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01-21-2016, 02:52 PM   #1
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ME Super

Hello everyone,
recently, I have recovered my grand dads camera. I decided to buy two rolls of bw film (ilford pan 100 and fomapan creative professional 200). When I was shooting I noticed a strange thing, the shutter was fired only on every second shot. It just did nothing in the other cases - the shutter did not have any "resistance". Also, only every second frame of the film were exposed, the rest was blank. The film was developed by renowned photolab, so the issue should not be caused by lab mistake.

The second roll was even better. Everything was blank with the exception of the last picture, but the shutter could have been fired at every try, unlike the first roll. I thought, that I had spooled the film unproperly, but that seems unlikely, the rewinding knob moved and the last frame of the film was ok.

Also, when I look into the camera (lens removed, back open) I can see the mirror move up and down and the opening and falling aperture.

Soo, I have no idea, what can be wrong with the camera, everything seems fine.

Thank you for advice and pardon my English.

---------- Post added 01-21-16 at 03:02 PM ----------

Sorry, there was supposed to be shutter instead of aperture. Just the thing which opens and closes as you expose the picture, not sure about the proper name in English.

01-21-2016, 03:05 PM   #2
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That's strange indeed. I assume it has been sitting around for a long time. How is the battery?
01-21-2016, 03:24 PM   #3
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This has nothing to do with the battery, it is one of the well known issues with the Pentax ME series cameras. If you are a very skilled DIYer with knowledge in soldering and fine mechanical assembly, you might want to google for "ME super ramblings". This should get you a load of advices, description of symptoms and DIY hints.
01-21-2016, 03:30 PM   #4
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Yes, I agree with UMC.
Sad to say many ME series cameras have shutter cocking issues. To make those cameras so small, the corresponding parts were quite thin and prone to wear. There used to be a standard part to replace in the wind/cocking mechanism to solve this problem most of the time.
Of course, those parts are no longer available.

01-21-2016, 03:32 PM   #5
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Well, the batteries are new, only a few weeks old.

I would not consider myself a very skilled DIYer =D. My plan is to replace the mirror foam and look into the shutter mechanism.

Well, when there is no film, there seems to be no problem at all. Is the rapid wind lever supposed to be movable if the shutter was not released? Because I can pull the rapid wind lever many times in a row without releasing the shutter. The tension kind of a lowers, but it has a certain resistance.
01-21-2016, 03:33 PM   #6
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Ouch, this looks bad, if there are no parts available...

---------- Post added 01-21-16 at 03:38 PM ----------

I looked up the me super ramblings and I cannot find exactly my issue... It does not look like any of the issues described
01-21-2016, 03:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sarkhan Quote
Well, the batteries are new, only a few weeks old.

I would not consider myself a very skilled DIYer =D. My plan is to replace the mirror foam and look into the shutter mechanism.

Well, when there is no film, there seems to be no problem at all. Is the rapid wind lever supposed to be movable if the shutter was not released? Because I can pull the rapid wind lever many times in a row without releasing the shutter. The tension kind of a lowers, but it has a certain resistance.
No the lever should only move once to advance the film and cock the shutter. The problem seems to be in the shutter cocking mechanism. Your advancing the film but the shutter is only randomly cocking.
01-21-2016, 11:37 PM   #8
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Technically, the shutter is cocked, the mirror box is the problem. Same result though. When you push the shutter button to take a picture, you fire the mirror box and a lever on the mirror box fires the shutter when the mirror moves up far enough.

01-22-2016, 03:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sarkhan Quote
Hello everyone,
recently, I have recovered my grand dads camera. I decided to buy two rolls of bw film (ilford pan 100 and fomapan creative professional 200). When I was shooting I noticed a strange thing, the shutter was fired only on every second shot. It just did nothing in the other cases - the shutter did not have any "resistance". Also, only every second frame of the film were exposed, the rest was blank. The film was developed by renowned photolab, so the issue should not be caused by lab mistake.

The second roll was even better. Everything was blank with the exception of the last picture, but the shutter could have been fired at every try, unlike the first roll. I thought, that I had spooled the film unproperly, but that seems unlikely, the rewinding knob moved and the last frame of the film was ok.

Also, when I look into the camera (lens removed, back open) I can see the mirror move up and down and the opening and falling aperture.

Soo, I have no idea, what can be wrong with the camera, everything seems fine.

Thank you for advice and pardon my English.

---------- Post added 01-21-16 at 03:02 PM ----------

Sorry, there was supposed to be shutter instead of aperture. Just the thing which opens and closes as you expose the picture, not sure about the proper name in English.
Hello Sarkhan,
As others have pointed out, the ME Super and similar cameras (MG) can suffer from this problem. You may find this article informative: Favorite Classics > Pentax ME Super Ramblings

I had a similar problem with two cameras, one an ME Super, the other an MG.
With the ME Super I sent if off for servicing from Eric Hendrickson here in the US. His service made everything very sweet again.

With the MG, the shutter would fail intermittently to fire, as you described. Once it fired it would fire again successfuly without problems IF I did not leave the camera unused for more than a couple of days. However, after a couple of days the camera would go back to its faulty operating condition. After various experiments I fixed the problem, and VERY SIMPLY. I left the shutter cocked for about a week or so, without operating the camera during that period. Now the problem has disappeared completely. It seem that leaving the shutter cocked must somehow rectify things internally.
I hope this helps. It is certainly worth a try. Leaving the shutter cocked will not harm the camera in any way, according to a Pentax technician I spoke with.
01-23-2016, 10:40 AM   #10
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Thank you for answer Pentaxis,

I will definitely try this, hopefully it will fix everything. Thanks for the info about Eric, when everything fails, I will pack the camera and send it to him. The problem is, that it is a very long distance from my country, so it is going to be very costly. I have tried to look into the body, I have resetted the shutter mechanism and have examined the tab under the rapid wind lever. It seems to be OK though.
01-23-2016, 11:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sarkhan Quote
Thank you for answer Pentaxis,

I will definitely try this, hopefully it will fix everything. Thanks for the info about Eric, when everything fails, I will pack the camera and send it to him. The problem is, that it is a very long distance from my country, so it is going to be very costly. I have tried to look into the body, I have resetted the shutter mechanism and have examined the tab under the rapid wind lever. It seems to be OK though.
Sarkhan,
I hope the "MG trick" works for you.
If you don't live in the US it will indeed be expensive to send your camera to Eric. Home
His charges are very reasonable but the shipping costs would be high. Can you not search for a camera repair service nearer to your home, perhaps in your own country?
01-25-2016, 08:14 AM   #12
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I can, of course, but at the only camera repair service`s, which is in Prague, they told me, that they lack the needed parts. I know of some service in Germany, so that would be probably a good choice.

Yesterday, I have come to an interesting offer at secondhand goods store. Pentax KX (which seemed funtional at that time) for a reasonable price. Sadly, there is a problem with its light meter, the needle will not advance past 1/250. The batteries are fresh and the light meter works in the range from (B) 1 to 1/250. I suppose this is not a problem I could solve at home. Also, the battery check button cannot be depressed, there is probably something jammed in it. Have you encountered or at least heard of this strange issue? I could return the camera, but everything with those exceptions works perfectly, so it is hard to decide.
01-25-2016, 09:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sarkhan Quote
I can, of course, but at the only camera repair service`s, which is in Prague, they told me, that they lack the needed parts. I know of some service in Germany, so that would be probably a good choice.

Yesterday, I have come to an interesting offer at secondhand goods store. Pentax KX (which seemed funtional at that time) for a reasonable price. Sadly, there is a problem with its light meter, the needle will not advance past 1/250. The batteries are fresh and the light meter works in the range from (B) 1 to 1/250. I suppose this is not a problem I could solve at home. Also, the battery check button cannot be depressed, there is probably something jammed in it. Have you encountered or at least heard of this strange issue? I could return the camera, but everything with those exceptions works perfectly, so it is hard to decide.
I really have no experience with the KX camera, so I cannot help on that. It may be be better to open a new thread, with "KX" in the title of your posting. That should get more relevant responses.

You may find the database entry interesting: Pentax KX - Pentax Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications
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