My Canon A-1 vs. My Pentax Spotmatic (Ashi)

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by zpfriem, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. zpfriem

    zpfriem TPF Noob!

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    Hello All,

    I have recently gotten back into photography. I bought a Pentax Ashi Spotmatic that is in prime condition on ebay, but I have also acquired a Canon A-1 that is in mint condition, it used to be my girlfriends dad's and it has been passed to us. It seems to be a beautiful camera.

    I am wondering which is the better of the two, and the value of the A-1.

    Thanks for the help!

    Zach
    zachary_binx@yahoo.com
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Generally there is no quality difference in the cameras. Both are capable of producing photographs of equal or better quality than any modern 35mm equipment. There is some possible variation in quality from lens to lens, even among identical models, so it is possible that one may be slightly better than the other, although the only way to determine this will be for you to compare the images side by side.

    The Canon is a more recently produced camera and may have a better meter and some semi auto exposure modes. The Spotmatic is built like a tank and it's Super Takumar lenses are legendary glass.

    Look on Ebay to determine the value of the A-1. You will find that the used 35mm camera market is swamped, and prices are way down. Super Takumar lenses for the Spotmatic will probably be cheaper than FD lenses for the Canon, although there will probably be more lens choices for the Canon.

    My advice is to hang on to both cameras. You wouldn't get much for either, and now you'll have a back-up, or one for color and one for BW.
     
  3. zpfriem

    zpfriem TPF Noob!

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    I've actually got a few lenses on there way to me now for the spotmatic, they are as follows:

    Hanimex Pentax Screw Mount 135mm 2.8 Lens WTY
    Quantaray 28mm f2.8 lens for Pentax Spotmatic
    Takumar Pentax 80-200mm F4.5 zoom for K1000 KX LX MX ME
    and I already have a,
    Super Takumar 50mm 1:1.4

    I only have one lens for the canon as I recieved it today. :)

    Thanks for the advise, I really want to get into balck and white, any filter reccomendations that are a must have? I know that it is personal preferance and what not, but just maybe a few that i will need for taking photos in the northwest forests, black and white...

    Thanks!!
    Zach
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    That Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 is an awesome lens. I have one myself. Some have a slightly radioactive inner lens element that turns slightly yellow with age; sucks for color if you have the radioactive lens, but great for BW! It's my prefered low-light, bar band lens, and the folks think it's cool that I'm breaking out the radioactive gear for them.

    The BW filters that I mess with are:
    yellow: all purpose on sunny days, darkens blue skies
    orange: more contrast than yellow, darkens blue skies and green foliage
    red: just like orange, but more
    yellow-green: darkens skies but doesn't darken foliage as much
    green: darkens reds, lightens greens, most often used for portraits
    polarizer: darkens blue skies, reduces glare

    I would think that the pol and the yellow-green might come in handy in the woods.
     
  5. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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    :lol: :lol:

    gots some cool equipment bits there Zach btw !

    nice one fellas !..//jack
     
  6. zpfriem

    zpfriem TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the help, and the comment on the gear :)

    i went to the beach today with a polarizer on my 50mm burnt a roll of color with it and a roll of bw.

    Zach
     
  7. GimpyPoop

    GimpyPoop TPF Noob!

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    Yo,
    My boyfriend has an A-1 and he said they usually go for at least $200 if in good condition one ebay.
    Me, th eFlea
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Looking through Ebay today I did see an adapter that allows M42 lenses to fit Canon FD bodies, and another that'll let you use M42s with EOS bodies. No K lens to FD body though. You could get the M42 to FD and use the Super Takumars on the Canon.
     
  9. zpfriem

    zpfriem TPF Noob!

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    thanks for looking, i have been searching too, but i think i will take the advice that keeps representing itself, not to use adapters. thank you for looking for me :)

    Zach

    know anyone that wants this nice takumar lens for a k mount???
     
  10. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi Zach,

    I used to have a Canon A1 and four lenses (all Canon) and I can tell you it's one of the most versatile SLRs in manual focus. A few features that make it so very special, are its capability to take multiple exposures, its various modes (aperture or speed, auto program) and the way it's built. The only minor thing that I experienced with it was a broken battery compartment door, which I easily reglued with some epoxy. I do have a Pentax ME (which I never use anymore) with a Vivitar zoom on it, very good camera. Overall I like the large variety of Canon's lenses but I also like the Pentax legendary sharpness. It's hard to decide which camera is best, probably the one that suits your needs.

    In regards to a K mount to FD mount adapter, you're out of luck. They do not exist.
     
  11. zpfriem

    zpfriem TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the tip, i have given up on the lens, already have my eye on a Pentax 85-205mm f/3.8 Portrait Dual Zoom Lens, skrew mount, think this is a decent lens for a spotmatic?? I have not found a Spotmatic lens that has the capability to adjust the zoom, so I am thinking this might be a good investment.

    Zach
     
  12. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're welcome, Zach! The 85-205 lens mentioned above, it's not a Pentax, is it? I mean it's made for the Pentax screw mount but it's not a Takumar, is it? I am not aware of such lens being made by Pentax. If it's not a Pentax lens (but something like an off brand) then I would suggest going the opposite direction, focus on the Canon A1 with a Canon lens or find something for the Spotmatic that is made by Pentax. Off brand lenses are sometimes quite good but not all of them. Is the above a decent lens? Depends how you look at it. It's a great lens if is made by Pentax. If it's the 'off brand type' then it's a decent lens for the price but not a decent lens by all photographic means.

    If I were you I'd spend a few more $$ and get something that I know I won't try to get rid of in the next 6mo. to a year because it's not doing what I expected to do.

    Good luck,

    Dimitri
     

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