|My Spotmatic F and a selection of lovely Takumar lenses|
While the Spotmatic F appeared in 1973 and offered full-aperture metering with the matching lenses, it was certainly behind the curve compared to Nikon and Minolta. Any M-42 lens can be used, but unless it has the additional tab for the open-aperture metering, one has to switch the metering button upward and use stop-down metering on the camera.
Despite those drawbacks, I find using the Spotmatic F to be very easy and comfortable in the hands. I recently took a series of photos around Beaver Lake as well as downtown Asheville, and the results were excellent. I have a nice series of lenses. Besides the 50mm 1.4, I have the 28mm/3.5, 35mm /3.5, and 135mm/2.5, which is a wonderful lens. All are in excellent condition, and make for a nice kit. In addition, I have other M-42 lenses, such as the Helios 44 from a Zenit 12XP.
If you are interested in trying any of the old M-42 SLRs, you can't wrong with the Spotmatic F. While there are a plethora of M-42 SLR bodies out there by Ricoh, Chinon, Praktica, Mamiya, Zenit, etc., none of them have the finish and feel of a Spotmatic.
Pentax Spotmatic Resouces:
- Jim Grey's blog
- Casual Photophile
- Adventures On Film
- Online Manual from Butkus
- History of Pentax
A few recent images...
Ilford Ortho Plus 80: