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07-12-2016, 12:21 PM   #1
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Another Pentax ME Super Light Meter problem - aperture coupling?

Hi guys, I had a quick look and couldn't see any topics on this specific problem (lots on broken light meters though!) so apologies if this has already been answered. I know a little but I'm no expert, so bear with me if I look like an idiot.

I had to take my ME Super apart to give it a general clean up and fix a winding lever issue. this all went pretty well and it winds fine now, but it appears I may have broken the light meter and/or aperture coupling in the process. By coupling, I mean the little lever thing between 1 o'clock and 2 o'clock on the camera lens mount.
The light meter is only showing either UNDER or OVER exposed flashing LEDs, depending on the aperture position when I press the shutter button. I've tried other batteries, so that's not it, and the camera still chooses the "correct" shutter speed as it is noticeably slower in darker conditions. What I'm wondering is that due to fact the ME Super uses wide-open metering, if the aperture coupling is broken somehow, this would affect the way the light meter calculates a shutter speed and thus potentially mess up the display LEDs.
Am I correct in thinking that the coupling is supposed to be spring loaded, so that it returns to a default position to allow the lens aperture position to be fed back to the light meter? Because mine doesn't do that, so that could well be the source of my problems....

Anyone's thoughts would be much appreciated

07-12-2016, 07:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by RoyalMint Quote
Hi guys, I had a quick look and couldn't see any topics on this specific problem (lots on broken light meters though!) so apologies if this has already been answered. I know a little but I'm no expert, so bear with me if I look like an idiot.

I had to take my ME Super apart to give it a general clean up and fix a winding lever issue. this all went pretty well and it winds fine now, but it appears I may have broken the light meter and/or aperture coupling in the process. By coupling, I mean the little lever thing between 1 o'clock and 2 o'clock on the camera lens mount.
The light meter is only showing either UNDER or OVER exposed flashing LEDs, depending on the aperture position when I press the shutter button. I've tried other batteries, so that's not it, and the camera still chooses the "correct" shutter speed as it is noticeably slower in darker conditions. What I'm wondering is that due to fact the ME Super uses wide-open metering, if the aperture coupling is broken somehow, this would affect the way the light meter calculates a shutter speed and thus potentially mess up the display LEDs.
Am I correct in thinking that the coupling is supposed to be spring loaded, so that it returns to a default position to allow the lens aperture position to be fed back to the light meter? Because mine doesn't do that, so that could well be the source of my problems....

Anyone's thoughts would be much appreciated
Greetings. According to your report on cleaning and repairing and the meter still did not function properly, I can venture to say that the ME Super suffers the same fate as the ME and that is that the photocells deteriorate over time. These are very old releases from Pentax and as we all know, nothing lasts forever. I ended up donating all of my MEs and ME Supers to the Service Center, because it was not cost effective to have them repaired. In addition I was informed that there are no replacement parts available for these cameras. I hope this helps.

Antonio
07-12-2016, 07:19 PM   #3
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Yes, the lever is spring loaded. It should be around the 2 o'clock position with the lens removed. You probably disengaged the spring. Was the meter operating before you worked on it?

You can download the ME Super service manual from pentax-manuals.com here:
http://pentax-manuals.com/manuals/service/me-s_sm.pdf
07-13-2016, 10:32 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
Greetings. According to your report on cleaning and repairing and the meter still did not function properly, I can venture to say that the ME Super suffers the same fate as the ME and that is that the photocells deteriorate over time. These are very old releases from Pentax and as we all know, nothing lasts forever. I ended up donating all of my MEs and ME Supers to the Service Center, because it was not cost effective to have them repaired. In addition I was informed that there are no replacement parts available for these cameras. I hope this helps.

Antonio
Thanks, I should have clarified that the meter was working fine before I disassembled it so that leads me to believe that the light meter still works and I've done something to break a connection or damage it in some way. However, if I find it's completely broken, I shall certainly send it to the spare parts bin so that other Pentaxs may live.

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Yes, the lever is spring loaded. It should be around the 2 o'clock position with the lens removed. You probably disengaged the spring. Was the meter operating before you worked on it?

You can download the ME Super service manual from pentax-manuals.com here:
http://pentax-manuals.com/manuals/service/me-s_sm.pdf
I was expecting it to be spring loaded, so whilst this not working doesn't immediately point to the problem, it's definitely wrong. I'm assuming there's a variable resistor somewhere connected to the aperture coupling, which feeds a voltage back to the camera to determine aperture position, so I'm thinking this is what I may have destroyed...I shall have a look at that service manual!

Thank you both very much for your comments, I'll do a bit of research and tinkering and see what I can find out

07-13-2016, 01:44 PM   #5
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Well I had a look through the service manual and none of it makes any sense to me. I looked up the manual for 23900 as I thought that would cover stuff in more detail (the ME Super manual doesn't actually tell you about any basic stuff or even where to bloody start) and it looks like I have to take the whole bloody thing apart just to be able to access the bit I want from the rear of the camera which is really really annoying.


I did however find out that the spring is known as A135 - Restitution spring and the aperture coupling is known as 0-K103 - Diaphragm coupler ring assembly. So that's useful

I'm tired so I'll go and do something else before I destroy the camera or kill myself.
07-28-2016, 09:40 AM   #6
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My perhaps unhelpful news is, although I own two Pentax ME Supers, I cannot really call myself an expert on their internal workings.

However, more positively, you did correctly ask whether there is a spring associated with the stop-down mechanism and you have already discovered that there is. Just to give a bit more visual clarity about the mechanism I suggest that you look at the images here:
Favorite Classics > Pentax ME Super Ramblings

It would be regrettable to give up on the camera just because of a broken or misaligned spring. I suggest that you either screw up your courage, have a beer and then do the appropriate disassembly, or get the camera repaired professionally, particularly if the camera is in need of a general overhaul. I think you might be in the UK and I believe there are several highly regarded Pentax workshops there. For example: Pentax Camera Repair Specialists - Harrow Technical

I hope you can work it out somehow. Good luck!
07-29-2016, 02:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxis Quote
My perhaps unhelpful news is, although I own two Pentax ME Supers, I cannot really call myself an expert on their internal workings.

However, more positively, you did correctly ask whether there is a spring associated with the stop-down mechanism and you have already discovered that there is. Just to give a bit more visual clarity about the mechanism I suggest that you look at the images here:
Favorite Classics > Pentax ME Super Ramblings

It would be regrettable to give up on the camera just because of a broken or misaligned spring. I suggest that you either screw up your courage, have a beer and then do the appropriate disassembly, or get the camera repaired professionally, particularly if the camera is in need of a general overhaul. I think you might be in the UK and I believe there are several highly regarded Pentax workshops there. For example: Pentax Camera Repair Specialists - Harrow Technical

I hope you can work it out somehow. Good luck!
Hey thanks for your reply!
I've rather neglected this problem of late, because I saw another ME Super for 30 in a charity shop which appears to be in pretty good condition, so I'm going to keep this broken one just as a project to see if I can actually repair it

I've dismantled it to the point where the mirror box is out of the camera, now I just need to remove the front lens mount part in order to get at the aperture coupling - hopefully it is just a disengaged spring/loose varistor or something, then I can begin the massive task of re-assembling the bloody thing...
08-02-2016, 07:19 AM   #8
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I've taken it apart and the spring which couples the aperture ring to the body has indeed broken, I'm not sure what happened to do it but it is stretched and bent to the point where it no longer functions properly.
Is it possible to purchase individual spare parts such as just a single spring? I'm quite handy so I'd like to try and repair it myself if possible, especially as I now have another ME Super in working condition (which will continue to work, touchwood). It would be a shame to bin it just because of one tiny broken spring

08-02-2016, 07:52 AM   #9
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Congratulations on making such good progress!
Unfortunately, I can't really advise on how best to get a replacement spring. Obviously a company like harrow will have such spares but they may be reluctant to sell spares or expensive if they do sell spares.
If I do a bit of online searching and find anything I'll let you know.

---------- Post added 08-02-16 at 08:04 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RoyalMint Quote
I've taken it apart and the spring which couples the aperture ring to the body has indeed broken, I'm not sure what happened to do it but it is stretched and bent to the point where it no longer functions properly.
Is it possible to purchase individual spare parts such as just a single spring? I'm quite handy so I'd like to try and repair it myself if possible, especially as I now have another ME Super in working condition (which will continue to work, touchwood). It would be a shame to bin it just because of one tiny broken spring
As you are in the UK (I think) you might consider contacting this company:

http://stores.ebay.com/tpolony/Misc-camera-bits-/_i.html?_dmd=1&_nkw=pentax&_fsub=593726011

If you persevere I think you'll find a spare spring.
08-03-2016, 12:22 AM   #10
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I am indeed in the UK, so that looks like a good place to look. Thank you very much for your help!
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