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02-19-2013, 04:33 AM   #1
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ME Super and cold= trouble?

Hi guys,
I've recently acquired a ME Super and went out to shoot a roll of test film today. Yesterday, it worked fine inside but today the mirror kept getting stuck in the up-position. I wonder if this has anything to do with the temperature (about 2 C/ 35 F)? I've checked the threads on the classic camera repair forum and a locked up shutter doesn't seem to be a rare thing on a ME Super but I'm just wondering what your experiences are in taking the camera out in the cold. My 2nd Me Super is in the freezer right now to see if I can replicate that behaviour

02-19-2013, 05:27 AM   #2
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It is entirely possible the battery's voltage is dropping due to the cold. In this case, I would suggest using the lithium CR1/3N or equivalent as they will maintain their voltage in extreme weather or keep the camera inside your jacket until you are ready.
02-19-2013, 05:43 AM   #3
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That might have contributed but since the mirror released and the lightmeter was working, I'm not sure about it. I'm a bit puzzled actually. I wasn't actually outside that long (maybe 15 minutes before the lock-ups occured) and have shot my other ME super outside as well with no no problem, which suggests to me that the problem is not temperature related. But I just checked again now and the camera is working perfectly at room temperature. Maybe some lube that gets less fluid when cold?
02-19-2013, 06:00 AM   #4
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Silver oxide batteries give better cold temperature performance over alkalines too.

02-19-2013, 08:55 AM   #5
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Pentax rated all these old manual film bodies to operate in temperatures from +50C to -20C. So you are well within range.

Has a CLA been done on the ME? The mirror foam may need replacing and is sticky, the cold may be making it worse.
Also try a new battery and see if that helps.

Phil
02-19-2013, 09:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice guys. I've just done a few more tests and it definitely isn't the battery, as the mirror also gets stuck when using 125X without batteries. As I didn't have a film in this time I also noticed that the shutter itself got stuck half way. I guess some lube in some place gets sticky in the cold and the camera needs a CLA
02-19-2013, 03:01 PM   #7
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Maybe something like a piece of film got trapped in the shutter assembly, and now the release cycle cannot complete because of it. When the mirror stays up, what do you do to bring it back down?
02-19-2013, 08:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by PLC3 Quote
Hi guys,
I've recently acquired a ME Super and went out to shoot a roll of test film today. Yesterday, it worked fine inside but today the mirror kept getting stuck in the up-position. I wonder if this has anything to do with the temperature (about 2 C/ 35 F)? I've checked the threads on the classic camera repair forum and a locked up shutter doesn't seem to be a rare thing on a ME Super but I'm just wondering what your experiences are in taking the camera out in the cold. My 2nd Me Super is in the freezer right now to see if I can replicate that behaviour
The most likely source of the problem is old lubricants combined with storage conditions. Pentax used excellent lubricants, but the cameras are getting old. If the body in question has been stored at high temperatures during its history, this will have dried out the lubricants to some extent, making them less fluid at cool temperatures.

If that is the case, the cure is a proper CLA. Not all CLAs are equal in terms of being done well enough to fix cold weather lubricant problems.

Note that cold weather behaviour can vary between bodies, depending on their history since new.

As others have said, the battery is also a possibility.

02-20-2013, 02:53 AM   #9
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Thanks again to everyone, I guess its time for a CLA!
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