Pentax Spotmatic SP (Asahi)

I mentioned before that there were two cameras I was testing on the same day and I didn’t like either…this was the other one.

This is the second one of these cameras I bought. In Japan they are as common as muck and I find they are one of the easiest cameras to find in a junk bin. The first one had a mirror lock up issue, so I got this body. In the same bin as the broken spotmatic, I found two lenses that seemed perfectly fine. They would go to waste if I didn’t find a new body to test them with. They have an M42 screw lens fit so I know I can use them on another camera if they did work.

This camera was produced from 1964 and was one of the first to have through the lens metering. This was achieved by a mercury cell battery, apart from that the camera is mechanical. For this camera that detail was very important, did you see the corrosion around the battery cover? Try as I might, I could not get the cover off the camera. It was rusted and corroded solid. Therefore I used the camera in full manual mode using a light meter on my phone.

As I said at the beginning, this camera just did not rock my boat. The main reason for me was the focusing screen. I really prefer the rangefinder system of bringing two images together or the split screen. This camera has a focusing screen and it was a little dark. So I was never quite sure if it was in focus or not.

I took the camera to the fire walking festival I mentioned in the previous post. I used both lenses. I really stuck with the Ricoh at that event, so I finished the film off at my place of work and in Akihabara.

Here is my test roll, a Kentmere 400.

Well, the lenses are fine. I wonder which other cameras use that fitting??

The camera worked well too, but as I said it was not my favourite so – keep or sell? The battery issue makes me not want to sell it, I also don’t want to keep it. So drop me a message if you want it. You pay the postage and the body is yours, gratis.

Addendum: I noticed on another Pentax camera that the bottom plate was independent of any wiring, so I thought I would see if this one was the same. It was. So I took the bottom off the camera with the mirror lock up problem and put it on the camera with the battery issue. I have a few batteries lying around and after finding one that fit….Voila, worked like a charm. I now have Spotmatic that works perfectly, still not sure I like it though.

6 thoughts on “Pentax Spotmatic SP (Asahi)

  1. yashicachris says:

    You’re correct. Spotmatics are everywhere! The lenses did do quite well. I know that Fujica uses M42 and of course Yashica. Great shots as always!


  2. Toby says:

    You could try 2mm vinegar on a plate and stand it in it. Leave it for a few hours then dry it off and try again. It worked for me in the past.


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