Question about Pentax ME Super 35mm SLR Camera

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My Pentax me Super won't load the film, why?

I just got this camera a little while back, and am not experienced..but would like to be if the thing would just work with me.

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  • rac1987junio Jan 24, 2009

    Apologies. So I place the film into the chamber, and pull the film lead over to the white pins and follow the instructions afterward as far as advancing the rapid-wind lever and depressing the shutter button, but nothing happens and the film wont take. I hope that this is a little clearer.

  • Gordon Stalker
    Gordon Stalker May 11, 2010

    Please clarify. These cameras do not load the film themsleves, so I'm not sure what you are asking.

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You must push the film leader in between the pins.

Some find it easier if they push the leader in first, and then draw the film cassette across the back and drop in into the cassete chamber. (Obvioulsy the rewind shaft remains withdrawn while you do this.)

If you press the film back lightly over the sprockets you can be sure they are propery engaged while you do this. Once the casette is in position you can push the rewind knob in. (A quick twiddle will ensure that the crank dog engages.) At this point you can operate the winder crank partially to ensure the film is properly engaged with the take up shaft before closing the back. Then proceed as per the manaul.

This sounds a bit more compicated then the instructions in the manual, but Pentax operatiin manuals have a reputation for obscurity!

One advantage of doing it this way is that you only use as much header as absolutey necesary. A lot of films have quite generous headers and this will get an extra frame or two out of the roll.

Also when rewinding, stop rewinding as soon as the header disengages. This leaves the film 'tail out'.

This is useful in two ways;

First it is easier to remove the film for processing. Often a device called a 'film picker' has to be used to pull the header back-out. This can scratch the first three or four inches of film, which might lose the first frame taken. Also if it does not succeed, the film cassette may beed to be broken open, which also risks scratching.

Second, the slot that the film emerges from may not always be light tight. Leaving a bit of film in the slot helps keep the cassette light tight.

(Note some types of special film use a backing which is unsually clear. These should not be left tail out, as the backing might conduct more light into the cassette. These are unusual films, (In fact I only know of one film where this is true!) so you will know if you are using one, and the instructions will make a big point about special loading an unloading precautions. So leave the tail out unless the instruction for the film say otherwise!)


A tip here is to keep an eye on the film run indicator. (the window on the back showing the red/black stripes.) This pattern moves from side when the film is fully engaged. It is operated by the upper section of the wind shaft. (Above the white pins.) This is turned by the top edge of the film, to when the tail of the fim header only is engaged it does not move. (Confirm this by rolling the upper end of the take-up shaft with the tip of your finger. You will see the run indicator waggle.)

This is intended to confirm that the film is properly engaged, you can't go by the frame counter. (On other cameras I have carried on shooting unaware that the film was not engaged, until the counter had shown 36 frames for five shots. You lose some good pictures that way!)

When rewinding this will stop moving as soon as the 'tail' is reached, telling you that the useful part of the film has been wound back. Another turn on the rewind crank will draw the first part of the film back into the cassette and you can then open the back.

Another handy tip is to crease the end of the tail over when you remove the cassette. This marks the film as exposed, and incidentally makes it impossible to wind the tail in my mistake.

Gordon
Alchemic Photography

PS: About pentax user manual in general.....

I think they were translated from Japanese by somone who's first language was neither Japanese nor English as a first language, after being written by somone whose main job was not technical writing, and then checked for grammar by an english language expert who's skill-set did not include photography.

This is a common problem. Often the cause is due to the 'spare man' effect. Ie the factory owner asks his factory manager who the best person to describe how to use the product for the manual writer. The factory manager, (who has production targets as his primary goal) then asks himself who he can spare from production work, and recommends the least productive dope on his staff. This is the 'spare man'. The manaul then gets written based on the opinions of the biggest dope in the fatory!

Even the latest manuals for their digitals are written this way. So in case anyone who has got a Pentax DSLR, the answer to the most common question is... "Yes you can use Pentax M series lenses on your camera. Just select the option to allow it in the menu.". (The manual says you can't at the beginning, and then when discussing th emenu options it tells you how to set the camera up to do just that. What is even more baffling is that once set it does not affect the use of any other lenses. In other words there is no reason for the menu option at all!)

Posted on Jan 25, 2009

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1 Answer

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I really loved your camera type though it was 35 years ago I had one. I envy you.

Not sure why you should be having trouble unless you have a bad film. Have you tried more than one film?

If the film cassette has dropped in properly and is laying flat, the film rewind has to be raised, I think, to allow that and the sprocket holes in the film are properly engaged with the sprockets and the free end of the film engaged onto the film wind-on reel then everything should be well below the door aperture.

I would wind on maybe a frame and fire the shutter prior to closing the film door just to observe everything moving as it should and then close the door.
The last quarter inch the door must be closed against the pressure of a spring but if the little spring-loaded device behind the door which is intended to keep the film perfectly flat against the camera body is working correctly only a light pressure will be needed to compress those springs and close the door.
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I don't remember any problems closing the film door.
I hope this helps but if it doesn't please come back again and describe your actions and the feel of the door more fully.

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