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04-23-2016, 09:15 PM   #1
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Super Program Possible Defective Meter Readout

I have a Super Program I acquired recently as part of a package deal -- a lot of four cameras. I was after two other cameras in the lot, but I considered the SP to be "gravy." Well, as it turns out, it looks like it will be of limited usefulness unless I can figure out how to fix it. I've worked on various cameras over the years, so I'm not afraid of tearing into this one, especially since my investment in it is essentially zero.

What it's doing is not giving me a readout on the LCDs -- either the exterior or viewfinder ones. At least, not the way it's supposed to. When I lightly press the shutter button, nothing is displayed. After tripping the shutter, information appears in the readouts. I've discovered that if I depress the shutter button all the way down before advancing the film wind lever, the correct (and apparently accurate) information is displayed. But I have to depress the shutter button all the way down.

So, I guess my question is, is there an obvious (and hopefully easy) fix for this?

To be honest, this camera is not my Pentax cup of tea. I prefer the K-series, MX and LX. So I would like to see if I can get it working properly so I can put it up on eBay and sell it for a few bucks. If the fix is not so simple, then I'll just sell it for fewer bucks. But I'd really like to see if I can fix this little problem first.

Thanks in advance for any advice you'd care to offer.

04-23-2016, 09:43 PM   #2
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The shutter button has a two stage detent. The first is a press until you feel resistance to enable the meter. The second is a short press past that point to release the shutter.


Steve
04-24-2016, 03:49 AM   #3
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The shutter release feels normal to me -- I'm quite familiar with the whole "press halfway to activate the meter" thing. It's just that nothing happens with the meter when I do this.
04-24-2016, 07:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
When I lightly press the shutter button, nothing is displayed. After tripping the shutter, information appears in the readouts. I've discovered that if I depress the shutter button all the way down before advancing the film wind lever, the correct (and apparently accurate) information is displayed. But I have to depress the shutter button all the way down.
Something similar happened to me with one of my K2DMD. The meter "turn on" function broke, but the camera did do the correct exposure. Just finished the roll on aperture priority and a trip .to Eric was in order.

He fixed the issue and all is well.

Phil.

04-24-2016, 08:19 AM   #5
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Thanks, Phil. If I were planning on keeping this camera, I might send it to Eric. But I'm not, so I'd lose money if I sent it to him.
04-24-2016, 09:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
I have a Super Program I acquired recently as part of a package deal -- a lot of four cameras. I was after two other cameras in the lot, but I considered the SP to be "gravy." Well, as it turns out, it looks like it will be of limited usefulness unless I can figure out how to fix it. I've worked on various cameras over the years, so I'm not afraid of tearing into this one, especially since my investment in it is essentially zero.

What it's doing is not giving me a readout on the LCDs -- either the exterior or viewfinder ones. At least, not the way it's supposed to. When I lightly press the shutter button, nothing is displayed. After tripping the shutter, information appears in the readouts. I've discovered that if I depress the shutter button all the way down before advancing the film wind lever, the correct (and apparently accurate) information is displayed. But I have to depress the shutter button all the way down.

So, I guess my question is, is there an obvious (and hopefully easy) fix for this?

To be honest, this camera is not my Pentax cup of tea. I prefer the K-series, MX and LX. So I would like to see if I can get it working properly so I can put it up on eBay and sell it for a few bucks. If the fix is not so simple, then I'll just sell it for fewer bucks. But I'd really like to see if I can fix this little problem first.

Thanks in advance for any advice you'd care to offer.
In my experience this sort of issue is not unusual with Super Programs, at least when they see extensive use in bad conditions. I had two that I used a lot in extreme cold and generally tough situations for about 15 years. Both had problems, although oddly they became more reliable with age.

There is a small shiny button on the left side of the mirror box. When pushed it turns on the meter with illumination in the display windows. Try pushing the button. If the displays work, at least you know the LEDs themselves are not the problem. This means the issue is probably the meter switch in the shutter release. If that is the case, possible causes include bent or dirty contacts. Bent contacts of course require disassembly. Dirty contacts can often be fixed by very carefully dripping a small amount of electrical contact cleaner into the gap between the shutter release and the locking collar. One or two drops might do it. Maybe a bit into the cable release socket too. You can also try operating the shutter release via a cable release to see whether that stirs things up.

Make sure you are using fresh batteries and that the battery contacts are clean. Super Programs can get a bit weird when batteries are low.
04-24-2016, 10:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
The shutter release feels normal to me -- I'm quite familiar with the whole "press halfway to activate the meter" thing. It's just that nothing happens with the meter when I do this.
...except with the Super Program, it is more like a 7/8ths press, at least on my copy. A light press, such as on a Pentax dSLR will not do. Press down until you feel resistance to activate the display. Another thing to note is that the display need not be active to take a metered photo.


Steve
04-24-2016, 06:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info, John. That was very helpful. Yes, I was already aware of the function of that button on the lens mount. I'll give your ECC recommendation a try.

Steve, no joy on the shutter depress. It won't light up unless one of two situations exist: 1) I trip the shutter, in which case it will show me the exposure informaton used, and 2)depressing the shutter button fully before winding on the film. And yes, I weas getting the impression that, despite the meter display not working, it was metering a scene normally.

03-09-2017, 10:42 AM   #9
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I have a Program A that behaves the same way. It will only show exposure info in the LCD before winding the film on. After winding it will still show the shutter speed but not the exposure so if you've not metered before you've wound on, you're stuck using Av which will still function correctly or guessing your exposure in order to stick with manual. It's always been like that, I just thought it was a quirk of this camera.
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