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07-09-2015, 01:52 PM   #1
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Pentax Super A problem...it was almost an happy day when...

...I received a parcel from Germany with what I thought it was a good deal: a Pentax Super A, a A50 mm f1.7, a M databack and an A motordrive (difficult and expensive to procure).

Then I placed the batteries inside the camera and I noticed that something was wrong.

In short in program it looks like it works, just it can't choose an aperture smaller than f2.5, in shutter priority the aperture values on the display are completely off (the f stop increase when I close the diaphragm) but it looks it's fine, I mean when you close the lens the shutter time decreases and viceversa. Aperture priority is a mess: the camera doesn't recognise the correct aperture and I'm quite suspicious, I don't think it will give a correct exposure so I won't shoot a test roll with it until I'll have understood where the problem is.

In short I was so happy to get this burgle but now I'm thinking if I've done a good deal: by the way the 1.7 can't get any aperture below f11 (my understanding is that it's a common problem of this lens) while the motordrive at least works, it feels good and looks even better...I still need to find the batteries for the databack to check out it works too.

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07-09-2015, 02:50 PM   #2
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My Super A also usually fails to detect the correct aperture and when fired it doesn't stop down, regardless of the aperture set.

Dodgy 80s electronics make the Super A a very dodgy camera.
07-09-2015, 10:25 PM   #3
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This is a very interesting as I have the exact same setup as you do. I have always felt that mine under-exposes a little but it is consistent and this can be corrected with the exposure compensation dial. It has never messed me around with exposure combinations (f-stop and shutter speed). Using a TTL flash has also worked well.

One issue that I have found on my LX's is that I need to either have the lens fully open or fully closed when I put it on the body or else the aperture-coupling lever does not engage properly and the issue you described does happen. MAybe give this a try and then put the lens on A once it is mounted?

I love the way the SuperA is built and what it can do for what it is and when it was made and how small it is.

I will try and replicate your issues and let you know what I find.


If you don't mind, would you let me know in a pm what you paid for the bundle as I was trying to sell two bodies, databack, winder, motor drive and cables and there were no takers.
07-10-2015, 01:43 AM   #4
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LX? No, mine doesn't have that problem, but it doesn't have the PK-A mount either. I assume the contacts are not working properly, to be honest I bought this burgle because of the motordrive (which is very expensive) and the databack, still I'm annoyed, I had great expectation for this system.

07-10-2015, 08:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
LX? No, mine doesn't have that problem, but it doesn't have the PK-A mount either. I assume the contacts are not working properly, to be honest I bought this burgle because of the motordrive (which is very expensive) and the databack, still I'm annoyed, I had great expectation for this system.
How does the Super A behave with a M or K Series lens on aperture priority?

Otherwise email Eric or the guys at Harrow in the UK and see if they know. I sent my Super A & A50/1.7 to Eric last month for a CLA and they should be back soon. The Super A was working fine in the program modes, but had some "stuff" in the viewfinder. (bits of old mirror bumper). The A50/1.7 had a stiff aperture ring.

Hope this works out, as the Super A is a nice little camera. I'm also testing out a P50, but that's not quite as nice.

Phil.
07-10-2015, 01:19 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
How does the Super A behave with a M or K Series lens on aperture priority?

Otherwise email Eric or the guys at Harrow in the UK and see if they know. I sent my Super A & A50/1.7 to Eric last month for a CLA and they should be back soon. The Super A was working fine in the program modes, but had some "stuff" in the viewfinder. (bits of old mirror bumper). The A50/1.7 had a stiff aperture ring.

Hope this works out, as the Super A is a nice little camera. I'm also testing out a P50, but that's not quite as nice.

Phil.
With a K or M lens it behaves like with the A in manual aperture: on the display I see two numbers, aperture and shutter speed, like it's in program mode.

I think the KA mount is gone because without lens the camera works normally, I don't think that the camera is worth repairing, on ebay there are many around and all relatively cheap, the seller offered to take it back but on the other the motordrive an data back are in working condition and difficult to procure, so I would like to understand if there is some magic solution to the problem or I'll ask a partial refund and get a working one.

P.S. The Super A looks like a nice camera, not Fujica AX-5 nice but better than the A-1.

P.P.S The A50mm f1.7 building quality is embarassing in comparison to a K55mm, a Takumar or even the A50/1.4
07-10-2015, 01:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
..I still need to find the batteries for the databack to check out it works too.
It will work until 2019. You can't set any dates higher than that.
07-10-2015, 03:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
P.P.S The A50mm f1.7 building quality is embarassing in comparison to a K55mm, a Takumar or even the A50/1.4
As Eric said on his quote to repair the A50/1.7 sticky aperture ring "You have plastic on plastic which makes it feel sticky."

Yep I'll take the K55/1.8 over it any day.

Phil.

07-10-2015, 04:59 PM   #9
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I've avoided the "A" lenses and later because of the plastic used in places where it causes problems. But Pentax was just following the trend of the times. Leica even used a plastic inner barrel on an otherwise excellent 35mm f2 lens, which after years would crack and break so the fron group would fall off. The same model was made with all metal barrel, so you have to look close when shopping.
The mechanical build of the Asahi M42 lenses is hard to beat.
07-11-2015, 11:33 AM   #10
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I've been interested in databack equipped motorized cameras too and that Super A configuration which resembles the X-700. The X-700 is my most advanced unit as that databack is a full intervalometer.


07-11-2015, 12:22 PM   #11
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Yes yes in full armour it looks pretty badass, plus the motordrive is more pleasant to hold than the one of the LX but....a pity it doesn't work.

So...anybody know how to solve this aperture problem of the Super A? Today pushing hard I was able to unlock the 50/1.7, but still it's pretty unpleasant to move and it doesn't change the fact that IMO it's a shitty lens, the mai problem is how to make the camera work properly, any ideas?

I wouldn't like to ship it back, perhaps I should try to get a partial refund and get a super A or Super Program body which works.
07-13-2015, 07:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Yes yes in full armour it looks pretty badass, plus the motordrive is more pleasant to hold than the one of the LX but....a pity it doesn't work.

So...anybody know how to solve this aperture problem of the Super A? Today pushing hard I was able to unlock the 50/1.7, but still it's pretty unpleasant to move and it doesn't change the fact that IMO it's a shitty lens, the mai problem is how to make the camera work properly, any ideas?

I wouldn't like to ship it back, perhaps I should try to get a partial refund and get a super A or Super Program body which works.


Bummer as I thought the only problem was the 50/1.7 which is very cheap to replace here.
08-06-2015, 03:24 PM   #13
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I resurrect this old thread because I found a replacement for this body, got for 25 quid a Super A with the strap "camera of the year"..with my great surprise it has arrived also with the sticker and cap, so I assume it was really one of these limited edition Super As.

It's the dirtiest camera I received, now that I cleaned a bit I can even handle it, I put the batteries inside and it looks like it works better than the previous one, BESIDES:

1) The light for the LCDs doesn't work

2) In manual and aperture priority the camera doesn't show the f stop of the lens, while in program and shutter priority it does, is it normal?

How much difficult is to get a fully functional Super A?
08-06-2015, 06:42 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
I resurrect this old thread because I found a replacement for this body, got for 25 quid a Super A with the strap "camera of the year"..with my great surprise it has arrived also with the sticker and cap, so I assume it was really one of these limited edition Super As.

It's the dirtiest camera I received, now that I cleaned a bit I can even handle it, I put the batteries inside and it looks like it works better than the previous one, BESIDES:

1) The light for the LCDs doesn't work

2) In manual and aperture priority the camera doesn't show the f stop of the lens, while in program and shutter priority it does, is it normal?

How much difficult is to get a fully functional Super A?
Correct for #2, the Super A assumes you know the aperture, as you manually set it.

Not sure on #1

Phil.
08-06-2015, 11:43 PM   #15
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For #1, I have one body where the LCD illumination light is very faint. That one is being kept for spares/

For #2, in AE mode, it only shows you the shutter speed, in M mode, it shows you the shutter speed and how far the exposure is from ideal (old equivalent of the modern bar graph). Google the manual, it shows you there what the display shows for the various modes.
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