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11-20-2020, 07:49 PM - 5 Likes   #1
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On today's episode of Camera Rescue 911: A Honeywell Pentax H1a *DONE*

Hello,

By now you probably know I like the S (H) series cameras.
This was the last generation of meterless (at least internally) cameras as they were followed by the popular Spotmatic generation in the mid '60s. Both generations coexisted for a while as the last of the S series were made until around 1968.
This series was known as the S series in most markets and as H series mostly in the USA. It is believed the H designation was related to the US importer, Honeywell and/or its Heiland division. The first was the S2(H2) followed by the S3(H3) and then the S1(H1). The last 2 models (made until around 1968) were the SV (H3v), (my favorite of them all) and its less expensive sibling the S1a (H1a).

The S1a (H1a) was marketed as the economy sibling of the SV(H3v). It is basically the same without the self timer and the top speed was advertised as "only" 1/500 instead of the 1/1000. The shutter dial only shows up to 1/500 but you can still click the 1/1000 position. It was also kitted with slightly slower and less expensive 55-f2 lens. Despite been a less expensive model, only about 135,000 were made vs over 481,000 of the top of the line SV (H3v).
Both the SV(H3v) and S1a(H1a) were redesigned as the new Super Takumar f1.4 lens protruded too much inside and could jam with the auto pin pushbar. They changed the color of the "R" on the rewind knob to identify them. Green R is the early version, orange R is the later.
Anyways, I am by no means an expert, but as you can see I can spend hours talking about these beauties.

I already have an early version H1a. I was NOT looking for another one, but I found this abandoned puppy on eBay with a starting bid of 99 cents. So I bid a dollar and forgot about it. Six days later, I won it!
It has the optional external exposure meter and the orange R identifies it as a later version. Serial number is in the later 7 digit range.

It is in rather rough cosmetic condition. Signs of corrosion, brassing and many scratches. It is very rough to the touch.




Jammed solid.






Took the meter out to be worked separately




Stay tuned! I'll try to revive it!

Thanks,


Last edited by ismaelg; 1 Day Ago at 06:06 AM.
11-20-2020, 08:29 PM   #2
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Looking forward to seeing this.
11-20-2020, 08:51 PM   #3
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I know you can do it if anyone can, but it seems you're starting to get quite a few projects!
11-20-2020, 09:08 PM   #4
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Do you have a job? J/k. You always seem to have a project going on. Looking forward to what you can do with that.

11-20-2020, 11:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
The shutter dial only shows up to 1/500 but you can still click the 1/1000 position.
So this trick of keeping the internals the same but unlocking features on more expensive models has been going on for decades. And here I was thinking it was a comparatively new scam.
11-21-2020, 12:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
So this trick of keeping the internals the same but unlocking features on more expensive models has been going on for decades. And here I was thinking it was a comparatively new scam.
I admire your passion. Canít wait to see the beauty reborn.
11-21-2020, 12:51 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Pulling up a chair and getting the 🍿
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #8
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Green Leather on this one!!

6 Days Ago   #9
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Beautiful camera, I hope you fix it!
6 Days Ago   #10
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I am interested in seeing this one come back to life...... good luck
5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
Do you have a job? J/k. You always seem to have a project going on. Looking forward to what you can do with that.
Ohh, yes I do! Actually, I work over 60 hours a week so I NEED my hobbies unwind. Otherwise I'd blow up.

Hello again!

Keep in mind I don't have any formal training on camera repair. I'm just an engineer with a bad habit of disassembling things. Just ask my father when 12 year-old me took out the car's spark plug wires and did not know the proper order to put back... Thinking about it, don't ask him. I hope he forgot by now
Anyways, as suspected, the mirror return lever was jammed. But so was the mirror return gear and the pivots. It was dirty inside. Long story short it was cleaned, unjammed and lubricated without taking anything apart un-necessarily. There was some dark gooey residue that was cleaned. No idea what it was or where it came from.




Bottom line, it is starting to work!

The top put a little fight to come off. I think those screws had not been touched since they were installed over 55 years ago! When it finally cooperated, everything looks good but it had a TON of dust.
Also started to clean the surfaces. Not done but looks promising.


Thanks,
5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #12
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Hello,

A lot of elbow grease reveal a bottom cover that has a lot of experience but still in shape. The brownish golden tint is brassing. Some deep scrapes and gouges on the corners. But if is no longer rough to the touch. Still need to restore the screws.







Thanks,
5 Days Ago   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
Long story short it was cleaned, unjammed and lubricated without taking anything apart un-necessarily.
I like this bit. Will give me courage to at least explore some of my old cameras. And thanks for the annotated photos. They're very helpful.
5 Days Ago   #14
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Wow, you are making progress pretty quickly. Sounds like dirt is the main culprit here.
5 Days Ago   #15
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Thank you all for the comments!

After cleaning the mirror, the focusing screen from underneath and the back of the eyepiece, looking thru the bright and big viewfinder shows there is still a spec of dust. While not a big deal, I wanted it out. So it seems it is between the prism itself and the top of the focusing screen. However, the prism hold down screws are not cooperating. Since these are slotted it is harder to get a good grip and started stripping. I'll leave them unmolested for now and live with a tiny spec of dust.

Thanks,
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