Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-09-2018, 04:07 AM   #1
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: South West England
Posts: 34
Spotmatic SP500 - VF Brightness Question

Hi All,

I am a new Pentax owner with a SP500 and MX (as of the weekend).

I have a question on the SP500 viewfinder. Is it traditionally a darker VF than other cameras? The copy I have is't really dark I can still use it, but it looks much darker than I am used to with other Film SLR's, namely a A1, AE-1, MX, FM2n etc. It is not as bright as I expected it to be on experiences with other film bodies.

I am just trying to work out if the focusing screen has aged a bit and has lost its brightness, or because it was a more budget camera the focusing screen was not a bright to start with.

Thanking you in advance for you advice.

Matt

01-09-2018, 04:46 AM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Baard-Einar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oslo
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 715
Hi,
welcome to the forum. Great that you are keen to try out these old cameras.

What lens are you using?

Baard-E
01-09-2018, 04:55 AM   #3
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: South West England
Posts: 34
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Baard-Einar Quote
Hi,
welcome to the forum. Great that you are keen to try out these old cameras.

What lens are you using?

Baard-E
I bought the camera from a local charity shop with the following lenses. It is really good condition that I can see, it needs new seals, and the only marks of merit are on/around the battery cover.

The only thing that disappoints me a little is the focusing screen brightness, it looks less bright that anything else I have used and I could only really shoot outdoors I think.

SMC Takumar 55mm 1.8
SMC Takumar 35mm 3.5
SMC Takumar 135mm 2.5 (latest version)
Pentacon 30mm 3.5

All are in excellent condition and I got them for a steal 10 for the SP500 and 30 each per lens.

The 55mm could do with a bit of time under I UV lamp i have been told due to some very mild yellowing.

The only one that is a bit sub par is the Pentacon 30mm 3.5 the focusing ring feels pretty stiff to me.
01-09-2018, 07:43 AM - 1 Like   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Baard-Einar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oslo
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 715
QuoteOriginally posted by Matt_Dodwell_UK Quote
The only thing that disappoints me a little is the focusing screen brightness, it looks less bright that anything else I have used and I could only really shoot outdoors I think.

....

All are in excellent condition and I got them for a steal 10 for the SP500 and 30 each per lens.

.
Great find, hope you can get it to work with new seals and a battery.

I have an SP500 and it seems to be similar brightness to all other spotmatics of that era. Make sure that you, of course, leave the lens in AUTO-mode, and keep the switch on the left side in the down positition. Mine also seems a tad dark, it could be dirt/grit on the focusing screen, problems with the silver on the prism, corroded mirror.

Regards
Baard-Einar.

01-09-2018, 09:41 AM - 1 Like   #5
Pentaxian
microlight's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 974
Same here. The SP500 was essentially the basic Spotmatic minus the 1/1000th shutter speed and self timer, so I think that the prism/focusing screen combination was the same. Baard-Einar is right on it, talking about the lens in (A)uto mode, as in (M)anual the lens will stop down and the image will look darker. Also don't forget that three of the four lenses you mention are slower than the prime 55/f1.8 by up to two stops, which will darken the viewfinder image also.
01-09-2018, 03:27 PM   #6
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: South West England
Posts: 34
Original Poster
Thanks everyone for your comments.

As per my post on my SP500 VF Brightness Thread, what I am going to do is

1) start shooting with the SP500 and see how it goes. I only shoot in day with good light so that should be OK.

2) buy a M42 to K mount to use try on the MX. I have seen one with good reviews, it seems to be the correct one (not original pentax though). I only ever meter handheld so that isn't an issue for me.

3) if finally I don't like shooting with it I will sell the body and lenses on to someone who will get more use from the. I will keep the MX with Pentax-M Lenses.
01-10-2018, 06:37 AM   #7
Junior Member




Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Aurora, IL USA
Posts: 27
Back in the day I went from an SP500 to a pair of MX bodies. The SP500 had a very dim VF compared to the newer MX, and IIRC it was also noticeably dimmer than most other mid and late 70s era SLR bodies.

Also, this may be teaching your granny to suck eggs, but... the SP500 isn't in stopdown metering mode, is it?
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
brightness, film, focusing screen, mx, question, screen, sp500, sp500 vf brightness, spotmatic, spotmatic sp500 vf, vf, vf brightness
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax SP500 repairs advice guitarsammy Pentax Film SLR Discussion 7 01-09-2017 05:05 PM
Question: Moving from VF to no VF ErrantDabbler Pentax K-01 30 03-08-2012 01:42 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:52 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top