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02-07-2011, 08:36 AM   #1
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Pentax ME Super - Aperture Lever Problem

Hello,

I have bought a couple of years ago a Pentax ME Super body from a second hand store in really good condition. I never had any problems with it until today. I went on a photo-shooting trip with some friends and after a couple of shots, I noticed that it was increasingly hard to set the aperture of 3.5 on my Pentax A 35-105. After I switched the lens with my Pentax M 50 1.7, it was almost impossible to set the aperture at 1.7. I tried the lenses on another body and they work perfect, so I'm sure that the problem is in the camera body.
What is your opinion on this? What do you think I should do?

Thanks,
Alex

02-07-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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The "auto-aperture" lever is rigged in a manner that is a part of other lever that control the mirror and even film advance. All these lever (running on the side of the mirror box assembly) are vulnerable to foam/seal decay. Over time parts of the light seals literally seem to melt due to moisture and chemical breakdown. It is a good chance your "auto-aperture" lever is gummed up and will require a "CLA" as well as new seals. This will require disassembly of the camera to service. You might start to notice also the dropping of a frame during film advancing.
02-07-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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I noticed rarely that the camera was dropping a frame, thought it was nothing serious. So the answer to this problem is a thorough cleaning and a change of light seals?
BTW, sorry for asking, but what does "CLA" stand for?
02-07-2011, 11:22 AM   #4
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"CLA": clean, lube and adjust.

02-07-2011, 11:33 AM   #5
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Yes... thanks "cyy47". I was going too fast and forgot to clarify.

A light seal that is inside the camera near the shutter button/mode selector/shutter speed buttons is deep enough that a casual cleaning will not help. Also, some folks will suggest to squirt oil or something inside to loosen things up... DON'T DO IT! Your shutter will thank you if you DON'T drown it in lube. If you know how to get inside your camera then it is a hours job to go in and scrape off the old foam and install a new one as well as precision oil the points in there.
02-07-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
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thank you all for the info.
Do any of you know where to buy the new light seals and the oil?
02-07-2011, 10:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ioszhka Quote
thank you all for the info.
Do any of you know where to buy the new light seals and the oil?
Get the seal kit from Jon Goodman on eBay (Interslice)

As for the oil...hmmmm...servicing the mirror box mechanism on any camera is not a good thing for an amateur to try. It requires a significant tear-down to get at the components. I would suggest very carefully removing as much of the goo as you can with tweezers and toothpicks. Removal from mechanical parts can be done with cigarette lighter fluid (ronsonol) and cotton buds. If the goo is on the mirror or focus screen, a repair shop is your best option. They have cleaning fluids that are compatible with the fragile mirror and screen.


Steve
02-09-2011, 12:15 AM   #8
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Are you sure its the body and not the lens? Take the lens off and try adjusting the aperture ring?

I wonder whether the ring in the mouth of the mount which connects with the lens is stuck? Take the lens off the body and at the edge of the K mount there should be a small silver protuding arm on the RHS at about 2 o'clock, if its not stuck, or nearer 4 o'clock if it is. You could try moving this back and forth to free it up.

Like others have said, dont put any oil into the body. It will attract dirt. I've got a copy of Camera Maintenance & Repair and it says to use graphite powder in solution with lighter fluid, brushing it on to friction bearing parts....certainly not WD40!

02-09-2011, 09:12 AM   #9
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Note - the Goodman light seal kit does NOT address the sticky aperture follower problem - it addresses the mirror bumper and the back seals.

I have a similar problem that developed in my KX - at first setting aperture was progressively more difficult (in the open up direction) and then the thing started to squeak! I've yet to send it for a fix, but will need to do so.
02-10-2011, 03:30 AM   #10
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I'm sure it's the body and not the lens, like i said, I tried the lenses on another ME Super body and they work.
Also, I tried moving the aperture lever in the body and it moves a little harder than normal.
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