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06-28-2014, 02:32 AM   #1
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Pentax ME Super needs help

So i found this babe in my garage a couple weeks ago and i know the basics of film cameras and have a few but one of my friends was using it and came back with the film winder without any tension therefore the dial does switch numbers or move the film. How can i fix this or get it done someone preferably cheap? Also when i look through the view finder its complete darkness. I haven't gotten any film back from the camera too but it looks in great condition with just one cap on the bottom missing. please help!!!!! i kinda fell in love with this camera and now it is not working??

06-28-2014, 04:11 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ereilly Quote
So i found this babe in my garage a couple weeks ago and i know the basics of film cameras and have a few but one of my friends was using it and came back with the film winder without any tension therefore the dial does switch numbers or move the film. How can i fix this or get it done someone preferably cheap? Also when i look through the view finder its complete darkness. I haven't gotten any film back from the camera too but it looks in great condition with just one cap on the bottom missing. please help!!!!! i kinda fell in love with this camera and now it is not working??
I don't quite understand everything you are saying but the fact that you can only see black through the viewfinder suggests that the mirror is stuck up. This is quite common and may account for your other symptoms. The usual reason for the mirror sticking up is the foam "bumper" strip being old and sticky. You can buy a seal kit which will renew all the light seals and also includes the mirror bumper quite cheaply, either on ebay or by searching this forum for "Jon Goodman"
06-28-2014, 07:52 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!

If you live in North America you could also email Eric, he does Pentax film camera repairs:

Pentax Camera Service

Phil.
06-28-2014, 09:18 AM   #4
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I seem to have a few notes on this although I cant guarantee its correctness:-


Q I have an old ME-Super. The problem is while I was playing around with it to work the shutter, I lock-up the mirror. The shutter is jammed as well. Is there any easy fix without breaking the camera? I would like to use it every once in a while.


A 1 I've had this happen before when I had a lens off of the camera. Try moving the dial down to M and back up. The mirror will probably release.

A 2 Tonight I fixed this camera. It has been locked up for a long time (about 3 to 4 years) and I was about to give up on this one. I had to remove bottom plate release the part that was jammimg film advance. When I did this, The mirror came down. The film advance now works.

A 3 No need to take it apart... take the lens off and lightly flick your finger nail over the back wall... you'll know when you've found the right bit 'cos it'll release the mirror. magic! the film should be ok apart from a few frames too. double magic!


I hope some of this makes sense.

07-02-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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ME-Supers that have not received servicing or as it is call CL&A (clean lube and adjust) will often deteriorate in functionality. Don't let the following information scare you, but it is good to know these bits of info.

The most common thing to go is the foam seals around the viewfinder screen inside the mirror housing. Also, some foam falling from the 'Penta-Prism' seating space inside. The next thing that might be wrong and need attention is the rubber bumper that is used to reduce the shock of the mirror mechanism slamming from position to position. The bumper will often get very gooey and cause sticking issues... ofter called "sticky mirror syndrome". The next area to might go is the rubber bumpers that are inside the shutter leaf mechanism. These are the Venetian blinds like mechanism that make up the shutter. Some information is out there on DIY fixing of these issues. The first thing is to check if the foam is the only cause. Look for residue on the mirror if you are able to pry it down gently.
07-04-2014, 04:04 PM   #6
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Had mine lock up and I had the shutter assy. replaced, new light seals, cleaned and the meter checked. Good as new for $140.00 In my camera the film advance lever froze up and was likely caused by the seals deteriorating over time and gumming up the insides. It was worth it to me to fix the camera as I bought it new and carried it all over in my Navy days. It's good as new now and takes great pictures. Was using it this week doing B&W film.

Last edited by OrangeKx; 07-05-2014 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Typo
07-05-2014, 07:15 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrangeKx Quote
Had mine lock up and I had the shutter assy. replaced, new light seals, cleaned and the meter checked. Good as new for $140.00 In my camera the film advance lever froze up and was likely caused by the seals deteriorating over time and gumming up the insides. It was worth it to me to fix the camera as I bought it new and carried it all over in my Navy days. It's good as new now and takes great pictures. Was using it the week with some B&W film.
Its a lot of money but when you have owned the camera from new, its a no-brainer. I wish I'd kept my original K1000 but I sold it and I bought another for a few pounds 20 years later. I obviously don't feel the same about the new one as I did about my original one. I sold mine locally and I wonder if its still out there somewhere. It had a distinctive dink on the corner where my wife dropped it once and I'm sure I'd still recognise it
07-05-2014, 06:50 PM   #8
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The film takeup spool on the ME is different; instead of several slots that each have a 'nub' that engages the film sprocket hole and pulls it on to the spool, the ME has little white sticks. You can't just stick the film between two and go, you have to stick the leader through the whole thing, under several of those sticks to get the leader to stay. Remember to align the film correctly.

The mirror sticking may just be the foam. a service will fix that.

Yes, it seems unwise to spend 100+ bucks on a thirty dollar camera but remember all of these cameras were precision made, very technical and back in the day, cost several hundred dollars. The cameras I used to lust after and couldn't afford thirty years ago I can buy by the box load on many auction sites for darned near nothing! I have a Super Program that is going to Eric for a CLA soon and several of my other cameras I paid well over twice what I paid for the thing getting them serviced. I recently picked up a really super clean Nikon FE2. I mean from the outside this thing looks like new. Paid too much for it but I really wanted it. And just my luck, I get it and the foam is deteriorated, the mirror is stuck up AND....someone stuck a finger in the shutter it looks like. No broken glass, everything I can see/fiddle with looks right and except for the shutter and foam, looks like it ought to work. I'm sure I'll get the goofy-eye from my camera guy when I take it to him because I know it will cost to have that shutter replaced. But it will take really nice pictures when I get it working!!

Perhaps I'm just an old guy; I don't deal well with this throwaway idea. If it's broke, fix it. For equipment like Pentax especially, they were built really well. Just like my old Ford truck, I probably spent three times what I paid for the thing in 1085 on maintenance over the three decades I had it. I still miss that truck!

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