On holiday in Northumberland, and needing to kill till time whilst wife and daughter were shopping, I wandered into an Antiques shop and was confronted by a Pentax Spotmatic with Takumar 50mm f/1.8. Now this is probably heresy but it was the dainty lens that I was attracted to not the camera, I know Spotmatics are legendary but I’m not a fan of cameras built like a tank however good they are… never had a Zenith either…
The little 50mm however was a different story silky smooth focusing, snappy apertures and sharp as a knife. I also thought it would be perfect for adapting to my Micro 4/3rds bodies. However, having got the Spotmatic, I thought I ought to give it at least one chance to impress. So lobbed in a roll of 11 year old Kodacolour 200 that was to hand and off we went to a 1940’s weekend at the Severn Valley Railway.
The experience was as I expected from the camera; everything worked perfectly apart from the meter. Sunny 16 was my salvation, although at the end of the day my arms were aching from the weight.
The view through the lens looked good though, and when I got the prints back I was not disappointed! I found lovely tones absolutely pin sharp results; it seemed that the 11 years had not diminished the film’s quality. Since then, although the Spotmatic has stayed on my shelf, it’s a bit to scruffy to bother selling. The Takumar has been in regular use though, and whether on film or digital, it never disappoints, giving lovely results and always being a pleasure to use.
Strangely it’s the only Takumar I own… Maybe another should be the next purchase