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03-13-2015, 06:42 AM   #1
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Pentax ME-F repair

Hey guys!

I just bought myself a Pentax ME-F to go with the AF lens I bought a while back. Now as it turns out it worked decently at the store, but after a day of use I've found several problems with it:

- The top plate is dented and cracked
- The bottom plate is bent
- The battery compartment hangs on with only one "tooth", the other one was presumably broken off when the bottom plate was bent
- The AF function is spotty at best.
- The focus indicator light will no longer light up.

And worst of all:
- When wound and fired it works fine. When wound again it immediately fires without me pressing the button again. Taking the lens off resets this condition.

So, since I don't have the heart to ask for a refund from the nice old guy at the store I've decided to try to repair this clunker. I've bought a for-parts camera from eBay to get the outer shell from, but I could use some guidance on how to proceed with this pretty extensive repair. I would be satisfied if I could fix the outer shell and the issues with the wind-on. Anyone have tips or a repair manual?

03-13-2015, 07:26 AM   #2
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03-13-2015, 07:35 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tip Astron! While shipping the camera to him would be prohibitively expensive, I'll see if he can give me some tips.
03-13-2015, 07:41 AM   #4
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Here's the manual for the ME Super, whose chassis the F is based on:

03-13-2015, 08:07 AM   #5
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The fires-when-wound problem is endemic to these cameras. IIRC correctly a part gets worn from excessive winding force and causes this failure. I hope you paid next to nothing for the camera, because they really are getting quite old and not worth repairing because something else will surely go wrong, especially on a camera as beat up as yours sounds. If you can find a repair manual that'd be the only cost effective way to repair it, assuming the worn part can be machined.
03-13-2015, 08:18 AM   #6
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Ah, I paid about $45 for it. Obviously a bit much. Like I said though, I got a for-parts camera off eBay for next to nothing. Hopefully the two will make one decent one, or at least be a fun learning experience.

Edit: Any idea what part it is that gets worn, causing the fires-when-wound problem?
03-13-2015, 10:10 AM   #7
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$45 is OK, is a nice piece to show.

Seems like your camera has seen better days, the battery compartment and bottom plate are the worst culprits of your troubles IMHO
The battery "door" of the MEF is a horrible design and breaks easily The good news is that in this day is easy to 3d print that

Take the bottom plate out, and check if the cables are broken, insulation lost or if they are grounding

For the misfiring, check this:
Favorite Classics > Pentax ME Super Ramblings > Three Common Failure Problems
The MEF is almost identical to the ME SUper, albeit 2-3mm longer and has an extra electronics plate for the AF module (plus the beeper)

Last edited by titrisol; 03-16-2015 at 09:17 AM.
03-13-2015, 02:32 PM   #8
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If the link of dcshooter to the ME Super Service Manual was helpful, there exists a description with 55+ (photographed) pictures of the dissambly process of the ME Super.

Long time ago, I found it on a bought CD.
If you think it would help you with the ME F, please PM me.

03-13-2015, 03:32 PM   #9
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Good to hear that there is at least one person out there, who shares my crazy idea of trying a DIY repair on a ME-F.

I got a ME-F which basically works, but has an issue: The metering would always be on, whenever the mode-dial is in the "Auto" position. You might think this is not a big deal, but it does prevent the camera from triggering the auto-focus.

In order not to destroy this beautiful item for my private museum I got another one with a stuck shutter for close to nothing from Ebay. Due to the similarity between ME Super and ME-F I started disassembling the camera using the following guides:
  • ME Super service manual (available in several places in the internet)
  • Disassembly instructions for ME Super, atrributed to Gordon Stalker (hard to find - PM me if you fail to locate it elsewhere)
  • A blog by a repair maniac (Google for "Mystery Onion's Project Spotlight - Pentax ME Super")
With the help of these 3 sources (and some more Google picture search results) I was able to reanimate the stuck shutter. However after reassembly this ME-F suffers from the same issue like my first one and on top of it, the AF indicators are dead too.



For the next 2 months I donīt seem to have any spare time for another repair attempt, but I am very curious to see the results of this thread.
03-13-2015, 06:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UMC Quote
Disassembly instructions for ME Super, atrributed to Gordon Stalker (hard to find - PM me if you fail to locate it elsewhere)
Gordon Ian Stalker used to be active on the site http://photo-net, but the last posting of him I found was from 2006. He also used to run his own site www.mypentax.com, which does not exist anymore.

You can find some references on the net, for example
pentax me super manual pdf - P(1) - Search-Document.com
But the link you will find there is leading to a site which needs to register. As I have not done so, I don't know whether the file is really there to download.
03-14-2015, 09:13 AM   #11
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pentax-manals is maintained by Kim Coxon in the UK.
He is very knowledgable and willing to help, if you email him from his website he will answer
03-16-2015, 09:21 AM   #12
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Google found this...


---------- Post added 16-03-15 at 12:26 ----------

myopentax was archived here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20110209035451/http://mypentax.com/

disassembly of the ME-Super
https://web.archive.org/web/20101205060509/http://www.mypentax.com/PentaxMeSuper.html

Last edited by titrisol; 03-16-2015 at 09:27 AM.
03-16-2015, 01:27 PM   #13
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Right, so I removed the base plate from my ME F today. Let's just say those who have an ME Super with winding issues have it easy... There's a snake's nest of wires in the ME F all soldered to a fairly complex circuit board and to wherever else they're supposed to go. I didn't see any wires that were particularly corroded and could be causing a short, but I'll look again when my spare parts camera arrives and I can actually swap out the base and top plates. Honestly though, I'm not sure this camera is suitable to be my first DIY camera repair XD
03-17-2015, 03:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tickolas Quote
Right, so I removed the base plate from my ME F today. Let's just say those who have an ME Super with winding issues have it easy... There's a snake's nest of wires in the ME F all soldered to a fairly complex circuit board and to wherever else they're supposed to go. I didn't see any wires that were particularly corroded and could be causing a short, but I'll look again when my spare parts camera arrives and I can actually swap out the base and top plates. Honestly though, I'm not sure this camera is suitable to be my first DIY camera repair XD
You are absolutely right about the base of the ME-F. However, the small flexible PCB shouldnīt bother you too much as long as your repair needs are limited to the bottom of the camera. Just make sure you take a macro photo of all the places where wires are connected. You will tear off at least one of them... ;-)

BTW, here on the forum is an older thread from an unlucky guy who did _not_ take a photo... https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/8-pentax-film-slr-discussion/266463-me-f-faulty-print.html

Last edited by UMC; 03-17-2015 at 03:25 PM.
03-21-2015, 01:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by UMC Quote
You are absolutely right about the base of the ME-F. However, the small flexible PCB shouldnīt bother you too much as long as your repair needs are limited to the bottom of the camera. Just make sure you take a macro photo of all the places where wires are connected. You will tear off at least one of them... ;-)

BTW, here on the forum is an older thread from an unlucky guy who did _not_ take a photo... https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/8-pentax-film-slr-discussion/266463-me-f-faulty-print.html
Yeah, I'm thinking about marking the wires and taking some pictures. My donor camera's waiting at the post office, so I'll probably get a chance to start the project tomorrow. We'll see if I can actually do something though. Also, for posterity as hindsight is 20/20, if anyone's planning on buying an ME F, just spend the money it costs to get a pristine one. With the broken one and the donor camera I'm already close to the more expensive ones on ebay XD
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