Pentax ME Super with frozen shutter. Fix?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by semi-ambivalent, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    My father-in-law recently gave me a Pentax ME Super with a Rikenon 50mm f/1.4 lens. The shutter is jammed in some fashion. Shutter is closed and the film advance won't, as if the shutter is cocked, but the shutter release does nothing in any mode I select. Does this camera have an electrically powered shutter such that dead batteries kill shutter operation? There are no batteries in it right now. What size/type does it take? (Mercury, with my luck :smile: .)
     
  2. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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  3. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    The ME Super takes a couple of LR44 or A76 batteries... they are not mercury batteries. I have a couple of ME Supers and they are a fine camera. I am not sure about the lens you have, Pentax lenses are marked Pentax SMC-M. The Rikenon is probably an after-market lens... or a Minolta lens.

    Without batteries the camera should fire at 125th of a second and it is marked on the knob that will set the camera on M (for manual) or A (aperture priority) or 125 (which is also for the flash sync).

    Good luck and have fun with the camera.
     
  4. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Electronic shutter but you have 1/125 and B with no batteries.
     
  5. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The Rikenon is a Ricoh lens.
     
  6. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Doh... I shudda remembered that!!! :blink:
     
  7. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Thanks Ian! I picked up some just now, put them in. Didn't seem to help at first but I whacked the camera on my palm a couple times and it fired. No metering and the shutter works only intermittently and the film advance often advances no matter what the shutter state is so I'm guessing it's gummed up lube. My father-in-law would never treat any camera rough enough to actually break it but he would bury it in a closet for twenty years :smile: .

    As a bonus, there was a roll of 24 exp Kodak 400 color print film in there. I just dropped that off at the local Safeway's Fujifilm drop box. Can't remember the exact name of the film on the cassette but if it has images on it that will certainly narrow down its date of entombment.

    Thanks to everyone else for their posts.

    s-a
     
  8. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Put it in manual mode - 1/125 or B, to see if it advances and shutter fires predictably. This way you'll know if it is the electronics.

    Cool to find film from sometime ago. Hope it turns out good!
     
  9. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    It’s a good idea to use the eraser on the end of a pencil to clean the contacts for the cells and then blow out the eraser crumbs.

    Equipment that has sat unused for a long time forms an insulating film of atmospheric hazing that interferes with the connection to the cells.

    Also, clean the threads between the battery cover and the mating threads on the bottom of the body. If they get covered by the same film, the current won’t flow from the cap to complete the circuit through the body.

    It might not help, but these are worth a try.
     
  10. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Here's probably the best Pentax guy in the US, and certainly the nicest and most honest-
    http://pentaxs.com/

    If you send him an email describing the behavior, he could give you some ideas what is going on and what it would take to fix it. Wonderful cameras, those ME Supers. Eric Hendrickson has the parts and skill to bring them back to life at very good prices.

    On your camera, look at the mirror. Is it down? Is there a band of gunk or smudge along the front/bottom edge? When you fire the shutter, does the mirror get stuck or slowed down at the top of its travel? The foam in these cameras turns to tar over time and makes a mess of things. The ME Super also has an internal pad that can gum things up.
     
  11. fstop

    fstop Member

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    easy to fix, hit it with a BFH and hit ebay for another one

    15 bux plus shipping you'll be back in business
     
  12. eSPhotos

    eSPhotos Member

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    Jamming of shutter mechanism of ME Super is a common problem.
    There is a good article on this issue (can't remember where but I think it's from the site called Classic Camera Repair). The jamming of shutter is generally caused by a bent steel arm in the shutter mechanism. You can get to this easily by removing the bottom plate. Don't force to cock the shutter when it's jammed - this will bend the arm more.
    Getting another is your best option.
     
  13. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Eric is very good. He'll fix it right. I sent him an ME Super that he discovered had had an amateur repair done on it, necessitating correction of the bad work (super glue was used liberally) in addition to the obvious repair. He did not charge extra. I sent him a parts camera and lens and a few Spotmatic accessories just to show my appreciation. First time I've ever done that!
     
  14. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    15 bucks will get you another ME Super with its own problems, as often as not.

    If the body is in clean shape, no dings or missing pieces or such, an overhaul by Eric will get a camera good for a long time. Known good. That'll run maybe $70? with shipping? Your call- one known solid camera, or three rolls of the dice. Now one good reason to do Ebay is to get a 'free' 50mm f1.7 SMC lens. One of the best, and often just 'thrown in' on cameras like this.
     
  15. fstop

    fstop Member

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    KEH ME BLK EX 79 DOLLARS
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    That's an ME. Auto only. No manual control.
    Eric's repair on my ME Super ran me 60 bucks.