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04-30-2016, 03:13 AM   #1
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Sacrilege?????

I was fortunate enough to buy a Spotmatic SP motor drive the other day, complete. The condition is OK but not great. The top cover is dent free but heavily scuffed from professional? use. The light meter switch has lost half its black colour.


Would I be committing a crime by replacing the top cover and meter switch to enhance condition. I say this knowing that motor drives were special order and essentially the base model with some minor internal and base plate modifications.

Thoughts welcome.

04-30-2016, 03:22 AM   #2
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This sort of debate occurs also in the military collectible firearms world - there are people who throw absolute fits over guys who've cut down the wooden stocks of military rifles to make them lighter for hunting, for example. In many cases, though, the changes were made when said rifle was still in manufacture or had been dumped on the surplus market in vast numbers and dealers were practically paying you to take them.

My call is that it's okay to alter a museum piece if you carefully set aside the removed original components so that they can be restored if someone wants the thing with the matching "factory" pieces in situ. This is especially the case if the part you are setting aside has a batch or serial number.
04-30-2016, 03:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
This is especially the case if the part you are setting aside has a batch or serial number.

This I do not know. As these were generally made to order, my understanding is there weren't any batch runs to speak of, but I could be wrong.
04-30-2016, 03:28 AM   #4
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Not a problem. I was stating it as a general rule rather than as one specific to your case, but then again the serial number for Spotties is on the top plate, isn't it? I'm just thinking of the serial number database implications here.

04-30-2016, 04:02 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
This sort of debate occurs also in the military collectible firearms world - there are people who throw absolute fits over guys who've cut down the wooden stocks of military rifles to make them lighter for hunting, for example. In many cases, though, the changes were made when said rifle was still in manufacture or had been dumped on the surplus market in vast numbers and dealers were practically paying you to take them.

My call is that it's okay to alter a museum piece if you carefully set aside the removed original components so that they can be restored if someone wants the thing with the matching "factory" pieces in situ. This is especially the case if the part you are setting aside has a batch or serial number.
Why is it a "museum piece"?
04-30-2016, 04:51 AM   #6
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By the fact of its rarity. And again, I was speaking to the general case.
04-30-2016, 04:57 AM   #7
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Yes, you are right and yes the database. I have already entered the camera serial into the database.

Perhaps making the alteration and keeping the original top plate is a great way to go?

---------- Post added 04-30-16 at 09:58 PM ----------

There is limited information on the web regarding the 'first' motor drive version (any in fact). And I believe they were special order - thus making them uncommon to rare. Were they the first motor drive SLR??? Do not know.
04-30-2016, 08:53 AM   #8
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You may proceed but we need to think of a way to chastise you for your sacrilege.

04-30-2016, 09:14 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I would view it as a "shabby chic" piece. The black, metal-bodied cameras of several years ago seem to acquire a certain cool patina when the brass is worn through the paint. Perhaps the winder can be similar. Think Willie Nelson's guitar...
04-30-2016, 09:21 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeW Quote
I would view it as a "shabby chic" piece. The black, metal-bodied cameras of several years ago seem to acquire a certain cool patina when the brass is worn through the paint. Perhaps the winder can be similar. Think Willie Nelson's guitar...
Most of my 'S' bodies are in User condition - basically, so I can actually use them.

I own a Collector Grade K and Zebra 55/1.8. Neither lens nor camera has a single mark on it and I NEVER use them. Sometimes I wonder what is the point of even having them.

RE: the OP question - IMHO, anything you do that is reversible is fine. My wife collects antique American furniture. The most valuable pieces have NOT been refinished. Collectors WANT the evidence of usage over the last 300+ years and the patina of the original finish still on the piece. OTOH, careful repair or replacement of a broken part (usually a foot or drawer brass) by a restoration craftsman does not affect value so long as the original part is retained. Everyone understands all the remaining MINT AS MADE 18th C. American furniture is already in museums, so they overlook restoration repairs.

Last edited by monochrome; 04-30-2016 at 09:28 AM.
04-30-2016, 01:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
I was fortunate enough to buy a Spotmatic SP motor drive the other day, complete. The condition is OK but not great. The top cover is dent free but heavily scuffed from professional? use. The light meter switch has lost half its black colour.


Would I be committing a crime by replacing the top cover and meter switch to enhance condition. I say this knowing that motor drives were special order and essentially the base model with some minor internal and base plate modifications.

Thoughts welcome.
Please share some photos of the camera. I also have a complete Spottie MD that is pretty worn. I do not intend to use it, so I was thinking showing it off with its worn exterior proves that this is a work horse.

But if you choose to replace the top and switch, do so. It is the bottom plate that distinguish this version from the other.
04-30-2016, 05:33 PM   #12
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I will happily oblige - just setting up now.
04-30-2016, 10:03 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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A couple of shots taken with my Macro Takumar on a ist*DS
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PENTAX *ist DS  Photo 
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PENTAX *ist DS  Photo 
05-16-2016, 02:24 PM   #14
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I'd leave it as is - looks damn cool
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