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12-28-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
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Double Exposure with Pentax ME

Time 5:50 PM. Temp -8 C. Picture Ruined? Noobness set to max.

Today was my first ever attempt at a double-exposure, I am using my Pentax ME with the 1:4/200mm lens. Any help with this double-barrel question would be greatly appreciated.

Its cold outside, so I set-up my camera for a multiple exposure as per the manual in my apartment before going up to rooftop.

Method: Tighten film by turning the rewind lever with the direction of the arrow until tight (about 1 turn). While holding lever, I depress the button on bottom of camera body. Cock the shutter by advancing the lever (completely... I think). Release kung-fu grip.

Went up to rooftop, set up tripod and shot, attached cable release... depressed cable... and... nothing.

So I went into the rooftop pool area where it is warm and enables lens fogging, great.

I repeat the process (tighten, button, advance)... I notice the advance lever can go just a little further before being ready (about 1/8th of an "advancing"). I ensure it is fully advanced!

Go back to roof, set-up again, depress cable... and... nothing.

This time I consider there might be a time-constraint to take the next exposure??? Is this possible?

So I work quickly and go through the process again... again, this mysterious 1/8th of an advancing is possible??? I know I went all the way last time. I set up everything real quick (tighten, button, advance), depress the cable... shutter opens and the shot is finally taken.

Why did I have such a hassle? I am confused?

Second Barrel: For anyone experienced in this, does the film move at all? In other words, if I shoot the same shot twice, will it look like camera shake or will areas overlap perfectly (presuming the camera does not budge at all in the process)?

Incidentally: First exposure was a cityline, the second that I struggled with was the moon.

Thanks for any help you all can offer: "I am a new Pentax-Forum using"


12-28-2011, 05:49 PM   #2
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I'm not seeing the pics- but on a side note, was the ME even designed for double exposures? I know that on the LX the frame count dial moves backwards together with the film when you're rewinding.

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12-28-2011, 06:51 PM   #3
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Hey Adam,

Thanks for the reply.

I have not added a pic, since I just took the shot and it is presently in camera.

The ME is designed for multiple exposures, its indicate in the manual.

Also, I think the shot did eventually work, although the second frame is likely offset. I just don't know why taking my time to set-up the shot after cocking the shutter should cause the shutter to "slightly uncock"... its weird.

12-28-2011, 07:57 PM   #4
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It has been many years (and tears) from when I played with this on my ME super. From what I remember it was almost impossible to not get at least a little film movement. The best bet was to use the last frame when the film could not move. You may see this in the film movement indicator. The problem with that was you did not usually get a full frame for the last shot. If you have the lens cover on the last shots then (you will not be using all the film as some will be blank) then the last shot will be a full frame with no movement. From what I also remember if the camera is fully cocked if you let the film lever all the way back you should not be able to film until you trip the shutter. If you let it back and try again it is not cocked if you feel it trying to pull more film. It was bet to do this kind of thing when registration was not critical. Even if you get no film movement you will still get camera movement.


12-29-2011, 10:21 PM   #5

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I never owned a manual for my ME Super, but I used the same trick (I thought it was my invention, with a Agfa Silette II back in 1962). The task is, to prevent the film advance lever doing the second of its two duties: to cock the shutter AND to advance the film in one go.

To do this, you start with the shutter cocked, ready to shoot. Before taking the first exposure, you should tighten the film a bit (not too much!) by using the rewind lever WITHOUT pressing the release button. Shoot the first picture. Before taking the second picture, cock the shutter without transporting the film - you do so by using the film advance lever, and AT THE SAME TIME fixing the rewind lever AND KEEPING the release button pressed. Then shoot the second exposure. After that, the film advance mechanism probably is still un-connected, and may engage only half way during the next transport. To make sure not to produce overlapping pictures with the next exposure (because the film may have moved only by half a picture), it is better to set the shutter to flash, put on a lens cap, and and make one additional empty frame.

Often, because of film tension, there will be a small offset between the double (or triple, quadruple,... ) exposures.

This trick should work with most cameras for 135 film cardridges - not only with Pentax, and not only with SLRs.

If - in absence of the resistance of the film transport - the shutter will not be correctly cocked, your camera may need CLA, Old grease mixed with dust or a worn out hook at the film advance lever mechanism can cause this. With the ME Super (and I think, also with the ME/MV/MG) this is a common issue - specially when they have not been used for a very long time.

Last edited by RKKS08; 12-29-2011 at 10:36 PM.
12-31-2011, 01:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by David-C Quote
The ME is designed for multiple exposures, its indicate in the manual.
Hi Dave. You indicate that the manual states the ME is designed for multiple exposures. What is the procedure in the manual to use this function?
01-01-2012, 12:02 AM   #7
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The manual indicates the following:
1) Tighten film with rewind knob, and continue holding it until the shutter is cocked
2) Depress the film rewind button
3) Advance the rapid-wind lever
4) Release shutter for second exposure
5) Waste next frame with a blank.

Just in case anyone else has a Pentax ME, but has no manual, it can be found here:

I just got my film developed today, I was excited to post my multiple exposures, be it for better or worse. Unfortunately, they are horrendous failures and not even worth posting.

Issues turned out to be:
1) Partial advancing of the film
2) Sometimes, complete advancing of the film for the second exposure. I believe this may be due to advancing the shutter lever (AKA "rapid-wind lever") after pressing the "rewind button", but not continuing to hold the rewind button while doing so. Im not sure though.
3) One frame did successfully plant several exposures on top of one another: however, for this test I was trying to take a frame of my couch with me sitting in various spots on the couch. As such, I also needed the common elements of each exposure to align up perfectly. They did not. There was subtle movement of the film. I believe it could have been subtle movement of the camera, however I "used kid gloves" during the procedure and the camera was on a tripod. Incidentally, for this attempt I taped down the rewind lever with scotch-tape after I tightened the film. This lever will turn anytime the film does, so I figured It would hold the film in place a bit better.

Has anyone ever considered a method of securing a small piece of film inside the camera, as though it were a single frame for a large-format camera? Im not sure how I would makeshift this? Possibly just cut a piece from a roll, put it in the camera in a dark place and then stick some foam or cardboard or something to jam it up against the door? I wouldn't want to impede the operation of or damage the shutter though... Also, I wouldn't know how to transport this rinky-dink piece of film to the lab.

DAZ>> I think your last frame technique might prove to be the best possible method. Thanks.

RKKS08>> I think you were right about HOLDING THE BUTTON while advancing the shutter lever. As I don't have any other trouble with my camera body, I think the reason I had that "extra slack" may have been because of the "film tightening process". Once you let go of that lever I think it will slack off again in a short time.

I bought a new roll, will try again.

On a bit of an aside, does anyone know if the Pentax LX performs double exposures better? One day, I was thinking this might be a nice body to step-up-to.
01-01-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
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I did not get good results with multiple exposures until I started with digital. You may want to work in digital (if you can) to work out some things before using a lot of film.


01-07-2012, 11:10 PM   #9
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Hi Dave

I took some double exposures 20 odd years ago with an MEF. Same procedure you described. As far as I remember they were ok. I remember one was of my wife's face superimposed on a clock face, done hand held.

I don't think it can be guaranteed that the film won't move a bit, so it may be a bit of hit miss for precise alignment of subjects.

01-08-2012, 08:05 AM   #10
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I am not sure about the ME. The ME super did them just fine using the process you described except I always took up the film before the first exposure. While holding the rewind lever and the button with opposing fingers I just advanced the lever with the other hand. I never paid any attention to counter so I can not say whether it advanced or not. I assume it did.

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