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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-06-2018, 12:46 PM  
Extreme newbie to all of this stuff...
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 31
Views: 1,139
My first "real" camera was a Spotmatic, of which the SP500 is a derivative. Great camera.

I suggest that you find a copy of Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure". This book explains the "triangle" of film speed/shutter speed/aperture. It is an excellent tutorial for a beginner. It not only explains how to get a technically "correct" exposure, but also when you might want to use a different "artistic" equivalent exposure.

BTW, a bit of trivia about the SP500. There was another derivative of the Spotmatic, called the SP1000. The only difference between it and the SP500 was the 1/1000 shutter speed. In reality, the SP500 has the extra shutter setting as well. The shutter speed dial has one additional, unmarked click stop past the 500 stop. That is the 1/1000. It is my understanding that the SP500 and SP1000 are identical, except for the marking on the shutter speed dial.

That said, back in the day, if you returned your SP500, saying that the 1/1000 shutter speed was not working properly, they would not "repair" it. They would for an SP1000.

Your SP500 was originally sold with a 55mm, f/2 Super Takumar lens. Pentax made several lenses in 50 or 55mm focal lengths, including the marvelous 50mm, f/1.4. This range is the so-called "normal" lens, but, as someone else pointed out, your shooting style or subject matter may mean that some other focal length will be your normal. For example, if you shoot mostly landscapes, you might prefer a 35mm or 28mm wideangle lens. If you shoot birds in flight, a 200 or 300mm lens might be more appropriate. The 50mm-ish focal length is considered normal because most people find that it most closely captures the perspective of the human eye.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-04-2018, 11:43 AM  
Legacy lens won't attach to my K-70
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 15
Views: 780
Be fair. Give the seller a chance to make things right. He may not know that it is not a Pentax mount.

If you get no satisfaction from the seller, then leave a bad review.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-23-2018, 12:19 PM  
Spotmatics are too beautiful.
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 20
Views: 1,506
When I bought my Spotmatic in 1967, neither the SP500 or SP1000 were available. I probably would have bought one, as they were a little cheaper. I think I paid $220 for my Spotmatic with 55mm/1.8 lens. I really wanted the 50/1.4, but that was another $30. When you're a high school kid making $1.10/hour, that's a lot of money.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-22-2018, 08:41 AM  
Spotmatics are too beautiful.
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 20
Views: 1,506
I have both an SV and an H1a (same as S1a), plus two Spotmatics. While I agree that the SV and H1a are good looking cameras, the Spotmatics are my favorite. To my eye, the lines are much cleaner, especially the contoured lens mount with hidden attachment screws.

The Spotmatic falls into my hands more comfortably than any camera I've ever held.

I may be biased, as one of the Spotmatics was the first high-quality camera I ever owned. I washed dishes and bussed tables all summer to save enough to buy it new, with the 55/1.8 lens, in 1967.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-22-2018, 08:30 AM  
Pop- up Flash
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 3
Views: 431
Have you got the shutter speed set faster than 1/180 sec? Pentax cameras will not fire the flash above that speed.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 03-23-2018, 03:03 PM  
Scored a Unicorn
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 47
Views: 4,564
Pentax DID have a museum, in Tokyo, I think. They closed it down a few years ago.

I don't know what happened to the collection. Perhaps, now we know.

I do know that the museum had the AP-50 one-off that they built in 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Asahi Pentax SLR. It was a bone-stock K10d, with a silver top, that had no built-in flash and was styled like the pentaprism housing on tradition Pentax film slrs.
Forum: Visitors' Center 03-23-2018, 02:53 PM  
Pentax Spotmatic SP question
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 5
Views: 817
Can you reach in and gently pry the mirror down? Sometimes, with very old cameras like the Spotmatic, the foam cushion around the focusing screen, that is there to soften the blow when the mirror flips up, can get soft and sticky. Occasionally, the mirror will stick to the foam.

If it resists coming back down, then there is probably something broken or out of adjustment inside the camera. Having this fixed, if you can't do it yourself, may be more expensive than the camera is worth.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-22-2018, 01:16 PM  
Downloading images
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 5
Views: 460
Congratulations. The K10d is a fine camera, although it is a little out of date.

As others have said, the Pentax software is not absolutely necessary.

As for transferring the photos from the camera to your computer, I do not use the USB cable on mine. I use the SD card slot on my computer. I do this for several reasons. One; I can never find the cable when I need it. Two; if you were to take your camera apart (please don't), you would see that the USB port is only attached to the motherboard by the soldered electrical connections. There is no physical strain relief. That means that it is easy to wiggle the connector enough that, over time, it breaks loose from the mb. When this happens, the cost of repair is much more ($300-400) than a K10d is worth.

Also, just a warning, the K10d only accepts SD, and SDHC cards. It does not accept SDXC cards. So, if you are tempted to spring for a new 64G or 128G card, don't waste your money. The K10d can't handle anything larger than 32G. That should be plenty. On my K10d, if I shoot in Raw+Jpeg, each image takes about 16M each (13M for raw and 3M for jpeg). That means I can get more than 500 images on an 8G card.

The last firmware update for the K10d was version 1.31. Hold the Menu key down while powering on the camera. It will flash the version currently loaded on the LCD screen for a few seconds, as it boots up. The updates are not absolutely necessary, either, but they do give additional flexibility with respect to the thumbwheels. Updates are available from Ricoh's website, along with instruction how to install it. The updates are cumulative, so if your camera is at 1.0, you do not need to load 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 before loading 1.31. Just install 1.31.

The K10d was, I think, the last Pentax to use a CCD sensor. Some people prefer the CCD's rendition of bright colors. In any case, the K10d does handle colors very nicely.

Probably the biggest shortcoming of the K10D is the high-ISO performance. While you can set the camera to ISO 1600, it gets pretty noisy, especially if the exposure is not perfect. I almost never use mine above 400.

Some might feel that 10MP is not enough, but I have blown images from mine up to 18 x 24, using 90 percent of the available image. From more than a foot or two away, they look fine.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-22-2018, 12:52 PM  
Deleting photos on K3
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 26
Views: 825
Is it possible that the read-only switch on the SD card was accidentally turned on? Windows may detect that the card is in r/o mode and not give you the option to delete.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-14-2018, 09:14 PM  
The K10D Club!
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 3,823
Views: 356,937
Finally, this one from a street vendor in Mazatlán, Mexico.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-14-2018, 09:13 PM  
The K10D Club!
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 3,823
Views: 356,937
Another one from the same trip. A merry go round in the park
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-14-2018, 09:10 PM  
The K10D Club!
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 3,823
Views: 356,937
Here is one I took in San Diego, CA, in 2008.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-14-2017, 09:25 AM  
K3 won't trigger external flash?
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 4
Views: 380
What are your camera settings? You do know that Pentax dslrs won't fire the flash if the shutter speed is set faster than 1/180, don't you?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-05-2017, 08:57 AM  
Spotmatic Battery Question.
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 16
Views: 874
Honeywell (US Only) Spotmatics did not have "SP" engraved on the top plate, as the Asahi Pentax (everywhere else) versions did. Honeywell began engraving model designations with the SL and the SP II.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12-04-2017, 01:49 PM  
Spotmatic Battery Question.
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 16
Views: 874
Its not a SP IIa. That camera had a flash sensor built into the left side (as you hold it) of the front of the camera, below and a little to the right of the rewind knob. It also had a hotshoe.

It was also clearly marked with "SP IIa" engraved on top between the prism and the rewind crank. His is clearly an ordinary Spotmatic.

My guess is that the base plate was replaced, for some reason, with one from a non-metered camera. The base plate from a Pentax SL would be a direct replacement. That camera was a Spotmatic with no meter. The base from an H or S series camera may also fit, but I'm not sure.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-20-2017, 01:46 PM  
Fast lenses and F stops
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 24
Views: 1,312
To the OP: If you're still confused about aperture sizes (f/stops), I suggest you get a copy of Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure". It explains how apertures are calculated, and how and when to use the various options.

As others have said, aperture size, among other thijngs, affects depth of field. Peterson explains the almost infinite combinations of "correct" exposure values for any situation, and then discusses which one to choose for the photographic effect you are looking for.

I've been an amateur photographer since 1967 and I still learn something from the book every time I look at it.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-06-2017, 01:18 PM  
Super Takumars on Spotmatic F
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 11
Views: 733
There are a few of the later Super Takumars that have the open-aperture couplings for use on the Spotmatic F, ES and ES II. Technically the SMC designation refers to the improved, multi-layer lens coating. It just so happened that the open-aperture metering and the SMC coatings came to market around the same time.

I suspect that the SMC coatings were not quite ready for prime time, when the SP-F was introduced. Rather than wait for the new coatings, Pentax opted to add the coupling to the ST lenses, so they would have something to put on the SP-F. Remember, at the time, Pentax was being widely criticized for sticking with stop-down metering, while most other camera makers had come up with some form of open-aperture metering.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-01-2017, 01:55 PM  
Spotmatic SP F vs F
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 6
Views: 849
I don't remember if Honeywell imported the Spotmatic F, or if it was introduced after Pentax set up their own import subsidiary.

I mention this because, in the Honeywell era, the plain old Spotmatic had no model designation engraved on the top plate, in the Honeywell version.

In the Asahi version, there was an SP engraved on the top plate. Honeywell may have carried forward the same quirk on the Spotmatic F.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-01-2017, 01:51 PM  
Super Takumars on Spotmatic F
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 11
Views: 733
Unlike the Spotmatic SP, on the Spotmatic F, that switch ONLY stops the lens down. The meter is on all the time. There is no way to turn the meter off. For that reason, a lens or body cap is imperative when the camera is not in use. Without it, the battery will almost surely be dead the next time you wish to use the camera.
Forum: Visitors' Center 09-01-2017, 12:53 PM  
Old Pentax lens on a new digital format
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 11
Views: 1,090
I especially like using the 50mm, f/1.4 Super Takumar from my Spotmatic on my K10d.

Having cut my photographic teeth on a Spotmatic, manual focusing and stop-down metering don't bother me in the slightest.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-22-2017, 02:00 PM  
Which mounting on my Spiratone TC 200mm F4.5?
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 6
Views: 527
The last picture shows the letters MIR on the adapter. Is it possible that this is a t-mount for a Miranda camera? I thought that they were bayonet, but a quick google search reveals that some early models used an M44 screw mount.

Apparently the M44 mount had a registration distance of 41.5mm, while M42 (Pentax screw mount) has a registration distance of 45.46mm. This might account for the deeper adapter.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-15-2017, 01:01 PM  
Pentax Auto 110 super
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 7
Views: 647
The only real functional difference between the Auto 110 and the Auto 110 Super, AFAIK, was that the super advanced the film with a single stroke of the lever, while the Auto 110 required two strokes.

The cameras were so simple, I'm not sure what functional differences there could possibly have been.

Now, if you really want a rare one, find one of the transparent plastic-bodied demonstration models that Pentax made back in the day. Unlike the transparent 35mm cameras that Pentax made, the clear Auto 110 was fully functional. The mirror box was opaque and the film cartridge maintained light tight-ness at the back. They show up on eBay every once in a while and sell for several hundred dollars.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 08-15-2017, 12:46 PM  
Pentax Micro 4/3 cameras.
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 50
Views: 3,750
I think he is simply alluding to the fact that 110 film used an image of 13 x 17mm, approximately the same size as 4/3. Pentax had no part in developing the 4/3 digital camera system.

For that matter, Pentax had no more involvement in the development (no pun intended) of the 110 film format than they did of the 35mm format. Kodak was, AFAIK, solely responsible for the 110 film format. It was introduced in 1972 as a follow-on product to their highly successful 126 Instamatic format.

Pentax merely developed their own Auto 110 SLR to use that film format. I remember the ads for the Auto 110. It was marketed to people who wanted a quality camera that they could carry around in a briefcase or purse.

Minolta is the only other camera maker I know of who made a 110 SLR. Were there any others?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-17-2017, 12:53 PM  
Issue with newly aquired Pentax K1000 or beginners mistake?
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 14
Views: 1,090
I had a Spotmatic that did that once. It turned out that it was definitely shutter capping, or dragging.

Since the K1000 is basically a Spotmatic with open-aperture metering and a bayonet mount, there are a lot of similarities.

The camera has two shutter gear trains. One for slow speeds (1/60 and longer) and high speeds (1/125 and shorter). The problem usually manifests itself more on the higher speeds than on the lower ones.

Its easy to test, but it requires using a roll of film. Put the camera on a tripod and take multiple shots, starting with as long an exposure as you can manage, definitely longer than 1/60 second. Take successive exposures at faster shutter speeds. You don't need to have the negatives printed (save a little money). Examine the negatives. I think you will find that the lower shutter speeds are okay, while the higher speeds get progressively worse. At high enough speeds, depending on how bad the shutter is, the negative may be completely blank, or nearly so.

BTW, as a new K1000 user, you may not be aware that the meter in a K1000 is always on. It only shuts off when a lens or body cap is used. So, a lens cap is imperative when not using the camera. Otherwise, the battery will drain.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-17-2017, 12:41 PM  
Fan made pentax dslr genealogy
Posted By noblepa
Replies: 18
Views: 1,678
I'm not sure that the K100d and K110d can be considered descendants of the K10d.

First of all, I may be mistaken, but I believe that the K100d was released first.

Secondly, the K100d and K110d did not have the electrical contacts to allow use of SDM lenses. The K10d did. The K100d Super added those contacts.

The K100d/K110d used a 6MP sensor, while the K10d is 10MP.

I don't believe that the K110d was named to avoid confusion with the K1000 film camera. The K100d and K110d were released at the same time. The K100d has shake reduction, while the K110d does not. It turns out that they couldn't give the K110d away, so Pentax has never made another camera without SR. I tried to find one on ebay, with no luck. There really aren't many of them out there.

The K110d is definitely not a descendant of the K100d. More like a sibling. They were introduced simulateously.

It is an impressive effort.
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