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04-14-2010, 11:02 PM   #1
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One day, Two Milestones

I ended up in a thrift store today, where they had this old SP500 for $10.00

Since it's my first spotty that makes it one milestone

I won't claim that it's perfect, it has a tiny ding in the bottom plate, plus this small ding in the top.

Plus no battery, so I have no way of knowing if the meter works yet. One more problem is the film advance doesn't return all the way on it's own.
There's a good chance that Eric will see this camera sometime soon.
Oh, that's just a 55mm f2 which came with it, rather yellow and a little scratched up. However well worth the $.

Here's a pic with it's soft case (also included in the price)


Can someone tell me if this emblem is normal on the cases?

I imagine that it is, however since I've never seen one I just don't know

My second milestone is this is the first time I've ever owned 10 cameras at once, breaking into the double digits



I'll buy a battery tomorrow, and if the meter works run a test roll through it. hopefully before working at the lab tomorrow night.

04-15-2010, 12:08 AM   #2
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You definitely do find some bargains, there is no doubt about that. Good luck with the test roll.
04-15-2010, 12:29 AM   #3
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I'm not sure what years that eye emblem was used but I have seen it on other spotmatic cases.
04-15-2010, 01:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by fractal Quote
You definitely do find some bargains, there is no doubt about that. Good luck with the test roll.
Thank you very much Carl
I've ended up with one dud as well, some Minolta which would get an error every second shot.

QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
I'm not sure what years that eye emblem was used but I have seen it on other spotmatic cases.
Thanks Steinback,

04-15-2010, 02:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
I'm not sure what years that eye emblem was used but I have seen it on other spotmatic cases.
I have seen that logo on my black spotmatic SP, and also on my girlfriends silver spotmatic SPII.

That's an awesome find for $10, well done
04-15-2010, 03:27 AM   #6
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Lucky you - for years I've been occasionally checking in at the local thrift stores, looking for this kind of buy. But all they ever have is "focus-free" plastic junk.
04-15-2010, 04:34 AM   #7
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Congrats on an excellent camera. The emblem is common, Asahi Pentax King of the Eye
04-15-2010, 07:56 AM   #8
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What a score for only $10 bucks!

04-15-2010, 08:37 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone,
I discovered that the mirror hangs the odd time (although only on longer exposures) so Eric will be getting it shortly after my move. I still don't mind, and feel I got a bargain.

Besides, I always wanted to send a camera to Eric, and see his magic first hand.
04-15-2010, 08:54 PM   #10
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yes the logo was used for a very long time, only very discretely. they stopped using it, I believe when they changed to the Pentax Corp. the first use that I know of was in 1958, but it could have ben in used in 1957 also. its introduction was after the 'Asahi Pentax' as the 'AP' in the eye stands for that. the first version didnt have the crown, but was quickly replaced by one with the crown in 1958. the logo was featured heavily in 1958 with the introduction of the 'Asahi Pentax K' and I have seen both versions (with and without crown) in 'K' advertisements. Maybe the crown was introduced after the 'K' as the 'K' is supposed to stand for king? I dont however, recall seeing the emblem on any 1957 'Asahi Pentax' advertisements. the magazine cover pictured above was from 1966 (two years after the release of the spotmatic)

Last edited by séamuis; 04-15-2010 at 09:07 PM.
04-15-2010, 09:52 PM   #11
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I've never used a SP500. Was it the Spotmatic version of the S1a which showed only 1/500 but had the 1/1000 as an unmarked shutter speed? Or did Asahi actually make this one with only the 1/500 speed?

Séamuis, I think you're right about the eye going away when it was changed to Pentax Corp. I know it was still in use in 1972 when I bought my SP II.

CW
04-15-2010, 10:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
I've never used a SP500. Was it the Spotmatic version of the S1a which showed only 1/500 but had the 1/1000 as an unmarked shutter speed? Or did Asahi actually make this one with only the 1/500 speed?

Séamuis, I think you're right about the eye going away when it was changed to Pentax Corp. I know it was still in use in 1972 when I bought my SP II.

CW
yes the sp500 was mechanically identical to the sp, with the 'hidden' 1/1000 shutter speed. but if I recall correctly they were introduced the same year as the SPII, so it wasnt a 'budget' SPII but a budget SP. strange since one would likely want to choose either an SP or an SPII for the hot shoe. the sp500 and sp1000 dont really make sense. the sp500 I believe was to replace the SL, and the sp1000 (1973) was to replace the sp500.

Last edited by séamuis; 04-15-2010 at 10:14 PM.
04-15-2010, 10:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote


yes the logo was used for a very long time, only very discretely. they stopped using it, I believe when they changed to the Pentax Corp. the first use that I know of was in 1958, but it could have ben in used in 1957 also. its introduction was after the 'Asahi Pentax' as the 'AP' in the eye stands for that. the first version didnt have the crown, but was quickly replaced by one with the crown in 1958. the logo was featured heavily in 1958 with the introduction of the 'Asahi Pentax K' and I have seen both versions (with and without crown) in 'K' advertisements. Maybe the crown was introduced after the 'K' as the 'K' is supposed to stand for king? I dont however, recall seeing the emblem on any 1957 'Asahi Pentax' advertisements. the magazine cover pictured above was from 1966 (two years after the release of the spotmatic)
Thanks séamuis, That is very useful and interesting information.

QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
I've never used a SP500. Was it the Spotmatic version of the S1a which showed only 1/500 but had the 1/1000 as an unmarked shutter speed? Or did Asahi actually make this one with only the 1/500 speed?

CW
It's the same the 1/1000 was just a click away.

When I send it into Eric I'm tempted to ask if he has a ding free top, although since I plan on actually using this camera I shouldn't be all that worried.
04-16-2010, 06:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
When I send it into Eric I'm tempted to ask if he has a ding free top, although since I plan on actually using this camera I shouldn't be all that worried.
Well, you always want it to look good. I just bought a SV off e-bay and it was in nice shape, no big wear on the top but the bottom almost looked like it was dragged down the highway or something. Since, I have 6 or 7 broken SV and S1a's sitting around, 4 screws and 5 minutes and my purchase looks much better.

Séamuis, you think maybe they had a bunch of 1/500 shutter speed dials left over from the S1a sitting around and just decided to use them up by making the SP500 and when they were gone, then switched it to the SP1000? Only thing I can think of that makes any marketing sense.

CW
04-16-2010, 06:48 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
Séamuis, you think maybe they had a bunch of 1/500 shutter speed dials left over from the S1a sitting around and just decided to use them up by making the SP500 and when they were gone, then switched it to the SP1000? Only thing I can think of that makes any marketing sense.

CW
no, I don't think so, because the shutter speed dial on the S1a is a different type, which includes the coupling notch for the prism mounted external meter. and the Spotmatics have the ASA dial built into it. that assertion might work with the SL, except that model goes to 1/1000. I wont attempt to understand Asahi Opticals marketing strategy, but the only thing I can think of was that they wanted to sell a budget model (to of course gain more sales) and spend the least amount of money doing it. I dont know the manufacture process, but I assume it would be cheaper to keep the shutter mechanism and everything identical and leave off the engraving for 1/1000 of a second than it would be to make physical changes to the assembly. with the removal of the self timer, they saved more money.

Last edited by séamuis; 04-16-2010 at 06:54 AM.
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