittent problems with the light meter switch, prompting me to get the later Autoreflex TC, which actually has slightly fewer shutter speeds and not depth of field preview button, but otherwise its a more dependable body to use with the small collection of Konica AR lenses.

I've actually been thinking of getting another m42 lens or two sort of a crazy idea...unless I find something that has some capability I don't have so well in my K-mount herd. I never found cross-threading a problem when mounting m42 lenses...unlike filters. I'm pretty pokey swapping K-mount lenses, so I don't think I was that much slower dealing with screw mounts.

The kinds of historical details about feature development intriguing the OP also fascinate me, though I probably marvel a bit more about similar moments in the development of audio technology, for example: the switch from 10" to 12" long-play microgroove records and the switch from mono to stereo records.
05-14-2016, 01:22 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
switch from mono to stereo records.
and my favourite Quadraphonic 4-channel sound from the 70's! I actually had a Quadraphonic system in the 70's, but it and the Quadraphonic LP's production did not last very long.

Phil.
05-14-2016, 03:05 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
A split prism from a K1000SE may be an option, but you would have to check with Eric if it will fit.
A K1000SE is a rare beast, though, and I wouldn't sacrifice the camera to get the screen for a Spotmatic unless it was absolutely positively dead in every other way.
05-14-2016, 03:23 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
and my favourite Quadraphonic 4-channel sound from the 70's! I actually had a Quadraphonic system in the 70's, but it and the Quadraphonic LP's production did not last very long.

Phil.
This might be fun for a thread in a forum section most open to off-topic discussions! There were 3-channel consoles manufactured by Motorola and others, too, with a left channel, right channel and center channel before quad came out.

But back to the original topic -- The original post certainly has me making a mental note to remember the Spotmatic F, in case I have an opportunity to pick one up some time.
05-14-2016, 05:12 PM   #28
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I bought mine from a forum member and I got the first roll of film back from the developers today. With the exception of some shots that are deliberately under- or over-exposed (because I shot every shutter speed from 1 to 1/1000 at a fixed f stop to see if the meter was "on" and where "on" was if it wasn't), and a few others where I forgot to set the right shutter speed for the flash (oops!), almost every exposure is nailed perfectly. It leaves both my other Spotmatics (both original model) and most all of my K-mount film bodies in the dust.

For the most part, the lens was the "kit" of the day, albeit bought separately - a 55mm f/2.0 SMC Takumar, with the K mount-style focus knob ribbing. I can definitely understand if there were Spotmatic F shooters who took their sweet time over switching to K mount, because there are more than enough SMC Tak lenses to satisfy most urges and the camera does everything a K1000 or KM will do except take bayonet lenses (and even them, if you have a reversing ring - I'm pretty sure I've got one shot that was taken with a flipped DA15...).
05-14-2016, 05:37 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
For the most part, the lens was the "kit" of the day, albeit bought separately - a 55mm f/2.0 SMC Takumar, with the K mount-style focus knob ribbing. I can definitely understand if there were Spotmatic F shooters who took their sweet time over switching to K mount, because there are more than enough SMC Tak lenses to satisfy most urges and the camera does everything a K1000 or KM will do except take bayonet lenses (and even them, if you have a reversing ring - I'm pretty sure I've got one shot that was taken with a flipped DA15...).
I was lucky enough to find a SPF still sold in the original box with the kit lens, it was the 55mm f1.8 or the 50mm f1.4, the f2 was for the SP1000 which was the predecessor of the K1000, like the SPF was of the KM/KX.

Also, imo the spottie is better made and handles better than the K mounted camera, it also feels smaller.

This was my "mint" SPF from September 1976:





As you can see on the box it's written "with 55mm f1.8".

Few pics taken with that camera here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/31601-takumar-club-942.html

Last edited by Cuthbert; 05-14-2016 at 05:44 PM.
05-14-2016, 05:48 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Also, imo the spottie is better made and handles better than the K mounted camera, it also feels smaller.
I'm one of the people who's on the list for the travelling K1000, so at some stage I'll be able to do a side by side comparison of handling characteristics. It's part of the reason I elected to participate; I've always been curious to see what the K1000 is like, but given that I have a Spotmatic F and also a Ricoh XR1 (effectively a KX without mirror lockup), the 1000 seems sort of superfluous.
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