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07-12-2008, 06:08 AM   #1
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Flash for My Spotmatic F and ME Super

Hi, folks,

I am thinking of getting a flash for my Spotmatic F and ME Super. What would be a nice option? I got a Vivitar 2800 along with one of my Spot Fs. I do not have the manual for it, though. Also, I have heard there are higher performing models among the Vivitars and the dedicated Pentax flashes. Perhaps a Vivitar 283 or Pentax 280T would be a good choice? Any opinions?

Thanks,
Glen

07-12-2008, 06:27 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
Hi, folks,

I am thinking of getting a flash for my Spotmatic F and ME Super. What would be a nice option? I got a Vivitar 2800 along with one of my Spot Fs. I do not have the manual for it, though. Also, I have heard there are higher performing models among the Vivitars and the dedicated Pentax flashes. Perhaps a Vivitar 283 or Pentax 280T would be a good choice? Any opinions?
Glen:

Here is a manual for the 2800. http://www.cameramanuals.org/flashes_meters/vivitar_2800.pdf

I actually tend to like to shoot my Spotmatic F in "full vintage mode." I tend to match accessories as best I can to the time period. One of my favorite flashes for that camera is a Honeywell Strobonar 480S. (Manual Here: http://www.cameramanuals.org/flashes_meters/honeywell_strobonar_480s.pdf) I was fortunate enough to get mine with the "stroboDome" accessory which really is a nice little diffuser/bouncer. It kind of uses a diffused direct flash but also redirects some of the light overhead, and I do like the resulting look for certain things. It tends to work best at medium distances.

These small, thin, vertical flashes are great for the shoe. They are compact and do not feel bulky and in the way.

On the other hand, they are not necessarily as powerful as you might like, and for sitiations where I need more power, I use Vivitar 285HV. I usually mount it to a bracket and use a cord. It works great. I have to beleive that a Vivitar 283 would be a fine choice.

woof!
07-12-2008, 06:39 AM   #3
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Thanks, Woof...we must be "kindred spirits," as I, too, prefer to use my Spot Fs in full period mode--even down to the strap. There is just something about using a piece of photographic equipment in the way in which it was intended to be used. I have not noticed this tendency among other brand users...just Pentaxians (so far, at least). I have even thought of getting a period light meter, but my Sekonic L-308S is very nice...though, I admit, the thought still passes through my mind.

Glen
07-12-2008, 06:44 AM   #4
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I know what you mean about the strap. My ESII has what is very obviously the original strap that came supplied with it. Looks like crap and functionally leaves a lot to be desired.

But the thing has been intact and (probably) attached for 35 years. I can't bring myself to replace it.

07-12-2008, 08:22 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
Thanks, Woof...we must be "kindred spirits," as I, too, prefer to use my Spot Fs in full period mode--even down to the strap. There is just something about using a piece of photographic equipment in the way in which it was intended to be used. I have not noticed this tendency among other brand users...just Pentaxians (so far, at least). I have even thought of getting a period light meter, but my Sekonic L-308S is very nice...though, I admit, the thought still passes through my mind.
Yep. I have original straps on all my vintage Pentax too! I do really like the little optional rubber thingy that goes at the back of your neckfor the SPotmatic F and that period...

I am so bad in this vintage regard that I have original heavy leather camera bags that I keep these things in and with which I transport them. Dad gave me his originally and I have since found two others in mintish condition that are the same exact bag. One cost me 25.00 and the other... well... I PAID for that one.

As for light meters, when Dad gave me my first Pentax "AP" a plain old Gossen Pilot came with it. Not great in low light, but that thing went everywhere with me. When I started collecting and shooting these things again, I could not find the one Dad gave me. So I got one off of eBay for $20.00 that had been stored for many years in its box, in its clamshell. It works fine still, and I do use it here and there. I like these units. For $20.00 it is well worth the vintage trip, and they are easy to use, small, attractive and accurate in most situations.

On the other hand we MUST be kindred spirits because I too have a Sekonic Flashmate... I ** LOVE ** that thing. As a "light meter" every time I use it everything is dead on. I admit that I do often break the strict period adherence with this thing.... heh.

AND... it makes a ** great ** flash meter as I am sure you know. I was even very close in my previous post to suggesting that you get one for working with your flash on the Spottie F. I tend to do that if I have any ability to set the shot up at all in advance, and I have gotten excellent results with both the vintage and Vivitar flashes with the Spottie F and other vintage pieces when using the Flashmate as a flash meter...

Hey, keep us in the loop on what you come up with for a flash. Pics of your setups are ** always ** welcome. Let us know what works for you!

woof!
07-12-2008, 11:16 AM   #6
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Mike: I know what you mean...

Woof: I thank you for your kind regards. The latest update: I have a credit with KEH, and so I put a LN- AF280T on hold this morning. I gather this would be period correct for my ME Super. I grabbed some nice hoods, too. I would like to post pictures of my setup, but I do not have a digital camera or scanner. I dislike digital, and doubt I will ever buy a computerized image machine (i.e. a digital camera). I will consider your comments, and continue to explore possiblities for my Spottie Fs.

Regards,
Glen

Last edited by zx-m; 07-12-2008 at 12:31 PM. Reason: typo
07-12-2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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I own an AF280T but don't really use it. I think they were marketed for use with the LX. great flash units, maybe I should use mine more.

ME Super -1980
AF280T - 1981
07-12-2008, 01:30 PM   #8
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AF280T works very well with the Super Program.

Shot two weddings with that, all were keepers.

Dave

07-14-2008, 08:21 AM   #9
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One other question: is getting a flash worth it with a non-TTL system?

I have been reading about TTL and non-TTL, and most seem to think the non-TTL system is difficult and inaccurate. Any opinions? I was thinking of picking up a Super Program in order to get TTL, but then I sacrifice sync speed (1/90 vs. 1/125 in my ME Super). Yes, I know, the LX is a nice choice, but they are too expensive and too hard to find in nice condition...especially on GreedBay--where it seems every item description is exaggerated. In fact, after my last purchase (i.e. "shows no wear"), I may never buy another camera on GreedBay.
07-14-2008, 08:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
One other question: is getting a flash worth it with a non-TTL system?

I have been reading about TTL and non-TTL, and most seem to think the non-TTL system is difficult and inaccurate. Any opinions?

Depends on your standards, I suppose. TTL is easy, but the sensors on flashes aren't bad either... I wouldn't say they are difficult and inaccurate, but that's me with my old fashioned standards Auto thyristor flashes are far easier than flash cubes or calculating guide numbers.
07-14-2008, 08:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
I may never buy another camera on GreedBay.

As an aside, I decided this was the correct course about 8 months ago. I have gotten some good deals, but on the whole it is like gambling. A net loss with wins just in time to distract you from the fact that you are still behind.

woof!
07-14-2008, 08:59 AM   #12
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Thanks, Nesster...I know it is easy to oversimplify this matter (especially since people tend to favor modern technology), and such is why I was looking for a more seasoned point of view. I would be using an auto thyristor flash. As I had mentioned above, I have an AF 280T on hold at KEH. I gather this should make for a nice setup? Also, I can use this flash with my ZX-M, too.

Regards,
Glen
07-14-2008, 09:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by woof Quote
As an aside, I decided this was the correct course about 8 months ago. I have gotten some good deals, but on the whole it is like gambling. A net loss with wins just in time to distract you from the fact that you are still behind.

woof!
This could not be more perfectly stated. Indeed, I have had the same experience: it is like gambling. It is almost like a bad habit that one has to break. Well, no more for me. It is just KEH and the Marketplace.

Regards,
Glen
07-14-2008, 09:16 AM   #14
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ebay isnt always bad. I got a virtually brand new pentax Auto bellows M in the box with an smc-M 50m 1.7 for just under 80 bucks with shipping. and an EX+ condition smc-A 35mm 2.8 for 40 bucks. and god knows how many VG++ or NM- vinyl records as well as a Signet (high end Audio-Technica) XK-35 tonearm for 60 bucks. those damn things are hard to find and usually sell for several hundred bucks. and a virtually brand new pentax superA for60 bucks with shipping from the UK. I could go on with a few Takumars as well but I think I made my point.
07-14-2008, 09:25 AM   #15
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ebay can indeed be a gamble. But the good scores will erase many of the poorer ones, at least in memory, over time...

KEH ironically is the source of two of my Zuikos that have diaphragm problems - an 85/2 that 12 years ago worked OK but since has become fatigued, and a 50/1.4 my brother in law ended up giving me... that one seems to have had the problem from the start, he returned the body thinking it was a shutter issue, when it was just a lazy stop down. But I'm thinking this isn't a KEH problem but rather a Zuiko issue.

But getting back to the flash, yes I think that would work keenly. You can even mess with the aperture to balance the flash and ambient light... and there may even be a fill flash function (not knowing about that particular model).
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