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07-06-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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ME Super stuck winding lever & unresponsive shutter

Hello, all. I just began my minor in Photo Communication and my ME Super is getting temperamental. I ran a 36-exposure roll of Tri-X 400 through it over the weekend and encountered the following two problems:

- Roughly every fourth/fifth shot the film advance winder lever would not spring back into position. The only way I got around this was repeatedly rotating it counter-clockwise to the stop at the 3 o'clock fully wound position. I was not forcing it at all, but just re-engaging it several times until it sprung back into position. I get the impression that the more I briskly engage the lever, the less likely it fails to work, but I can't prove it.

- Roughly every fifth/sixth shot (and not always in coincidence with the above problem) I'd advance the frame and try to trip the shutter but nothing would happen. The meter would still activate, but it acted like I had not cocked the shutter. The only way around this was to wind the film advance lever a second time. Weirdly, even though I had to cycle through the second problem at least five times, the roll showed 34 exposures. I expected more unexposed frames than that.

I've searched through the forum and it seems like this is something that tends to happen with a camera as old as I am. As much as I want to give this gal a proper CLA, I really don't want to part with her right in the middle of a class that runs through mid-August and will consume another 15+ rolls of film. Fritz wrote about a winder lever experience that sounds like mine but I couldn't find anything about a shutter button not working after a successful film advance.

Any good DIY ideas?

07-06-2009, 07:48 PM   #2
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I can't tell you what is the matter, but I say, QUICK, buy another one to finish your work. You don't want to be working with iffy equipment at the crucial moment. Fix the other one later and then decide wheather to keep both or sell one.

Steve N
07-07-2009, 07:51 AM   #3
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Steve, you are probably correct. Thankfully, someone's got their ME Super for sale on Craigslist not far from where I work. I have two K-mount DSLRs, might as well have two K-mount SLRs.

I'll definitely have to budget for a CLA in my future.
07-07-2009, 09:19 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Charles Hueter Quote
Steve, you are probably correct. Thankfully, someone's got their ME Super for sale on Craigslist not far from where I work. I have two K-mount DSLRs, might as well have two K-mount SLRs.

I'll definitely have to budget for a CLA in my future.
Hi Charles,

Steve, defintely has the right idea and, I daresay, that the price for the other
ME Super might actually be less expensive than the CLA that is, if life
in Austin,TX is similar to Vancouver, BC .................... rainfall notwithstanding

And, FWIW, I had a few ME Supers and whilst they took stellar pictures ...when
they did act up ...it was always something to do with the "Winder/Shutter release"

Cheers and have fun ..... camera gear aside ... with your course

Jack

07-07-2009, 02:28 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jack_Simpson Quote
Hi Charles,

Steve, defintely has the right idea and, I daresay, that the price for the other
ME Super might actually be less expensive than the CLA
Hmmm, good point. Spare parts are always nice, too. But knowing me, I'll eventually leap for a CLA for each of the Supers.
QuoteOriginally posted by Jack_Simpson Quote
that is, if life in Austin,TX is similar to Vancouver, BC .................... rainfall notwithstanding
I can tell ya that 107F (42C) is not very similar at all to the BC weather I'm used to experiencing! The sun is a mean mutha down here...

I have family in Victoria and I visited them a year ago. I'm way late on getting the shots up to flickr (1200+ taken over 12 days), but feel free to browse what I have: Austin to Vancouver and Back - a set on Flickr

QuoteOriginally posted by Jack_Simpson Quote
And, FWIW, I had a few ME Supers and whilst they took stellar pictures ...when
they did act up ...it was always something to do with the "Winder/Shutter release"
Bah, reliability is for boring people!
07-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #6
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Hi Charles,

QuoteOriginally posted by Charles Hueter Quote
Hmmm, good point. Spare parts are always nice, too. But knowing me, I'll eventually leap for a CLA for each of the Supers.

Sounds like me.... the first time .... the second time ...not so much

I can tell ya that 107F (42C) is not very similar at all to the BC weather I'm used to experiencing! The sun is a mean mutha down here...

Yowza .... that's way tooo hot and the only time I experienced that was when
I happened to travel through Las Vegas during the beginning of August, albeit before
you were born -- 1976. and, before Vancouver, I lived in Winnipeg where I used
to complain about the heat (high mid 30'sC ) for a while in the summer and then at
the opposite end of the extreme in winter ( -mid 30'sC) ......so Vancouver/Victoria
is a nice happy medium weather wise


I have family in Victoria and I visited them a year ago. I'm way late on getting the shots up to flickr (1200+ taken over 12 days), but feel free to browse what I have: Austin to Vancouver and Back - a set on Flickr

Great photos and the following one pretty much sums up this week:



and this shot is definitely cool




Bah, reliability is for boring people!
Geez, that sounds like ordering Canon product this year




Cheers,

Jack
07-07-2009, 04:38 PM   #7
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I've had problems with my ME also...mine would take a shot every time I would wind it. Some how over the last year of it sitting and collecting dust, it fixed itself.
07-07-2009, 07:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GateCityRadio Quote
I've had problems with my ME also...mine would take a shot every time I would wind it. Some how over the last year of it sitting and collecting dust, it fixed itself.
Ditto, another one of my ME Supers eclectic shooting methods

Cheers,

Jack

07-08-2009, 02:04 PM   #9
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Thanks for the compliments, Jack. And I tell ya I fear for my hands when I touch the steering wheel after I leave my car in a parking lot for more than 10 minutes...

My Super has now developed another problem: the meter isn't working. As in, nothing happens when I half-press the shutter. I tried two different sets of batteries to no avail. Even more annoying: the cheap Craigslist ME Super I found also won't meter! It's in better cosmetic shape than mine.

The film gawds are frowning on me. My Spotmatic's seals are wasted so I'm not going to mess with that. My roommate has a Spotmatic but I have no idea what condition it's in and either way I won't be able to use my FA 31 and FA 77 on it...

Thankfully my irritation is balanced out with the fun I'm having in the darkroom in class. Today was dodging and burning 101.
07-08-2009, 02:21 PM   #10
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Hold on, I may be the weak link in this latest problem. I swear the batteries I pulled out yesterday had the positive side facing away from the body, towards the battery compartment cap. I've been trying different batteries and searched through the forums until I found Mike Cash's post, telling someone else to RTFM.

Which I have not yet done, of course.

The meter (powered by batteries inserted properly) seems to be working fine.

Hopefully, the Craigslist ME Super I found will perk up once I operate it correctly...
07-12-2009, 08:04 AM   #11
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Well, if you are somewhat inclined to diy repair browse around this site, might give you an idea of what is going wrong, at least:

Favorite Classics > Pentax ME Super Ramblings
07-12-2009, 11:26 AM   #12
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Hi Charles,

QuoteOriginally posted by Charles Hueter Quote
Thanks for the compliments, Jack. And I tell ya I fear for my hands when I touch the steering wheel after I leave my car in a parking lot for more than 10 minutes...

My Super has now developed another problem: the meter isn't working. As in, nothing happens when I half-press the shutter. I tried two different sets of batteries to no avail. Even more annoying: the cheap Craigslist ME Super I found also won't meter! It's in better cosmetic shape than mine.

The film gawds are frowning on me. My Spotmatic's seals are wasted so I'm not going to mess with that. My roommate has a Spotmatic but I have no idea what condition it's in and either way I won't be able to use my FA 31 and FA 77 on it...
I can relate to the touching of the steering wheel -- from a week I spent in Las Vegas,
in August, and then driving to San Bernadino, CA with a quick stop in Barstow -- for
a beer (quickest downing of a beer in my life ) and to pick up a twelve (12) drinks for the balance of the drive

As for metering; again I had issues but my way of working around it was -- w/o batteries you still have a 1/125 shutter speed .. so if you just use the "sunny 16
rule" along with 100 ASA speed film you should be fine ...and if you're not familiar
with it , here are few examples:

Way too much detail but a good read info down the road: Ultimate Exposure Computer

Much easier to read and understand ....just don't delve into Charles Glazter's thingy: The Sunny f/16 rule - PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photo Forum

Short, sweet and to the point: Sunny 16 Rule

Hopefully, one of the three(3) above links might be useful in shooting with "meters
from hell" ME Supers

QuoteQuote:
Thankfully my irritation is balanced out with the fun I'm having in the darkroom in class. Today was dodging and burning 101.
Now for "burning and dodging 101" ... you can rest assured there will be no "links"
..just a story of my first experience with burning and dodging ......actually most "dodging ... I was shooting freelance for the tabloid in Winnipeg, MB at the
time and was in the process of the taking a (B&W) darkroom course and just getting
familiar with souping film --- the newspapers photogs were getting annoyed with having to soup my film and then print my photos ...but I couldn't understand why ............. So one of the photogs gave me a "crash course"
on souping film and printing >>>>> skip ahead about six(6) weeks >>> I come
back from a hockey game and have a cracking shot -- a guy being absolutely crunched in to boards but the neg is a bit thin ... so if print it for "highlight detail" the players (important) are all in shadow and if print it for the "shadow detail -- players ..very important":ugh: the surroundings are all washed out ... so whats
a (not so young) budding PJ to do ... so I tell one of the photogs my dilemma ---- easy-peasy, he says -- just dodge the players and,BTW, crop the picture tighter So, naturally, I ask "what's dodging and how do
I do it?" He, Rick, does one of these: .... ... and says "when you're
printing the picture you just put your hand over the section that is too dark for about 3 seconds (or so) for every 10 seconds (or so) of exposure I say thanks and go back
to printing my "cracking shot" and do what he says ..... and blast the pic through the
soup, fix and wash ..... look at it ... turn on the light ...look at it again and call Rick in to take a look at it ...cuz something so does't look
100% about the picture ...... Rick comes in and looks at the picture: and says to me:

YOU IDIOT....YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO MOVE YOUR HAND ... Yep, there was a beautiful
hand outline on the print .......but... the exposure on the players was great

And just for the record.. when he yelled at me ... he said a few "expletive deleted" words which purposely left out

Presumably, your "burning and dodging" class went better than my initial experience

Cheers and I apologise for the length of the story

Jack
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