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08-17-2021, 02:40 AM   #1
schneekaffee
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Advice for shooting in 100x mode (Pentax ME)

Hi everyone!
I recently got my hands on an old Pentax ME and am currently trying to figure out how much about it is still working. I have never worked with analog photography before but this seems like a good place to get some tips for the different issues I've encountered
Main issue so far ist that the shutter (i think?) gets jammed when using the auto mode, exposing every picture for way too long. Batteries are fresh ones and I think it last for too long to be a very long exposure. (It seems to snap back closed after some minutes on its own, but I tend to switch from auto to L/100x when it happens now since that also does the trick).
Because of that, I wanted to try and shoot some pictures on the 100x setting and get them developed, to see if there are other issues as well. I haven't been able to find a lot of info on shooting with this mode though. From what I understood, it sets the exposure time to 1/100s, so the only thing still adjustable is the aperture. Does anyone have tips on what aperture to use depending on the different light conditions (and for example iso200)?
I'm also having quite some trouble loading film, since the tail keeps jumping out again, even after some turns. But maybe that's just a thing of practise^^
If anyone has some ideas for me to try, let me know!
Thanks a lot for your help, have a good day

08-17-2021, 04:55 AM   #2
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Read about the sunny 16 rule, and compensate a bit for the film (or just overexpose by one stop if using iso 200, this is not a method of utmost precision). I got the hang of it with an old camera, and it's all about identifying what aperture is required but in practice i was choosing only a few intermediate values from f2 to f16. You can use a digital camera as a meter at first to get a reading.
08-17-2021, 08:16 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by schneekaffee Quote
Hi everyone!
I recently got my hands on an old Pentax ME and am currently trying to figure out how much about it is still working. I have never worked with analog photography before but this seems like a good place to get some tips for the different issues I've encountered
Main issue so far ist that the shutter (i think?) gets jammed when using the auto mode, exposing every picture for way too long. Batteries are fresh ones and I think it last for too long to be a very long exposure. (It seems to snap back closed after some minutes on its own, but I tend to switch from auto to L/100x when it happens now since that also does the trick).
Because of that, I wanted to try and shoot some pictures on the 100x setting and get them developed, to see if there are other issues as well. I haven't been able to find a lot of info on shooting with this mode though. From what I understood, it sets the exposure time to 1/100s, so the only thing still adjustable is the aperture. Does anyone have tips on what aperture to use depending on the different light conditions (and for example iso200)?
I'm also having quite some trouble loading film, since the tail keeps jumping out again, even after some turns. But maybe that's just a thing of practise^^
If anyone has some ideas for me to try, let me know!
Thanks a lot for your help, have a good day
Welcome to the forum!

Here is a link to the ME manual:

Pentax ME Manual

Note the 100X shutter speed is the cameras flash sync speed and is used mostly when loading film or using a flash.

If you are getting long exposures in the AUTO shutter setting, make sure you are pointing the camera at a light source, have the lens mounted with the lens cap off. (That's why you load film using the 100X shutter speed)

Phil.
08-17-2021, 10:08 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
Read about the sunny 16 rule, and compensate a bit for the film (or just overexpose by one stop if using iso 200, this is not a method of utmost precision). I got the hang of it with an old camera, and it's all about identifying what aperture is required but in practice i was choosing only a few intermediate values from f2 to f16. You can use a digital camera as a meter at first to get a reading.
No manual mode on the ME


Steve

04-29-2022, 07:49 AM   #5
josef.nedstam
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Over/under

I think you can modify exposure by setting a different ISO/ASA, my simpler Pentax MV has a helper on the same knob as ASA if it's tricky to remember what's + and -. Might not help if there's something wrong with your light meter or shutter, but if you got film to try it out on?
04-29-2022, 09:06 AM   #6
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Here's a little trick for any old Pentax camera that is suffering from long/erratic exposure issues:
Unlock the ISO dial and twist it back and forth rapidly from stop to stop (minimum ISO to maximum ISO) at least 50.
Take off the lens and find the aperture cam follower lever. Move it through it's full range at least 50 times also.

Underneath these mechanisms is a coil wound resistor that is prone to oxidization. What the above exercise does is clean any corrosion off the resistor and the moving finger that operates along it by brute force scraping.
I've been able to revive more than one Pentax light meter/ exposure system using this method.
04-29-2022, 12:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
No manual mode on the ME
I think you can call setting the shutter speed to 1/100 sec, and the aperture to what you choose, a manual mode - albeit a very restricted one. The Sunny 16 rule would need to be interpreted for setting the aperture rather than the shutter speed.

However, a question to the OP : When in AUTO mode, does the camera viewfinder display what shutter speed it is supposed to use (even though it does not abide by it)? There should be a row of tiny LEDs on the left, one of which lights up to show the intended shutter speed. If this works (and seems reasonable), then turn the lens aperture until 125 is indicated (the nearest to 1/100 sec). Then change the dial to 100X, take the shot, and the exposure should be about right.

Otherwise, if the OP wants to use ISO 200 film I suggest they set the lens aperture to f22 on a sunny day, f16 if the sun goes behind a cloud, and f8 if it is full cloud. That should be enough for testing whether the camera works in other respects.

05-07-2022, 05:18 AM   #8
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It's a zombie-like thread from August... but if the OP is still around, that's good advice...

-Eric
05-07-2022, 02:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
It's a zombie-like thread from August
Oops, I hadn't noticed that.
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