|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.
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