Spotmatic lightmeter

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by elmariachi, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. elmariachi

    elmariachi Member

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    My Spotmatic was working fine and then, after two days without use, the lightmeter isn't working right. I thought that maybe I had left the switch on so it drained the battery, but switching to a new one didn't help. With or without lens gives the same result: when push the switch the needle moves slightly up and comes down slowly, never reaching even the middle... what could have gone wrong?
     
  2. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    What ASA and shutter speed have you set? It takes a long time for a battery to drain on a Spotmatic. But it sounds like no battery connection or maybe, just maybe you are at an ASA Shutter Speed combination where the meter doesn't work.
     
  3. elmariachi

    elmariachi Member

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    It's set to 100, but I tried all different sorts of ASA/Speed combination and the result is the same. What intrigues me is that the camera didn't fall or as hit or anything! It just stayed put in the shelf.
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I tend to go along with Bill, corrosion or bad contacts would be the first guess.
    If you have cleaned the spring contact, did you also clean the inside of the battery cap?
    There is another contact under the battery compartment too. If you take the baseplate off, it's right there. The only loose part will be the washer around the rewind button. clean the contact and bottom of the battery holder.

    You may also have gotten a couple of bad batteries. Do you have or can you borrow a real battery tester? Every Radio Shack has one or two that they use to check customers batteries.
    Drop in, they're usually helpful.
     
  5. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Try setting the speed dial to B, and ASA to 100 and then push the meter switch. If the needle rapidly drops in the viewfinder, the meter battery is allright; if it does not, replace the battery.
     
  6. elmariachi

    elmariachi Member

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    It seems to be an on-and-off thing.. sometimes the meter works, sometimes it doesn't. I cleaned every contact, so may it's something in the switch or even the photocell itself?
     
  7. BobD

    BobD Member

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    The meter switch is high on the list of possible causes. They do break.
     
  8. jochen

    jochen Member

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    Hello,
    under the time wheel there is a resistor for transmitting the chosen time to the meter which can corrode with time resulting in a bad conductivity, spotties are well over 40 years old! Turn the time wheel and the ISO setting several times clockwise and counterclockwise over all positions. Maybe the resistance and contact will be better.
     
  9. elmariachi

    elmariachi Member

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    Only thing that sporadicly works is tapping the bottom of the camera... sometimes it makes the needle move and the lightmeter stays working for some time, then it dies again. Tapping the bottom of the camera doesn't sound like a textbook fix to me lol

    If only sending it to Eric (www.pentaxs.com) wasn't so expensive (100$ for the full service, since I live in Portugal)... Anyone know someone on par to him in Europe?