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03-28-2008, 10:12 PM   #1
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Repairing a Pentax Program Plus?

I have Pentax Program Plus body which I got thrown in with a couple of A-series lenses that I bought off craigslist. The previous owner told me it wasn't working, but I don't really know what is wrong with it.

Here's what I have figured out so far. It has two little LED displays in the bottom of the viewfinder:
  • If I put on an A-series lens, and put the camera in "Auto" mode, it says
    "1ooo" in the left display, and the right display is blank. The display turns off after a little while, and depressing the shutter halfway causes it to reappear. So far so good...
  • If I turn it to "Manual" mode with the aperture on the A position, it displays a flashing "E" (Error) in the left display, and the right display is blank. If I turn the aperture to a numerical position, the left display once again shows "1ooo", and the right display briefly flashes "-3".
  • If I turn it to the next position on the mode dial, it displays "1oo" in the left display. I assume this is the flash sync mode, and 1/100s is the fastest sync speed.
  • Finally, if I turn it to the last position, "B", of the mode dial, it displays a nice big "B" in the left display. This is obviously bulb mode.

So it seems like the electronics are more or less okay. Maybe the meter is broken? It always says "1ooo" or "1oo", and never displays an aperture value in the right half of the display, regardless of whether I point it at brighter or dimmer things.

The main issue I see is that the film winding lever doesn't turn, it moves about 1/4 of the way then stops. The shutter release doesn't work either, I assume because it won't release until the film is wound.

Does it matter that there isn't actually any film in it right now? Frankly, I don't even know *how* to load film... I was born in the early 80s so cut me some slack Can anyone give me hints on how to get this thing working, or to figure out if the meter is really broken?

03-29-2008, 03:38 AM   #2
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Set the camera to auto, and then move the lens' aperature ring over to the A mark. That should do the trick.

As for the camera knowing if there's film in it; unless there's DX contact pins in the slot where the film cassette goes, it won't know if there's film in it or not.

Pentax Program Plus instruction manual, user manual, free PFD camera manuals

You're going to want to read the manual for all the other details...
03-29-2008, 02:36 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by moxfyre Quote
I have Pentax Program Plus body which I got thrown in with a couple of A-series lenses that I bought off craigslist. The previous owner told me it wasn't working, but I don't really know what is wrong with it.

Here's what I have figured out so far. It has two little LED displays in the bottom of the viewfinder:
  • If I put on an A-series lens, and put the camera in "Auto" mode, it says
    "1ooo" in the left display, and the right display is blank. The display turns off after a little while, and depressing the shutter halfway causes it to reappear. So far so good...
  • If I turn it to "Manual" mode with the aperture on the A position, it displays a flashing "E" (Error) in the left display, and the right display is blank. If I turn the aperture to a numerical position, the left display once again shows "1ooo", and the right display briefly flashes "-3".
  • If I turn it to the next position on the mode dial, it displays "1oo" in the left display. I assume this is the flash sync mode, and 1/100s is the fastest sync speed.
  • Finally, if I turn it to the last position, "B", of the mode dial, it displays a nice big "B" in the left display. This is obviously bulb mode.

So it seems like the electronics are more or less okay. Maybe the meter is broken? It always says "1ooo" or "1oo", and never displays an aperture value in the right half of the display, regardless of whether I point it at brighter or dimmer things.

The main issue I see is that the film winding lever doesn't turn, it moves about 1/4 of the way then stops. The shutter release doesn't work either, I assume because it won't release until the film is wound.

Does it matter that there isn't actually any film in it right now? Frankly, I don't even know *how* to load film... I was born in the early 80s so cut me some slack Can anyone give me hints on how to get this thing working, or to figure out if the meter is really broken?
As to the winding lever problem, try opening the back of the camera, and spinning the sprockets in the direction toward the takeup spool. It is possible that the camera is stuck between frames.

Another situation, depending on your estimate of the 1/4 turn, is that the camera shutter is cocked. The lever will open to the meter on point, and go no further in this case.

The third situation is to simply replace the battery. Flashing LEDs usually mean "dead battery".
03-29-2008, 03:10 PM   #4
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I have not used my SP much lately, but i think the you need to load a roll of film in the camera, and advance said film until frame 1. The 1000 should go a way. This is again, i think, cause i have not used the camera for a while.

The meter is activated by moving the film advanced lever 1/4 of the way. again i think loading film will solve this problem.

As far as loading film, go for it. Its a wonderfull experience.

Does the PP have the "magic fingers" or was that just the SP.??

Never was a fan of the magic fingers loader.

Dave

03-29-2008, 05:47 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks, all! After an exhaustive disassembly experience (http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00Oy7p) I figured out that there was a little spring loose which prevented the winding lever from working.

But the shutter button still doesn't activate the shutter release Although I can activate it with the bottom cover removed and a well-placed pair of tweezers .

Does anyone know how the shutter button is supposed to activate the shutter release? Via a direct mechanical connection, or electromechanically via a relay?
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