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06-03-2018, 06:15 AM   #1
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Can someone diagnose these light leaks in my Pentax ME?

Hey guys!

I just started shooting film and built my own darkroom and I love it so far. However, I've been getting light leaks on my Pentax ME that have gotten more and more severe with each successive roll. I'm on roll four and I've attached the 3rd roll.

Any ideas?

Trevor

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06-03-2018, 06:55 AM   #2
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How well preserved are your foam seals?
06-03-2018, 06:59 AM   #3
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Not sure, I'll take a look after my current roll. I inherited the camera from my father, so I'm guessing there's some age to the camera although it's in pretty great shape aesthetically!

---------- Post added 06-03-18 at 07:02 AM ----------

On the 4th row, but on most of them by the number on the bottom of the frame, there's a pretty distinct round corner. Does this signify where along the camera it is?
06-03-2018, 07:02 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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The fact that the light is leaking on the film sprockets means the leak is in back. The fact that the light is leaking on bottom of the image means the leak is at the top of the backside. The spacing of the leak and fact that it leaked through the sprocket holes on to the film tighter in the roll means the leak must be on the upper part of the back just above the take-up spool.

06-03-2018, 07:14 AM   #5
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Just replace them all. Sooner more than later the remaining seals will go bad. And the new ones won't be as compressed as the old ones so the old may not seal as well. The light seal kits should give you material to replace all the seals.

Most common failures are mirror bumper, seal by hinge, bottom seal.
06-03-2018, 08:04 AM   #6
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The appearance of these could also be of chemical origin and might be due to processing issues - maybe the fixing bath not completely doing its job or agitation was poor. On a couple of your strips, it looks like a line running the length of the strip, which could be an unusual light leak or a bead of chemical running the length when it's pulled out of the bath and hung vertically (a bit suspicious). See if there are milky looking areas on the negative where you see the "flashed" areas. If so, take one of the strips, manually placing it in a fixing bath (using fresh fixer) with good agitation to see if it will clear the areas that are coming out light in the print. If that's the case, all the shots can be saved by refixing & washing those negatives.

Just another thought.
06-03-2018, 09:16 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZTrev10 Quote
Not sure, I'll take a look after my current roll. I inherited the camera from my father, so I'm guessing there's some age to the camera although it's in pretty great shape aesthetically!

---------- Post added 06-03-18 at 07:02 AM ----------

On the 4th row, but on most of them by the number on the bottom of the frame, there's a pretty distinct round corner. Does this signify where along the camera it is?
As has already been said - it's the door seal, upper portion. Replace all of them back there. If they've deteriorated enough for a leak of that size my guess is it'll also be time for mirror-box foam and bumper. None of this is terribly difficult - you'll find a ton of videos on Youtube for instance with various DIY methods (I replace foam in my cameras using 2mm black foam self-adhesive foam sheets that I cut pieces from).

You can also by kits. Search the forum for Jon Goodman's contact info (I can't find it currently) - his kits are perfect. I've used at least 4 of them.

Or the full-meal-deal - you can simply send it to a tech for CLA. (Many here, myself included, rely on Eric Hendrickson at Home-Pentaxs). An ME will likely run you a bit under $100 for CLA and that will address the foam, the bumper and mirror box, as well as internal lubrication and adjusting of the shutter timings back to proper spec (in addition to every other moving part and surface).
06-03-2018, 10:21 AM   #8
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Thanks guys for the spot on info! Looking to buy a kit (I'm a DIYer)

06-03-2018, 11:10 AM   #9
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This is Jon Goodman's email from awhile back, not sure if it's current: JGood21967@aol.com
06-03-2018, 11:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZTrev10 Quote
Thanks guys for the spot on info! Looking to buy a kit (I'm a DIYer)
QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
This is Jon Goodman's email from awhile back, not sure if it's current: JGood21967@aol.com
Jon's kits are the best and he is a gem to work with too.


Steve
06-03-2018, 12:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
The spacing of the leak and fact that it leaked through the sprocket holes on to the film tighter in the roll means the leak must be on the upper part of the back just above the take-up spool.
QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
As has already been said - it's the door seal, upper portion. Replace all of them back there.
Agreed with both posts quoted. The only other cause can be from a damaged reloadable cassette felt light trap when bulk loading film. Your numbering on the contact sheet doesn't start with 0 or 1....so I thought that could also be an issue, but does that film even come in bulk? 99% sure it's the upper camera back seal as noted by others.
06-03-2018, 03:54 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Jon's kits are the best and he is a gem to work with too.
This is truth. One of the friendliest, most helpful email exchanges I've had each time.
I'm wondering what he's up to these days and am curious if anyone's contacted him successfully in recent months.
I sent him an inquiry about a month ago just realized I never heard back...
06-03-2018, 08:07 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
This is truth. One of the friendliest, most helpful email exchanges I've had each time.
I'm wondering what he's up to these days and am curious if anyone's contacted him successfully in recent months.
I sent him an inquiry about a month ago just realized I never heard back...
I had an exchange to confirm his e-mail address earlier this Spring and he responded that he was doing well.


Steve
06-04-2018, 10:00 AM   #14
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Another thumbs up for Jon Goodman's kits. I fitted one to an ME last year and the instructions were simple to follow and I received the kit within 5 days of ordering and I'm in the UK. I've ordered another kit for an ME a fortnight ago and that to came very quickly.
06-09-2018, 07:34 AM   #15
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Jon's a good guy and that email address above is the one I have for him. He's a real pleasure to do business with. Whenever I contact him with a need for a seal kit, his response is always the same. He sends the kit out immediately, trusting you to send the $10 or so for the kit. Not many people left in this world who are so trusting as Jon is. And I believe his attitude has served him well. He's certainly built a loyal following.
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