This is where I start jumping around in time a little. After shooting ~40 rolls of film summer 2019, I found out that on the last few rolls the camera shutter had developed a problem. I had already decided that I would start using my Olympus point & shoot, which has the same focal length lens as I’d been using, plus weighing a heck of a lot less, so it wasn’t like I was obliviously using this camera and ruining so many images; it was only the last 2 rolls of Tri-X that I shot with the camera, thank God. If you look at a lot of the exposures you can see that the right side of the frame is underexposed, to the point of being clear.
Still, it was annoying since I’ve had this exact camera serviced twice in the last couple years, but this time I think it’s my own fault. I’m extrapolating from what Sover Wong says about the Nikon F2, but seems like it might be applicable, and I’m a guilty offender: I left my shutter cocked for hours, overnight, even several days in a row. It’s a habit I have that as soon as I take a shot I’m winding for the next shot, I like to make sure I’m cocked and ready to shoot. And I never thought about burning a frame at the end of the day to let the springs inside rest, so I did this to myself. The slower shutter speeds are fine and I shot a roll of Tri-X at 1/60 back in the Fall but I’m hesitant to go above 1/125 which means outdoor shooting will be tricky. I’m smarter now than I was earlier this summer, but this has put me at a bit of a crossroads.
I sent my Pentax ESII to Eric Hendrickson a few years back but he couldn’t bring the camera into spec. My other ES has developed the same problem it had before which means I’d need to take it apart and give it a bit more valve oil. And despite giving my beloved SPII two CLAs there were still other problems that came up this Summer (outside of the 6-month warranty), namely that the film spacing is starting to become a bit erratic and the film counter has stopped working. Is my local camera tech to blame for not checking everything thoroughly, or is this just the consequence of using a nearly 50 year-old camera? Until this I’ve had no problem with the build quality of the Spotmatic and the lenses are top-notch of course. While the shutter problem would require a CLA anyway and is totally my fault, what that means is that I’m looking at another $120-150 repair. I’ve shot M42 (and this specific Spotmatic SPII) for a complete decade now and I’ve been so pleased with the Takumar lenses but with my current needs I’ve decided that it’s time to move on to a more capable camera system.