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08-07-2020, 09:04 PM - 5 Likes   #1
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Pentax Spotmatic CLA and repair by Garry's Camera in Illinois

Just got my Spotmatic back from it's first CLA (clean, lubricate and adjust) in 50 years. Garry's Camera, Buffalo Grove, IL (Garry's Camera Repair) did their standard CLA, including light seal replacement, shutter adjustment and lubrication, and also fixed a loose strap lug and the meter switch that didn't always turn off after each shot. About to do a test roll, and start using my 11 M42 mount lenses again.

I had previously sent my ZX-5N to Garry's, with a stuck shutter and return mirror stuck half way up. I thought it was a lost cause, a victim of the dreaded mirror motor gear issue with the ZX line. However, Garry said he might be able to fix it. And he did, and that camera is good as new, just for the charge of the CLA. That's why I decided to trust him with my Spotmatic, a camera I got when I was 13 (in 1970).

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08-07-2020, 09:26 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Lookin Good!
08-08-2020, 01:41 AM - 1 Like   #3
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What a beauty!
Good to last for another couple decades...
08-08-2020, 07:22 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Beautiful! Ready for at least 50 more years!

08-08-2020, 08:08 AM - 1 Like   #5
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It is good to see there are still camera repair shops that are able to perform a CLA on these legendary Spotmatic's.
08-08-2020, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
Just got my Spotmatic back from it's first CLA (clean, lubricate and adjust) in 50 years. Garry's Camera, Buffalo Grove, IL (Garry's Camera Repair) did their standard CLA, including light seal replacement, shutter adjustment and lubrication, and also fixed a loose strap lug and the meter switch that didn't always turn off after each shot. About to do a test roll, and start using my 11 M42 mount lenses again.

I had previously sent my ZX-5N to Garry's, with a stuck shutter and return mirror stuck half way up. I thought it was a lost cause, a victim of the dreaded mirror motor gear issue with the ZX line. However, Garry said he might be able to fix it. And he did, and that camera is good as new, just for the charge of the CLA. That's why I decided to trust him with my Spotmatic, a camera I got when I was 13 (in 1970).
nice!
08-09-2020, 09:17 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I've sent him two cameras, both old Minolta 35mm's, and he fixed both; one with blown capacitors(X-370) and one for a complete CLA(SRT201). Quick service and more than reasonable prices.
08-10-2020, 08:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by joelbolden Quote
I've sent him two cameras, both old Minolta 35mm's, and he fixed both; one with blown capacitors(X-370) and one for a complete CLA(SRT201). Quick service and more than reasonable prices.
I agree.

Just developed, scanned and uploaded a test roll in the Spotmatic - everything is working fine. I put in a new silver-oxide cell and the meter is quite accurate. I've been using the H-B battery adapter on it for several years, it replaces the original battery door and includes a circuit to drop the battery's 1.5V output to 1.35V to match the old mercury cells. Some folks I know question the need for this, because of a bridge circuit in the camera that can handle the different voltage. Still, I'm not sure that my Spotmatic, which is one of the earliest Spotmatic models, has that, so I got the H-B as soon as I couldn't buy mercury cells any longer.

Besides saving me the tedious job of replacing light seals and mirror bumpers, Garry also fixed the two minor issues (strap lug and meter switch) and both are just fine now. I had good communication with him by email, and he only took a couple days to complete the work after he received the camera. I had him delay shipping it back since I was away from home, but all worked out as planned.

I do have some scratches and abrasions on the chrome, which you can see in the picture. Do you think I should try to remove them with some metal polish? I'm a little concerned that might make it look worse.

Here is a shot from my test roll, HP5 at 800 in HC110B, with the Super Tak 55/1.8. Here is a link to the whole roll.

Pentax Spotmatic (1964), HP5 at 800, HC110B, after CLA | Flickr

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08-10-2020, 10:09 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
I do have some scratches and abrasions on the chrome, which you can see in the picture. Do you think I should try to remove them with some metal polish? I'm a little concerned that might make it look worse.
Hello,

Be careful with the metal polish. You may end up removing the metal plating causing severe brassing.

I caused this years ago with metal polish trying to get every tiny scratch out.


Thanks,
Ismael

Last edited by ismaelg; 08-10-2020 at 11:33 AM.
08-10-2020, 10:49 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
Hello,

Be careful with the metal polish. You may end up removing the metal plating causing severe brassing.

I caused this with metal polish trying to get every tiny scratch out.


Thanks,
Ismael
Ah, yes, I was afraid that might happen. Thanks for the example! Perhaps I'll just leave them be. Both the camera and I have picked up some scratches and other defects over the last 50 years, some cannot be remedied. We both still do our jobs.
08-10-2020, 11:39 AM - 1 Like   #11
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You can actually clean them with a mild detergent or something like Isopropyl alcohol or non acetone nail polish remover to minimize their appearance. Use a Q tip barely soaked in it. You don't want to flood it.

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08-23-2020, 11:18 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Something thats worked well for me recently on some cameras has been a product called ‘Barkeepers Friend’ its a mild abrasive so go easy and dont go mad with it but it really did clean up a silver finish camera, worked a charm at brining up the lettering on a shutter speed dial and cleaned up some plastic parts very well. The soft plastics on some camera tops and bases it tended to dull the finish a bit as its quite aggressive but they still look better than they did at the start. On chrome finish metal camera parts it works well.
08-24-2020, 05:44 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astro-Baby Quote
Something thats worked well for me recently on some cameras has been a product called ‘Barkeepers Friend’ its a mild abrasive so go easy and dont go mad with it but it really did clean up a silver finish camera, worked a charm at brining up the lettering on a shutter speed dial and cleaned up some plastic parts very well. The soft plastics on some camera tops and bases it tended to dull the finish a bit as its quite aggressive but they still look better than they did at the start. On chrome finish metal camera parts it works well.
Thanks, I'll look into that. I have some old bodies that probably aren't worth repairing, I can test on those first.
08-26-2020, 03:02 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I found it worked well on metal finish, bringing up white markings on various bits of kit plus I had a black Minolta series with a plastic base plate. Like the Canon AE1, Minolta went plastic with a brass undercoat. Unfortunately the black top coat had bubbled up badly on the base and it jusg looked horrible. I sanded down the black a bit to key it, gave it a shot of spray gloss enamel and when dry gave it some vigourous rubbing with bar keepers friend to dull the gloss a bit to match the rest of the camera. You would be hard put now to know that it ahd been repainted.

Dont go mad with it, a little goes a long way and as with any finishing compund do a test area first to make sure its nit going to be toxic. I gave a Chinon CE5 base a wipe with IPA and it took the color right out of the plastic.
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