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10-04-2011, 09:48 AM   #1
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ME Super quirk

I thought I'd share a recent quirk experienced with the ME Super and possibly more to the point, a roll of 36 exp film in the hope that one of you can shed a bit of light.

The camera's film advance mechanism seemed to be playing up, displaying a bit more resistance than usual. Now I'm not normally cack-handed and have a fair amount of 'mechanical sympathy' if you know what I mean (not much choice with some of the cars in our household). But . . . . . I couldn't resist the temptation to apply a little more effort.

Every time I've advanced the film since, it's been making a sound as though cogs aren't meshing properly - sometimes catching and sometimes grinding. The lever still has full travel, the shutter cocks and fires.

I then noticed that the film rewind knob was only partially turning, bit the bullet and rewound the film. I've loaded another film and all is now well.

The initial problem occurred about 25 frames in.

The only sense I can make of it is the possibility that the 36 exp. roll was actually only 24 exp. roll.

Has anyone else come across this before?

10-04-2011, 09:58 AM   #2
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You don't say whether it's working now or not? I haven't ever run across a roll labeled differently than it turns out to be, but it wouldn't be a far stretch to consider that mistakes happen. Is the second roll working? Does it feel the same as is should now?
10-04-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ruffinit Quote
You don't say whether it's working now or not? . . .
Yes I did

QuoteOriginally posted by garythesnail Quote
. . . . . I've loaded another film and all is now well . . . .
Everything's quite smooth now - not quite as silky as the MX feels, but no 'click - grind - click' any more. I'm guessing that when I get the developed film back, I'll see some tears in the perforations that were clicking against the mechanism.

Although the camera could have magically fixed itself
10-04-2011, 10:32 AM   #4
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If grinding is actually constant from frame 1 to 15, then it sounds like you might need a new set of gears in the transport... might be cheaper to find a new body. In some cases the excessive tension is caused by the film cartridge not letting out evenly and so a bunching up of film along the wall of the film cartridge or sometimes the film is too stiff and is coiled tight on the spool of the cartridge. Either way is usually solved by adjusting the rewind knob a few turns to let off some of the tension, but caution if you must turn the rewind knob against the direction of the arrow as it may cause the knob to fall off if loose from the spindle. Oh... and excessive tension sometimes sounds like grinding.

10-04-2011, 12:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for that MO. It'll be a while before I can confirm anything (it seems to take an age for me to go through a roll of 36) but I will be paying far more attention on this roll. The noise didn't start until about 25 shots, so hopefully the camera body is OK.

I'd also like to confirm that my knob isn't loose and hopefully not likely to fall off.

I know I've only put a couple of films through it (succesfully . . . as far as the mechanics of the camera is concerned, not so good for any signs of talent from the user though!) - it would be a shame to scrap the body as it looks good and worked fine until now.
10-04-2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by garythesnail Quote
The noise didn't start until about 25 shots
Then maybe we are talking about the 'pay-out' of film is not smooth, but harmless? As mentioned, some films will stick as we advance and I've had it happen for the first time with a roll of Fuji film in my LX. The condition was simply handled by lightly turning the rewinding counter-clockwise one turn.

QuoteOriginally posted by garythesnail Quote
confirm that my knob isn't loose
Commonly, the knob treated with "thread-lok" and may not be loose at all as in one ME Super I repaired recently, however, the next one was loose and not surprising as the entire camera was opened by someone prior. To tighten and just to check... when film is out of the camera, hold the chrome spindle of the rewinder and give a bit... little... tiny turn to snug it up. No need to turn hard or you can get some thread locking liquid to seal it, but never glue it or it will have to be torn off for repairs.
10-07-2011, 11:26 AM   #7
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What I was trying to discern was whether you had put another roll through it and it had functioned smoothly through the complete roll...
The ME Super (I have 3) will have that silky smooth transport when working properly and of course as stated above; the film is moving normally. There are some times as MO states that the film will not be smooth causing you to question the mechanics of the camera. As you get used to it you'll be better able to judge. IF you do have some issues, I'd recommend NOT trashing a good clean example of a Super and have Eric go through it. They're getting harder to find these days, and $63 for a CLA is far cheaper than trying to find one that in that kind of shape which will have to have it done eventually anyway. I picked up my first ME Super in 1981. 30 years.. we all need a tune up now and again.
10-07-2011, 12:11 PM   #8
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Thanks to you both for the comments.

Ruffinit - you're right, I've only loaded a film and fired a couple of shots - I have not put a full roll through to see that happens, neither have I developed the previous 'dodgy' roll.

I tend to agree with your thoughts on throwing out things which probably just need a bit of attention. I try to look after four cars aged 11 - 15 year old for myself and offspring (generally considered old in UK, I think more of you guys in the US look after your vehicles for longer than we do over here, it's very much a 'disposable' way of life) and I would not just trash the ME S without looking at things more closely.

I've recently made the mistake of of buying 5 non-functioning (seller described them as 'shutter not firing, cosmetically either 'good' or 'very good') Pentax bodies with the intention of trying to learn how these things work - take em apart, find the problem and put them back together (better to do it on a known faulty body than play about with a working item!).

The fact that I have paid just 15 uk pounds including postage for a Program plus, P30, P30T, P50 and a Super A really reinforces your point. After installing batteries and pushing all the buttons, it appears that all but the Super A actually work. I won't be certain until I put a roll of film through them, but it seems some of us are happier to get rid of things rather than check things out fully.

Erik's a bit too far to go helping me out though

10-09-2011, 05:55 AM   #9
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It's not all bad

I've had the C41 B&W film processed at a local supermarket to see if the camera "works" and maybe get a hint of what might have caused the symptoms described above. I thought I'd feed back some information

I have 25 negatives. Most of them reasonably well exposed (pretty happy with that - all done manually - I appear to be learning something). Most of them are poorly composed ( - obviously not learning that much ).

But - things aren't looking so bad for the ME Super
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