Fujica ST701 Meter Problem

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by John Irvine, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. John Irvine

    John Irvine Member

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    I have a Fujica ST701 with a meter problem. It has fresh batteries and the meter needle responds to pressing the Meter Exposure Switch. It swings up as described in the owners manual. However, changing the apperature and/or shutter speed does not move the needle. It remains in it's up position.

    Any ideas on the problem and a correction?
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Does it use stop-down metering? If it does, does the lens stop down when you activate the meter?
     
  3. maderik

    maderik Member

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  4. John Irvine

    John Irvine Member

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    I am using the manual from Butkus. The lens meters down when you press the button and when you fire the shutter. The meter needle swings upward when you press the button and stays in that position as long as you hold the button down. Changing the aperature with the button depressed does not move the needle from the up position.
     
  5. maderik

    maderik Member

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    Does the viewfinder darken (is the lens stopping down?) If so, then there is probably a short somewhere or the meter cell has failed.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Does the lens stop down when you take the picture? Could be a bad aperture mechanism in the lens. When the lens is off, does the plunger for the aperture come outward, like it is supposed to, when you press the button? Does the plunger come outward when you take a picture?
     
  7. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Likely causes:

    • Corroded or broken solder connection
    • Failed CdS cell
    • Failed ASA/Shutter speed potentiometer
     
  8. John Irvine

    John Irvine Member

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    The lens darkens in steps as you turn it down. According to the manual, there are two CdS cells. I assume they would both have to be broken to have no response.

    Does anybody know where there may be a service manual or repair manual available? It's not obvious how to get to the meter area and I don't want to end up with a pile of parts and me no longer remembering where they go.
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Ok I see, so it does stop down ok. The cells would likely need to be shorted to have the needle always go up. Did it ever work? Is the ASA set on the highest setting?

    I had a 701 back in 1973 and used it for many years. I'd consider it a $25 camera nowdays and get another to use then take this one down and try to fix it. In the end you likely will have 2 working cameras and learn enough to keep them both going a long time.

    Here are some 701 repair notes: http://www.pentax-manuals.com/fujica/fujica.htm

    Here is the 705 repair manual, it might be similar enough to get you going (see page 86 for the meter): http://www.pentax-manuals.com/fujica/manuals/st705_repair.pdf
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2010
  10. John Irvine

    John Irvine Member

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    "Did it ever work?" "It used to" so they say. It was a $25 camera with 4 lenses so it's not unexpected.

    "Is the ASA set on the highest setting? Used several in the 100 to 800 range, indoors, outdoors.

    Thanks for the manual info. I'll go get them and think about getting inside.
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Those are silicon blue cells. They have a small transistorized amplifying circuit. The cells and circuitry tend to be very reliable. It's far more likely to be corroded battery contacts or a corroded wire leading from them, or a bad meter switch. Possible also is the ASA dial mentioned earlier. Working it through its range might help if the problem is corrosion.

    Try it at different ASA settings and work the meter switch some and see if that clears it up. BTW, a CLA on that camera is not terribly expensive.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2010
  12. altair

    altair Member

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    John, I have an ST701 myself, and I believe you'll be glad to know you're not the only one experiencing the problem you mentioned. My camera does the same thing when I try to get a meter reading. Very weird and erratic. Pity because the needle is so lively, but it gives dubious readings. No matter what I do, it stays up all the time, or it just goes up a little and stay somewhere in the middle. I've tried all sorts of batteries with it, thinking I was using the wrong type. I've tried using Maxell SR936SW (silver oxide, works fine with my SPotmatic, so I assumed it'll work with the 701..no cigar), hearing aid size 675 zinc air (also a no-go) and some others. Have yet to try the Wein Cells RM400. Maybe it'll work, or maybe not. Do keep us posted on any new findings you might uncover regarding this baffling issue.
     
  13. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    It occurs to me, it could be the galvanometer (part that moves the needle) itself.
     
  14. John Irvine

    John Irvine Member

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    If you scroll up to ic-racer's post, you will find a link to thi repair manual for the very similar ST705, http://www.pentax-manuals.com/fujica...705_repair.pdf. In the troubleshooting section they list the problem "Meter needle deflects continuously". The only thing considered under this step is the Amplifier. Also all the other meter troubleshooting steps eventually lead to the amplifier. I think the amplifier is the most likely problem.

    There are diagrams and a description of how to get to it, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that.
     
  15. 20pictures

    20pictures Member

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    Check the batteries!!!

    I am renovating an ST701 for a relative & came up with this problem too. I replaced the mercury 1.3v cells with Duracell D394 1.5v & used the very good 'battery fix' guide posted here:

    http://www.pentax-manuals.com/fujica/fujica.htm

    (tip: Do remove battery cover before disassembly & line the battery chamber with waxed card cut from a juice carton)

    I discovered, to my suprise, that the batteries must be inserted in the reverse of the more obvious direction, the + being the base of the battery chamber. The meter now works fine, after tuning the amplifier as described in the guide.
     
  16. John Irvine

    John Irvine Member

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    I'm using the Wein batteries that I BH (I think it was) had. I'm still not ready to tackle the amplifier.
     
  17. altair

    altair Member

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    How long does it last, John? The meter on mine is still wonky...
     
  18. John Irvine

    John Irvine Member

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    They've been in the camera since the end of last year and will still deflect the meter. Since the meter still does not respond to changes in f stop, I can only assume they are working correctly. They look like small hearing aid batteries with a black plastic collar on them to fit the camera compartment. As I recall, they weren't as expensive as Wein cells usually are.
     
  19. cenpengenxer

    cenpengenxer Member

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    ST701 - possible "meter" fix.

    I've been using two of the tiny hearing aid batteries stacked on top of each other with a small rubber washer around each of them to "hold them in place" inside the battery compartment. After sitting idle for perhaps 25 years, it finally came back to life.

    My 701 meter went right to the top and stayed there. After much cycling with the aperture ring and shutter speeds - still no joy - until I finally "flipped" my batteries.

    I'm on my second set of batteries now in about a year. I'm using size 312 and the rubber washers were procured from Lowes that came in a blister pack of 25. My experience is that after a fresh insert, it takes a few minutes before these hearing aid batteries "come to life."

    My 701 now meters well enough that I had the confidence to shoot a few rolls of E-6 and they all were nicely exposed.
     
  20. altair

    altair Member

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    cenpengenxer: Thanks for your input. So after you've flipped your batteries, the meter worked as it should..i.e correctly? And just to clarify..you're using hearing aid batteries of the size 312?
     
  21. cenpengenxer

    cenpengenxer Member

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    Yeppers. Size 312 with a single small round rubber washer for each, stretched around the edge. Funny, I purchased and revived a second 701 between my last post and this reply. The meter on this one, I thought was wonky too, but after a bit of sleuthing - I realized the iris of the included lens wasn't closing down - giving flaky readings. Duh.

    Swapping out the lens for a known good one - the meter reads as it should.

    So sometime this weekend, I'll probably tear down that lens and try to get the aperture working again. If I can't get it working - I figure it wasn't working when I got it so...nothing lost. :smile:
     
  22. altair

    altair Member

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    Thank you. Size 312 it is then. :smile: Do you have a specific size or numbering for the round rubber washer you're using?