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01-04-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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ME-Super - locked up - advice please

Hi, today I picked up a used Pentax ME-Super with the lenses listed in the sig line. It was very inexpensive as the owner had inherited it and was just into DSLR and a different brand, so this was just excess for him. He warned me ahead of time that he had replace the batteries, but still it would not turn on.

For me, it is the perfect starter setup for my migration to K mount. Now the challenge - it is mechanically locked up.

- Mirror is locked in the "up" position
- Lens Aperture position would be the same as if it were taking a picture (stopped down to the setpoint), but the F stop can be easily changed on and off the camera.
- Shutter is closed
- Film advance winder will not move
- Pressing the shutter release does nothing in any mode

I did some simple dust cleanup, cleaned the battery compartment, replaced the cells and now get a red blicking LED (low light) but that is all.

My prior experience is only with the Spotmatic F, so I was wondering if I just need to press the right button or if it needs more advanced TLC ?

Also, there is a little yellow plastic "bump" on the lens - what is this ?



01-04-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
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I was advised this evening by the son-in-law of the original (deceased) owner that the camera might have a "mirror lock up feature" for cleaning.

If anyone knows how to release this, that would be great.


01-04-2009, 08:21 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by HarryN Quote
If anyone knows how to release this, that would be great.
Go here. Pentax Manuals
01-04-2009, 09:18 PM   #4
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For what it's worth, I have an ME Super that once locked up when it was several years old. I took it to the repair shop and was told it had a small metal shaving jammed in the gears. No problems since with either of my ME Supers.

A lot of people on this site recommend a fellow who specializes in Pentax repairs and is apparently very reasonable. His website is Home


01-04-2009, 09:57 PM   #5
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Thank you both for the leads. I do have the manual and could not find "mirror lock up" as a feature. Some internet searches found this site:

Favorite Classics > Pentax ME Super Ramblings > Three Common Failure Problems

In summary, mirror lock up is one of the top 3 failure modes, and as you pointed out, can be just dust in the wrong place or a spring worn out.

I now have 2 cameras to send in for some TLC - thanks for the link.
01-18-2009, 09:05 AM   #6
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So - as luck would have it, I found another ME Super with the standard 50mm F2 lens on craigslist and picked it up last night. This one is in just remarkable condition - much better than the first one. It makes the right little noises when I push the shutter button.

I did notice that my wife said "you really did buy another camera ? I thought you were just kidding."

One think I did notice, but need to really check out more, is low light level focus. I am not sure that I like the focus method as well as on my old Spotmatic F.
01-18-2009, 07:09 PM   #7
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Now you can fix the first one. It's probably not that hard. The bottom plate comes off with three screws and gives you access to most of the mechanism. The web site you posted about 3 common failures has a photo of what it's supposed to look like.
01-18-2009, 11:42 PM   #8
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Mirror Dampener foam has probably gone gummy and stuck the mirror in up position. Easy fix . Have it serviced and it will serve you for a long time. I have shot 100K plus shots through the ME, ME Super and Super program bodies. All had occasional service and very few issues. In 20 years I never had film transport problems which were common for some, flash sync issues and seals and gaskets were pretty much it.

01-19-2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. Yes, I am thinking of sending all 3 cameras for a service / checkout.

For the price I got these ME Super's for, and the amazing difference in condition between the 2, I am toying around with looking for another one or newer model (crazy I guess) and sending in the best of the bunch.

It would be nice to find a film pentax that comes with some lenses that are full auto exposure / full AF to use with a DSLR Pentax once we get one of those. (wife camera).

I understand the value of AE ( don't use it) but AF still seems like a battle between what I know I want and what the camera decides to do. Of course, my pictures are just snapshot quality - nothing like here on the forum.

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