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10-23-2018, 01:19 PM   #1
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Takumar 135mm not firing properly

Hi all. I bought a Takumar 135mm f2.5 for my ME Super. For the most part it's great, however sometimes (usually at inopportune times) doesn't "take" the photo. It meters correctly but when I push the shutter the shutter raises but doesn't lower. I have to unlock then turn the lens a couple of degrees whereupon it will close the shutter and I can then advance the film. I can take photos if I leave the lens unlocked and rotated slightly.

Nothing looks damaged or worn on the lens or the aperture "stalk" that interacts with the camera, and I've not had any issues with my other two lenses on the camera.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

10-23-2018, 01:29 PM   #2
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To clarify, are you using one of these two lenses, rather than an M42 Takumar?
Takumar 135mm F2.5 Bayonet Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Takumar 135mm F2.8 Bayonet Reviews - Non-SMC Pentax Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

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10-23-2018, 01:58 PM   #4
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Try manually operating the aperture lever on the lens, with your finger. Do the blades close smoothly or is there any sort of resistance?


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10-23-2018, 02:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply! It seems super smooth. I did have to remove the barrel of the lens to reattach the fat end-lens (sorry I don't know the technical terms!) but didn't touch the aperture end of the lens. Is that lever the only thing that interacts with the camera?
10-23-2018, 03:04 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RedRuff Quote
Thanks for the reply! It seems super smooth. I did have to remove the barrel of the lens to reattach the fat end-lens (sorry I don't know the technical terms!) but didn't touch the aperture end of the lens. Is that lever the only thing that interacts with the camera?
Yes, the lever is the only part that interacts. When you say it's super smooth, does it move with almost no resistance? if you move it by the maximum possible distance and let go, does it spring back to its original position?
10-23-2018, 03:10 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I'd strongly suspect some kind of jam with the lever. Is the lever bent or colliding with the body some how?

If the camera body cannot push the aperture lever back to the open position, it may prevent the mirror from completing it's movement.
10-24-2018, 05:44 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I had another look at it and although it springs back nicely with no resistance, it seems the lever is perhaps bent inwards which could cause friction when attached to the camera.

135mm above, compared to a 50mm below. There's much less clearance between the lever and the other part.



10-24-2018, 09:31 AM   #9
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Its been a while since I used my ME Super. If I recall, this lockup is a known problem with some ME Supers.

It is not the lens that is at fault. It is the electronics that control the shutter mechanism. With age, the electronics sometimes fail. When it happened to me, if I remember correctly, I changed the shutter to 100 (or is it 125?) and that freed it. I could then move it back to auto. It is the mirror that is locking in the up position. I believe that the shutter does fire in this case, so the picture has been taken, but, since the mirror does not return to the down or ready position, you can't take any more pictures until you reset it.

Hope this helps.
10-24-2018, 01:09 PM   #10
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Possibly, but if the camera was at fault the problem would manifest itself on all lenses, not just the one.
10-24-2018, 01:13 PM   #11
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I've re-bent levers back into position before. If you're reasonably careful it's quite easy to do. This example doesn't look too badly bent, but it could be binding on the tang or the camera's diaphragm control mechanism. Gently pushing it back into a straight position may be all that's required, and shouldn't do any harm (disclaimer - any and all repair attempts are at the owner's risk ).
10-24-2018, 01:27 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I had heard of the mirror lock up issue but my other lenses were fine. So I bent the lever back (It was a free lens, so whatever ) and it took a couple of photos fine.

One thing I did notice was that if I installed the lens with it set to a high aperture then tried to choose 2.5 it would bind and not quite reach. If I installed it set to 2.5 it would move well enough through the aperture range. Since bending the lever it moves much better.
10-24-2018, 01:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RedRuff Quote
I had heard of the mirror lock up issue but my other lenses were fine. So I bent the lever back (It was a free lens, so whatever ) and it took a couple of photos fine.

One thing I did notice was that if I installed the lens with it set to a high aperture then tried to choose 2.5 it would bind and not quite reach. If I installed it set to 2.5 it would move well enough through the aperture range. Since bending the lever it moves much better.
That pretty much makes sense, if I imagine the lever's rotation and the camera mechanism. Well done!!
10-24-2018, 01:53 PM   #14
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Thanks all. I'll get through this roll of film then give it some extensive testing when "empty"!
01-04-2019, 04:50 PM - 1 Like   #15
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If anyone still cares (or for anyone Googling the issue ten years from now), I went on holiday since the aperture lever tweak and it's been absolutely fine.
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