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07-06-2012, 06:50 PM   #1
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ME Super Shutter Speed Issues

Hey there,

I inherited an old ME Super and everything appears to work great except for one small - and important - thing: the shutter fires at the same speed regardless of the speed I've set it to.

Has anyone heard of this problem before? I thought I'd ask here just in case someone knows if it would be an easy fix or not. I'd rather not send it in to Eric Hendrickson at Pentaxs.com for repair (the shipping, labor and parts would be around $100, I'd guess), unless I have to.

I put in fresh batteries but that doesnt seem like it would be the problem, does it? I used 2 SR44 (1.55 Volt) batteries, as opposed to the LR44 (1.50 Volt) it's supposed to have - LR44 batteries weren't available at Walgreens, heh. The metering LEDs seem to work properly; it's only the shutter that doesn't fire at the right speed.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks!

07-06-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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Hi...Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Sorry about your ME Super. I can't lend you much wisdom except in regards to the batteries. The SR44 silver cell is an acceptable substitute for the LR44 alkalines with the advantage of having a longer life and more stable voltage on discharge.

As for your shutter...it sounds like the electronic control is no longer functioning and the shutter has defaulted to its single manual speed.


Steve
07-07-2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome, Steve!

That's disappointing to hear that the SR44 are suitable replacements for LR44 batteries. It does sound like a problem with the electronics, then. Do you think this is something Eric at Pentaxs.com can fix? I'm considering sending it out for repairs but I'm expecting the cost of repairing it to be high, unfortunately. Though since this was an inherited camera, I'm likely to do it anyway.

If you or anyone else has experience sending equipment to him for similar reasons, I'd love to know what your experience was with his service.

Cameron
07-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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Do you know what shutter speed its stuck on? Is it 1/125, because it defaults to that when there is no battery power. When you half press the shutter button, do the shutter speed LED's light up in the viewfinder. I assume that you have the mode dial set to auto and not x125.

07-07-2012, 04:12 PM   #5
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Even LR44s wouldn't have you stuck at the same shutter speed: the metering might just be off at times: (SR44s are regularly-available, actually, Wal-Mart always has em, even, in packs of three for some reason: those are the proper thing) If it's always the same speed, you must have dead batteries, or a mode dial or electronics problem.
07-07-2012, 04:50 PM   #6
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When I test this I'm usually in manual mode, trying 2s or 4s shutter speed but it doesn't stay open. It fires, just at one constant speed. In auto mode, the LEDs move to an appropriate speed but again, the shutter does not fire at the correct speed (even if auto sets it to 2s or 4s, for example).

Because the LEDs are working and the meter seems to be right, it seems to me a problem with whatever electronics that tell the shutter how fast to go.

I can't tell what shutter speed it's stuck on, but I'd bet it's at 1/125 as that's the default.
07-08-2012, 03:31 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by camrnw Quote
When I test this I'm usually in manual mode, trying 2s or 4s shutter speed but it doesn't stay open. It fires, just at one constant speed. In auto mode, the LEDs move to an appropriate speed but again, the shutter does not fire at the correct speed (even if auto sets it to 2s or 4s, for example).

Because the LEDs are working and the meter seems to be right, it seems to me a problem with whatever electronics that tell the shutter how fast to go.

I can't tell what shutter speed it's stuck on, but I'd bet it's at 1/125 as that's the default.
Well I've just seen your posting on DPReview forums where you say that a trip to Eric would be too expensive for you so I think you have got nothing to lose by stripping it down and trying to fix it yourself. Here's a link to the repair manual if you don't already have it:- http://pentax-manuals.com/manuals/service/me-s_sm.pdf

Good luck, its a great camera and worth saving IMHO. As for Eric..... I've never used him as I'm in the UK but his reputation is worldwide. I wish he was on my doorstep. I would rather pay $100 and end up with something that will last 20 years rather than pay $60 on a used ME Super which might fail next week.
07-08-2012, 06:04 AM   #8
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I recently picked up a used ME Super SE (mechanically & electrically identical to an ME Super) and it acted as you describe. I was lucky though - after 30 or 40 shutter actuations, it started to behave properly, and I suspect it will continue to work if I give it occasional exercise.

My guess is the electronics are all right. But electronics are almost always intricately tied to mechanics, usually on the small scale. An internal switch may be a little corroded, a bit of foam may have flecked onto something like a sensor, etc. If you too are lucky, firing the shutter a bunch of times really might take care of it. Otherwise a clean-lube-adjust is the way to go if you can talk yourself into spending a little on it.

07-09-2012, 11:27 AM   #9
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Thanks Sluggo. I think I may try the shutter some more and see if that does the trick. If not, I'll probably go with Vendee' suggestion and send it over to Eric for a repair. As an inherited camera, I'm inclined to keep it and I would prefer to have it in working order, despite the cost.
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