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03-12-2009, 06:36 PM   #1
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Difference between SP and SP1000?

I have an original Honeywell Spotty, and an SP and SP1000 on their way to me from eBay. (And I don't want to TALK about the K1000 that never arrived and that I have to report.)

What's the difference between the SP and SP1000? I was able to download the manual for the 1000 (, but haven't found one for the SP, although I just started looking 5 minutes ago.

And I gotta tell you--looking at those old manuals is a TRIP! Like, acid flashback!

I understand that the 1000 has a DOF preview lever, which is a BIG deal with me. Is that the same for the SP? Or the original Spotty as long as I keep it in M?

I can't believe the energy I'm putting into learning 1975 technology--but it's

03-12-2009, 06:50 PM   #2
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The SP1000 lost the self timer. I believe that's the only difference between the Spotmatic (aka SP) and the SP1000.

Both have the exposure meter switch which also can be used as a DOF preview lever.

Btw, most Pentax M42 lenses have such a switch built in (the auto/manual switch).
03-12-2009, 08:20 PM   #3

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SP vs. SP1000

I believe that the SP1000 and SP500 were also never officially referred to as Spotmatics, even though many people today refer to them as Spotmatic SP1000. They were the Asahi Pentax SP1000, or the Honeywell Pentax SP1000.

They do not have "Spotmatic" engraved on the front. Both the SP500 and SP1000 were intended to sell for less than the flagship Spotmatic. For that reason, they were normally equipped with the 55mm, f/2.0 Super-Takumar, rather than the 50mm, f/1.4 or even the 55mm, f/1.8.

The SP500 did not have a 1/1000 second shutter speed marked on the dial. Like the H1 and H1a (S1 and S1a to the non-US), there was a click stop there, and it was, in fact a higher shutter speed, it is my understanding that the factory never bothered to calibrate it for an exact 1/1000 second and the service dept. wouldn't either.

You can find manuals for all the Pentax film cameras (at least the ones imported into the US) here:

Customer Support - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

All the manuals here are referred to by their US nomenclature. For example, the manual for the SV calls it the H3v, because that is what it was called in the US. Likewise the PZ-1 is the camera the rest of the world knew as the Z-1.

BTW, the meter/DOF switch is not used only with the lens in Manual mode. In fact, it is more useful when the lens is in Auto mode. In M mode, the lens will always stop down to the setting on the aperture ring. In A mode, the lens will stay wide open until exposure. Pushing the meter/DOF switch up turns on the meter and pushes the little pin in the back of the lens mount to stop it down to working aperture. In the Spotmatic F, the meter is always on, so the switch is JUST for DOF preview.

I have two Spotmatics, one of which I bought new in 1967. Great camera!!

Paul Noble
03-12-2009, 09:54 PM   #4
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With all the spotty talk of late, perhaps it is time for me to take mine out again.

03-13-2009, 02:50 AM   #5
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Thanks, guys!
03-13-2009, 03:17 AM   #6
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The only other bit I'd add to the accurate and concise info already given -

the SP1000 concept lived on as the K1000 in the K mount era. In both cases, the simplicity is a virtue - less gear to get fouled up, less weight to carry around.

The camera design retained the original SP looks at a time when the "top" camera's prism etc designs were evolving, to many eyes not always in a more beautiful direction.
11-02-2015, 02:14 PM   #7
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Hi there. Are you able to use lenses for the sportmatic sp for the sp1000?
11-02-2015, 05:19 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eilleyalexis Quote
Hi there. Are you able to use lenses for the sportmatic sp for the sp1000?
Welcome to the forum!

Yes both cameras have the M42 screw-mount.


11-03-2015, 02:36 PM   #9

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QuoteOriginally posted by Eilleyalexis Quote
Hi there. Are you able to use lenses for the sportmatic sp for the sp1000?
You can use them on pretty much all Pentax SLRs to the present, and many/most other SLRs (including digital) in manual modes with adaptors.
11-03-2015, 03:02 PM   #10
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For my sole screwmount body I chose the Pentax SP1000, primarily for its simplicity.

11-03-2015, 06:15 PM   #11
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The hidden 1/1000 shutter speed on both my H1a bodies is just as accurate as the SV bodies I've checked, which I'd expect, as you don't calibrate each speed. The shutter dial difference was just for marketing reasons. Likewise I believe the 55 f2 ST was identical to the 55 f1.8; just masked down a bit to explain the lower price. (This was not the case with the later K-mount 50 f2.)
11-04-2015, 02:13 PM   #12
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For good quality manuals go to
The Sp1000 is more like 1964 technology though
11-04-2015, 02:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
The Sp1000 is more like 1964 technology though
What's wrong with 1964 technology?

11-05-2015, 12:53 AM   #14
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Thanks so much! My boyfriend had a Pentax spotmatic sp and it broke so I have ordered a sp1000 to replace it - knowing nothing myself and he has many different lenses so wanted to make sure I didn't mess up and he can indeed use his lenses on the replacement I ordered.
11-09-2015, 03:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
What's wrong with 1964 technology?

Nothing that a thorough cleaning and a little lube and a trip to the chiropractor won't fix.


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