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09-06-2008, 08:59 AM   #1
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It's aliiiiiiive

I just had to share. Picked up a Pentax kit on the auction site just for one of the lenses and figured if the Spotmatic that was included was working at all I'd be happy. Well, I got it, and the mechanics are excellent, but unfortunately the meter did not respond and the battery cover was practically welded in place and so chewed up by an attempt to remove it I thought it was never going to be salvageable.

However, unscrewing the bottom altogether and then putting some serious tools to it (since the cover was already ruined I wasn't too worried about making it worse) sloooowly got it undone. Surprisingly, the battery inside was just dead and not leaking -- I expected a real mess in there.

Popped a new battery in and wrestled the cover on, no go. Figured I may as well gamble on it I picked up a new cover (aftermarket steel one this time) and popped it on. Nothing. Removed everything and put back together and suddenly, the meter responds! Not sure how accurate it is (or how to adjust it if not--any advice?) but now I have a beautiful vintage Spotmatic SP in working condition. The rest of the camera is in great shape so I am very happy! Not sure I'll keep it since I have too many film cameras as it is, but I just love being able to bring something classic like this back to life.

09-06-2008, 09:22 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
I just had to share. Picked up a Pentax kit on the auction site just for one of the lenses and figured if the Spotmatic that was included was working at all I'd be happy. Well, I got it, and the mechanics are excellent, but unfortunately the meter did not respond and the battery cover was practically welded in place and so chewed up by an attempt to remove it I thought it was never going to be salvageable.
Yeah, that's fairly typical, odd that it wasn't the battery that had the cover corroded? shut.

QuoteQuote:
Not sure how accurate it is (or how to adjust it if not--any advice?) but now I have a beautiful vintage Spotmatic SP in working condition. The rest of the camera is in great shape so I am very happy! Not sure I'll keep it since I have too many film cameras as it is, but I just love being able to bring something classic like this back to life.
How about just taking it and another film body with a light meter that works and comparing the two? Should give you an idea of how accurate it is.
09-06-2008, 10:00 AM   #3
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Sounds like the exact problem that I had with the Spottie I picked up at a yard sale.. But I never got the battery cover to loosen. It's at Eric's now & destined for a high school student in a couple of weeks.

To test the camera before I sent it off, I used a similar lens at a known aperture & ISO on my K10d & then used the same aperture & shutter settings on the Spotmatic. Worked great.

So, what's the super-cool lens that you got?

Adam
09-06-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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The lens isn't super-cool, but it IS a virtually perfect 50/1.4 that for some reason does not exhibit any yellowing. Did the pre-SMC Super Takumars not have the radioactive rear element, or did I just get lucky?

I did test the meter against what my GA645 said indoors, and they appear to agree (f/4 and 1/20th for the GA645, f/4 and 1/30th for the Spotmatic). However, when I move to a faster shutter speed the needle moves up towards the (+) -- is that by design (seems like + would indicate overexposure, but faster shutter would be the opposite) or was the Wein battery I got incorrectly assembled and I'm actually putting it in reversed? (It only fits one way with the adapter ring the way it is, but it looks like it can be pushed down and the battery reversed.)

Once all sorted out and tested, I'll throw some new seals on it (I have a ton of the stuff from interslice that I've used on my other rigs) and if a roll looks good find a new home for it. As I said, too many cameras... and for 35mm film I really can't find anything I love shooting more than my OM2!

09-06-2008, 11:42 AM   #5
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Yellowed 50/1.4 make excellent lenses for BW photo... built in Y filter

However, that can be "cured" just by using some UV light.
The easiest way is to leave the lens in a windowsill where it can get plenty of light for a couple of days.
The yellowing comes from some decomposition of radiactive material, but the process is reversible.... and no there is not enough radiation to harm you
09-06-2008, 12:05 PM   #6
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Yeah, I have a yellowed SMC 50/1.4 coming in that I intend to treat this way. However, I am wondering why this Super Tak 50/1.4 exhibits zero trace of yellowing... different glass than the later ones?
09-06-2008, 05:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Yeah, I have a yellowed SMC 50/1.4 coming in that I intend to treat this way. However, I am wondering why this Super Tak 50/1.4 exhibits zero trace of yellowing... different glass than the later ones?
I've been toying with the idea of bleaching my Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 but can't decide (it isn't really badly yellowed). Just a thought, many windows come with UV films, make sure you aren't putting yours in one of those.

I'd be interested in some before and after pics once it arrives if you can keep it off your body long enough to bleach it
09-06-2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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I pretty much picked up my Spotmatic kit for the same reason. I took a few of test shots (on Delta 100) with the Spottie and 50/1.4 before I sent it for CLA then scanned them. MAN that lens is sharp (and is a little yellow).

*first attempt with an attachment here. Please bear with me if I screw it up.





Anyway, I share your affinity for the OM cameras. I use an OM2n exclusively for 35mm. Something about the compact size and the shutter speed ring on the front that just seems right. I am trimming down my OM lens collection, though. I sold my 100mm/2.8 and the Vivitar Series 1 28-90 f2.8-3.5 is next to go.


Last edited by geauxpez; 09-06-2008 at 06:07 PM.
09-06-2008, 06:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote
Anyway, I share your affinity for the OM cameras. I use an OM2n exclusively for 35mm. Something about the compact size and the shutter speed ring on the front that just seems right. I am trimming down my OM lens collection, though. I sold my 100mm/2.8 and the Vivitar Series 1 28-90 f2.8-3.5 is next to go.
I just put my 28/3.5 up for sale, and that leaves me with the 50/1.8 only. But I can't imagine using any other lens on it, honestly; the 50 is just magical somehow.

09-06-2008, 07:12 PM   #10
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Yep. I'm keeping my 50/1.8 "MIJ", 35/2.8 & 28/2.8.
09-06-2008, 09:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Yeah, I have a yellowed SMC 50/1.4 coming in that I intend to treat this way. However, I am wondering why this Super Tak 50/1.4 exhibits zero trace of yellowing... different glass than the later ones?
There should be a product number on the underneath of the Auto/Manual switch.

Does it start with 358 or is it 378?
09-06-2008, 11:30 PM   #12
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Before and after 1 week on the windowsill - look at the Super Tak. I gave it another three or so dayd after this photo and it's pretty much bleached out. The SMC is on the sill now.
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