NOTE: I'll begin this experience report with a brief disclaimer. It's been less than two years since I've returned to shooting 35mm film after switching to digital photography over 20 years ago. I've inundated myself in as much film education as I could find between web articles and advice from experienced film shooters. But, with my former experience way in the past and limited recent experience, this review is coming from a relative novice point of view.
UPDATE 13 April 2020: Hamish Gill of 35mmc suggested that I may have a faulty shutter. In March I had the camera CLA'd (Clean, Lube and Adjust) by Eric Hendrickson. Soon, I'll shoot another roll of film to see the difference.
This roll of film is the second roll of Ilford HP5 Plus 400 that I developed with The Darkroom. This roll was shot on my Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II and Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 lens.
For me, using the Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II camera was more challenging than using the Pentax P3. The Pentax P3 has a shutter priority mode, and my unit has a working light meter. When I shot using the Pentax P3 camera, I set the shutter speed to 1/250s, and the camera adjusted the aperture as needed. However, while the Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II has a working light meter, the plastic to move the lever broke and the rest of the camera settings have to be set manually. I had to use the Sunny 16 technique to estimate the shutter speed and lens combinations to properly expose each shot. The Sunny 16 technique is something I only learned about quite recently. I practised a little at home.
I took the camera with me to the client office, at Old Slip about a block from Wall Street, in Manhattan and captured some images during my lunch hour. I walked around Front Street, Gouverneur Lane, and South Street. The rain was light which made for a challenging walk. I was concerned about the camera getting wet so I walked across South Street and under FDR Drive along the East River Esplanade. It's an area I have explored with my Fujifilm X-T2 last year and even then shooting mostly with an Ilford HP5 Plus 400 film recipe.
Photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organisation of forms which give that event its proper expression.Henri Cartier-Bresson
I expected all my images to be severely under or overexposed. The shutter speed of the Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II is limited to 1/1000s, but fortunately, it was a rainy overcast (and cold) day in Manhattan. The images are only slight over or underexposed, but I'm pleased with the results. Plus, I feel a sense of pride that I was able to use this old camera. I want to get a small, handheld light meter to make metering easier. Given the limitation of shutter speed, I have purchased a roll of ADOX Scala 100 for use in brighter conditions.
The images were developed and scanned by The Darkroom.