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05-01-2014, 07:35 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
FWIW Eric thinks more highly of the P-series cameras than the &amp;quot;plastic Pentax&amp;quot; MZ/ZX cameras.&lt;br /&gt;<br />
&lt;br /&gt;<br />
Chris
&lt;br /&gt;<br />
&lt;br /&gt;<br />
What about the SF series?

Oh, btw have you managed to open the bottom plate of the P30? I'm just as curious.

05-02-2014, 06:46 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I find this statement a little puzzling. This is first I have heard of a generic durability issue with a P3 or P5 variant.
Well maybe I generalized. But I have read a LOT about shutter issues with the P series. Every forums has a bunch of threads about it.

Also, I am feeling a bit frustrated since I have an A3000, a P30T and a ZX-M. All have Pentax electronic shutters that broke down shortly after I got them (and they were all pretty much freebies, that's why I got them). They were all in excellent or "like new" cosmetic condition, so these cameras were never abused. They just broke down because they were engineered to only last a while (plastic mechanisms in the shutter).

In the meantime, my Minolta XG-M keeps reliably working (and there's reports of that shutter giving problems as well, but so far, so good thank God). To the point that I'm now thinking about investing a bit more in Minolta lenses... KEH's inventory has been pretty much depleted after the A7 came out. Maybe I should get some before they're all gone!

Or... Perhaps I just need to get me a KX or KM...
05-02-2014, 07:44 AM   #18
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Christian, since you are close to Atlanta, I recommend you buy the stuff from KEH directly.
They are nice and since you are close enough you can pick the stuff up and they can help testing the equipment before you buy...
05-02-2014, 07:54 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Well maybe I generalized. But I have read a LOT about shutter issues with the P series. Every forums has a bunch of threads about it.

Also, I am feeling a bit frustrated since I have an A3000, a P30T and a ZX-M. All have Pentax electronic shutters that broke down shortly after I got them (and they were all pretty much freebies, that's why I got them).
I guess I don't frequent those other forums. The rule of thumb with electronic shutter cameras is that they will fail when the electronics fail. As for your cameras, the issue you are having with your P30T is a problem with film transport, not the shutter. The two systems are interlocked, but quite separate. I don't remember your issues with the A3000 and ZX-M, but given that both have motorized film transport, I would not be surprised if there were issues with that system on those cameras as well.

Very few (none?) of the shutters on that era of cameras were made by the camera manufacturers. The same is true now. The two main suppliers of electronic shutters were Copal and Seiko. Both are very reliable and plastic was not part of their construction. My Ricoh XR-2s, for example, has the same shutter as in the Nikon FM. It is my understanding that the Pentax cameras had Seiko shutters. Your Minolta used a horizontal cloth shutter design that may very well have been made by Minolta.

I stand by my assertion regarding the P-series Pentax bodies. I may not be remembering correctly, but I do believe that your problem is the first report on this forum of a P-series failure since I have been active here (5+ years). They were relatively inexpensive new (priced below the top-end A-series), but are not junk. Consider again the bullet points in my post above.

I reviewed your inquiry from a few months back regarding the A3000 and ZX-M and "most reliable Pentax". The advice given there was good.


Steve

---------- Post added 05-02-14 at 08:01 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
They are nice and since you are close enough you can pick the stuff up and they can help testing the equipment before you buy...
KEH tests and often refurbishes everything that goes out the door. They also warranty the purchase. They currently have a ME Super in EX condition for $49 USD and a Super Program (also EX) for $59.


Steve

05-02-2014, 08:05 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
Christian, since you are close to Atlanta, I recommend you buy the stuff from KEH directly.
They are nice and since you are close enough you can pick the stuff up and they can help testing the equipment before you buy...
I've bought stuff from them before, but you can't go and pick anything up. They only sell via mail. I've called them about this before.

But I still might get a camera from them, we'll see.

Again, these were all freebies (or came free with lenses). So I shouldn't be complaining. But I'm surprised at the high failure rate. Of the 3 cameras, the P30T is the only one that actually seems like it might be easily fixable - the shutter might be working and this might just be a problem with the winding mechanism. Probably still not worth the cost of fixing (especially considering something else might break right after, with my luck...)

Edit: the plastic moving parts on the ZX-M are on the motor, so that seems to be the common trend here... the courtain doesn't seem to want to go back to its position unlike in my A3000 where I can touch it and it goes back. And the mirror is in a halfway position, which is also weird, but it could point to a shutter mechanism failure. With the A3000, the mirror was either all the way up, or in the correct position.

---------- Post added 05-02-14 at 11:25 AM ----------

Ok, an update on the P30T. I'm able to test it without film now (I don't know why, but when I got it it wouldn't work until I put a film in it...).

It cranks right about 80-90% of the time now. Only every 5-10 windings, does it seem to skip a frame and I have to wind it twice before I can trigger the shutter again.

The shutter sound seems to have gotten louder though (an ugly metal clank!), and the mirror seems to move quite slowly compared to the Minolta and my digital Pentax. If I remember right the K1000 also had a faster moving mirror. Maybe if I keep playing with it, the spiderwebs will eventually fall off and it will work most if not all the time? I'm hopeful

Last edited by ChristianRock; 05-02-2014 at 08:26 AM.
05-02-2014, 10:02 AM   #21
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Another P30T update!

I've shot over 50 frames now (with no film) and every time the winder is working right! I'm starting to feel confident about putting some film in this camera.

I've verified the light seals in the mirror cavity (is that the term?) and the back all look good! So I might be able to use it for a while before I have to CLA it.

I'm excited! The ZX-M was my first choice because of the 1/2000 shutter speed, but the P30T should work with my DA 35!
05-02-2014, 12:21 PM   #22
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Great,
IIRC the P30 only has foam on the mirror and in the film-window... doors were grooved (a la Zeiss) to avoid seals
05-02-2014, 12:26 PM   #23
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Yeah that's where I found the seals... and they look good! They actually seem easy to replace when it eventually comes to that.

07-30-2014, 03:44 AM   #24
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Hello.

I bought my first film camera two weeks ago, a P30t, and it has the skipping shutter problem. The thing is that it works perfectly without film, but as long as film is inside the shutter only works as long as I wind the lever twice. For each time I take a picture, I lose another one picture. It's a bit frustrating, since I see that the camera works perfectly fine without film. Batteries are ok, the camera meters properly. Regarding the shutter metalic click when I wind slowly, I'd say I can always hear it. So, I don't know if this mechanical or electronical problem.

How's your unit, ChristianRock?
08-03-2014, 04:11 PM   #25
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this may help

P30 Wind-On Problem
08-04-2014, 01:15 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by rodaballo Quote
How's your unit, ChristianRock?
Mine's working great.

But like I said earlier in the thread, I spent a couple hours just shooting and winding without film. Must have given the shutter at least a couple hundred actuations. Now it works ok. Only once did it skip a frame since then, and I'm not really sure it skipped, or if I had just forgotten to wind earlier...

I did keep changing batteries, I have two different sets that I could choose from. I think the ones that are in there now are from a cheap Sunbeam set (alkalines).
06-12-2018, 08:40 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
I recently got a P30T and I'm testing it out... at first I thought the shutter wasn't working but it was just stuck.

Now I'm running a test roll through it and it seems like the shutter will only cock every 2 frames. For example, if I'm at frame 8 and I press the shutter, it takes the pic and the winder only locks when I'm in frame 10. If I'm in frame 9 it's not locked and pressing the shutter doesn't do anything.
I just put another set of LR44s in it so I know it's not the batteries...

I'm testing it with a very old roll of slide film (expired 1991) before I put any good film through it. I'm glad I did that... it's Ektachrome 200 but I figure that old film has nothing to do with the winder/shutter, and I wanted to make sure those were working.

Any ideas? It's a very nice looking camera and I'd love to get it working!
Hi, I've just bought a P30t and I'm getting the same problem. I'll try some of the suggestions. Reluctant to bin it as it otherwise seems a very nice camera.
06-15-2018, 08:08 AM   #28
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I purchased two P30 cameras many years ago, one is still working great, the other had the problem you are describing. Unlike my MG, which has the same issue, the P30 is suppose to be an easy repair. In the MG, the lever in the mirror box was made too flimsy and once it wears out, it will not re-set properly. (As my camera repair man told me a couple of weeks ago after looking at my MG)

I gave my P30 with the issue to a person who said they knew how to fix it. As he explained, there are two screws under the top plate that are part of the advance mechanism and are known to come loose from the plastic they are screwed into. He repaired the camera in a few hours, and as far as I know, he is still using it today, 10 years later. I can't tell you more than that because I've never had mine apart and have lost touch with him a couple of years ago.
06-15-2018, 09:09 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by theoldsmithy Quote
Hi, I've just bought a P30t and I'm getting the same problem. I'll try some of the suggestions. Reluctant to bin it as it otherwise seems a very nice camera.
So did this work out for you?

I wouldn't bin it... it is indeed a nice camera. I prefer it to the K1000 to be honest, it feels better in the hands and everything just works so smoothly (when it works...)
06-17-2018, 03:47 AM   #30
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The P30's have basically the same mechanics that go back to the introduction of the ME. They do not like to sit around for years unused, and if they are they can suffer from failure of the shutter to cock when the film is wound on.

I'm assuming the camera is electrically 'alive' and the meter works. If so, the quick fix - especially applicable to the P30's because the smaller number of seals they have are usually OK, is to take off the bottom cover and apply some silicone lubricant. Use silicone because it is safe with plastic parts. Work it in by repeatedly cycling without film and hey presto, good for another 20 years .

Don't do this with the precious camera you inherited from your grandfather. But since P30's essentially come free with a lens, it will in 9 cases out of 10 get them serviceable again for trivial expense.

Last edited by redbirdpete; 06-17-2018 at 05:17 AM. Reason: Added a caution
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