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08-10-2008, 07:57 PM   #1
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Jammed Battery Door & Smoky Body

I just picked up a box of Pentax gear including a well-loved black Asahi Spotmatic SP at a yard sale. I wasn't overly concerned with the camera condition because I was more interested in the lenses. At any rate, the battery cover is jammed shut and if I use any more force, I will trash it. Any suggestions?

Secondary question: The previous owner is a smoker and the camera leather smells like menthol cigarettes. Any suggestions on cleaning?

By the way, the rest of the kit consisted of 3 Super-Tacs with Pentax UV filters: 135/3.5; 50/1.4 and 28/3.5 as well as an auto bellows and a slide frame.

Thanks!

Adam

08-10-2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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All of it is hopeless and if you like, I'll meet you at the flea market over at the drive-in theater on Moreland Avenue and take it off your hands for what you paid for it plus the cost of gas to get there.

Seriously however, you might try gently using a little saddle soap to clean the leatherettes. I use my wife's little triangle makeup sponges to use saddle soap on things like that. As far as the stuck battery cover, I've heard of people taking the bottom off and putting it in the freezer to shrink the metal to get it loose. Of course I've heard of people doing a lot of crazy things. Never tried that myself with the freezer but then I've never had a battery cover I couldn't get off.

CW

Last edited by straightshooter; 08-10-2008 at 11:02 PM.
08-11-2008, 02:20 AM   #3
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There's a flea market on Moreland? Hmmmm....

Actually, I need to sell off some Olympus OM lenses.

Thanks for the ideas -- I'll work on it this week.

A
08-11-2008, 03:27 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote
At any rate, the battery cover is jammed shut and if I use any more force, I will trash it. Any suggestions?
Send it to Erik Hendrickson. If it can be saved, he will save it.

THEN!!! Once it is CLA'd how 'bout a pre-cut custom body covering from CameraLeather.com? CameraLeather.com Custom camera leather and leatherette

I believe i saw where the Spotmatic Protection Society does NOT allow the use of the Black & White Cobra skin, but anything else is OK. I could be wrong about the Cobra, or maybe you could apply for special permission.

08-11-2008, 04:15 AM   #5
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I covered a camera with the dark green leather - it looks fantastic! (see image below)
Some of the other colours are a tad on the gaudy side.

As for the battery door, it is probably indicative of more issues with the camera. There is a high probability that it is corroded and will need a complete CLA - cleaning, lubricating and adjusting. If you decide to keep it realize that your investment could exceed $200 just to bring it back to usable condition.

Last edited by J.Scott; 03-30-2009 at 03:27 AM.
08-11-2008, 04:21 AM   #6
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Take the bottom cover off, and soak it in white vinegar for a few hours. If that doesn't do the trick then you need pro assistance or will have to shoot meterless.
08-11-2008, 07:05 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote
There's a flea market on Moreland? Hmmmm....

Actually, I need to sell off some Olympus OM lenses.
A
Yep, every weekend at the drive-in theater across from Mt. Nebo church. You might try selling those OM lenses somewhere else besides there however. There is the marketplace on the forum here although you might be tarred and feathered for trying to sell non-Pentax gear.

Probably the best idea given in the earlier responses was to send it to Eric for a thorough CLA. If the camera smells like smoke, there's probably a film on the mirror, viewfinder glass, focusing screen, etc. Here is Eric's website if you aren't familiar with him.
Home

What area are you in? I'm down in the Southern Crescent near Hartsfield.

CW
08-11-2008, 07:59 AM   #8
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I wasn't thinking of taking my lenses there. (c: Right now I have them listed on APUG.

I'll probably take the bottom cover off the camera & check the batery compartment situation. If it isn't too bad, I'll send it to Eric for a quote (I know it needs mirror bumpers & a couple of other minor things). If it looks trashed, I'll sell it off for parts. Like I said, I bought the set for the lenses & bellows. It was too good a deal to pass up.

CW, I'm in Tucker.

A

08-11-2008, 06:09 PM   #9
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Update: Took the bottom cover off this evening. There's no obvious leakage in the bottom workings...but even after freezing the baseplate and risking destroying the thing, the battery cover wouldn't budge.

My assessment of the camera: Rough. Brassing, scratches and bubbling paint. Jammed battery cover preventing testing the meter. Dirty but usable viewfinder. It desparately needs bumpers for the mirror. the good: the stupid thing works (or seems to). Low shutter speeds are low, high speeds are high and bulb works fine as does cable release. It's a mechanical camera -- what else do you need?!?! The leather is in surprisingly excellent condition, though it does smell like menthol cigarettes. The clencher: It's black. I just like black cameras. If it was silver, it would have been listed for sale last night.

As I said, I bought the above-mentioned kit primarily for the lenses and bellows, but I may keep the body to play with. My idea: Get it CLA'd, but keep it rough looking. Maybe even ADD brassing. A camera that looks worn and worthless, but works like a fine watch.

Question: Does Pentax offer a K-mount COMPACT body SLR (smaller than the K1000), with or without aperture priority) ,with complete manual function (a real shutter speed dial and not buttons), match-needle metering, and (I know, picky, picky, picky) available in black. And not an LX? (c:
08-11-2008, 06:23 PM   #10
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The MX is smaller than a K1000, and came in black. It's also entirely mechanical. Possible downside: it has an LED meter instead of a needle. I like needles, myself...
08-11-2008, 07:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlank Quote
Once it is CLA'd how 'bout a pre-cut custom body covering from CameraLeather.com?
I was thinking of doing one of my MXs in Red and Black and maybe find somebody to put a silver G on it.

CW
08-11-2008, 07:27 PM   #12
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Gaudy???

QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
I covered a camera with the dark green leather - it looks fantastic! Some of the other colours are a tad on the gaudy side.
OK, so the Black & White Cobra and perhaps the Red Snake are gaudy. The Coral is borderline and only a P**p would use the Embossed Alligator. Isn't that what was on the Gold LX? The good news is that the Embossed Alligator is out of stock.

Maybe when I do my K1000 I'll run a poll here and reskin with what you folks decide. That would be different.
08-11-2008, 07:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by straightshooter Quote
I was thinking of doing one of my MXs in Red and Black and maybe find somebody to put a silver G on it.

CW
So, that #1 ranking went to your head, huh? Remember last season -- it was poison.
08-12-2008, 02:46 AM   #14
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gaudy?

08-12-2008, 06:02 AM   #15
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A good CLA may cost you $100 but it is well worth it.
Since the camera is mechanical many things get out-of-whack and a small adjustment will put it back in working shape for another 20 years. Plus new light seals and a good battery door.


QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote

As I said, I bought the above-mentioned kit primarily for the lenses and bellows, but I may keep the body to play with. My idea: Get it CLA'd, but keep it rough looking. Maybe even ADD brassing. A camera that looks worn and worthless, but works like a fine watch.
As per the leather, I'm too practical/thrifty/boring so I prefer black (Rollei beauty) or just plain.
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