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12-18-2010, 07:30 AM   #1
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Fault with ME Super, winder and shutter jam.

I'm after some advice please.

I've got 2 ME Supers and both have died within weeks of each other.

The first was being used with a Winder ME II and the shutter just stopped working, wind mechanism still works, button depresses smoothly, it just won't take a shot.

The second I've had a complete lock up on both shutter and wind mechanism, again whilst using the Winder ME II.

As these problems seem to be similar I was wondering if the Winder ME II is the cause of the problem?

Also is it possible to fix the cameras at home? (I've tried the obligatory shake and hit on palm)

If not possible to fix at home, any recommendation as to where in the UK might and any ideas of cost?

Thanks for any advice given.


Last edited by lab rat; 12-18-2010 at 02:47 PM.
12-19-2010, 04:47 AM   #2
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I am by no means an expert, but I bought a ME F and a Super yesterday, both of which had problems with the shutter/mirror. The Super had a locked up shutter, which was fixed after shaking it quite violently (some of it was a bit rusty, which locked it open) The F first had problems with the shutter not going back to the normal 'after-shot' position*, then the shutter did not fire although the winder mechanism worked** (like your problem, apparently).

* Standard solution is to nudge the shutter curtain into place with a fingernail.

** It's caused by the wind mechanism not being able to perform the final 'lock' in which the shutter is set ready for the firing action. There's no visual sign of this, and barely any audible. Apart from just exercising it (without the winder), the common solution seems to use the wind lever and wind about halfway (1/3 or 2/3 seemed to work too), stop, and then wind it fully. After a while of this, the ME F fired as normal, going from one shutter action every five or six winds to every second and then being fully reliable.

Apologies for the quirky English and good luck. If the above doesn't fit your problem, then please describe the state of the shutter and mirror, which often is a good clue.

Edit:
Repairing the cameras may not be worth it (unless it needs a CLA anyway, of course), but a name that came to my mind is Harrow Technical:
http://harrowtechnical.co.uk/

Last edited by KjetilH; 12-19-2010 at 07:39 AM.
12-19-2010, 12:04 PM   #3
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Thank you for your help.

This...

QuoteOriginally posted by KjetilH Quote
the shutter did not fire although the winder mechanism worked** (like your problem, apparently).

** It's caused by the wind mechanism not being able to perform the final 'lock' in which the shutter is set ready for the firing action. There's no visual sign of this, and barely any audible. Apart from just exercising it (without the winder), the common solution seems to use the wind lever and wind about halfway (1/3 or 2/3 seemed to work too), stop, and then wind it fully. After a while of this, the ME F fired as normal, going from one shutter action every five or six winds to every second and then being fully reliable.
does describe what is going on with at least one of the cameras.

After reading your post, I went back to the camera which is not firing. The shutter is in a position set to fire, the winder moves freely, but I have now noticed there is no click at the end of the wind.

As to the second camera that would not fire and the winder arm was jamming. It wound on! It then fired a shot... if with a delay in releasing the shutter.
I have now exercised it and it appears to be working. I find this most curious as this camera has been a faithful companion since '85 and has never been a problem before.

At least one of them appears to be alive again


Thank you also for this link
QuoteOriginally posted by KjetilH Quote
Repairing the cameras may not be worth it (unless it needs a CLA anyway, of course), but a name that came to my mind is Harrow Technical:
Harrow Technical - Pentax Repairs, Pentax Spares, Pentax Cameras, Pentax Service
It is now saved as a bookmark should I ever need their services.
09-01-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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I have a Pentax MEf and had the same problem

The fingernail fix worked a treat, I had to wind the winder 2 or 3 times afterwards.

09-01-2011, 04:55 PM   #5
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Just to mentions that all your ME Supers are show the typical signs. The delay in the shutter curtain locking or mis-fire of the advance is a sign the arms and pivot inside are starting to gum up. From foam loose inside or from rubber bits and bumpers going to mush. When the camera sit for a while then it might work a bit, but will eventually get stuck again.

Last edited by MysteryOnion; 01-28-2013 at 07:11 AM.
01-28-2013, 04:37 AM   #6
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Sticking shutter on ME super

Hi,
Have just bought an ME super from a well known auction site. It arrived today and disappointingly the shutter appeared stuck. I could wind on with no problem, but the shutter didn't fire at all. Eventually it fired once, but not again - i was using the 1/125 speed setting each time. I then looked up your forum and it seems that this can be a common problem with this model when not used for some time. ( and probably others in the M series). The solution suggested by several members was to keep winding and hopefully it would free itself!
Just to say that this worked after about 50 or 60 attempts and the camera is now working fine - thanks to everyone who posted this message.
If it's happened to you - just keep winding!
01-28-2013, 08:09 AM   #7
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I've stopped using the ME winder on my ME Super's, it jams the cameras far too frequently. Both camera's have had new seals and mirror bumpers and have been CLA'd but they can still jam with the winder. They are also prone to jam if I manually wind on too rapidly, as in trying to take a succession of pictures. I think it's down to the age and normal wear of the cameras, they just can't handle the rapid wind anymore.
Both of my cameras are in very good shape, but they might still have had a lot of use, it's hard to tell. I use the ME winder as a grip, but not as a winder. My other cameras of similar age are OK with their winders, I've got old Canon, Minolta, Olympus and Chinon that work fine. I see a lot of older Pentax for sale that are jammed, most have a winder attached.
01-28-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
...prone to jam if I manually wind on too rapidly, as in trying to take a succession of pictures...
Do you mean it "hangs up" or does it fail to reach a "locked and ready" state?

Dead advance is common if the small reset tab and spring inside camera is not moving from up to down from the mirror reset. The decay of the mirror bumper can leave sticky residue around the area. You would only get an advance and no shutter cock.

A spring back jam is when the mirror fired, but the action is not complete and fails to allow the film advance to reset correctly.

If CLA'd and parts installed, it is still possible that the correct return of the drive gear is off. This throws the system out of sequence...?

01-28-2013, 10:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
Do you mean it "hangs up" or does it fail to reach a "locked and ready" state?

Dead advance is common if the small reset tab and spring inside camera is not moving from up to down from the mirror reset. The decay of the mirror bumper can leave sticky residue around the area. You would only get an advance and no shutter cock.

A spring back jam is when the mirror fired, but the action is not complete and fails to allow the film advance to reset correctly.

If CLA'd and parts installed, it is still possible that the correct return of the drive gear is off. This throws the system out of sequence...?
They jam as in this repair guide for 'bent wind lock catch' -

Favorite Classics > Pentax ME Super Ramblings > Three Common Failure Problems

Luckily, neither of mine has broken the tab off under the top plate, mine have all had the 'wind lock catch' problem under the bottom plate. I've un-jammed a few that have just had a bent catch. I'm thinking that once it has happened once the steel weakens a tiny bit and makes it prone to bending again. And it is easy to do with just the manual thumb winder. I got a bit carried away recently and fired off a second shot of some action and was too quick and that was it - solid!
A great cause of jamming is using the winder with no film in the camera, 'just to test it'. Ask me how I found that out....

To help prevent mirror glue up on the old bumper I replace the rubber with felt, it works just as well and is less likely to degrade into the gunk the original rubber becomes. It's the first thing I change on all the old stuff I get.

Last edited by Lloydy; 01-28-2013 at 10:15 AM.
01-28-2013, 11:01 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Sounds like you have it covered...

Just to add and I forgot I had it in my album...

01-28-2013, 11:11 AM   #11
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Excellent picture, that covers it.
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