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10-19-2019, 10:31 PM   #1
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Exposure counter stuck at 5 - Spotmatic

Hi all, just got a new Asahi Pentax Spotmatic off Gumtree and noticed the exposure counter has been stuck at 5 after loading film. Everything works fine--rapid wind lever, rewind knob turns, etc etc etc. I currently don't have a battery in it yet, still waiting for it to get shipped to my house.

Should I continue using it even though the exposure counter is stuck? Is there an easy fix? Or should I take it to a repair shop?

Many thanks

10-19-2019, 10:46 PM   #2
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I can't imagine there will be a problem using the camera, but I'd certainly get it looked at if knowing the frame count is important to you.
Maybe just shoot a few test shots with your first roll to make sure the advance is working properly.
10-19-2019, 11:19 PM   #3
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The counter won't work with an open door, or if the switch closed by the door is stuck in up position (switch is in top groove where the door slots in). However I have had the ratchet drive be responsible for not engaging properly to turn the counter. If you choose to look under the counter, be careful of threads that are reversible, and make sure you record how it all fits together as you lift off each component.
You could just ignore the counter and count frames yourself if you prefer not to check things out.
10-20-2019, 02:04 PM   #4
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A common problem is rotted or gummed film door seal material being pushed into the reset "gap" for the exposure counter (top light-trap groove to match protrusion on film door). The gummy stuff will jam the counter. Cleaning requires a partial disassembly and would be included in a CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust) service. A CLA is often a good idea for any older camera.


10-20-2019, 03:39 PM   #5
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if the roll is important and it is advancing anyways address it after the roll is done.....the likely cause is debris hung up preventing the mechanism to function properly...fingers crossed that is the case to avoid the cost of a cla
10-20-2019, 09:26 PM   #6
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Sometimes the cause is some force against the counter cap. If you have a 1mm or 1.2 mm screwdriver you can loosen the three set screws holding the cap on. Try not to unscrew the set screws all the way. If you lose one you will be sad. Remove the cap and you will see the entire counter disk. If the counter now works, you know that nothing deep inside is the issue. Sometimes you can just put the counter cover back on and all will be fine. Sometimes whatever the impact was actually bent the part that the setscrews latch onto. If you decide to do anything else remember that the counter screw and the ring underneath that are left hand thread. Breaking the head off the counter screw can end up generating a whole lot of discussion.
10-21-2019, 07:20 AM   #7
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I would also recommend the CLA service. A good CLA for a camera that you're planning on using frequently is worth it, and likely would put another 10-20 years on the camera's lifespan.

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