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11-10-2011, 10:54 PM   #1
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Spotmatic SP F Counter Advance

I have a new (to me) Spotmatic SP F in great condition. I've put a few rolls of film through it without a hitch. Yesterday, I noticed a slight change in the ratcheting sound when I advance the film. Actually, I didn't have any film loaded, but you get the idea. This only occurs for maybe 2 consecutive frames in 6 or 7; the others all sound normal. Here's where things get a little weird. When I pop-open the back, the frame counter doesn't always reset. I can try several times, walk away and come back an hour later, then it works on the first try, but not on the second or third.

As far as I can tell, the film advance functions; I'm just worried about putting any strain on any misaligned parts inside the film advance mechanism.

The only possible root cause I can think of is that I advanced the film with the counter at frame 36 several times (again with no film) just before I noticed this. Is it possible that this rotated something beyond a threshold that put something out of alignment? I don't remember ever forcing the film advance in any way; I'm just trying to understand where this symptom could have come from. Also, should I be concerned about using the camera in its current condition? Or, do I risk damaging it?

Thanks in advance (and sorry for the pun!)

11-10-2011, 11:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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The counter dial is advanced by a little pawl that is part of the film advance gears, the film door is what keeps it engaged to the teeth on the counter wheel. If the lever inside... this is what the door tab pushes against... gets stuck or bent, it will not release the counter and should just remain at the limit of the counter. Double check...while stuck at 36+ when you advance, the counter will still move a little bit and just not go any further... good sign that it is a big issue. Common thing that happens is that the foam from the film door has decayed and a bit of it gets stuck to the tab that engages the counter and the gooey foam then transfers to the lever inside. A simple check of the tab hole (located on the right top of the film door) for a piece of gunk stuck to it. A more serious stoppage, although rare, is the spring inside that holds the spindle with tension for the return of the dial has snapped.

Last edited by MysteryOnion; 11-10-2011 at 11:57 PM.

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