Week Thirty Eight, Pentax Spotmatic SP

July 26, 2017

Week 38 – The Pentax Spotmatic 1964-1976

Why a Spotmatic? Well I wanted to challenge my ideas that the Pentax Me Super was MY perfect 35mm SLR, also Jason Avery was running a little double exposure challenge, I kind of remembered the instructions on how to do from my ME manual and though it would be the same-ish. I pulled a couple of m42 50mm lenses of the shelf so I could play. First on was a Meyer-optic Domiplan 2.8, a poor effort at looking like a zebra lens. The E. Ludwig Meritar 2.9 looked the part though!

I screwed on the Meyer first with its 49mm filter thread meaning my own set of filters were compatible and I could slip on a cokin holder to assist in the multi exposures. With an Ilford FP4 loaded I set off in earnest with a desire to shoot architecture with this lens for a few days then swap lenses for roll 2…the weather had other Ideas! It took 3 days to get half way through the roll dodging huge rain storms, I attempted 3 or 4 double exposures but really didn’t enjoy the process that much and left it at that.

I decided to switch to the Ludwig mid roll, I am sticking to my purposeful usage plan and felt nothing good could come from rushing through shots to get in 2 rolls. I found a filter and hood for it which I think is 35.5mm and set off in search of interesting building, this and the Meyer lens darken your viewer as you move the F stops up of which I am not a fan of on 35mm, The Ludwig does have a fixed roll back system that is helpful. I found both a little tricky focusing on the spot system leaving me more in favour of the Me Super split focus prism.

How did I get on, well I liked the camera overall, it didn’t come close to my Me Super though, Looking at the pictures the Ludwig was by far the more contrasty of the two lenses, the Meyer was actually very flat. I would therefore choose the Ludwig, its looks and sharpness are better too. I was very happy with my regular compositions, I had a few of the inside of my bag and also one of the street I was walking along that I didn’t know about! The double exposures! Disaster! I attempted to put my reflection in the life ring, I am there but very faint. I tried to make the railway lines run into a post-box…but no. I had little more success in reversing the lighthouse but on all I somehow advanced a half frame and fluffed it and neighbouring frames. We will gloss over those as a lesson learned not to be repeated…I shall just enjoy the nice ones!

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