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11-07-2009, 08:22 PM   #1
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Spotmatic SP meter

I've got a Spotmatic SP with an odd meter. When the meter is off, the needle sits lower than centered. It also indicates a stop overexposed with the needle centered, at least according to what I've seen so far.

Now, I just read in a period book (the Revised Fifth Edition of Pentax and Single Lens Photography by Robert Fuhring) that Spotmatics available since mid-1966 are built such that the needle remains lower than the centered position when the meter is off, exactly how mine does (and it came with a manual copyrighted July 1969). But if that's the case, shouldn't it still meter properly? Mine indicates a stop over with the needle centered.

So, long question short, do I have a Spotmatic with a mis-adjusted meter, or is that how it's supposed to be?

11-07-2009, 08:30 PM   #2
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How are you checking the meter? With an external meter, evaluation from developed film, or sunny 16? If you are having film developed by a lab which lab and are you certain its not them.
11-07-2009, 09:25 PM   #3
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On my Spotmatic, which I purchased new in 1967, the needle sits below center when the meter is off. It is about the same point as a one-stop underexposure, when the meter is on.

The meter on mine has always been pretty accurate, as far as I can tell. I don't use it much, since I got a K10D dslr, but when I did use it, I mostly shot color print film, which has a latitude of 1-2 stops in either direction, so the meter doesn't have to be terribly accurate.
11-08-2009, 07:46 AM   #4
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I've checked it against my KX (CLA'd by Eric last year), ES, and an external meter. Negatives from the Spotmatic when I shot it indicating one stop under looked fine. I suppose I just had to ask someone else to really answer it for myself.

Guess I'll be sending the SP to Eric too...

11-09-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
I've checked it against my KX (CLA'd by Eric last year), ES, and an external meter. Negatives from the Spotmatic when I shot it indicating one stop under looked fine. I suppose I just had to ask someone else to really answer it for myself.

Guess I'll be sending the SP to Eric too...
One nice thing about non-DX cameras: you can lie to them about the film speed. If your SP is consistently overexposing by one stop, just set the film speed to twice the actual value. That will underexpose by one stop, compensating for the camera's overexposure.

OTOH, I'm sure that sending it to Eric will result in a good-as-new camera, with accurate shutter speeds, new seals and no dust in the viewfinder.
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