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11-20-2020, 11:00 AM   #1
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Pentax 6x7 meter needle stays at bottom

Hi, I am new to this forum. Hope I am not breaking any rules as I am not sure where to post this question.

I just started shooting film and was very fortunate that a friend gave me her dad's 6x7. I am new to the camera but noticed I have the reverse problem as the OP. I put in a new battery. In AUTO mode, the meter needle only stays at the bottom and doesn't move regardless of the aperture change. I checked and the chain is not broken. The battery light check comes on. If I put the stop-down lever on the lens to MAN, then the needle moves accordingly. I have pulled the lens and prism (in correct order) and the contact points are super clean. I have read some older posts on this forum regarding this issue and followed the standard checks but it doesn't appear the issue was resolved.

Would love to know if anyone has any new ideas. Also, can i meter in the stopped-down mode, switched back to AUTO and shoot. Or can I meter in the stopped-down mode and shoot in that mode. I have a light meter but would like to be able to shoot and scoot without having to pull out my meter. Thanks for any responses.

11-20-2020, 01:47 PM   #2
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I can't offer much help except to say try changing the ISO to different setting and see if you get a response. And of course it goes without saying to make sure the meter's ON/OFF switch is activated before metering.

I have use my Pentax 67 for a long time without the TTL (I use the folding hood). And last time I put it on the TTL prism, I had some problems. At some ISO settings it didn't work at all. And the stop-down metering did not agree with AUTO metering. There was a several stops difference. I don't think the TTL holds up to time/age. But I dunno.
11-20-2020, 06:58 PM   #3
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Remove the TTL prism and inspect the 2 connection tangs on the base.
Likewise inspect and clean if necessary the contacts on the base of the camera where the focusing screen is.
If your version of the meter has an on/off switch, are you turning this on to activate the meter? It may sound a silly question, but it can be quite surprising how new users of this camera assume the meter will turn on by itself the moment the camera is picked up!

Failing the above and any change to a higher ISO as a sort of 'jolt' to its system, age-related derangement of the meter is a possibility. This is very common in the older 6x7 / Asahi Pentax meters of the late 1960s. Most people just source a replacement TTL prism, of which there are plenty available (but should be astutely checked for operation and with clear pathways for return if something is not quite kosher). The electronics within the TTL meter are very rudimentary, and would suit somebody skilled in electronics who can find their way around and inspect/calibrate the meter to working order.

Age will catch up with the meters and the cameras eventually.
When these things first came out, the glowing red and orange valves in radios were attractive to moths and little kids like me yet to be made aware of the danger of poking and pulling valves while they were powered by electricity...
11-21-2020, 01:04 AM   #4
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Thank you all for all your responses. Yes, I did have the meter switch in the ON position, and the contact points were all very clean. Tried changing to various ISOs with no results. The connection tangs are clean and have solid connections. Seems like I am stuck with using an external meter. Can I use the meter with the lens in Manual mode, and take the pic in that position?

6 Days Ago   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax4570 Quote
...Can I use the meter with the lens in Manual mode, and take the pic in that position?
Yes. You'll probably want to focus and compose wide open, then stop-down to get the metering and take the shot. But that depends on how for you are stopping it down. That's not very convenient for handhold candid photography.

But if you putting that Pentax on a tripod, no problem. And if you are on a tripod, I'd suggest just using a light meter phone application that supports matrix metering if you can; otherwise, no big deal. I mention that my TTL had a discrepancy between AUTO and MAN metering mode. So I'd also test that stop-down metering before taking shots you don't want be experimenting with.
6 Days Ago   #6
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Have you tried the meter when using a different auto lens than with the one it failed on?
6 Days Ago   #7
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Yes I did try my 105 mm, and 135mm and had the same results. Needle would move when the lenses in Manual mode accordingly but not when lenses are in Auto mode. Yes, I just downloaded the Lightmeter app for $1.99. Does the app work well for you? Thx
5 Days Ago   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax4570 Quote
Does the app work well for you?
Sorry, I don't use that.

5 Days Ago   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax4570 Quote
Yes I did try my 105 mm, and 135mm and had the same results. Needle would move when the lenses in Manual mode accordingly but not when lenses are in Auto mode. Yes, I just downloaded the Lightmeter app for $1.99. Does the app work well for you? Thx
I think you will learn more, quicker, if you make use of a proper photographic light meter rather than an app for a smartphone.
1 Day Ago   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax4570 Quote
... Yes, I just downloaded the Lightmeter app for $1.99. Does the app work well for you? Thx
Yes, it works fine. Use the mode where it takes a picture to get the metering. Here are some examples of using the Lightmeter app. If the meter can place the middle gray good enough for the low dynamic range of slide film without placing the highlights too high, it's doing a good job. No blown highlights in these Provia 100F slides I've taken. So with negative film, no problem. You have more dynamic range and latitude to spare by comparison.



Last edited by tuco; 1 Day Ago at 12:32 PM.
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