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05-20-2010, 08:27 AM   #1
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First negs from S1a - Shutter problem, or not...?

Hi all,

I have just developed the first film I've put through my Asahi Pentax S1a (Ilford HP5 400). I used the clip-on meter that came with it, which appears to be accurate - the shots that came out were perfectly exposed and nice contrast. The problem is, some of the shots (roughly every two shots) were blank, and every so often only a third of the frame had come out.

Now I know that the S1a was a downgraded model from another one, and one of the things they changed was removing the 1/1000 shutter speed. But as I understood it, that speed was still available on this model, you just had to click it past the 1/500 speed as it wasn't displayed? I am wondering whether the ones that were blank or partly exposed could have been the ones that I shot at 1/1000? The light meter that clips on the top does display the 1/1000 speed, which is why I went up to 1000.

Does anyone have experience with 1/1000 on the S1a?

Tom

05-20-2010, 10:26 AM   #2
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I have had some similar problems with a spotmatic so I would suppose is some problem in calibration. Could you post one of the photos so someone else that has gone through this can help? I will post one of mine but tomorrow since idon't have scanner right now.
05-20-2010, 10:39 AM   #3
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I don't have a scanner either, so here's the best I can do for the moment. You can see the partly exposed frames anyway, which I am guessing I shot at the supposedly non-existant 1/1000 speed.





Tom
05-20-2010, 10:49 AM   #4
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Hello, congrats on the S1a. I just picked up an old SV, which is basically the same camera, but with the 1000 speed and self timer. My test roll yielded similar results. I have posted a couple pics below. These were taken at 250 using the Sunny 16 (no meter). When I bought the camera, the slower speeds were defaulting to bulb, but after exercising the action a few times, they seemed to work normally. I didn't quibble due to the price, figuring I was still getting a deal even if it needed a CLA. After reviewing the test roll, I checked further and it appears that at 125 and 250, the second curtain is catching up to the first and only exposing 1/3 of the frame. At 500 and 1000, the curtains are together with no separation. You may be having the same issue. Let us know if the pics below represent what you're experiencing, too. I sent a PM to Eric Hendrickson (EricTn) about having him service the camera, you may want to do the same. I am absolutely in love with this camera, so hopefully Eric can work his magic on it.

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05-20-2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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Yeah that looks to be the same as I am getting.

I just had another look at the camera with the lens removed and back open, firing off a few shots. Earlier it was working fine, but now the mirror sticks in the "up" position when you wind it on, and clicks down and back up again when you fire the shutter. It wasn't doing that earlier! Also, the speeds aren't working now, which I don't understand!

[EDIT] It's now working fine again, minus the 1/1000!
05-20-2010, 12:15 PM   #6
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I'm not sure if you are interested in sending it across the pond, but Eric Hendrickson has a great reputation for all Pentax repairs. His site is Home . Otherwise, I'm not sure who does this kind of work in the UK.
05-20-2010, 07:58 PM   #7
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You can check for shutter drag yourself, roughly. Just take off the lens, open the back up and fire off some frames at various increasing speeds looking through from the film's point of view. Even at the top speed you should see the whole frame. If once you get past a certain speed you start to see dark on one hlaf of the frame, it probably needs a CLA (clean lube and adjust).
05-21-2010, 01:00 AM   #8
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Yeah, just had another try at that, and we're all fine again up until the 1/1000. Very occasionally I see the whole frame, sometimes part of the frame, and more often I see nothing. The shutter still moves across though. This must be what I am seeing in the negatives by the look of it.

I don't think I will sent it off for a CLA because I have several other slr's etc that will go faster if I need it (SuperA, Canon AE-1P, Minolta X-300, Nikon F301 etc). I will still use this one though as I love the feel, build/weight and look of it. Will have a proper test too at some point and take note of the settings for each frame.

Cheers for the help,

Tom

05-21-2010, 09:03 AM   #9
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For example this two. Mine look rather different in the shape and I've been thinking it might be something else.

This one surprisingly has it only in the middle of the frame.
Name:  58300134.jpg
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And this one is dark but still visible in one side. I was shooting at similar even the same speeds all day and i had no problem at all. They seem rather random to me.
Name:  58300135.jpg
Views: 676
Size:  92.0 KB

Anyone has had something similar?
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