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09-22-2016, 01:11 PM   #1
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Pentax ME Super wont cock shutter with lens on

Hello! I hope it's okay for me to ask a quick question on here?

I recently bought a nice cheap ME Super from the auction site, that is in pretty good condition, and came with a Petri 50mm f2 lens so I could get into 35mm film. I regularly shoot Polaroid with an SX-70 and fancied expanding my film knowledge. It seems though the camera has a bewildering problem. With no lens on it cocks and fires fine, every time. As soon as I put the lens on it cocks once maybe twice and then the shutter releases as soon as the wind lever is fully pushed out. It seems to be worse if the aperture is on f16.

Does anyone know what might be causing it? Could it just be a rubbish lens? Or something sticking inside the camera?

Thanks for any help

09-22-2016, 03:41 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by tumblesophie Quote
Hello! I hope it's okay for me to ask a quick question on here?

I recently bought a nice cheap ME Super from the auction site, that is in pretty good condition, and came with a Petri 50mm f2 lens so I could get into 35mm film. I regularly shoot Polaroid with an SX-70 and fancied expanding my film knowledge. It seems though the camera has a bewildering problem. With no lens on it cocks and fires fine, every time. As soon as I put the lens on it cocks once maybe twice and then the shutter releases as soon as the wind lever is fully pushed out. It seems to be worse if the aperture is on f16.

Does anyone know what might be causing it? Could it just be a rubbish lens? Or something sticking inside the camera?

Thanks for any help
I have had more ME Supers in my time, probably more than most folks. I am embarrassed to admit that my knowledge in this area is limited. However, my guess is that the lens by itself is not compatible with the body. Perhaps there is an adaptor available to complete the marriage. I would also advise to not continue working it as you have been, simply because you may be doing some serious and perhaps irreparable damage to the mounts and possibly the mirror. There are many knowledgeable folks here on this Forum and they are willing to be of assistance. Hopefully this helps.

Antonio
09-22-2016, 08:20 PM   #3
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I don't have a Petri lens - and camera, but I am not aware they made a K mount lens at least according to Rick Olson's lens mount compilation. It does say that they did an M42 screw mount version which can take an M42 to K mount adapter and that should work normally without affecting the camera function at all except that you would have to stop it down manually to use different apertures and to meter the scene.

As you say, if the camera works consistently without the lens mounted then perhaps it is the cause. Of course easier to verify if you have another standard Pentax K mount lens.
09-22-2016, 08:37 PM   #4
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Sounds like the lens aperture lever is not compatible.

09-22-2016, 10:11 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
I don't have a Petri lens - and camera, but I am not aware they made a K mount lens at least according to Rick Olson's lens mount compilation. It does say that they did an M42 screw mount version which can take an M42 to K mount adapter and that should work normally without affecting the camera function at all except that you would have to stop it down manually to use different apertures and to meter the scene.
The lens in question is in the Pentax Forums database:

PETRI - Petri 50mm f/2.0 Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

I vote for the aperture actuator on the lens being non-functional and jamming the actuator in the body.


Steve
09-22-2016, 10:12 PM   #6
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My two K2s have a similar problem and it's due to accumulated goo/junk/dirt in the camera internals, gumming up the mechanism. It's an expensive thing to fix (at least on a K2) which is why I haven't done it yet, but it may be cheaper on an ME Super. It's unlikely to be worth it though.

I note this is the second thread I've replied to this week in which people have asked about problems with ME Supers from the 'bay. My best advice is never buy an ME Super you haven't tested yourself.
09-22-2016, 11:22 PM   #7
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Regarding the ME Super problem: The good part of the anser is, yes it is a known problem and it can be repaired (depending on your skills even DIY). The bad part is that it involves significant strip down of the camera and thus it is economical nonsense unless performed by DIY.

You might want to google for a text called "ME Super ramblings" which describes the classic ME Super problems and their cure. Here are some examples of helpful sites that I remember:
Favorite Classics > Pentax ME Super Ramblings > Three Common Failure Problems
Repairing a Pentax ME film transport | Simon Hawketts's Photo Blog

BTW, the problems described there are typical for all the ME-based series of cameras, including all ME (Super / -F), MV(1), MG, Super (A | Program) and Program A.

QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
I don't have a Petri lens - and camera, but I am not aware they made a K mount lens at least according to Rick Olson's lens mount compilation. ...
That's true and wrong at the same time. The former Japanese camera maker "Petri" in fact only produced M42 and their own proprietay bayonet before they went bankrupt in 1977. However, the British company "Dixons" acquired the brand rights in the early 80ies and started selling the usual Cosina K-mount OEM stuff labled as "Petri". Something like 30 different lenses / variants were sold over the years using this brand name.
09-22-2016, 11:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
I don't have a Petri lens - and camera, but I am not aware they made a K mount lens at least according to Rick Olson's lens mount compilation. It does say that they did an M42 screw mount version which can take an M42 to K mount adapter and that should work normally without affecting the camera function at all except that you would have to stop it down manually to use different apertures and to meter the scene.

As you say, if the camera works consistently without the lens mounted then perhaps it is the cause. Of course easier to verify if you have another standard Pentax K mount lens.
It is a K Mount lens, it is just odd that the shutter slips only when it's on the camera. I wish I could test it with another, but being a poor student another lens is not in my future for a good while :'(

QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac:
My two K2s have a similar problem and it's due to accumulated goo/junk/dirt in the camera internals, gumming up the mechanism. It's an expensive thing to fix (at least on a K2) which is why I haven't done it yet, but it may be cheaper on an ME Super. It's unlikely to be worth it though.

I note this is the second thread I've replied to this week in which people have asked about problems with ME Supers from the 'bay. My best advice is never buy an ME Super you haven't tested yourself.
QuoteOriginally posted by UMC:
Regarding the ME Super problem: The good part of the anser is, yes it is a known problem and it can be repaired (depending on your skills even DIY). The bad part is that it involves significant strip down of the camera and thus it is economical nonsense unless performed by DIY.

You might want to google for a text called "ME Super ramblings" which describes the classic ME Super problems and their cure. Here are some examples of helpful sites that I remember:
Favorite Classics > Pentax ME Super Ramblings > Three Common Failure Problems
Repairing a Pentax ME film transport | Simon Hawketts's Photo Blog

BTW, the problems described there are typical for all the ME-based series of cameras, including all ME (Super / -F), MV(1), MG, Super (A | Program) and Program A.
Thanks for the advice, and the links! I figured it might be an expensive fix, and tbh I bought the camera for 4. I only got it for cheap because I wanted to learn 35mm and am on a student budget. The nearest servicer to me is Harrow Technical and they want 76 to service a ME Super, which is way too much! I could buy another functional camera and lens for that price.

I may try to fix it, but it seems you would need to remove the mirror box to clean the gunk out properly, and I can't find any guide on how to do that. Is there one out there? If not I might just have to abandon 35mm for the time being.

09-23-2016, 01:04 AM   #9
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I have recently bought my third ME Super, the first two both had mirror lockup and would not fire the shutter. Banging the bottom plate with my hand, taking the bottom plate off and jiggling the linkages did not free them. Having come to the maximum within my ability, I bought the third, at auction, listed as an ME Super with long lens, with one image of it with the lens fitted, for spares and repairs. No other information.
The batteries had leaked and the battery cover was already pretty mangled where someone had tried to remove it so I replaced the bottom plate from another camera, cleaned the compartment, fitted new batteries and tried the shutter. It worked! The viewfinder showed the requisite LEDs, settings Auto, M and 125x B seemed to work, time to put a film through it!
The long lens turned out to be a pretty dusty on the filter Vivitar 75-205mm F3.8, the push pull version, in pretty good shape.
Surprisingly the camera was sent with a Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 also, also pretty dusty on the filter, no cap and with some scratches on the ring that holds the front element, fine otherwise.


Why am I telling you all this? well for 7.80 total including postage I now have at last an ME Super that seems to work to play with and a spare lens that might just get me my money back.
If you can afford the small cost of one and find a working camera, buy it, preferably with a Pentax-M lens on it, apart from fungus have not bought a Pentax-M lens that didn't work yet. Have a spare for indulging in dismantling and fixing if some of the earlier posters are right and the camera does have a problem. If the Petri lens has a problem you can do the same with that.
It's all good fun! I'm well happy.


Updating.....the camera only seems to cock the shutter for every frame intermittently, sometimes I have to advance the film 2 frames to get the shutter to fire. Oh well.
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Last edited by Skodadriver; 09-23-2016 at 06:20 AM. Reason: Update
09-23-2016, 01:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tumblesophie Quote
I may try to fix it, but it seems you would need to remove the mirror box to clean the gunk out properly, and I can't find any guide on how to do that. Is there one out there?
You have a private message...
09-23-2016, 07:28 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skodadriver Quote
Updating.....the camera only seems to cock the shutter for every frame intermittently, sometimes I have to advance the film 2 frames to get the shutter to fire. Oh well.
Same problem with mine, seems to be a common weakness in latching the shutter after cocking. A sticky lock it seeks. The MX is a better camera.
09-24-2016, 12:00 AM   #12
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I have bought a total of three ME Supers. One of them works. One of them was bought online on the understanding that it worked fine but it arrived very clearly broken. Another I knew was broken when I bought it, but I wanted the lenses that came with it, which were worth far more than the camera (and far more than I paid for the package).

If you're looking for a cheap, reliable camera then get a Pentax P30 or (even better) a P30N or P30T. The N and T versions have Av mode in addition to manual when using non-A lenses, they're also a bit uglier but more comfortable to hold. I have a total of four P30 series cameras and they all work great - these cameras simply work and don't give any problems, which is why I love them. If you want something cheap and good then there isn't a better camera out there from any manufacturer.

In the UK they're very common and can be had cheap - don't pay more than 10 for a body only, any more than that and you're being ripped off. Many come with a big, heavy 28-80mm kit lens - don't be tempted to pay more for a camera that comes with one of these, they're junk. I couldn't give mine away when I had one.
09-24-2016, 05:40 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The lens in question is in the Pentax Forums database:

PETRI - Petri 50mm f/2.0 Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

I vote for the aperture actuator on the lens being non-functional and jamming the actuator in the body.


Steve
I am wondering if it is the lens. The camera cocks and fires with no lens on, and with the lens on at f2, but if I change the aperture to anything else it the shutter releases as soon as it cocks.
09-25-2016, 12:55 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tumblesophie Quote
I am wondering if it is the lens. The camera cocks and fires with no lens on, and with the lens on at f2, but if I change the aperture to anything else it the shutter releases as soon as it cocks.
No, it's the camera. The first of my K2s does exactly the same but it doesn't matter which lens is on it. It's because the extra resistance of moving the mechanisms of the lens aperture causes the problem to manifest itself.
09-25-2016, 07:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
No, it's the camera. The first of my K2s does exactly the same but it doesn't matter which lens is on it. It's because the extra resistance of moving the mechanisms of the lens aperture causes the problem to manifest itself.
I had a feeling that might be the answer :/ I contacted the seller I bought the camera from and they said they had bought a box of ME Super bodies at an auction and had been selling them off. Luckily they had one left and said I could have it for free! With luck I can use two cameras to make one good one
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