Pentax Spotmatic (History trivia)

Discussion in 'Photography' started by philo , May 19, 2013.

  1. philo 

    philo  Guest

    I still have my Spotmatic that I bought in 1970.


    For some reason I decided to look it up and saw that it was named such
    as it had been designed to make use of a "spot" light meter.

    Just prior to production, due to the inability to get spot-metering
    working properly, the metering was changed to "average".

    However, the name stuck.
     
    philo , May 19, 2013
    #1
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  2. philo 

    Savageduck Guest

    My 1966 vintage Spotmatic is long gone, but my 1976 K1000 still lives.
    < https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1295663/FileChute/K1000.jpg >
     
    Savageduck, May 19, 2013
    #2
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  3. Basically correct, although it was a marketing decision, not an
    engineering one. test users had too much trouble with the spot meter.

    At the time, I pored through the documentation trying to figure out
    what they were talking about; the distributors rep didn't know.
     
    Scott Schuckert, May 20, 2013
    #3
  4. philo 

    philo  Guest



    Interesting.

    I do recall that when I got mine, though I was a complete novice, the
    idea of "spot" metering would not have been hard to understand.

    I was aware that the meter took an average reading and soon learned to
    compensate if the subject was in brighter light than the surroundings.

    We called it "out-guessing" the meter.
     
    philo , May 21, 2013
    #4
  5. philo 

    philo  Guest

    philo , May 21, 2013
    #5
  6. philo 

    Savageduck Guest

    The faux leather "cardboard" case didn't stand up to the test of time.
    It was sort of disappointing to discover that the closest it had even
    been to leather was my belt.
     
    Savageduck, May 21, 2013
    #6
  7. philo 

    Mort Guest


    Hi,

    My trusty Olympus OM-4 and OM-4T film cameras have the ability to take
    up to 5 spot readings per frame, and then average them. This is very
    helpful, e.g. with someone with light skin and dark clothing, or vice
    versa. One can, for example, take 1 spot reading from the clothing and
    then 2 or 3 from the face, so that the best exposure is gotten for the
    most important area. I wish that my digital camera could do that.

    Mort Linder
     
    Mort, May 25, 2013
    #7
  8. philo 

    Guest Guest

    My trusty Olympus OM-4 and OM-4T film cameras have the ability to take
    up to 5 spot readings per frame, and then average them. This is very
    helpful, e.g. with someone with light skin and dark clothing, or vice
    versa. One can, for example, take 1 spot reading from the clothing and
    then 2 or 3 from the face, so that the best exposure is gotten for the
    most important area. I wish that my digital camera could do that.[/QUOTE]

    actually 8 readings.

    that camera had the absolute best implementation of spot metering ever.
    it's unfortunate that no other camera did anything close to it.

    you could also mark any spot reading as shadow or highlight and it
    adjusted it accordingly. i don't remember what it used for the
    adjustment but you could always take a second reading so it had more of
    an effect or take another 'normal' spot to reduce it.
     
    Guest, May 25, 2013
    #8
  9. It can, and it does, called matrix metering (or similar).
    However, it won't allow you to choose the spots it is
    metering, so it's less helpful for the experienced
    photographer.

    You can still spot meter by hand and average in your brain,
    but that's somehow less comfortable.

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, May 25, 2013
    #9
  10. philo 

    Robert Coe Guest

    : philo wrote:
    : > I still have my Spotmatic that I bought in 1970.
    : >
    : >
    : > For some reason I decided to look it up and saw that it was named such
    : > as it had been designed to make use of a "spot" light meter.
    : >
    : > Just prior to production, due to the inability to get spot-metering
    : > working properly, the metering was changed to "average".
    : >
    : > However, the name stuck.
    :
    :
    : Hi,
    :
    : My trusty Olympus OM-4 and OM-4T film cameras have the ability to take
    : up to 5 spot readings per frame, and then average them. This is very
    : helpful, e.g. with someone with light skin and dark clothing, or vice
    : versa. One can, for example, take 1 spot reading from the clothing and
    : then 2 or 3 from the face, so that the best exposure is gotten for the
    : most important area. I wish that my digital camera could do that.

    To a portrait or landscape photographer, I guess that could be a useful
    feature. For an event photographer to take multiple readings like that would
    seem to be out of the question. The most I can manage on a shot-by-shot basis
    is an occasional switch between evaluative and center-weighted averaging (and
    then hope that I remember which I'm using). And if you're not going to apply
    the technique on a shot-by-shot basis, the payoff from the extra work is
    illusory, isn't it?

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Jun 2, 2013
    #10
  11. philo 

    Alan Browne Guest

    A sop for those who don't understand how to expose extremes.

    You DO NOT WANT TO AVERAGE exposures, you want to expose the film
    correctly according to its type and according to the scene.

    Thusly:

    Negative film: spot meter the dark area you want to have detail in the
    image at about 2 - 3 stops under the middle. The high end latitude of
    negative film will take care of the highlights without issue.

    Positive film: spot meter the highlights (where you want to have detail)
    and set that at 2 (maybe 2.5) stops above the middle. Positive film has
    much narrower latitude than negative - there won't be as much shadow detail.

    Digital: Same as positive - set at 2.5 (experiment with your camera).
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 2, 2013
    #11
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