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Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SP, 35mm SLR camera, 1965

The Pentax Spotmatic is a classic SLR from Asahi Kogaku, Japan. Pentax is a case where the name of the product became bigger than the company that made it, as Pentax is merely the general name applied by Asahi to it's SLRs fitted with Pentaprisms after 1957, the earlier waist level reflex view models were known by the Asahiflex name. The Pentax Spotmatic arrived in 1965 and although sharing some heritage, components and the standard Asahi Pentax 42mm lens screw mount from the earlier S1a, was a significant redesign incorporating 'Through The Lens' (TTL) metering. Originally intended as a spot metering system, hence the name, production versions actually had an averaging system derived from two CdS cells mounted either side of the viewfinder, detecting light from the focus screen after it had passed through the pentaprism. An early system without mechanical or electrical compensation for position of aperture controls and for this reason the camera needs to be stopped down to take a reading for the match needle indication, visible in the viewfinder. This is achieved with a meter switch falling to the left hand that both stops down the lens and activates the matchmeter. Despite the f/1.4 lens, the viewfinder is a little dark by modern standards. The camera comes with a delayed release and flash synch for both bulbs and electronic flash. The Spotmatic series ended in 1974.
This example was first purchased in 1968 and was generously donated by it's original owner Mr E. Walker in October 2006 along with a box of interesting Asahi accessories including bellows for extreme close up work and a Takumar 105mm lens. During its early life it spent time aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, and I was keen to obtain any photographs from this era for the gallery and I'm happy to say this is so.

Click on "this camera's pics" button, below, to see sample images.

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SP, 35mm SLR camera, 1965
Body No.1385104
Shutter, Cloth focal plane, speeds B, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500 & 1000th
Lens No.1648467, Pentax - Super Takumar, 50mm f/1.4
Condition, 6F

 

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