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01-17-2012, 08:58 AM   #1
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Spotmatic Film Advance problem

Trying to revive and reuse my long dormant Spotmatic (version with stop down metering and no flash shoe). Unfortunately the film advance does not work. While the wind lever works correctly and the takeup spool advances (when no tension from film), the film does not advance.

It appears that the rewind button does not "pop up" enough to reengage when the film advance is operated. It does pop up a bit, but apparently not enough. I removed the base plate to see if that would free it; no luck. I did try anything other than trying to wiggle it a bit.

An online search (including this forum) did not uncover any suggestions specific to this situation.

Any other suggestions? As the body, shutter, and meter are in good shape, I'd love to get this working again.

Thanks.

01-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #2
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Can't be much help but the same thing happened to a Spotmatic that seems to be the model you have.It has been so long ago that I don't remember all the detail.I took the bottom off and lubed it,helped some.the best I remember a lever seemed to be worn until it liked a little of going far enough but with a little push it would work.Used the camera a few months after this,sometimes could get threw a roll of film without problems but often it would hang up and would have to take the bottom off and advance the lever.Traded it in on a later model Spotmatic that worked properly for a small amount of money.This was some time in the 1970's.
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01-17-2012, 12:02 PM   #3
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Simple check... with the back opened, roll the toothed take-up spool in the direction of the film advance. If it is loose in that direction and after more than five revolutions it shows no sign of un-catching, then try alternating back and forth a full revolution each. The catch portion may be clogged with dried out grease and will not let go and this mentioned maneuver might loosen it.

Trickier, but easy... this requires the removal of the bottom plate. When the plate is out of the way, the catch to the button will be easier to seen. If you put a drop of lighter fluid and work the toothed spool again, this might un-gum the catch.

Otherwise, CLA by sending it to someone.


I hope you have luck with the one of the first two.
01-17-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, no luck with either approach.

I can see a lever that doesn't seem to seat firmly, but it's spring seems properly in place and even loosening it's hold down screw doesn't help.

01-18-2012, 03:17 AM   #5
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So the toothed spindle/spool thing is unlocked and spins in either direction?
01-18-2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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Yes, it does spin in either direction. Even after going through a few wind/shutter cycles.
01-19-2012, 03:02 AM   #7
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Do you by chance, looking from the bottom with the plate removed, see a lever that interacts with the button? I'm doing this from memory because the Spotty I fixed for a friend was over two years ago, but other models have similar. The little lever should pull out of the way when the advance lever is used. This little lever holds the rewinding button in the up or in position. The method of the rewind lock is simple and when it is engaged the spindle/spool is out of gear and when the button pops back to normal, it is back in gear again. Certainly see if a few drops of lighter fluid temporarily loosens it to pop it out.
01-19-2012, 07:40 AM   #8
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Your memory is good. That's the lever I was referring to in my post above. It does move, though not as "firmly" (if that makes sense) as it seems it ought to. Moving it manually as far as it would travel did not have an impact on the release button. I did try some lighter fluid; that did not help. Even loosening the screw that holds that lever down did not help; the lever wobbled (so loose) but did not travel any different.

Thanks.

01-23-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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It seems that the advance must not be completed at some point. Usually the mirror return will be in some part the completion. A part is held up from allowing the advance as to prevent double exposure. The end of the 2nd curtain's travel will let go of a hook or arm or sometimes allows the mirror to be reset and then lets go of a part to return the ability to advance. So in other words... upstream to the rewinding button must be a jam. Since you mentioned being able to work the shutter, then it is part of the mirror and that would make sense since Pentax SLRs all seem to work that way.
01-23-2012, 07:16 PM   #10
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FWIW, the mirror does operate, but I haven't looked closely at the shutter. Will try that later this evening.
01-24-2012, 10:07 AM   #11
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I don't see any obvious issues with the rear curtain advancing, though that doesn't rule out any issues with catches, springs, gears etc. I do notice that if I put modest pressure on the take up spool when winding I can stop the spool from rotating but can still easily operate the film advance lever.

Any interest in a parts or (presumably) repairable Spotmatic? I still have my SPII which is working fine.
03-03-2012, 04:48 AM   #12
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Hi, I have just bought a SP II along with a S-M-C 1.8/55. I also have some (not consistent) problems advancing the film after about half a 36pics film. The advance lever moves, the shutter cocks put doesīt pull the film and instead produces a rattling sound as it clicks on the uptake spool. A sound that is similar to one I get on an old and very used 6X7 (1969 version) that I have. Concerning the 6X7 I found some information about a spring that could be tightened to fix the problem and since the design and model year are close to the SP II, then I think the issue could be related? I also found a Pentax Spotmatic service manual here: http://www.robertstech.com/manuals.htm with technical drawings, which could be useful — if one has the experience and tools to dig into a more advanced repair job — personally I donīt. I asked around here in Copenhagen to find a repairman and the price here is around (equal to 200US). Which is quite a lot, when I can by another SP for some 30 to 80US on ebay, that is working. Since the problem occurs after about 20 exposures I could also use 24pics film or off coarse one of my later M models with my adapter to get the full frame use of the fantastic Takumar lenses—I would very much like to try working the SP II though. Hmm.

Last edited by jt_cph_dk; 03-03-2012 at 05:12 AM.
03-03-2012, 08:47 AM   #13
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The problem with service manuals is that they often assume to much general knowledge - so not for the inexperienced amateur. But, at first glance, the National Camera manual does seem more "user friendly". I'll have to try looking closer at that one.

Thanks for the link.
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