asahi Pentax sp500

Discussion in 'Photography' started by jessicacrowley92, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Is my asahi pentax sp 500 a 35mm camera?
    This number is on it: 3219071
    I believe the lens is 55mm but I don't know if that's what the camera is... any info is appreciated..
    jessicacrowley92, Jan 10, 2014
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  2. I would also like to know what the difference is between a 35mm camera and a 50mm camera. Camera, not lens.
    jessicacrowley92, Jan 10, 2014
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  3. jessicacrowley92

    philo  Guest

    If a camera is called a "35mm camera" that referrers to the film size.
    It could be fitted with a 35mm lens. (Which would be mildly wide angle)

    50mm would be a common lens size but there are many lenses that would
    fit a 35m camera
    philo , Jan 10, 2014
  4. Awesome. Thank you.
    jessicacrowley92, Jan 10, 2014
  5. jessicacrowley92

    Tony Cooper Guest

    Your camera is a Pentax Spotmatic 35mm camera made between 1964 and
    1976. It is a film camera that took 35mm film. The lens is a 55mm
    lens. It was a budget 35mm film camera in its day, but a decent

    If it hasn't been used for some time, there's a good chance the
    battery is dead or dead and corroded. If the battery compartment is
    badly corroded, the camera is not salvageable. Certainly, at this
    point, you would not want to spend any money on repairing the camera.
    In your other post, you asked about a 50mm camera. I think someone
    has mentioned a 50mm *lens*, not a 50mm *camera*, and you've
    misunderstood. The 50mm and 55mm lenses were the common everyday
    lenses for 35mm film cameras.

    You won't be able to measure your lens to know what it is. The 50 or
    55mm number has to do with the focal length of the lens when it is
    focused on infinity.

    The 35mm number is the approximate width of the film, including the
    perforated edges, the camera took. The actual frame size is 36mm x
    24mm. The reason it is called 35mm film goes back to George Eastman
    and Thomas Edison and what they wanted in a film size. Things changed
    over time.

    If you are taking a class that requires a film camera, you have a
    decent camera if there's no battery problem. If you want to use a
    camera for current family photos, buy a digital camera.
    Tony Cooper, Jan 10, 2014
  6. jessicacrowley92

    Savageduck Guest

    Yup! I had a Spotmatic back in the early 60's. Then sometime in the
    early 70's I got a K1000 which I still own, and which functions as it
    did when I first bought it. Both the Spotmatic and the K1000 had the
    same "Normal" Pentax 50mm lens.

    < >
    Savageduck, Jan 10, 2014
  7. It is for a class that required a 35 mm camera. The battery compartment is in perfect shape, but I'll have to buy a new battery. luckily, my dad somewhat collects cameras, so he already had this one. Thank you so much for your information.
    jessicacrowley92, Jan 10, 2014
  8. jessicacrowley92

    philo  Guest

    My first 35mm was also an Asahi Spotmatic. Bought it in 1970 and still
    own it. Great camera. The only thing the battery does is run the light the camera will still function if the light meter does not
    work. I had to get the solar cell replaced once...the one on the camera
    may or may not be good.
    philo , Jan 11, 2014
  9. jessicacrowley92

    Savageduck Guest

    The big difference between the Spotmatic and the "K" series was the
    screw mount vs the K mount lenses. Other than the mount the glass was
    pretty much the same.
    Savageduck, Jan 11, 2014
  10. jessicacrowley92

    PeterN Guest

    There is always this:
    PeterN, Jan 11, 2014
  11. jessicacrowley92

    Savageduck Guest

    That is Asahi Beer USA, so it should really be Honeywell Beer for US marketing.
    The big advantage of that Asahi product, is not having to worry about,
    metering, focus, and film. Consume enough an it won't matter that it
    isn't a camera. ;-)
    Savageduck, Jan 11, 2014
  12. jessicacrowley92

    PeterN Guest

    As you consume it, the girl at the end of the bar gets better looking.
    Consume enough and you lose focus. ;-)
    PeterN, Jan 11, 2014
  13. jessicacrowley92

    Mike Trainor Guest

    Would not really call it a 'budget' camera!

    I believe that is the first full aperture TTL metering camera.
    Prior to that, the viewfinders darkened if you stopped down
    while metering.

    I think that Canon FTb (follow up to the FT) was the first
    Canon to have full aperture TTL. And, of course the
    Nikon F2.

    Perhaps, the Spotmatic would only the a budget camera
    compared to the F2, which was pretty much a 'professionals
    only' camera those days.

    Mike Trainor, Jan 14, 2014
  14. jessicacrowley92

    Tony Cooper Guest

    There were several variations of the Pentax Spotmatic. The SP500 did
    not include some features found on other models in the Spotmatic
    family. It is the SP500, not the Spotmatic group, that was a budget
    Tony Cooper, Jan 14, 2014
  15. jessicacrowley92

    Mort Guest

    While early movie film was 35mm. in width, I believe that Ernst Leitz
    with the first Leica built the first serial production still camera that
    used this film, but with the sideways double frame format = 24x36 mm. =
    1 x 1.5". This evolved from a single frame test camera to test the Leica

    Mort Linder
    Mort, Jan 14, 2014
  16. jessicacrowley92

    Mort Guest

    Not only did the Asahi pentax invent the auto stopdown diaphragm , they
    also experimented with a built-in spotmeter, which led to the Spotmatic
    name, even though the spot meter did not work out and was not used.

    Mort Linder
    Mort, Jan 14, 2014
  17. jessicacrowley92

    Tony Dragon Guest

    This might be the one I had in the 60's.
    Was it the one where you set the exposure value on a separate ring &
    this locked the shutter speeds to the f number?
    Tony Dragon, Jan 26, 2014
  18. jessicacrowley92

    Savageduck Guest

    Pentax used an integral shutter speed + ASA rating knob.
    The shutter speed is adjusted by turning the knob (B to 1/1000 sec.).
    The ASA, or film rating is set by pulling the outer ring of the knob
    up, and then turning to set the appropriate film speed (20-3200 ASA). I
    used quite a lot of Tri-X at 400 ASA.
    < >
    Savageduck, Jan 27, 2014
  19. jessicacrowley92

    Ian Guest

    Hello folks.

    I think that it used stopped-down metering and not full aperture metering. and
    also say it has stopped-down metering.

    I have a memory of selling clip-on meters for Pentax SLRs in the 1960s - see
    I wonder if the Spotmatic (including the SP500) was an early user of TTL
    metering albeit in stopped-down mode?
    Ah yes -
    says that the 1964 Spotmatic was one of the first SLRs to use TTL metering.

    When I worked in retail photography we would not have called any Pentax a
    "budget" camera. That accolade belonged to the likes of Practica, Miranda
    and Zenit/Zenith (and I refer to the selling prices and not necessarily to
    their performance).

    Regards, Ian.
    Ian, Jan 27, 2014
  20. jessicacrowley92

    Savageduck Guest

    My first Pentax SLR (pre-Spotmatic) had a prism mounted meter. It was
    not TTL, and all adjustment was manual. I replaced it with a K1000
    which I still own.
    Savageduck, Jan 27, 2014
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