Question about Pentax ME Super 35mm SLR Camera

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I Have a Pentax Me Super. The camera seems to be in mint condition. Shutter works well, film advances and can also be unwounded without a problem. Only problem is that every time I have gone to develop the film, the film is just blank. I have no idea what it could be. I'm leaning towards the fact that it could be the batteries, but I'm not so convinced that that is the actual problem. Any-who, please help!

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The camera is almost totally battery dependent for operation. There is just one mechanical shutter speed (the 125X setting). On any other setting the camera needs battery power to fire the shutter. To check the batteries set the camera to M or Auto and halfway press the shutter whilst looking through the viewfinder. With good batteries one of the LED lamps will illuminate between 2000 and 4s continuously. With weak batteries, the LED's will flicker on and off. With dead batteries no lights at all will appear.

Blank film means that the film has not been exposed. If you're sure that the film is advancing correctly then it means that the shutter is probably not operating. To test it, open the camera back and hold the camera up to a bright light with the lens cap removed. Set the lens aperture to it's widest setting (i.e. lowest number) and fire the shutter. You should see at least some light briefly appearing. If not, set the camera to 125X and try again. If no light then you have a faulty shutter assembly. A faulty shutter really needs professional attention, but due to age and a lack of spares you'll find it difficult to find a camera technician who is willing to help unless you pay up front (don't expect much of a refund, if any, if the camera proves to be unrepairable). In any case, the repairs will exceed the camera's value, but given that the same may be said of almost all 35mm SLR's now it's a question of how much do you personally value your camera?

If you do get a professional repair, then take the chance to get the foam light seals and mirror buffer replaced at the same time if it hasn't already been done. The original material will be well into decomposing by now and modern replacement materials don't suffer the same fate, so it's a modest one-off investment. An ME super in good condition is scarce and collectable even though it's not worth much, and far more importantly it's a great camera to use. Shoot on transparencies and scan the results and you can achieve results which are comparable to the best digital SLR's. Unlike a digital SLR, your camera should last much longer if it can be repaired.

Posted on Sep 13, 2010

Testimonial: "Thank you! I changed the batteries and hopefully it will work."

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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