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Thread: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

  1. #21
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    Quote Originally Posted by Matus Kalisky View Post
    Shoul I understand that it is not possible to have the Pentax V overhauled by the Pentax anymore?
    -snip-

    Good question - I simply do not know anymore. A lot of the major camera brands used to have a full service depots here in Canada, but some them have been shutting down, or in other cases, certain lines of products are no longer repairable due to lack or parts.

    Not just cameras either, but mechanical watches & mechanical clocks, TVs and other electronics, heck, and so forth all seem to have no parts or in some cases, no places left you can get any repairs. We seem to live in a throw away society.

    Heck, just a couple months ago I tried to find some replacement blades for an older commercial quality food processor my wife has, only to find out that there is only *one*
    place in all of North America (that's Canada, USA and Mexico folks) that has replacement parts. Yet, the unit works great, better than new ones - but there you go.
    eta gosha maaba, aaniish gaa zhiwebiziyin ?

  2. #22
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    Quote Originally Posted by Matus Kalisky View Post
    I gues that a possibility that such a meter will need at least a calibration after a year or two would quickly equal the higher price of the Digital version.
    For what it is worth, I have a Pentax Spotmeter V and a digital. Quality Light Metric in Hollywood calibrated the analog meter years ago, right after I purchased it. It definitely had some problems, which they corrected. I used it as my primary meter for many years. Recently, I purchased a used digital and had it calibrated by Quality Light Metric. They did not have my analog meter when they did the work on the digital. They match exactly. I did not baby that analog meter, and I know I have dropped it more than once. It seems to have maintained its calibration very well.

  3. #23
    come to the dark s(l)ide..... Carsten Wolff's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    Mine has never been calibrated and never had to be, as it is always spot on, when compared to my friends recent and calibrated Pentax Digital.
    Also, wouldn't e.g. Richard Ritter still do maintenance/Zone mod. work on older Vs?

    I'm not too fussed if mine dies on me one day on a trip, or such; one can always make do with something else.
    http://www.jeffbridges.com/perception.html "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right."

  4. #24

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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    In my work in the telecommunications industry, I have long preferred analog meters to digital. I have the same preference with light meters. (Soligor II analog and Luna Pro) However, I don't feel that preference as strongly as in the past. Having no moving parts and being noticably smaller seem definite advantages to me. My next meter (someday in the distant future) will probably be digital. The Pentax is the front runner, unless the Pocket Spot should become available again.

    Meters last a very long time, both good and bad. I believe my Soligor meter cost about $120 in 1981. It has paid for itself many tomes over the years. If I were buying a meter today, I would find the extra money for a new Pentax Digital and add a zone dial.

    Ken

  5. #25

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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    2 years later ...

    After longer time using my DSLR as lightmeter and later adding the Gossen Digisix (little great meter actually) I decided that I really want to get a dedicated spotmeter - the Pentax Digital one.

    What I would like to ask is - how doe these meters age. On the used marked most sellers/buyers do not know about the age of the meter they are selling/buying so one may pay the same for meter from early 80' as well as mid 90'. Now - to me it seems to make sense to get - if possible - a later model, but still I would like to ask what is your experience - in particular in regards to material stability and calibration.

    Of course - if anybody could also add some data (age versus serial numbers) of his/hers Pentax Digital Spotmeter it would be great too - I have only 3 data points up to now:

    #114928 - early 80'
    #153899 - around 1996
    #162455 - around 2003
    Matus

  6. #26

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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    I've had mine at least 30 years (can't remember, but I bought it in late '79, or very early '80's). The serial number is 5 digits- 96xxx.
    It's been banged about, dropped, traveled around a lot... It's never been recalibrated and, based on usage, seems as accurate today as it was when purchased. I wouldn't trade it for any other meter.

  7. #27
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    Condition and calibration is more important than date of mfg. I have several of these
    digital spotmeters and they all read absolutely the same. The oldest one is downright
    beat up, and the newest one is kept in storage virtually brand new, just for checking
    the user meters, or for when I need to put it into field service. Quality Light Metric
    does a good job servicing and calibrating them. Seems that about every ten years
    they need a checkup if given hard use.

  8. #28

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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    I thought that it was about the time to put this thread in peace: I have just pulled a trigger on "like new" (8 years old, nearly unused) Minolta Spotmeter F - should arrive in a few days. It popped for a reasonable BIN. I would have probably preferred the Pentax, but one in a good condition costs more and did not cross my way. And I think I will find my way with the F
    Matus

  9. #29

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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    So as I mentioned I got the Minolta Spotmeter F and it is in really good condition and works fine. But I somehow find it a bit confusing. I am not (yet) using the more clever modes - just simply pointing at a subject and pushing a button. But it seems like the meter works in a 'shutter priority mode'. I have to set the shutter and then I get different F/stops for different part of scene. Then I have to do the math in my head (deciding on exposure based on 2 or more readings - figuring what the 'medium gray' would be and).

    I am probably spoiled by (used to) my Digisix which simply shows the EV and has the wheel with all the combinations of shutter speed and f/stop. I find that more intuitive.

    I guess it is time to really read the manual and find the best way to use this spotmeter.
    Matus

  10. #30

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    Re: Pentax Digital Spotmeter

    Hi Matus,

    I've been having Minolta spotmeter F for a few years now. The fact that it gives only the shutter priority exposure is also something I dislike most about it. I used to have a Gossen Lunasix, with nice big dial, where I could read the apperture and shutter speed combinations easily. That's why all these years I have been eyeing a Pentax spotmeter-it has an easy to read dial...however...
    There are some advantages of Minolta spotmeter F over Pentax that I cannot ignore (thus I still don't have a Pentax):

    -Spotmeter F uses a single AA battery-easy to find and I always carry some of them with me
    -Pentax spotmeters suffer with battery problem: the reading depends on the battery voltage, which changes over time. It amazes me how people keep claiming that the accuracy of Pentax spotmeter is the main reason for choosing it, when the reading can vary by 1/2 stop as the battery ages. This necessitates changing the batteries regularly (but without having an indicator to tell you when to do it). For B&W, this is actually more or less irrelevant.
    -the batteries for ALL pentax spotmeters are more difficult to find than the standard AA batteries, especially for the older models
    Spotmeter F is easy to calibrate-it has a potentiometer in battery compartment.
    -Minolta spotmeter gives you true EV reading (Pentax only for EI 100) and it stores up to 3 readings. These reading are displayed on the f-stop bar, so you can see the exposure range of your scene as you scan around. It also tells you how many stops is the read spot away from the chosen exposure (i.e. zone 5). This in a way works similarly to the analogue dial on Pentax (but not as nicely) and is very helpful when using the zone system.
    -spotmeter F is smaller and lighter than Pentax spotmeters (digital one is smaller than the older versions, but I am not sure by how much)
    -the digital Pentax spotmeter seems to have quite small dial, which may be difficult to see.

    Well, one day I will probably get a Pentax just for fun, but I cannot ignore the fact the spotmeter F works (almost) perfectly well for me (I do landscapes with 4x5 and 8x10 and regularly walk kilometers from car). I found the best way to use it is to first read the darkest spot in the scene and then press "Shadow" button. This places the darkest shadows to zone 2 and displays 2 bars at the aperture scale corresponding to the shadow reading and zone 5 (mid-grey). Then I scan the scene for the brightest spots-the viewfinder reading tells me by how many stops each spot is from zone 5. On the display I get the third bar then, corresponding to the latest reading (chosen as the brightest). If the brightest spot is more than 3-4 stops from zone 5, I take care of that during development.
    This all works great, I dare say better than a Pentax would (it cannot memorize the readings, as far as I understand). The problem is that now I have to push the buttons on spotmeter F to change to the exposure time which will give me the aperture for the desired depth of field (because the meter works in shutter-priority mode only). I am considering sticking an exposure dial on it, which would make it just right spotmeter for me.
    Joseph

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