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01-09-2017, 08:38 AM   #1
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Pentax SP500 repairs advice

I was recently given a Pentax SP500 with Takumar 55 2.0 lens.

It all looks in pretty nice shape, so I loaded it up with some cheap film to give it a test run but have run across a couple of issues:

1. When using the meter (engaging it by pushing up the switch at the front of the body), every few shots the mirror will remain stuck up. This is resolved by disengaging the meter by pushing the switch back down, and then firing the shutter.
2. The exposure counter remains at "less than zero" (i.e. to the right of zero, where it would be if no film were in the camera) even when I have wound the new roll of film on and throughout the entire roll of 24 shots, it didn't move at all.

Reading online, I suspect issue 1 might be rectified by lubricating a couple of parts. Does anyone have any advice on which parts I would need to lubricate, ideally pointing me to any diagram/photo of the parts?

And does anyone have any advice on issue 2?

Ideally I don't want to spend any money on this (free) camera, so I would like to go about carrying out a service myself.

Also, I am in the UK. Does anyone know where I could buy some quality new light seals/mirror damper in the UK or Europe?

Thanks.

01-09-2017, 09:04 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by guitarsammy Quote
I was recently given a Pentax SP500 with Takumar 55 2.0 lens.

It all looks in pretty nice shape, so I loaded it up with some cheap film to give it a test run but have run across a couple of issues:

1. When using the meter (engaging it by pushing up the switch at the front of the body), every few shots the mirror will remain stuck up. This is resolved by disengaging the meter by pushing the switch back down, and then firing the shutter.
2. The exposure counter remains at "less than zero" (i.e. to the right of zero, where it would be if no film were in the camera) even when I have wound the new roll of film on and throughout the entire roll of 24 shots, it didn't move at all.

Reading online, I suspect issue 1 might be rectified by lubricating a couple of parts. Does anyone have any advice on which parts I would need to lubricate, ideally pointing me to any diagram/photo of the parts?

And does anyone have any advice on issue 2?

Ideally I don't want to spend any money on this (free) camera, so I would like to go about carrying out a service myself.

Also, I am in the UK. Does anyone know where I could buy some quality new light seals/mirror damper in the UK or Europe?

Thanks.
It sounds as if the mirror is sticking to the foam cushion at the top of its motion. When the mirror flips up, it is stopped by a foam cushion around the focusing screen. With age, the material deteriorates and get sticky. The solution is to replace the foam. There are kits available on the internet to do this.

Have you developed the film? Are there images on the film? If not, its possible that you never really got the film leader started properly on the take-up spool. With non-motorized film cameras, such as the SP500, the easy way to tell is if the rewind knob turns as you advance the film. After you load the film, rewind the film just a little bit to put tension on the film. Then, as you advance the film, watch the knob. It should turn. If not, the film is not really advancing.

The other possibility is that the rewind button on the bottom of the camera is stuck. This is the button you push to release the internal advance mechanism and allow the film to be rewound into the canister. When you load the film, this button should pop back up within a half turn of the advance lever.

If there is something more seriously wrong, you can always send it to Eric Hendrickson for a CLA. Home
01-09-2017, 09:05 AM   #3
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1. Does this problem occur when NOT using the meter? If so, go meterless - dump the batteries and go Sunny 16 or get either a cellphone meter app or the cheapest secondhand light meter ebay or a garage sale can provide you.

2. Is the film counter really all that necessary?

Regarding the light seals, if your pics aren't showing light leaks, leave it.
01-09-2017, 11:57 AM   #4
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Thank you for your very helpful response.

QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
It sounds as if the mirror is sticking to the foam cushion at the top of its motion. When the mirror flips up, it is stopped by a foam cushion around the focusing screen. With age, the material deteriorates and get sticky. The solution is to replace the foam. There are kits available on the internet to do this.
With respect, I'm not 100% convinced that it's the foam that's causing this, as it only seems to occur when I try to shoot with the meter switch in its 'up' position; apologies if I didn't make this clear.

QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
Have you developed the film? Are there images on the film? If not, its possible that you never really got the film leader started properly on the take-up spool. With non-motorized film cameras, such as the SP500, the easy way to tell is if the rewind knob turns as you advance the film. After you load the film, rewind the film just a little bit to put tension on the film. Then, as you advance the film, watch the knob. It should turn. If not, the film is not really advancing.

The other possibility is that the rewind button on the bottom of the camera is stuck. This is the button you push to release the internal advance mechanism and allow the film to be rewound into the canister. When you load the film, this button should pop back up within a half turn of the advance lever.
I haven't developed the film yet, but the rewind knob was definitely turning when I advanced the film. The rewind button on the bottom of the camera was also turning with the advance lever.

01-09-2017, 12:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
1. Does this problem occur when NOT using the meter? If so, go meterless - dump the batteries and go Sunny 16 or get either a cellphone meter app or the cheapest secondhand light meter ebay or a garage sale can provide you.
Yes, I could certainly do this. However, I am not a big fan of using the Sunny 16 rule (I live in England, it's rarely sunny here!), and I do prefer having an in-camera meter where possible so if it's a quick fix, I'd like to repair the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
2. Is the film counter really all that necessary?
Probably not. It is handy, though, so again - if possible, it'd be nice to fix the issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Regarding the light seals, if your pics aren't showing light leaks, leave it.
I'll check my photos when I develop them. Again, though, I'd kind of like to fix this if I can. There's a sticky residue/remainder of the top and bottom seals and the door latch is quite funked up too. It'd be nice to clean it up and restore it closer to its original state.
01-09-2017, 12:18 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by guitarsammy Quote
Yes, I could certainly do this. However, I am not a big fan of using the Sunny 16 rule (I live in England, it's rarely sunny here!), and I do prefer having an in-camera meter where possible so if it's a quick fix, I'd like to repair the camera.



Probably not. It is handy, though, so again - if possible, it'd be nice to fix the issue.



I'll check my photos when I develop them. Again, though, I'd kind of like to fix this if I can. There's a sticky residue/remainder of the top and bottom seals and the door latch is quite funked up too. It'd be nice to clean it up and restore it closer to its original state.
Can zippo fluid, meat skewer
Mouse Mat or similar, double sided pressure sensitive tape, scissors.
Favorite Classics / Jon Goodman's Seal Replacement Instructions
The old foam may be blocking the counter take care!
01-09-2017, 04:42 PM   #7
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Okay, if you have a sticky foam problem, that's quite another matter. I withdraw my laissez-faire position!
01-09-2017, 05:05 PM   #8
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Here you go

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