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04-01-2009, 05:41 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Early Spotmatic

I was fortunate enough to snag an early Spotmatic recently. I have been after and excellent copy for a long time and despite some recent hardship I managed to get an excellent copy for 59.00 shipped. It went unnoticed on eBay. I HAD to take it.

FWIW, there are subtle differences that give these early bodies away... differences include cosmetic differences in the self-timer lever, meter switch, top cover attachment method, and film counter height. There are also subtle differences in the focusing screen, lettering font, and even the strap triangle rings. The early part number was 231. The later model part number was 23102. Some appear to have these numbers on the baseplate, but not all. Serials can distinguish as well.... serials in the range 10..800 on are early, 20.1600 on are late.

The early Spotmatics were produced from July 1964 through 1965 sometime, as compared with from 1965 through 1973 for the "late" version. It is historically interesting to note that Asahi produced their millionth SLR in 1966, so the early Spotmatics belong to an earlier time frame in that regard as well.

So these are relatively rare Spotmatics, and easy to date. No later than 1965. At some point perhaps I'll post some pictures that will help those who are interested in identifying one of these...

What I am looking for is an original manual for an Early Spotmatic. There are a number of manuals and I am wondering if anyone can identify the right one for me. Never seen one. I have several later versions, but no early versions. It has to exist... Perhaps the easiest identifier is that the meter switch is half as wide as the later one. Any help would be appreciated...

woof!

04-01-2009, 07:00 PM   #2
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Good info Woof. The Pentax SL kind of fits in the middle of there and is a Spotmatic without the meter.
04-01-2009, 09:57 PM   #3
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Yes, good info. I to have a 1964 model. I halfway through a roll right now. Will post some images when done. Can you confirm something for me. From the looks of things, my meter only moves at full stops. 1/3 or 1/2 and the meter does not budge.
04-01-2009, 10:25 PM   #4
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Source for manuals

You could try here: Pentax Manuals

04-02-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rayallen Quote
You could try here: Pentax Manuals
Thanks! That's a late.

Shane
04-02-2009, 01:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
Yes, good info. I to have a 1964 model. I halfway through a roll right now. Will post some images when done. Can you confirm something for me. From the looks of things, my meter only moves at full stops. 1/3 or 1/2 and the meter does not budge.
There is something wrong with that. I'll confirm from home. Theoretically, you should be able to do infinitely fine adjustment using a preset lens.

I'll confirm when I get home.

Seaain
04-03-2009, 07:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by woof Quote
There is something wrong with that. I'll confirm from home. Theoretically, you should be able to do infinitely fine adjustment using a preset lens.

I'll confirm when I get home.

Seaain
I agree - first thing to check, with the meter/stop down on: look through the lens from the front and see if the aperture indeed is closing/opening in 1/2 or 1/3 stops. In fact the Spottie meter bracket is a good way to quickly see the 'compensation' you're applying to the metering by the relation of the needle to it.
04-03-2009, 09:22 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I agree - first thing to check, with the meter/stop down on: look through the lens from the front and see if the aperture indeed is closing/opening in 1/2 or 1/3 stops. In fact the Spottie meter bracket is a good way to quickly see the 'compensation' you're applying to the metering by the relation of the needle to it.
Right... what Nesster is saying is that the needle moves in relation to the amount of light hitting the meter. If the lens mechanically is not working in those increments, that would account for the situation.

In short, there is no direct mechanical coupling between the aperture ring and the meter... except for the amount of light hitting the meter. And that's not a coupling.

I forgot to verify this, but really don't have to. There is something definitely up with this. I'll write back tonight.

woof

04-03-2009, 09:41 AM   #9
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I have a late model SP #3775877. I would love to see photos of this early example. do these differences more closely match the S series, or just different in a unique way compared to later spotmatics?
04-03-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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Woof -- I would also like o see a photo of that camera. Where do you find a serial number database to determine model?
04-03-2009, 03:23 PM   #11
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My Spotmatic has a serial # of 2551239 guess that makes mine a late bloomer also. I too would like to see a photo of your older model. These are some well built cameras.
04-03-2009, 04:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I have a late model SP #3775877. I would love to see photos of this early example. do these differences more closely match the S series, or just different in a unique way compared to later spotmatics?
OK, I'll take some meaningful photos. The differences are cosmetic. Nothing at all different really as in difference between S Series and Spotmatic. These are Spotmatics.

The meter switch is half as wide; there is a screw on the right side of the top, just below the winder, on the side. Hard to explain. The counter cap is taller. The font of the lettering on the front is slightly different. The self timer lever is slightly different looking... the pips are arranged differently... The dead giveaway is the meter switch.

Honestly, none of the differences amount to a hill of beans other than that they are identifiable as being made in the '64-'65 timeframe and that they are therefore a scarce series.
04-03-2009, 05:28 PM   #13
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Early vs. Late Honeywell Pentax Spotmatics

Early Serial - note the slight difference in the size of the numbers here... also, the style. Compare the number "4s"...



Late Serial -



Early vs. Late Meter Switch - this is the quick and easy identification. This is how I saw it on eBay.

Early...



Late...



Early vs. Late Top Right attachment Point (or lack thereof)

Early...



Late...



Early vs. Late FIlm Counter Height - Note the early one really is a little taller

Early...



Late...



Early vs. Late Font - similar to numbers, the font is subtly different. This is most manifest in the "O" which is round in one case and slab sided in the other. Actually in "real" life it is clear that the Honeywell font is slightly lighter... less bold.

Early...



Late...



There are other differences. As I said, the potions of the indentations on the timer lever, etc. Also, on the old ones the D-rings are shaped like the AOHC logo - kind of a triangle with "clipped" corners. I need to find some of those. There are internal details as well.

Sorry I missed those details, but this should be sufficient for a quick and easy identification. The chief quick and obvious ones are the meter switch and the screw on the right side - top.

Let me know your thoughts.

Seaain

Last edited by woof; 04-03-2009 at 05:40 PM.
04-03-2009, 06:56 PM   #14
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The photos didn't come through. "Content Protected by Owner".
04-03-2009, 07:21 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote
The photos didn't come through. "Content Protected by Owner".
Sorry. Fixed.

woof!
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