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08-11-2011, 03:19 AM   #1
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S3 and S1a shutter & mirror return issues?

Good morning all

i have a 2 issues as follows:

1st issue is with my newly acquired S1a (from ebay). the mirror return seems a little slow ie not instantaneous, and after it does return then you can see the effects of the aperture slowly re-opening on the auto lens setting through a brightening of the view finder. (55mm f2 super tak) obviously when in manual mode the only noticable issue is the slow mirror return.

Can anyone tell me what the likely cause is and whether it needs fixing/will need fixing in the future and is it an easy/inexpensive fix or not?

2nd issue relates to my fathers old S3 which has sat un-used for around 15-20 years or so since it had the shutter and wind on all locked up and the camera repair man whom my father took it to said it was more expensive to fix it than it was worth

Any ideas ?

djm.

08-11-2011, 08:20 AM   #2
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First the S1a... Mirror box is needing attention. The common problem is decayed foam. Luckily the S1a as well as the SV are easy to open. Often the common advise is to squirt something inside to loosen it up... don't. This will only work for a little while and you will end up wedging the goo and gunk deeper. The best way is to take apart the camera and clean each section. The top and bottom shells have to come off which means the controls and the four screws that hold the mount face will need to be removed as well. The mirror box will have to be freed from the chassis as well and will require the dismounting of the slow speed timer and the return spring... I know it sounds like a lot of stuff, but I've done this with both the S1A and the SV and both work super now... unless it gets too cold like freezing. There are repair manuals to be found for free and if you can't find them, drop me a note and I'll dig up the links. About the S3... if you figure out the S1a this will make it easier to diagnose the problem mentioned about the S3.

Local repair guy here in the US is Eric Hendrickson who is a Pentax repair extraordinaire.
08-11-2011, 08:23 AM   #3
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One common problem with old film SLRs is that the foam damper that cushions the mirror at the top of its movement, sometimes deterioates with age. When foam deteriorates, it becomes a sticky, gooey mess. The mirror can stick to it and stay there.

When the mirror does return, does it do it by itself, or must you help it along? Does it simply wait a second or three and then snap back quickly or does the mirror actually move slowly.

If it eventually snaps back quickly, I would look very closely at the foam damper. If it moves slowly, then there is something in the gear train inside the camera that is slowing it down. Replacing the foam (along with the rear door seals) is an easy DIY fix. Kits are available on eBay for about $10.

It could simply be old oil or grease that has hardened up with age. Sometimes, just giving it a little exercicse will loosen things up.

If the aperture is not returning to wide open quickly, there might be oil on the blades. The aperture blades are very smooth and have almost no mass at all. In that case, oil does not act as a lubricant, but rather as a glue. Oil is usually visible on the aperture blades. If it is there, the lens must be dissassembled and the blades cleaned. Probably not worth it if the lens is an ordinary Super Takumar, such as the 55mm, f/2. These are inexpensive lenses.
08-11-2011, 08:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
First the S1a... Mirror box is needing attention. The common problem is decayed foam. Luckily the S1a as well as the SV are easy to open. Often the common advise is to squirt something inside to loosen it up... don't. This will only work for a little while and you will end up wedging the goo and gunk deeper. The best way is to take apart the camera and clean each section. The top and bottom shells have to come off which means the controls and the four screws that hold the mount face will need to be removed as well. The mirror box will have to be freed from the chassis as well and will require the dismounting of the slow speed timer and the return spring... I know it sounds like a lot of stuff, but I've done this with both the S1A and the SV and both work super now... unless it gets too cold like freezing. There are repair manuals to be found for free and if you can't find them, drop me a note and I'll dig up the links. About the S3... if you figure out the S1a this will make it easier to diagnose the problem mentioned about the S3.

Local repair guy here in the US is Eric Hendrickson who is a Pentax repair extraordinaire.
many thanks, will try sourcing the manuals and bear you in mind when i fail lol.

unfortunately i dont know who the "go to" guy in the UK is and i'm thinking postage may be a deal breaker for the US.

best regards

djm

08-11-2011, 08:57 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
One common problem with old film SLRs is that the foam damper that cushions the mirror at the top of its movement, sometimes deterioates with age. When foam deteriorates, it becomes a sticky, gooey mess. The mirror can stick to it and stay there.

When the mirror does return, does it do it by itself, or must you help it along? Does it simply wait a second or three and then snap back quickly or does the mirror actually move slowly.

If it eventually snaps back quickly, I would look very closely at the foam damper. If it moves slowly, then there is something in the gear train inside the camera that is slowing it down. Replacing the foam (along with the rear door seals) is an easy DIY fix. Kits are available on eBay for about $10.

It could simply be old oil or grease that has hardened up with age. Sometimes, just giving it a little exercicse will loosen things up.

If the aperture is not returning to wide open quickly, there might be oil on the blades. The aperture blades are very smooth and have almost no mass at all. In that case, oil does not act as a lubricant, but rather as a glue. Oil is usually visible on the aperture blades. If it is there, the lens must be dissassembled and the blades cleaned. Probably not worth it if the lens is an ordinary Super Takumar, such as the 55mm, f/2. These are inexpensive lenses.
hmmm i think having had a second look its a little of both.

there is very little foam that i can see at the top of the mirror box and when it is fully lifted makes quite a "tinny" sound as if metal to metal, and it does delay travel from the top but also appears to fall at varying speeds.

it never so far hangs at the top for any great length of time, in otherwords never as much as a second.

having also looked at the aperture blades i cannot see much sign, if any of oil leakage but it wouldnt take much at all i guess to impair proper function?

the aperture issue is again an intermittant one with closer speeds varying?????

djm
08-12-2011, 02:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmGun Quote
Unfortunately i dont know who the "go to" guy in the UK is and i'm thinking postage may be a deal breaker for the US.
Either Robin at Harrow Technical or Asahi Photo. I've used Robin for a number of services/repairs (LX, 2 x ME Super, ME-F, KM etc.) and he has been very good. I've heard good things about Asahi too, but have no personal experience.

My ESII I sent to Eric in the US because he seems to have the world's supply of spare circuit boards for the ES/ESII.

Kris.
08-14-2011, 01:20 PM   #7
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Many thanks Kris.

i will search out the contact details for both and make enquiries

best regards

djm
08-14-2011, 02:55 PM   #8
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No need to seek, just follow the links.... K.

08-15-2011, 05:43 AM   #9
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D'oH! i managed to miss them first time round.

many thanks

djm
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