Bought a Pentax 35mm!

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by LInuxHack3r, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. LInuxHack3r

    LInuxHack3r Member
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    Almost two decades ago my father gave me a Pentax camera. I think it was a K1000. However, it was stolen many, many years ago when the house was burglarized. I've always wanted one like it.

    Today I was at a shop and saw what I thought was a K1000. I inspected it and bought it. As soon as I got out the door I realized it as actually a Spotmatic F. Oh well. Now I'm wondering if it was even a K1000 that he gave me, they all look so similarly.

    It's in super great shape! The lens glass seems to be pristine without fungus. All functions seem to work, but it needs a battery. From my research, the DURPX625AB sold at Batteries Plus should work. I plan on picking one of those up tomorrow. I hope the metering function works accurately still.

    The mirror and prism seem to be kinda dirty. Again, I don't think any mold, just "stuff" from a camera roughly five decades old. However, I've noticed that there is a "felt" material inside lining some edges. I feel like it is there to absorb light to some extent. But the felt itself is/has disintegrated for the most part. That's leaving black specs everywhere.

    Tomorrow I plan on getting that battery. If it is sunny, I hope to place the lens and body outside in the sun (lens off the body). This is a "just in case" procedure regarding mold. Tell me if it is useless to do this. After this, then I'll take my air blower and try to get as much of those specs out.

    I hope to get some film soon. I'll probably buy a few rolls of Kodak Portra 160. It seems to be an affordable film that was pretty well liked.

    And now...pictures!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I paid ~$36.00 for it. From what I can tell, the 50mm 1.4 SMC lens on it could be worth at least that. If everything checks out and works correctly, I think I accidentally paid a good price for it (I saw accidentally because I thought it was a K1000 from the get go, and was so excited I never noticed that it wasn't until I bought it).

    I'm happy. I haven't shot film since I had that camera my Dad had given me, I was about in the fifth grade. I didn't know what I was doing then, really. I am excited to perhaps shoot a few rolls of film a year now, minimum. I think it'll be a fun exercise to compliment digital.
     
  2. Martin Rickards

    Martin Rickards Member
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    I think your'e lucky regarding batteries for the Spotmatic F as the rudimentary circuitry to an extent works independently of the voltage and the no longer available original mercury cells can be substituted by alkaline.
     
  3. pentaxuser

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    I'd say that the lens alone is definitely worth $36 provided it turns out to be in good condition.

    pentaxuser
     
  4. Hatchetman

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    Good deal. However I can almost guarantee it will not work properly due to decaying light seals. Send to this guy for an overhaul.

    http://pentaxs.com/

    Will be as good as new for like $75
     
  5. guangong

    guangong Subscriber
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    Great little cameras. Many marvelous 42mm screw mount Takumar lenses besides those of many other makers. 42mm sm was the standard mount for many slr cameras.
     
  6. Paul Howell

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    The F is the last in the line, it meters open aperture with the 2 pin 42mm mount Pentax brand lens, and not all 42mm lens are compatible. Both Mamiya and Fuji made their own version of open aperture 42mm lens with a different set of pin.
     
  7. Helios 1984

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    Congratulation on your acquisition (Welcome to the Pentax Brethren),
    If you need to replace the light seals, I recommend to contact Jon Goodman.
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member
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    You have a much better camera than the K1000.
     
  9. Helios 1984

    Helios 1984 Subscriber

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    +1
    Undeniably .
     
  10. Dennis-B

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    Wein makes a battery which will function in those cameras requiring mercury cells. It's actually a battery-sized adapter that holds a hearing aid battery. Those will provide steady voltage, although battery life is only around one year. The good part, is that the cell can be replaced within the adapter very easily.

    The alkaline batteries have somewhat erratic power curves, and toward the end of their useful life, the metering will be affected. Wein's site is:

    http://www.weincell.com/
     
  11. jtk

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    Trust the guys at Batteries Plus.
     
  12. Bill Burk

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    Any button cell battery will work, it has a bridge circuit which cancels out the effects of voltage variation.

    The lens looks good, yes worth the whole price you paid.

    Seals on the back are a big first thing to check. Jon Goodman's seal kit is a do-it-yourself option that helps keep the cost down.

    Double check the shutter functions at all speeds, my Spotmatic F "caps" at 1000 and 500, so I only use it at 250 or lower.

    You might be lucky and all speeds function. Take off the lens, open the back, look through the shutter and make sure you can see a bright full frame flash of light when you take the picture. If it's half the frame of light or something like that... My advice is just don't use that speed.
     
  13. Bill Burk

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    Also, once you get it going, don't trust the needle in the center to mean OK exposure... sometimes it means the "power" is off. At least that's how mine works. I have to make sure the needle is going up and down with changes in f/stop and shutter speed before I will trust it.
     
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    LInuxHack3r

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    Hope so! Simply looking on Ebay, it appears as if that lens may be to an extent less common that some of the other 50/55mm lenses in that mount.

    Checked out his site. Everything certainly looks cool. I was worried about seals a bit. Based on all of the "specs" on the lens/prism/etc, I too feel like there may be some issues with light leaking. Anyway to test myself at home other than shooting film and having it developed?

    I'll probably send him a message in a moment. Thanks!

    Why so? It seems that the K1000 used more plastic, I like metal when it comes to older cameras. Any other reasons in particular?

    Interesting. I'll take a look at their site. A year seems plenty to me. I doubt I'd shoot anymore than 5 rolls a year, unless I just happen to fall in love with it. For me, it is mostly nostalgic owning a working film camera.

    Already made that mistake:smile: I don't even have film for it, so no worries. But when I got it home and started messing with it, my first thought was "Oh! The meter works". Yeah...no battery inside:smile:
     
  16. Sirius Glass

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    Enjoy!!
     
  17. GRHazelton

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    As Bill Burk notes, the meter is a bridge circuit and the voltage difference between mercury and alkaline and silver oxide cells has no effect on the meter's accuracy. Any button cell which will fit is fine. Since there is no real on/off switch for the meter best to keep the lens cap on when not using the camera. The redoubtable Mike Butkus has the Pentax manual on line here: http://www.cameramanuals.org/pentax_pdf/pentax_spotmatic_f.pdf Send him a few dollars. While full aperture 42 mm screw mount lenses for other systems may not work with the Pentax Spotmatic F, virtually any 42 mm mount lens should work in stop down mode, utilizing the slide switch on the side of the lens mount.
     
  18. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    Meaning just one Pentax . . . :whistling:
     
  19. Helios 1984

    Helios 1984 Subscriber

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    An easy D.I.Y maintenance.

    K1000 was an entry level, it doesn’t have a DOF preview button or timer, and it was assembled in Hong Kong. The SP F was a top shelf camera, fully equipped, Made in Japan.
     
  20. OP
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    LInuxHack3r

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    #Accidentalwinning!

    Very glad to hear that. Before yesterday, I would have chosen the K1000 over this, simply because I had never really heard of this. Glad I didn't realize what it was before I bought it, I may not have bought it because I generally speaking do lots of research before most any purchase. I was actually a tiny bit bummed about it after I purchased it. Now I'm not!
     
  21. Sirius Glass

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    When the Pentax SP came out, I was very interested in it because of the spot meter capability.
     
  22. Dennis-B

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    The metering in the Spotmatic F was centerweighted, but not a spot metering system.

    An interesting aside - The original Spotmatic was first designed as a spot metering camera, and the Pentax marketing folks assigned the name Spotmatic, and designed advertising as such. However, the engineers changed the metering to average/centerweighted, but left the name intact..
     
  23. E. von Hoegh

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    The SP-F has a circuit using a second CDS cell and a transistor which turns the meter "off" in low light, around ev1 or so, I think it says exactly what in the manual. The lens couples to the meter with a tab that moves just outside the mounting threads, you can see it in the rear of the lens somewhere around 11 o'clock with the lens removed. This tab mates with another near 1 o'clock on the body, "Super Multicoated Takumar" and "SMC Takumar" lenses all have them. Other lenses, "Super Takumar" & other makes will work with stopdown metering.
    The meter uses a bridge circuit, which is why the needle reads in the "correct" middle location without power, it's a null meter.
    An S76 with an O-ring is an easy solution and less likely to leak than alkaline.
    Great camera. Get the seals taken care of, the crumbs can get in the shutter and then headaches ensue.
    Lots and lots and lots of great M42 lenses out there, many for a pittance. The Takumars are great lenses, as good as any and better than many.
     
  24. Eric Rose

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    Welcome to the filmaholics club.
     
  25. johnha

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    A few comments on the Spotmatic & K1000: The K1000 was basically a Spotmatic with a K lens mount, minus the self-timer and depth of field preview (or stop-down metering switch if you prefer). The rest of the body is pretty much the same, the metering is the same except it uses an LR44 battery. The first K1000s (for the first n years of production) were made in metal in Japan. Following that they were made in metal in Hong Kong, before finally being made in China with plastic top & bottom plates (slightly lighter as a result but still 'tank' like construction). The K1000 was made for 20+ years, determining early or later production can be difficult, the only real guide is, if it doesn't say AOCo or Asahi on the prism (i.e. only 'Pentax'), it's likely to be made in China with plastic top & bottom plates.

    Back to the OP, the lens is worth much more than you paid for the camera. If the camera is in reasonable condition, it will probably last forever (it's already over 40 years old).
     
  26. OP
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    LInuxHack3r

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    Got a battery. Metering seems to work as expected. I contacted Eric from the site above, he asked that I send it in after March 1 (unknown reason). I could order the stuff from Jon above and do it myself, but I think I'll simply have Eric go over the camera and make sure everything checks out. Seems like a decent service for the money, as long as no costly parts are added to the quote. From what I can tell, he seems to be the guy in the United States for Pentax cameras. That's awesome, because he literally lives and works an hour north of where I live. I wish I could go up there, meet him, and look over all his equipment. I doubt that could happen though:sad:

    I checked all the shutter speeds. It seems the shutter fully works on each setting, but of course it is impossible for me to directly check the speed of each setting. I may this week pickup some film and shoot it. Unsure what I'd do for development though. I know there are various, well respected websites that handle this sort of thing. I also know that most drugstores still allow drop-off (although, they mail it somewhere now don't they?).
     
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