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12-15-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
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ME Super disassembly and problems

Hi

A little while ago I picked up a 50mm 1.7 SMC M lens intended for my new K-X digital and got a free broken ME Super attached!
The mirror was jammed in the up position, but after a little searching on google, I gave it a thump and the mirror dislodged itself.
After that the shutter would only fire every 5th or 4th attempt and then gradually came back to life.
I tried a test film in it and it was working fine at first, but I left it lying around for a few days before finishing the roll and it started skipping frames again.
As everything looks fine under the bottom cover I gather the problem is a sticky rubber bumper inside, next to the mirror box.

So, my question is this: how do you get the leatherette off without doing damage and then how do you stick it back on? (Also, any ideas for re-covering it?)
Also, I'm a bit nervous about desoldering it as I don't want to fry the electronics as they seem to be working fine.

Finally, when I got my test film back from scanning, there were a few frames towards the end where half of one frame was chopped off and appeared in the next frame instead. At first I assumed they had messed up the scanning, but is this more likely to be a winding problem maybe?

Thanks for any help!

A

12-15-2011, 12:04 PM   #2
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I had a similar problem with my ME Super. I would wind the advance lever, the film would advance but the shutter would not cock. It would do this for four or five frames and then finally catch. On my camera I discovered that a rubber bumper inside the camera had decomposed into a sticky mess and appeared to be causing my problems. I cleaned it up and got it working again. I really need to replace the bad rubber part because now 3 or 4 years later it is starting to do the same thing again, no surprise there since i didn't actually replace the bad part with a new one. lol. Anyway here is a picture with a pointer showing the problem spot on my camera. I will warn you that taking apart one of these cameras is not for the faint of heart. I enjoy doing this kind of work so it was not a big deal for me, but I have no good way to tell if someone else will have trouble with it or not.




Removing the leatherette is quite easy. Just pry up a corner and start pulling. It is just stuck on with contact cement. I used Pliobond to stick it back on when I was done. You will have to desolder some connections to get the camera fully torn down. And some of the connections don't leave you much room to work with!
12-17-2011, 08:51 AM   #3
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rebuild ME Super

The following are some sites I believe will help in rebuilding your ME Super.
I wish you good luck and keep us updated .

Mysteryonion blog
Classic Camera Repair Blog
Matt Denton Photo
Ace Camera Camera Repair Tools, Adapt or Create Your Own Miniature Tools, Shutter Speed Testers
Desoldering article
Common failure problems with ME Super
Camera Leather
Camera leather replacement instructions
US Camera
Micro Tools
If all fails send to Eric he will fix it.
12-18-2011, 08:06 AM   #4
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Brilliant!

Thank you both for the replies. Really helpful picture and a wealth of information in those links.
I will have a go next week when I have more tools to hand and will let you know how I get on.

12-18-2011, 10:54 AM   #5
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kinda off topic,,,but why don't we have a repair forum?
12-29-2011, 08:20 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I came across a thread with what I think is a very significant little tip regarding these cameras.

Flickr: Discussing Me super problem in ME Super

About half way down there's a mention of storing these cameras wound on and ready to shoot. This makes sense as the metal arm in the picture (I think) would not be pressing against the rubber for an extended period of time and therefore would not have a chance to stick.
I've tried it with mine over the past week or two along with cycling the shutter through a few empty shots every now and then and it's now stopped skipping shots.
01-04-2012, 08:47 AM   #7
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That's a good tip. I always leave the camera in a unwound state, so I'll try leaving it wound and see if that helps.
01-13-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by EyeSpy Quote
kinda off topic,,,but why don't we have a repair forum?
I really would appreciate that, since I was looking one long evening for all those repair sites and tips (the pentacom site where this info was availbalbe isn't there anymore)

01-15-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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old but good:

Disassembly of the Pentax ME Super Camera

Octav
01-15-2012, 03:48 PM   #10
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Thanks Octav!

I do remember seeing that site months ago before I got around to working on the camera but it was gone when I went to find it again. Great site, I wonder what happened to mypentax.com ?
I can't see the images on the web archive thing but lots of information there none the less.
01-15-2012, 10:32 PM   #11
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I have tried the overnight cocked shutter solution. I works on 2 ME S bodies with the dreaded syndrome.
Thanks!

Octav
01-15-2012, 10:56 PM   #12
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OK, I will apply therefore the following steps:
I have three ME S bodies out of which two are manifesting the sticky bumper problem. Dunno why I like this cams so much.

I will keep the body with no film in it in unwound state, to avoid damaging the shutter springs.
After a long wait on the shelf, the shutter will not catch. I found that if I cock the lever and keep it cocked for 30 sec or so (with the lever in cocked position) the shutter will catch. . In this way, after just three or four actuation, the machine is ready for battle.
Therefore, before I load it with film, I'll apply the above solution until I feel it's OK. Then I'll just leave it cocked, until the film roll is over.

Octav
01-17-2012, 12:17 PM   #13
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If the the rubber bumper is still semi-solid then you may have some luck with the shelving trick, but other times the bumper is gooey like paste or wet glue. Also, if the arm just under the screw has dried out grease, then the problem still will be the mirror box/cage not resetting after the cycle starts.
01-17-2012, 03:12 PM   #14
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To be honest, I have dismantled one body but didn't want to remove the rubber bumper. I love the camera for the quiet shutter; didn't want to take that away.
But, I could clearly see the latch being stuck. Cleaned, lubricated with silicone grease and reassembled. For a while it was fine, but then the problems returned.
That's why I'm trying to "standardize" a workaround procedure.
Honestly, if I can find a way to avoid paying money, I will take that road. 150 USD for just one body it's too much for me.

Octav
01-17-2012, 04:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by octavmandru Quote
To be honest, I have dismantled one body but didn't want to remove the rubber bumper. I love the camera for the quiet shutter; didn't want to take that away.
But, I could clearly see the latch being stuck. Cleaned, lubricated with silicone grease and reassembled. For a while it was fine, but then the problems returned.
That's why I'm trying to "standardize" a workaround procedure.
Honestly, if I can find a way to avoid paying money, I will take that road. 150 USD for just one body it's too much for me.

Octav
I did go a little deeper than that....took out the whole reflexhousing, replaced the bumper and lubed. But I have to get out the shutter outsince the first curtain is stuck due to a worn out (leaking) kind of bumper. Problem: the two screws holding the shutter to the body are stuck like hell.
How to loosen up these screws?

looking at these pictures found on the web, it seems more people are having a hard time getting out the srews...



Last edited by Ron (Netherlands); 01-17-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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