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12-17-2016, 09:34 PM   #1
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Pentax me super not focusing & its not the lens, please help :)

Hi Everyone,

I own a 1981 Pentax ME Super that I've had since I was 15 years old (I'm now 27). This belonged to my mother, and she's had this since new - I still have the box, manuals, camera case, flash, receipt and warranty card - My mother purchased this duty free on the 28th of January 1981 at Sydney Airport and paid $225 for it.

Anyways, I've only ever used it a handful of times - mainly when I went to high school because I was learning film photography and a few times after I graduated but getting film processed here in Australia can be expensive so I put it away, not to mention once I got my digital camera a whole new world opened up for me. I've now decided I really want to get back into film and do the whole traditional photography thing again e.g.darkroom, developer etc.

However, before i can do any of that, I'm having some issues with my camera. When not in use, it's always been kept in its case and in the box, sometimes I've left film in there for a long period. The issue is when I look through the view finder, the bottom of the lens is focusing but the top is not, irrespective of which way the aperture is set at or the settings. I've replaced the battery too but thats all fine.

I then thought that it could be the lens, there is some mould growing in there. So i purchased a second hand one on eBay that was not working but came with a 55mm lens. When I received it I replaced the lenses over hoping it was that but to no avail, it was not. It was still the same so now I know it is the camera.

I don't want to get rid of it! It belonged to my mother (she's passed away a couple of years ago), not to mention, it's in great condition. There is no damages, scratches or marks on it, all the winders and mechanism work in pristine condition, it still has the original lens that it came with it and everything else too. I'm also afraid to do anything to it just in case I might damage it, but I'm willing to give things ago depending on how easy it is. It might just be a simple thing that I'm doing wrong. Any help would be great.

Also, since I'm at it, I might even try fixing the second hand camera that I bought. That one is not in great condition, lots of marks and the film winder is firmly stuck, it will not move at all, not to mention the mirror is in the locked up position. Again I haven't done anything to that but I'm willing to try. I mainly got it just for parts but hopefully thats saveable too.

If worse comes to worse, I'm going to send them both away to a camera repair place called "Anderson's Camera Repairs" here in Brisbane, Queensland Australia, but they're quite expensive. However, I did find this website of a repair guy that specialises on only Pentax Camera on another forum on here - Home , but I don't know if anyone outside of the USA has dealt with them, additionally, are they still active? If they are, I might even give them ago.

Any help would be great guys.

Cheers.

12-17-2016, 09:57 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jayjya027 Quote
However, before i can do any of that, I'm having some issues with my camera. When not in use, it's always been kept in its case and in the box, sometimes I've left film in there for a long period. The issue is when I look through the view finder, the bottom of the lens is focusing but the top is not, irrespective of which way the aperture is set at or the settings. I've replaced the battery too but thats all fine.
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!!

The mirror is not in the correct position. It is likely jammed by sticky material from age-rotted foam of the mirror bumper. This is serviceable. With any luck some of our Australian members will weigh in on service options for a full Clean, Lube, and Adjust (CLA) to put the camera back in shape.


Steve
12-17-2016, 10:09 PM   #3
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1st camera: Either the focusing screen is off or the mirror isn't returning to the neutral position. Since the focus screen requires partial disassembly of the camera most likely culprit is the mirror. The foam mirror bumper has probably deteriorated and often turns to a sticky goo. Bits may have gotten into the mechanism. Try removing the lens and watching the mirror action when releasing the shutter.

2nd camera: Again it could be the mirror bumper and the mirror is stuck to it. Very gently try prying the mirror with your fingernail - don't force it. Or the shutter may be stuck and the camera won't complete the cycle. See the linked threads below. Note the shutter will operate mechanically without batteries by setting the mode dial to 125x.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/8-pentax-film-slr-discussion/70158-super-program-issues.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/8-pentax-film-slr-discussion/71791-mesuper.html
12-17-2016, 11:57 PM   #4
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maybe try David Salter Camera Repair, Benowa Waters, Gold Coast

12-18-2016, 12:28 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
maybe try David Salter Camera Repair, Benowa Waters, Gold Coast
Hi,
Alan at f16 at Margate in Brisbane will get you out of trouble.
Google <www.f16cameraservice.com.au> for his contact details.
Regards.
12-18-2016, 02:01 AM   #6
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your help, much appreciated. Just looked at my mums camera and there is a lot of black bumper stuff everywhere, all on top of the mirror and even behind the mirror so it probably is that. The mirror doesn't look like it has moved, but it could be so small that it's not noticeable but a major disruption in camera. Going to give these places that you guys have suggested a call. Hopefully they're not to expensive.

Thanks again everyone
12-18-2016, 03:58 AM   #7
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Ordinarily, ME Supers are a dime a dozen and have plenty of known issues with age, and if yours had been a pawnshop acquisition I'd say put it aside and get another, BUT... this one has sentimental value and there's no price tag on that.

Get it fixed and use it, OP. If my late father in law's P3 packed up, I know what I'd be doing with it regardless of the price.
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