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07-12-2020, 02:00 PM   #1
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New S1a user: Trying to fix shutter & mirror return issues?

Hi team!

Hopefully, someone in this fantastic community can help me out.

Just got an S1a from a market in Bristol in the UK that had a few issues, and have tried to get it in working order. Been wanting to get into film for a while and figured a great way to learn about the camera a bit more is to get something that needs a bit of work to start with. Hopefully I haven't bitten off more than I can chew to start with

On a number of exposures, the shutter curtain isn't returning all the way across and the mirror isn't dropping down. It's not all of the time but is certainly enough to warrant some time and money being spent on a fix.

I have found a few forums around the place that mentions this as being an issue with the lubrication of some of the parts. In particular, I found this thread which says it has photos to fix the issue but as it is from 2016 the external link to Flickr is now dead. (Pentax S1a Shutter remains open and mirror locks up - PentaxForums.com)

If anyone has any tips on what exactly I need to do to fix this that would be great!

I am also looking at replacing the light seals, and potentially the foam cushions for the mirror as they have both had their best days. The light seals seem like an easy enough fix, but in the case of the foam cushions, they have turned into a dry dust-like material that continues to drop all over the mirrors (and probably the film) and I'm not sure about the best way to go about fixing them.

Again any help would be great!

Cheers,
Lovely_trenty

07-12-2020, 03:12 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I've moved your post here: Pentax Film SLR Discussion - PentaxForums.com
07-12-2020, 03:40 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Welcome to the forum!
One of the many possible causes of problems is lubrication on the gears.
Carefully remove the bottom plate and locate the mirror return gear: Dark color round gear with a pin.
This picture is from a different camera so yours will have a slightly different layout, but as a reference, it looks something like this:


Carefully advance and press the shutter release. It should go around completely and trigger the mirror catch lever. If it doesn't complete the turn, see if you can work the gear to complete. If so, put the tiniest of drops of very light machine oil in the center of that gear. It has to be the smallest dab you can get. Don't flood it. Exercise it and see if it makes a difference.

Hope this helps!
Thanks,
Ismael
07-13-2020, 02:56 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
Welcome to the forum!
One of the many possible causes of problems is lubrication on the gears.
Carefully remove the bottom plate and locate the mirror return gear: Dark color round gear with a pin.
This picture is from a different camera so yours will have a slightly different layout, but as a reference, it looks something like this:


Carefully advance and press the shutter release. It should go around completely and trigger the mirror catch lever. If it doesn't complete the turn, see if you can work the gear to complete. If so, put the tiniest of drops of very light machine oil in the center of that gear. It has to be the smallest dab you can get. Don't flood it. Exercise it and see if it makes a difference.

Hope this helps!
Thanks,
Ismael
The picture shows a K-type camera. The shutter mechanism of the S1a is quite different.

07-13-2020, 05:04 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Argos Quote
The picture shows a K-type camera. The shutter mechanism of the S1a is quite different.
Here's a photo from a different thread. Quite different looking, yes, but I suspect the operation is not entirely dissimilar.

07-19-2020, 06:49 AM   #6
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Hi,

Welcome to the S1a club!!

I use an S1a that I've had since new (yes, that works out that I'm over 70 and should know better) - a jewel that fits my hand and style like it was made for me...........which I believe it was, of course. As do we all.


Because of the recent Covid-19 lockdown I've recently had to fall back on my own resources and have found the following invaluable:



and


now - as it inevitably will - the subject of lightseals comes up and I'm going to have a go at this..........(after all, how did we manage in the days before foam?)

HOW TO REPLACE LIGHT SEALS WITHOUT USING FOAM STRIPS, MOVIE CAMERA STYLE | Photo.net Photography Forums


The first two do work and are excellent - and if I can manage, then anybody can - but do be very, very sparing with the oil.

I'm currently in Dorset at the moment and the lightseals will be my first job on returning home so 'wing and a prayer'.......will post after the job's complete.

Take care,
Mike
07-26-2020, 10:10 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheVitalEye Quote
Hi,

Welcome to the S1a club!!

I use an S1a that I've had since new (yes, that works out that I'm over 70 and should know better) - a jewel that fits my hand and style like it was made for me...........which I believe it was, of course. As do we all.


Because of the recent Covid-19 lockdown I've recently had to fall back on my own resources and have found the following invaluable:

Stuck Incomplete Mirror Travel Repair Type 2 Pentax s1a/h1a or s3/h3 - YouTube


and

Stuck Incomplete Shutter Travel Repair Pentax s1a/h1a or s3/h3 - YouTube

now - as it inevitably will - the subject of lightseals comes up and I'm going to have a go at this..........(after all, how did we manage in the days before foam?)

HOW TO REPLACE LIGHT SEALS WITHOUT USING FOAM STRIPS, MOVIE CAMERA STYLE | Photo.net Photography Forums


The first two do work and are excellent - and if I can manage, then anybody can - but do be very, very sparing with the oil.

I'm currently in Dorset at the moment and the lightseals will be my first job on returning home so 'wing and a prayer'.......will post after the job's complete.

Take care,
Mike
Those videos are fantastic!

What lubricant is used here?
07-26-2020, 12:53 PM   #8
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Hi - glad you found them useful. I used a minute quantity of a very fine sewing machine oil - bought from John Lewis. Sorry, but I'm away from base at the moment but will post the name in the morning, when I'm home again.

Reads like it's working for you, which is very good news...........it's certainly god my old girl up and running again - the next task is to go out with my 16 year old grandson and double-hand some street photography.......even if he's going to used a digi-Nikon!!

Take care,
Mike

07-27-2020, 01:29 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheVitalEye Quote
Hi - glad you found them useful. I used a minute quantity of a very fine sewing machine oil - bought from John Lewis. Sorry, but I'm away from base at the moment but will post the name in the morning, when I'm home again.

Reads like it's working for you, which is very good news...........it's certainly god my old girl up and running again - the next task is to go out with my 16 year old grandson and double-hand some street photography.......even if he's going to used a digi-Nikon!!

Take care,
Mike

Good morning!

Itís called Prym. I cannot emphasise enough how sparing you need to be in the application, as shown in the video. If you are, and use the method shown, you will be well rewarded. By choosing to effect a repair yourself you obviously accept full responsibility for the consequences and, equally obviously, need to have identified the problem - and solution - correctly.

Good luck.

Take care,
Mike
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