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12-20-2008, 09:27 AM   #1
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Why is the Spotmatic better than the K1000?

I already own, and use regularly, two K1000's. I am thinking strongly of getting a Spotmatic. Reading previous threads I can see some people prefer the Spotmatic to the K1000 but don't necessarily say why. I would love to hear any comments or advice. I am particularly concerned whether the Spotmatic uses the, now obsolete, mercury cell battery and if replacement batteries work well. Thanks. Brian.

12-20-2008, 09:45 AM   #2
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The Spotmatics and the K1000 (and the rest of the K series, for that matter) are very closely related; the K series are essentially Spotmatics with K mounts, with a few tweaks.

The most important difference is that the Spotmatics use M42 screwmount lenses. The Pentax M42 lenses are called Takumars, and are amazingly good--perhaps better than the K mount glass. Takumars (with the exception of SMC or Super-Multi-Coated Takumars on a Spotmatic F/ES/ESII) use stop down metering, which means that the lens stops down to the taking apterture to meter. That also means that whenever you meter you see the depth of field on the shot, which is the only thing I feel is missing from the K1000.

In a nutshell, Spotmatics are basically K1000s that use Takumars that have depth of field preview and (for some) have self-timers.

Oh, and all Spotmatics can use modern silver oxide batteries.

As much as I like my K1000 SE and KX, personally speaking, I want a Spotmatic, just to use Takumars...
12-20-2008, 09:56 AM   #3
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because its a Spotmatic, why else? well, because of Takumars that's why. seriously though, I cant really say. there is a certain appeal to the Spotmatic. Pentax cameras almost force you too look back at their history and in doing so you gain an appreciation and fascination with the older cameras and lenses. the obvious choice for most is a Spotmatic. it is arguably the quintessential camera of the 60's for many reasons.
12-20-2008, 10:11 AM   #4
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As far as lenses go - the early K mounts by an large were rebadged and remounted Takumars. So no advantage there, despite whatever romance one has, in either direction

The Spotmatic camera has classic industrial design, well thought out and with consistent visual cues. That beauty in itself recommends a spottie.

The camera and lenses were revolutionary at the time - other cameras seem huge and clunky by comparison. This also is why the Spotmatic is a nice camera to have.

Mind you - she could select from the KX, the ST605, the Program Plus, a ZX-10...OM2s, Nikon EM... and my daughter picked my SP1000 to steal, because she says it is the most beautiful of them all.

I suppose I'm one who's said I prefer the SP1000 to the K1000. Apart from the above design items, it's purely irrational and marketing related. I was of age when the K1000 was still being sold new. It was a revenant, a low priced (though quality) camera for the 'masses'. Being a camera geek even then, I wanted something sexier with, ya know, features.

12-20-2008, 12:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for the helpful and valuable information. I am glad to know that getting a battery will not be an issue. I have always thought that the focus ring on Takumar lenses look lovely. I also love that 'all-metal' winder on the Spotmatic (that looks as though it could accidently take your eye out). They seem frivolous reasons to want a Spotmatic but the bug has already bitten. I plan to be patient until I get a really good one (he say's as he knows he will grab the first half decent one he sees!). Is there any particular model of Spotmatic I should look out for, or model I should avoid? Thanks again. I really appreciate your taking the time to reply.
12-20-2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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If you like the K1000, SP1000 is gorgeous. Apart from that I like the original SP. Not that I'd kick any of the others out of the camera bag, if you know what I mean...
12-20-2008, 01:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brianog Quote
Reading previous threads I can see some people prefer the Spotmatic to the K1000 but don't necessarily say why.
It wasn't preference - I bought my Spotmatic in 1970. Cause that's all there was. You will note from my signature that I also own a K1000. That was an acquisition this year. Caught K1000 fever hanging around this site. Apparently you have the Spotmatic variant of the fever.
QuoteQuote:
I plan to be patient until I get a really good one (he say's as he knows he will grab the first half decent one he sees!).
Right off hand I would say you are beyond cure, you are a terminal case. Not to worry about the "first half decent one". There is no rule that says you cant have two. You have two K1000s.
12-20-2008, 08:15 PM   #8
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Spotmatic

I haven't yet added a K1000 to my collection. I'm waiting for a great deal to appear on ebay.

However, of all the cameras I own or have held, the Spotmatic has to be the most comfortable. It just fits my hands perfectly. When I wrap my right hand around the focus ring of that Super-Takumar lens, and my left hand around the camera, with the index finger poised above the shutter release, everything just FITS better than any other camera I've found. I could perform almost every operation on that camera, without ever removing it from my eye, except loading film. I can't say that about my K10D, although, with the two e-dials, it comes close.

I have eleven Pentax cameras, including a K10D dslr, but I still like to take the Spotmatic down and just hold it in my hands. In fact, that used to be the gist of a Pentax advertising campaign - "Just hold a Pentax".

I also think that the Spotmatic is one of the most eye-pleasing camera designs, as well. The proportions are just right. Nothing is out of place. Everything contributes to the operation of the camera.

It might also have something to do with the fact that I saved money from after-school jobs, for about six months, when I was in high school, to buy my Spotmatic.

Paul Noble

12-20-2008, 11:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
When I wrap my right hand around the focus ring of that Super-Takumar lens, and my left hand around the camera, with the index finger poised above the shutter release, everything just FITS
Where did you find a left-handed Spotmatic?
12-21-2008, 02:21 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Where did you find a left-handed Spotmatic?
Unless he's taking a self portrait.
12-21-2008, 02:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
The Spotmatic camera has classic industrial design, well thought out and with consistent visual cues. That beauty in itself recommends a spottie.
features.

One of the things that I think is also drawing me to the Spotmatic is a sense of history. I think the 1960's represents the apex of quality of materials and mechanical design. Before that period I think you had quality of materials but more primitive design. After the 1960's quality of materials became less and design became more sophisticated. So today you have plastic cameras selling for thousands of bucks. Also I think the 1960's represented a time of optimisim and certainty, when a man landed on the moon and took photos on it. Then the '70's came with the oil crisis and we have been living with uncertainty ever since. So I think I probably have some infantile or deep psychological need to own a Spotmatic!
12-21-2008, 06:43 PM   #12
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Okay, so I'm dyslexic

QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Where did you find a left-handed Spotmatic?
I'm left-handed, which means I'm probably slightly dyslexic. On top of that, I was tired when I wrote that.

Of course, I mean it the other way around. I hope that everyone understood what I was trying to say, that the Spotmatic feels better in my hands than just about any other camera I've ever held.

Paul Noble
12-21-2008, 07:05 PM   #13
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Keeping track

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
How do you keep track of shutter speed and aperture once changed? Do you count clicks?
I don't have any such patience, so I prefer the full-information viewfinder of my KX.

Chris
I usually knew, before putting the camera to my eye, what my starting shutter speed was, so I knew if I was in danger of going too slow to handhold the camera. But, yes, I suppose I did count the clicks. It really isn't hard. Usually, if you've been shooting in similar light, the change is not more than one or two stops.

The same is true of the aperture. With a little experience, you get a feel if you're going for action-stopping or depth of field and adjust the appropriate dial. If I was after DOF, I'd adjust the shutter speed. If I was trying to stop the action, I'd adjust the aperture and leave the speed alone.

Paul Noble
12-22-2008, 10:18 AM   #14
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If you have a Spottie and want a K1000 do not bother...
get a KX which has almost the same features plus hot shoe and bayonet mount.
12-22-2008, 11:19 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
If you have a Spottie and want a K1000 do not bother...
get a KX which has almost the same features plus hot shoe and bayonet mount.
the only spotmatic without a hotshoe is the original. all other models after, had one. that leaves a lot of spotmatic flavors to choose from.
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