Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Week #9 - The Spotmatic & Double-X

Something has to be said about Pentax.  They made a solid, well built, and brilliant camera.  It's the camera that all photographers, professional or amateur, should have in their collection.  The Spotmatic, whether it is like mine (Original 1964 SP and/or the newer SPII) or the Spotmatic F or ES or even ESII, with open aperture metering, all photographers should have one.  They are robust, solidly built, and are incredibly fine pieces of clockwork machinery!
So well built, are they, that the Spotmatic line was made well into the 1990s!  Up until it was discontinued in 1997.  Oh, but there were not Spotmatics outside of the 70s in name.  They were renamed, rebadged, and remounted as the K-1000.  Yes, the same camera!  I bet if you took a K-1000 of 1976 and a Spotmatic F you'd probably find many (if not almost all) parts nearly identical and interchangeable.  The mount was different, so the aperture control would be different as well.  But that means nothing, in honesty, as the camera's main component, the shutter, would be nearly identical.  A clockwork, and fully mechanical, 1s to 1/1000s horizontal cloth shutter with an X-Sync speed of 1/60s.  Yup, not much had changed from the Spotmatic F to the K-1000 other than the mount.

But enough about the camera, what about this film I have loaded?

A roll of Kodak Double-X film.  It's a 250ASA film that is used for cinematography.  Or, shooting 35mm movies on, as it has the Bell & Howell style perforations.  It's not a Stills Film in that sense, but lets face it, a stills film and a movie film are both the same.  The major difference is what you usually will shoot on the films.  Both are a silver-salt covered (emulsion) backing that is fed through a camera.  One has a auto-actuating shutter that fires around 1/24s constantly, while the other takes a single photo at whatever speed you set it to.  But both will render a still image onto that piece of acetate.

Well, I got this film from a buddy who sold me 3 rolls of some Kodak Lith film at .5ASA.  When developed, it will render a Positive image, instead of a negative.
Direct Positive film, talk about neat!  It's also Orthochromatic, so it is not sensitive to red light.

Anyway, enough banter.  Lets see what this Double-X film is capable of when developed in Rodinal 1+50..

Until next time.. Keep those shutters firing!


  1. I agree about the Pentax. I remember back in the 70's that some people looked down on them because they were often seen as an amateur economy camera. Looking back on it I think that was based more on prejudice than on honest appraisal of these cameras.

    1. It really is too bad. I think the big problem was that in the 70's and 80's it was all about Nikon and Canon. Much like it is today. Problem with that, though, is Pentax gets kicked under the rug and tromped upon without much thought. And honest, I cannot lie. I didn't think much about Pentax until I started using their cameras. If I could do it again, I probably would not have bought my Canon dSLR but gone with a Pentax dSLR instead. I'd get more bang for the buck, and the ability to use K-mount lenses.... Yeah, a much better purchase imho!
      Ah well, live and learn!