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Thread: Pentax ME-Super

  1. #1
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Pentax ME-Super

    I just picked up a Pentax ME-Super at a roadside rummage sale. I paid $20 for it. It's got a Pentax 50mm ƒ1.7 lens.

    I looked through it and the viewfinder was clear and the lens was good but the camera didn't work. All I really wanted was the lens. I figured I could toss the camera out and I would still be getting a good deal for the lens.

    I brought it home and fussed around with it. I put a new set of batteries in it and, surprisingly it works. However, it does have one problem: When you rewind the camera the shutter doesn't always cock.

    If you flip the rewind lever quickly and let it return, the shutter will cock about 30% of the time.

    If you SLOWLY turn the rewind lever and SLOWLY let it return, the shutter will cock about 50% of the time.

    If you slowly turn the rewind lever, let the lever return about half way then gently try to cock it again, it will "catch" and the shutter will cock about 90% of the time.

    Originally, I was going to keep the lens and toss the camera but it seems to me that this could be a repairable problem. I'd love to have this as a "beater" camera that I could take with me to places where it might get dirty or damaged and I wouldn't have to worry about losing a good camera.

    If I took the base plate off the camera and carefully fiddled around inside, is there a chance for me to get this camera working correctly again?

    The way I look at it, I've got almost nothing to lose and everything to gain. Plus, I'd be able to learn a little about camera repair regardless of the way the project turned out.

    Any ideas?
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  2. #2

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    someone near me did a cla on mine
    it cost between 30-65$ and it runs like new.
    it is a great little camera!

    good luck!
    john

  3. #3

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    These might help you out-
    http://www.mypentax.com/PentaxMeSuper.html
    http://www.robertstech.com/files/me-s_sm.pdf

    There are other sites on the web describing various self-service tips for the ME Super.

    It's a great camera. I got back into film a while ago when someone gave me an ME Super. I tried an MX, a Super Program, and kept coming back to the ME Super. Finally paid for a CLA by Eric Hendrickson, figuring it was going to be my 35mm camera for a while.
    http://pentaxs.com/_wsn/page2.html

    I did open one up, and made a complete mess of it. There's some electrical connections and such to pay attention to, and some of the bumpers and foam were a bit tricky to figure out. I did get a nice pentaprism to use a paperweight!

    The 50mm f1.7 is a classic lens. Even if the camera comes up a cropper, you did well.

  4. #4
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    Rewind lever? You mean the wind lever.
    It might not be cocking, or it might not be restraining the shutter; that is, the shutter is not staying cocked and is releasing as soon as the wind lever is returned. It's not uncommon. I've heard tell it's a bent lever in the cocking mechanism, maybe from being forced at the end of a roll. I've also heard it's a problem with the shutter itself. Either way, a CLA will fix it. Eric Hendrickson did mine. It took two tries to fix it. The camera had been "serviced" by an amateur in the past, so Eric had his hands full. He's very good.
    For the 60 bucks or so it costs to do a CLA, I say send it to him. You will have a great little camera, and it will have been serviced thoroughly. If you sell it later you can get most or all of the CLA cost back.

  5. #5
    darinwc's Avatar
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    That is a common problem with the ME Supers. 2 of the 4 i owned had this problem. If you like the camera, get it properly serviced. It is an easy fix and thus wont cost too much. Save the receipt and you will easily get your money back if you resell.
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

  6. #6
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
    Rewind lever? You mean the wind lever.
    Yes. The wind lever.
    Would you settle for "frame advance?"

    I have operated the camera with the back open just to see what's going on.

    When you operate the lever you can see the shutter curtain move upward and cock and it stays cocked. The shutter does not "misfire" nor does it return to the uncocked position upon releasing the lever.

    If the camera functions properly you will hear a subtle "click" sound as you return the lever to the home position. If the camera does NOT function properly you will not hear this "click." When it malfunctions, pressing the shutter release button has no effect. It is as if you never advanced the lever in the first place except that you HAVE moved the film to the next frame.

    If you advance the lever one more time, the film will advance. If the camera keeps malfucntioning, this cycle will repeat. You have just wasted another frame of film.

    If you advance the lever and let it return about 1/2 or 2/3 of the way home then stop for a second and advance the lever one more time, you can get it to "catch" and you will hear that "click" sound. When this happens, the camera will function normally.

    I'm just wondering if there is a piece of dust or dirt inside the mechanism somewhere or if the judicious application of one or two drops of light oil from a pinpoint oil applicator will solve this problem.

    I might like to have the camera repaired but, as said above, I want to make up my mind if I like using it enough to spend the money. I was just thinking that a quick fix might get it going well enough for me to decide.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  7. #7
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    A little update:

    I cycled the camera through every shutter speed about 10 times each and it started becoming more reliable. I was able to cycle the camera about 20 times in a row without any malfunctions.

    I think I'm going to hold on to this camera.
    I'll probably be getting it cleaned too.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/



 

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