I got this camera from a friend who often gives me film cameras that are in a poor condition. She said, if I could fix it I could keep it. I had been looking for one as I had a yearning to try another Spotmatic since the first one I tried in Japan. Well, that was lucky. Here I am wanting to try one and I was just handed one. It was dirty and the battery cover was stuck, but it was a Spotmatic and an SP1000 which was different from the first one I tried. You can read more technical details here.
The SP1000 was produced around 1974 and is different from the original Spotmatic as it doesn’t have a self-timer. The name SP1000 denotes the highest shutter speed of 1/1000th. I remembered I had the same issue with the battery cover on the last Spotmatic I tried and knew the bottom plate was independent of any wiring. So I took it off and tried lots of things to loosen the cover. I tried freezing it, boiling it, soaking it in WD40, soaking it in vinegar, and finally drilling two holes in it to get better leverage.
Nothing I tried would budge the cover. I kept a lookout for a replacement bottom plate and battery cover on eBay. Eventually, I found a listing and ordered it.
And voila, once again the replacement brought the light meter back to life. There wasn’t really any need to go to all the bother as the camera worked very well mechanically, but if it could be fixed, it should be fixed.
Once that was done, I loaded it with the tail end of a roll of Ilford Delta 100 and went for a walk to make sure there were no light leaks and the meter was responsive. I tried two lenses, a Pentacon f2.8 135mm and a Takuma f2 55mm. Can you tell which lens shot which photo?
Yes, all working and the meter was working a treat.
One thing I did notice using the Spotmatic this time, the needle indicator for the meter goes in the opposite direction than I expected. It shows you what is needed not what you have. So if you are set to overexpose the shot the needle points to the – not the +.
In the first post I wrote that I didn’t really like that Spotmatic, well that one was written 5 years ago at the beginning of my film journey. How do I feel about it now? I love it, solid and reliable with a classic look. I do wish it had a split screen though. There are other features I didn’t mention in the first post too…
- There is an indicator next to the film advance that shows red or black, red meaning “ready to shoot” as the shutter is cocked.
- There is a switch on the side of the lens mount to turn on the light meter. That means it is not on all the time and therefore it saves your battery.
- The meter switch turns itself off after you take a shot, again, saving your battery.
I am glad I now have a working one again. This great post says every film lover should own a Spotmatic, and now I do…again.