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01-07-2013, 06:05 PM   #1
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ME Super: Slow Mirror Reflex

Hi all,

Recently purchased an ME Super body off of ebay to take advantage of the automated shutter speed, allowing for a little more spontaneity while shooting compared to my MX.

Camera seems to be in good order and functioning well apart from a slow mirror reflex, particularly after being left idle for an hour or more. After searching the forums I found an old thread suggesting it is mostly likely down to ageing lubricant and an in-depth guide on ME repair was posted. This guide looks hugely comprehensive and is for the most part beyond me even to the extent of finding the parts/mechanism in question.
Though it has been met with some serious nay-saying I have seen several posts outlining the same problem being solved by spraying WD40 into the relevant part of the body and hoping for the best! (given that a service on this type of body is not financially viable; Quoted 60).

So... Any possible solutions other than WD40 would be welcome and also any interpretation of the manual as to the relevant location of my troubles. However considering my repair experience (nil) I envisage the WD40 to be my only realistic option besides taking the camera apart for a bit of an adventure and ruining it in the process .

Hope this doesn't seem too suicidal. Any help appreciated.

Ed.

01-07-2013, 08:13 PM   #2
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The problem of the mirror not returning quickly enough may not be the ageing lubricant at all but deteriorating foam bumpers around the mirror box. Take the lens off and reach inside the mirror box and try touching the foam bumpers with a toothpick or a tongue depressor. If the foam is at all soft and sticky, it's time to replace the foam bumpers. My Pentax 645 body had deteriorating foam seals and the mirror would be very slow to return - since replacing the seals the mirror returns as it should.
01-07-2013, 08:36 PM   #3
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Sorry I didn't actually specify the movement issue that well in the OP. It is the initial upward movement of the mirror prior to the shutters firing which is lagging. The lag become less pronounced if you take several photos in sequence, and after 2 or 3 it is no longer noticeable... this is what made me think it was something to do with a seizing mechanism.
01-07-2013, 10:39 PM   #4
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A friend gave me a ME Super with the same issue. I have yet to research the problem but I hope someone has an idea how to fix it. I'm not sure if WD40 is the best solution, though.

01-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
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If there are any repair gurus out there: I would love to know the section of the manual (posted above) detailing the mechanism or even for the relevant parts to be pointed out on one of the exploded diagrams.

I am leaning away from any sort of repair on this camera as for all intents and purposes it works and may even get better with time. But if I come across an old non functioning pentax film SLR in the future I'll buy a spanner set and learn some knowledge from it.
01-08-2013, 12:27 PM   #6
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Camera might need to be calibrated.

Home - Eric will help you out for sure!
10-17-2015, 03:53 AM   #7
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Hello

I have recently got a Pentax Me Super with the same problem explained above. Do you think it is a lube issue? Any ideas?
10-18-2015, 10:30 AM   #8
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Before you started playing with lube, you may want to check the condition of the mirror damper foam (at front edge of focus screen to provide a landing pad at the leading edge of the mirror). If it is sticky, it can slow mirror return. You will also want to check the condition of the foam light seals around the film door. Use a toothpick or fine wood splint to determine if they are sticky, hardened, or crumbly.

Replacement of the foams is part of a standard CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust) as is lubrication and diagnosis of problems. A CLA will likely cost about what you paid for the camera. You can also replace the foams yourself. I strongly recommend the kit sold by Jon Goodman. Should you opt to attempt the repair/lube yourself, here are a few links:

Pentax ME Super Service Manual at pentax-manuals.com (Document password is "Pentax".)

Micro-Tools (camera repair tools and supplies)
This one is particularly important since the cross-point screws used are NOT Phillips head. They are JIS and require appropriate JIS screwdrivers.

Good luck!


Steve

10-18-2015, 11:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Before you started playing with lube, you may want to check the condition of the mirror damper foam (at front edge of focus screen to provide a landing pad at the leading edge of the mirror). If it is sticky, it can slow mirror return. You will also want to check the condition of the foam light seals around the film door. Use a toothpick or fine wood splint to determine if they are sticky, hardened, or crumbly.

Replacement of the foams is part of a standard CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust) as is lubrication and diagnosis of problems. A CLA will likely cost about what you paid for the camera. You can also replace the foams yourself. I strongly recommend the kit sold by Jon Goodman. Should you opt to attempt the repair/lube yourself, here are a few links:

Pentax ME Super Service Manual at pentax-manuals.com (Document password is "Pentax".)

Micro-Tools (camera repair tools and supplies)
This one is particularly important since the cross-point screws used are NOT Phillips head. They are JIS and require appropriate JIS screwdrivers.

Good luck!


Steve
Many thanks, Steve, for your very wise recommendations. Indeed I have checked the seals and they seem fine. The upper foam where the mirror hits inside the lightbox is also in good condition and the mirror return is not a problem at all. However, the problem occurs as following: when I press the shutter, there is a short yet noticeable lag before the mirror goes up. The shutter works properly and the speeds seem correct too. After that, the mirror returns to its position with no trouble. If I shoot again, there is no lag at all. The lag only occurs after the camera is idle for 1 h or more. The problem is the mirror going up, not going down. Some users have pointed out a lub issue. Do you have any idea about this?

The camera seems overall in good condition, except for this mirror thing and also for the back door, which seems to show some wobble when it is closed. It is a 1mm movement which makes me think that some light could get access inside the film box. I know that I should check it with a film and see by myself. Did you ever see something like this before? any ideas to fix it?
10-18-2015, 11:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This one is particularly important since the cross-point screws used are NOT Phillips head. They are JIS and require appropriate JIS screwdrivers.
concur. I have Hoznan JIS drivers and am still surprised that MAC and Snap-On do not sell them.
10-18-2015, 11:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rodaballo Quote
and also for the back door, which seems to show some wobble when it is closed.
It is hard to say. If there is any slack in the film door, it is usually taken up by the foam seals. A trial with film will show for sure.


Steve
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