Honeywell Pentax SP 500

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Honeywell Pentax SP 500

Postby Niner » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:42 pm

The Pentax SP500 was part of the Spotmatic line and introduced in 1971 as a "budget" model secondary to the SP1000 model from 1971 to 1974. . There was no difference between these two early models other than the SP1000 had the top speed of 1000 clearly on the selection knob but the SP 500 only showed 500 as the top speed. However, you could increase the speed to a "no guaranteed" 1000 by advancing the knob one click further to the unnumbered space if you wanted the faster speed on the SP500. The up graded Spotmatic badged models still just went to 1000 from B but included a hot shoe...which the SP 500 didn't have, and a timer switch for delayed shots so you could get in the picture. All of these cameras used the M42 screw mount lens which were dropped by Pentax in favor of the bayonet mount lens about the time the Spotmatic line was discontinued.

This SLR has a needle light indicator, which is in my thinking a lot better than the idiot lights that came in following decades. However, the meter only works in "auto" mode with the switch on the side of the camera lens housing pushed upward. No push means no indication in the view window. There is also a selector switch on the side of the lens that by moving left or right "auto" or "manual" indications show. In "auto" it only means that no matter what aperture you select the lens is wide open for viewing although shooting at whatever aperture you select..a feature that later models were expected to have without having to do anything. Push the selector the other way and the lens is stopped down to whatever the selected aperture is so you get a depth of field view....if you are one of those people able to see the difference as the light gathering decreases with smaller apertures.

I got this camera and two lenses off of ebay recently. The 2-16 aperture 55 mm Super Takumar and a Vivatar 90-230mm zoom, 4.5-22 aperture, of the old, heavy and clunky type. Total outlay, including shipping charge, $30.

The camera had a small hitch when I got it. The mirror was sticking at slow shutter speeds. I went online and learned what was sticking and with some electrical contact spray managed to clean up the sticky gears and all was right. The battery was another problem. PX400 1.35 volt mercury batteries don't exist any longer. However, from reading online it will take a 1.5 non mercury battery of certain size and the meter isn't supposed to be affected adversely. I found such a replacement and it works....sort of. The more I shot the more it seemed to register something resembling a probable working aperture/shutter combination.

Fun to play with. It could be a good "learner". The K1000 that came out in 1976 is the universal Pentax learner camera. I learned enough to get the camera bug on one. Still have a lot of respect for that camera. It didn't have a depth of field program. But it had a hot shoe and the film speeds the same up to an included 1000th of a second shutter speed....hence....K1000. Oh..and the K1000 used the bayonet mount. The screw mount Takumar lens has a good reputation from what I read.....and from playing around today I tend to agree.

The vivitar tele lens was a bit hard to focus, but was pretty good. See the one of the girl jogging at max range from othe side of bridge. Done hand held at probably 125.
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