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12-29-2008, 11:08 PM   #1
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Spotmatic F Takumar metering question

Hey gang. Just a quickie: There are various versions of Takumar lenses out there, from just plain old Tak, Super Tak, Super Multi Coated Tak, and SMC Tak. What I wanted to confirm was this: On the Spotmatic F, which uses TTL metering *without* stopping down the lens (unlike just about every other Spottie), do you need to have a lens with an Auto/Manual switch to make the meter work properly, or will the Spot F allow for stop-down metering on an older Takumar lens?

If the Auto/Manual thing is a requirement, I suppose that limits me to Super-Multi-Coated and SMC Takumars, correct?

Curious, because I want to add to my Takumar lineup. Thanks.

12-30-2008, 04:00 AM   #2
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the F can do stop down metering with all Takumars via the DOF preview switch, which is the light meter on older spotmatics. essentially you are tricking the light meter, as if you just mounted a slower/faster lens. the auto/manual switch on the SMC Takumars works differently on an F, but on every other spotmatic it works the same way as the older series switches. you didnt think Pentax would cut its users off from using older lenses did you?

here is the manul if you dont have one. Password: Pentax
http://www.pentax-manuals.com/manuals/m42/pentax_spotmaticf_manual_s.pdf

oh and by the way you mised a series: Auto-Takumar.
12-30-2008, 07:18 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
Hey gang. Just a quickie: There are various versions of Takumar lenses out there, from just plain old Tak, Super Tak, Super Multi Coated Tak, and SMC Tak. What I wanted to confirm was this: On the Spotmatic F, which uses TTL metering *without* stopping down the lens (unlike just about every other Spottie), do you need to have a lens with an Auto/Manual switch to make the meter work properly, or will the Spot F allow for stop-down metering on an older Takumar lens?

If the Auto/Manual thing is a requirement, I suppose that limits me to Super-Multi-Coated and SMC Takumars, correct?

Curious, because I want to add to my Takumar lineup. Thanks.
The "F" has two (2) meters. One for open aperture metering and the other for stop down metering. The "F" will do open aperture metering on Super Multi Coated and SMC Takumars. This is because they have the open aperture tab on the back of the lens that tells the camera what the aperture to which the lens is set.

Super Takumars are metered by pressing the metering button UP. (I believe that the recommendation by Pentax is that you focus wide open first - bright field focusing). Even if the lens is in the "Auto" position, when you switch the meter on, the lens will be stopped down and the secondary meter will be in play. This is the standard meter type for the original Spotmatic.

Auto Takumars (except for the f1.8 55mm, which really is a Super Takumar), do not have an Auto/Manual switch and can be metered by pushing the metering button up, setting speed/aperture as desired, and then cocking the lens and focusing. Alternatively, you can focus first with the aperture wide open, then turn metering on and adjust parameters. I prefer the former because it preserves the functionality and methods used for Auto-Takumars.

Preset Takumars, (and indeed any other preset lens) are usually focused wide open (known as bright field focusing), then metering is turned on, the aperture and speed set as desired and the photo taken.

[The fine print]There will be those who say the focusing/metering procedure can and should vary from the above. Fine. Start by reading the manuals and then find a method that works for you. My descriptions are more directed at answering your questions... [/The fine print]

The Auto/Manual switch is not required to use on the "F." If you have a lens that does not have one, use the procedure for presets. The only reason I ever use the Auto/Manual switch is Depth of Field Preview. This works great. In part I think Pentax put the Auto/Manual on the Super Takumars and later because it allowed these lenses to be used on the older bodies that did not support the Auto aperture functionality of stopping down when the shutter was released. Since I use only period lenses on my older camera bodies, the need to set manual mode never arises.

Hope this helps.

woof
12-30-2008, 08:15 AM   #4
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Spotmatic F

On the original Spotmatic, the switch on the side of the lens mount turned on the meter and stopped the lens down. On the Spotmatic F, the meter is always on. The switch is ONLY for DOF preview or for stop-down metering of non-SMC lenses.

Therefore, it is imperative that you keep a lens cap on the lens, when you are not using the camera. Otherwise, the battery will be drained rather quickly.

The auto/manual switch was there for use on bellows and non-auto extension tubes. The original Pentax bellows did not have the dual cable release that was included with the Bellows II, so the auto/man switch was necessary.

In summary, Takumars, Auto-Takumars, Tele-Takumars and Super Takumars all require stop down metering, even on a Spotmatic F. Super-Multi-Coated and SMC Takumars allow open-aperture metering on the Spot-F, ES and ES-II.

Paul Noble

12-31-2008, 01:25 AM   #5
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This has been most helpful! Thank you for the quick replies. I'm happy to hear I can use older Takumar glass if the need/want arises. On an aside, I thought the F was the ONLY Spottie to feature open-aperture metering, but you say the ES and ESII do as well? Was there a huge difference between these three models?
12-31-2008, 05:28 AM   #6
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The ES and ESII have a "memory" and can remember the shutter speed and set it automatically. Basically they're really nice aperture-priority cameras, with a limited range of shutter speeds available to be set manually (if you want to). You just set the shutter dial to "Automatic" and sort of keep an eye on the shutter speed indicated by the needle in the viewfinder to make sure you're not getting down low enough for camera shake to be a problem. The ESII also has viewfinder curtains which swing into place, blacking out the viewfinder, when that position is selected on the shutter dial. That makes it an excellent choice when shooting from a tripod, since you don't have to worry about light coming from the eyepiece affecting the metering. I had mine out last night doing night shots of Tokyo Bay using it in that mode. And again today using it in aperture-priority (Automatic) mode. It is sort of the ME Super of the Takumar era.

Here's a "setup" photo of the ESII last night at Shibaura Wharf, with the viewfinder blacked out taking a long exposure close-up of bollard and mooring lines.




Pentax K20D
SMC Takumar 55/1.8


Last edited by Mike Cash; 12-31-2008 at 07:42 AM. Reason: added photo
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