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03-19-2012, 08:46 PM   #1
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Broken shutter button exposure indicator on Super Program

The troubleshooting forums seems to be mostly digital these days so I figured this would get a faster answer here.

Since I inherited it (and possibly long before) my Super Program has never shown the exposure info in the LCD by just pressing the shutter release button down half way, I have to press the button on the left side that also turns the light on. I know the function on the button works because if I push the shutter release all the way down and hold it after the shutter releases, the exposure info will stay on the LCD screen until I release it. Is this a matter of dirty contacts or adjustments or what?

I downloaded the service manual PDF for it but its fairly useless as it mostly tells you what to do without saying how to actually do it and mentions tools that probably don't exist anymore.
Its not worth it for me to send it in, I could get another one cheaper, but this one is mine so I want to fix it.

If nothing else I'll just tear into it and figure it out as I go along, though I risk making it junk that way.
Exploratory surgery worked ok when I took my A50 1.4 apart for a full service, (only took about 10 tries to reassemble it clocked correctly).

03-19-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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No need to go tearing it all apart. I have had a Super program for many years and they will last a long time.
From my experience if you let the little batteries in the bottom run down too low the camera will start to act a little funny.
Open the battery cover with a Nickle and take the batteries down to your local drug store and get replacements.
With a fresh set of batteries the electronics will probably function normally.
03-20-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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This camera has been through years of use and many sets of batteries with this button not working correctly. It has new batteries in it now since I just pulled it out of storage with thoughts of using it again.
03-20-2012, 08:38 PM   #4
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If you're competent to take apart a lens and put it back together in working condition -- however many tries it took -- I imagine you'll be able to handle getting to the shutter switch of a Super Program. I have done a similar repair on a P30t, and it took a while to puzzle it out, but I was successful in cleaning the contacts and getting the half-press to turn on the meter again.

Good luck, and after it's done, please take the time to share disassembly steps with the rest of us. That's a selfish request, because in fact I also have a Super Program with the problem!

And you're right, new batteries don't solve this. The only trick I've been able to use is to work the button up and down a bunch of times before winding the film. That sometimes makes the half-press work for just a little while, but it's not a real fix.

03-21-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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Someone on this site posted a link to the service manual for this camera, it will be a help but its not enough to go on, its obviously meant to be a guide for this specific camera meant for someone who already knows what they are doing. The part that concerns me is the number of tiny pin spanner (or whatever you call them) like tools they use, not at all like the big lens version, these are almost odd tiny sockets and it looks like at least one is involved in the shutter button since you can see the 2 notches in the ring around the button itself, its possibly that only that one ring needs to be unscrewed and then the button itself would pop out for cleaning without taking anything else apart, but mine seems stuck, maybe yours will come loose.

EDIT: Ok I've given up, after looking at the manual again this is hopeless for a do it yourselfer, there are too many of those special wrenches needed just to get all the controls off the top cover, and its designed as terribly with no thought to servicing them as the modern DSLR's. I managed to get that switch bezel off using a screw adjustable drafting compass, but the contact for the half press is actually completely under the switch in an area that requires near 100% disassembly of the camera and removal of the switch from the camera to access it. The switch may not even be serviceable as the diagrams show the shutter release button and the plate it mounts to as all one piece.

Last edited by PPPPPP42; 03-21-2012 at 11:01 AM.
03-21-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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WD40
just a tiny little bit....
03-21-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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>...hopeless for a do it yourselfer...

Them's fightin' words. :-) I'm going to have to try mine now.
03-21-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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Okay, fixed, maybe. I'll have to give it some time before saying so with confidence. The reason I'm less sure about this than about the P30t is, I didn't really get the shutter switch apart. Just got enough stuff out of the way that there was a slot to get the cleaner spray into the innards.

You do need a small spanner tool. I got mine from micro-tools. It's handy for working on lots of the older film Pentaxes.


1. Remove two screws from the back of the top plate.
2. Remove two screws from the front of the top plate, found on the sides of the lens mount.
3. Open film door, insert screwdriver into rewind-shaft fork to immobilize it, unscrew the rewind knob (counterclockwise) and set it aside.
4. Use spanner tool to unscrew (counterclockwise) the nut on top of the film speed dial; remove it and lift the dial off.
5. Remove small screw that had been under the film speed dial.
6. Remove rubber cap on film advance lever. Just pull it off with a thumbnail.
7. Use spanner tool to unscrew (CLOCKWISE!) and remove the nut holding on the advance lever, then lift off the advance lever and the spring washer that should be found below it.
8. Use spanner tool again to unscrew (back to counterclockwise) the nut that had been under the advance lever.
*** KEEP CAMERA ORIENTED UPRIGHT FOR STEPS 9-11 OR YOU WILL LOSE A TINY BALL BEARING ***
9. Use spanner tool to unscrew (counterclockwise) the black plastic collar around the shutter button, until the collar lifts free.
10. Lift top plate off the camera. You can't completely remove it because there is a wire to the flash shoe, so just gently keep it out of the way while you do the rest, trying not to break the wire or its solder connection.
11. Using a piece of clear tape -- not your fingers, not tweezers -- lift out the ball bearing on the left side of the shutter button, and set it aside, still stuck to the tape.
12. Locate a slot on the front of the shutter switch, somewhere on the shaft below the button. Spray standard electronics cleaner (not WD-40) through the slot; soak the switch well.
13. Spend a minute or two working the switch while wet - full presses and releases, half presses and releases, half presses with the little bit of twist it allows you.
14. Reassemble in reverse order. I continued to use Scotch tape as the tool to put the ball bearing back in place, as it seemed the safest thing.

If anyone knows a way to truly get the switch apart, I'll be interested to hear it. I doubt the switch is available to replace, so this is the best I could do with it for now. Anyway, in AUTO mode, a half press on the shutter now reliably turns the meter on. We'll see if it lasts.


Last edited by Sluggo; 03-24-2012 at 10:02 AM.
03-21-2012, 06:39 PM   #9
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Did you guys take any pictures?...please post them if you did. It would be nice to see what is in there.
03-21-2012, 06:53 PM   #10
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Hi SuperK5. I have another Super Program body that is working fairly well but could probably benefit from the same cleaning -- assuming the one I just did turns out to have been effective. If so, I'll be sure to have pictures to post after doing that one.
03-21-2012, 06:59 PM   #11
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Thanks...All the info would be great. I would like to keep my Super Program running as long as possible as it is a great little camera.

Do you have the link to the service manual?

Thanks.

p.s. how does the button feel to the touch when it's in that funky state....does it feel crunchy or make any funny sounds?
03-21-2012, 07:08 PM   #12
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I don't have a link to the service manual. Actually have never been able to make sense of camera service manuals. And the button doesn't feel or sound any different to me when the switch is working right and when it isn't.
03-21-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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I forget if this is where I downloaded the PDF from, you can get an idea what he is talking about.
http://www.robertstech.com/manuals.htm
03-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
I forget if this is where I downloaded the PDF from, you can get an idea what he is talking about.
http://www.robertstech.com/manuals.htm
Thanks for the link... i just downloaded it.
03-24-2012, 09:59 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperK5 Quote
Did you guys take any pictures?...please post them if you did. It would be nice to see what is in there.
[Repair set on flickr]
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