Pentax S3

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Drew B., Sep 23, 2007.

  1. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    does anyone know about the Pentax S3 slr....from the 70's I think. I picked up one at a yard sale today and is in relatively good shape. There are many knobs and dials and it also has a Honeywell Pentax Exposure meter thats fits on the top. Have to find out how this baby works.

    drew
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2007
  2. Bandicoot

    Bandicoot Member

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    This is the model also sold in the US as the Honeywell Pentax H3 and is very straightforward: set the shutter speed on top, the aperture on the lens, focus and click. Takes auto-aperture lenses: set the 'switch' on the lens to 'A' to allow full aperture viewing and auto stop down and re-opening, to 'M' to view at the taking aperture. At the end of the roll, push in the button on the bottom of the camera and rewind with the crank on top. There is no built in meter: the film speed ring around the re-wind crank is just there to act as a reminder of what film is loaded.

    I don't know the dates exactly, but it will be after 1957 and (almost certainly) before 1965.

    The clip on meter could be one of two types - if you want to know how to use it you'll have to tell us whether it has a round or a rectangular 'window' on top for the needle. Either way, it's pretty straightforward. I think both types take a mercury PX 625 battery.

    My good friend Chris Clarke used one of these Pentaxes with the clip on meter up till he died, and they always make me think of him.


    Peter
     
  3. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    the film speed ring around the re-wind crank is just there to act as a reminder of what film is loaded. Ok, simple enough. confused by the three different (white, green, orange) places to set the film speed (for that reminder)

    The clip on meter could be one of two types - if you want to know how to use it you'll have to tell us whether it has a round or a rectangular 'window' on top for the needle. it has a rectangular window...and all sorts of knobs but I just figured out what they are. does the shutter on the camera need to be in a certain spot when using the attached meter?

    is there anything different about how the mirror works...as it seems to lift up when you advance the film (which means you can't look though the finder to view the scene) and when releasing the shutter, the shutter fires then the mirror drops back down again (like it is supposed to)! I guess something needs to be cleaned/lubed/fixed.
     
  4. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    My oldest daughter learned about photography with a H3 and a handheld meter.

    Served her well.

    Mike
     
  5. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    "I guess something needs to be cleaned/lubed/fixed."
    yup. Lovely cameras. Very well made. I'm shooting with a Pentax SV mostly lately, which is very similar to yours (the same except mine has a self-timer and automatic film counter reset, if I remember correctly). Sticky mirrors are very common on screwmount pentaxs in my experience.

    I like to take mine out with no meter at all. :D
     
  6. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I have the H1a, which is a lot like the H3, I think. My mirror only goes up when the shutter release is pushed, so something on yours is likely not quite right. My mirror has been fine (knock on wood), but the winder doesn't always cock the shutter anymore.
     
  7. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    Here's a good (Roger Hicks) article on pre-spotmatic pentaxs:
     
  8. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    thanks all.....but two questions for anyone with a screw mount lens S3..after taking off the lens, does that small movable tab within the camera body at the bottom fit in front of or behind the small lever on the left side? also, the slip on meter: I've looked everywhere and can't find where any battery is put. any ideas?

    drew
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2007
  9. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    Heh! Not done yet! Here's an article I just came across on fixing your mirror problem:

    http://www.davidrichert.com/pentax.htm

    These things are a joy to work on if you like that sort of thing.
     
  10. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    this model seems to be in pristine condition...and I don't think there are any things sticking. the inside is mint... when releasing the shutter, the curtain and mirror work perfectly. Its just when advancing the film lever, the mirror goes up and stays. I can reach the mirror and pull it down but after letting go, it shoots back up. There must be a lever out of place....
     
  11. Bandicoot

    Bandicoot Member

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    The three colours are so you can remind yourself whether you've loaded B&W, colour neg. or colour slide (or use orange and green to distinguish between daylight and tungsten, say, or Kodak and Fuji!)

    When you attach the meter you have to turn the 'shutter speed knob' on the meter so that the spring-loaded pin underneath engages with the cutout on the camera's shutter speed dial - you can hear a click when it goes in. Then when you adjust the speed via the meter you are setting the same speed on the camera as well.

    Hold the meter shutter speed dial still while you turn the milled ring that is below it till the dot on the ring aligns with the film speed in use shown on the drum below it.

    At the back of the meter is a dial marked L OFF and H. Leave it set to OFF to save the battery, then for use set it to H in bright light or to L for use in low light. I can't remember if this meter switches aperture scales when you change from high to low range or not: if it doesn't switch scales for you, use the black scale when the switch is set to H and the red scale when it is set to L.

    The meter cell has an acceptance angle of 30 degrees, about equal to the field of view of a 50mm lens. So it is in effect an 'averaging' meter, and may need to be titled down a bit to get a reading thsat isn't too biased by the sky. Well, you know where to point a meter.

    Then you just turn the dial to the shutter speed you want, and read off the aperture against the needle. Set that aperture on the lens and you're all set. (Or vice versa.)Remember to turn the meter off again after use.

    The battery is a mercury (sorry!) PX625 button cell. In the middle of the L-OFF-H dial is a green button: press this to test the battery. If the battery is OK, the needle should point to the green mark on the scale. The battery is installed under a clip on the underside of the meter: you have to take the meter off the camera to get to it.

    That's not right, so you are correct, something needs to be cleaned/lubricated. Sorry, I don't know how to fix this particular problem, but it doesn't sound like anything too disastrous (ie. expensive) to cure.

    These old screw-mount Pentaxes are very intuitive, ergonomic cameras with a wonderful selection of lenses available. I hope you enjoy using it.


    Peter