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What battery for Pentax SP1000?


TPF Noob!
Feb 12, 2009
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I'm new here and am trying to find the answer to a question. I have an old Pentax SP1000 that needs a battery. I can't remember where I put my manual is and want to fool around with the camera again after not having used it in a VERY long time. Does anyone know what type of battery this camera takes? I would greatly appreciate an answer.
I briefly owned an SP1000 (it was an eBay purchase, arrived in possibly the worst shape I've ever seen for a working camera, and ended up being such an expensive hassle to return that I'm a KEH man now), and I had to do a little research to figure the battery thing out. They were originally designed around mercury cell batteries, which are no longer available for fairly obvious reasons. There's no simple replacement, but you have a few options that either work fairly well with minimal effort or will be spot-on with some work on your end. This article covers it pretty well.

If I were you, I think I'd go with the 387S/E387S/395S watch battery option. Even if your meter ends up 1/3 EV off, with the exposure latitude of negative film it's a non-issue.

It's nice to see other photographers playing with old gear again. I just sold my digital SLR, and now my only (working) cameras are my Pentax (K1000) and Ricoh (KR-5 Super II, KR-10) K-mount cameras. I'll probably replace the digital down the line, but I'm having a lot more fun with the vintage stuff for the time being. This reminded me how much I want a Spotmatic- have fun with yours!
Upon further research, it turns out my eBay nightmare was an SP II. I really did like it- it made my rock-solid K1000 feel like something from Canon's Digital Rebel line. It must've weighed five pounds with the 50/1.4.
Thank you all for responding. I'll look for batteries next time I'm out. I appreciate the manual reference. Now I won't have to dig around trying to find mine.
You will have a difficult time finding batteries just anywhere... the originals are mercury batteries that are banned in the US and in most countries around the world. There are replacements alkaline versions that are slightly off voltage wise... which will slightly skew the light meter.

For Pentax collectors, photobattery is a very popular place to source the batteries. Remember, the SP1000 doesn't require the battery for anything but the meter. Many (including me) often shoot without a battery and simply use a handheld meter.

PhotoBattery.com Home Page

Wein Cell batteries are more accurate BUT they don't last long. IIRC, someone told me they start to loose capacity the minute they are exposed to air.
I'll check out the photobattery website. I have looked at 2 Radio Shacks for a recommended substitute and both were out of stock. I don't have a handheld meter and don't want to guess at the exposure since I've been out of practice for so long. I appreciate all your help. Bought my first rolls of film in a long time yesterday.

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