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01-08-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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Spotmatic Issues...can anyone advise?

Hello, new here to the forum and seeing as you all seem to be a super friendly, helpful bunch, I thought I'd pose my question to ya.

I'm having much the same problems as greyhound but I didn't want to hijack anything....

I just bought a Spotmatic IIa which seems to be having metering problems. I just put in a shiny new 387s and even with the switch up, it still doesn't seem to work. I tried the battery both ways (plus facing in and out) but haven't tweaked the silver tab or added tin foil or anything. The metering switch seems a little sticky, but does go up. Not always down, though, after the shutter is released. Don't know if this is related or not.

And though I'd *love* to send it to Eric, I'm not sure if this particular guy (the camera, not the repairman!) is worth it or not. It seems to have taken a few hits (dented metal next to the hot shoe, back cover sort of sticky, scratched up in places, etc.) I do have a k1000 that I'm eager to try out the screwmounts with (once the adapter arrives), because they are in (seemingly) good shape.

So I guess I have two questions:

a) any ideas on the meter? anything I should try before sending it to Eric?
and
b) would it be better, considering the “dented can” potential, to look for a different body to pour TLC into? I'd love to have a nice, freshly cleaned & repaired Spottie, but if this one has had a hard life, maybe it's not the one. Particularly since I *can* use the lenses with the k1000.

This all being said, I should say that I'm just a super-amateur who grew up around the k1000 and would love to learn more about film shooting. So it's not like I *need* the extra camera, but it would be nice to have a screwmount body to go with the lenses.

Ok, that was totally long-winded, sorry....I'm just really itching to try this baby out!

Thanks in advance for any help you might have!
Jennifer

01-08-2009, 08:24 PM   #2
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Hrm, you know, I don't know Spotties well in particular at all, but that sounds like it might just be a problem with the switch being gummed up or having a bit of corrosion in there and not making contact. Might not be that hard a fix, possibly. Eric does do free estimates, I bet it's the kind of thing he's seen before, since, he sounds like he's seen everything before.

I can understand preferring to put your maintenance money into one that's in better shape, too, though, of course.
01-08-2009, 09:10 PM   #3
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Thanks Ratmagiclady, I'm definitely on the fence on this one.

Is there a way to test the meter switch or the meter itself or is this a pro thing?

Also, in the other thread started by greyhound it was mentioned that the newer batteries need insulation from the battery cover. Does this mean I need to have *no* contact between the battery and cover? Should I keep the plastic ring on or off the battery? I've tried both but still not getting much. The needle wiggles a little but that's about it. I just wondered if I should try shoving tin foil, wire, etc. in there if it might just be a fit issue.

Or maybe I just need to let go and use the Force. :)
01-08-2009, 09:28 PM   #4
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Hrm, well, if the needle's moving even a little under its own power, there's probably power getting to it, at least some. Good news is, that's a sign of life, the bad news is it could be a fussier problem. I'm just not familiar with the old Spotties (most of my tinkering experience is with old Canons, and I don't even know what that battery compartment looks like.)

Gonna have to leave that to the more-veteran Pentaxians, on the battery issue. But you may as well look at that first.

01-09-2009, 12:58 AM   #5
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The IIa is more valuable than the other Spotties since it was produced in much ower numbers
It has the "magic eye" to complement a line of Honeywell Strobonar flashes.

Send it, it IS worth it
01-09-2009, 01:18 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
The IIa is more valuable than the other Spotties since it was produced in much ower numbers
It has the "magic eye" to complement a line of Honeywell Strobonar flashes.

Send it, it IS worth it
although it obviously has battle damage, I concur with titrisol, the IIa is a bit of a rare gem, and it was only produced as a 'Honeywell' badged camera. if you really want to use the Spotmatic for more than just fun with film now and again. I would suggest sending it to Eric. you have already decided the cost of film and developing is worth using the Spotmatic, so you should be contempt in having a camera that could possibly outlive you. Eric will give you a free quote on the cost of repair and send it back to you free of charge if you cant justify the cost. you can also inquire about replacement body panels if you would like it to be in a bit better cosmetic shape (though I dont know if he has many or any at all for the IIa) if this doesnt suit your fancy and you are not too attatched to the IIa (Spotmatics do that to you) you can find an Asahi SPII far cheaper and more plentiful. good luck in your decision, and if you have any other questions please feel free to ask me or you can direct them to Eric. he knows more than any of us.

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01-09-2009, 06:22 AM   #7
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+1 to titrisol and séamuis' comments. They pretty much nailed what I wanted to say.
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