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Re: Pentax ME Super Seems to alway be in bulb mode.
There is an arm in the seiko shutter assembly used in this camera which selects auto, 1/125, and 'B' modes. It's a purely mechanical thing.
Something may (HAS!) have got into the shutter works and jammed it in this mode. You will have to open it up to see what this is.
It is quite likely that the offending something, is one of the synthetic rubber bumpers fitted to make the mirror a little quieter, or perhaps the spring that locks the winder into it's 'home' position has broken. The bumpers are all breaking now, and need to be removed. The springs break in some due to fatigue. (Not all though. The metal seems to be very variable in quality for this part.)
To see how to open the camera up for repair and how to do this properly there is a camera repair site which deal with this and other cameras in detail. alternatively you can contact the author who can offer a very competitivecamera repair service for these models.
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Re: Pentax ME Super Seems to alway be in bulb mode.
Hello igby Slocumb, As I recall, this was Pentax's way of mating electronics with mechanical cameras and the success rate was quite good. The only problem with the Pentax Super Program was the rather complex electronic circuit board. Your canera could have bad batteries, or batteries with too low amperage therefore no electronic shutter, have a short in the wiring, etc. You would need to do a shutter circuit check using a benchtop AC/DC power supply to exclude the batteries. Wow - really expensive and time-consuming = complete stripdown and repair. The camera is over approximately 30 years old making it a classic. It is no longer in production meaning parts need to be cannabalized from another old non-working Pentax Super Program. The cost of repair would exceed the value of the camera. Look for another good used model or move on to a Pentax DSLR (digital SLR) camera as your tool. Sorry I couldn't give you a better answer on how to fix your problem.
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One, it could be the battteries. The ME super is not a fully mechanical camera like the mx, if the batteries are depleted then the shutter sticks open as it does not know how long to stay open. Turning the selection wheel to 125X usually unsticks it.
Two, the lubricant that pentax used in the 70's and 80's has a very bad tendecy to polymerise and turn sticky and solid. This turns the camera inoperable. Pentax repair service routinely provide cleaning for affected cameras.
The 'drop' may have caused the shutter to engage. If so, pull the two batteries from the bottom compartment and wait a few minutes to see if the shutter opens.
You may also operate the camera manually in the x125 position without batteries.
This may also be a good time to go Digital! ... I put my ME Super away and purchased the Pentax K110D for less than $200. All of my Pentax lenses work just fine, and it is ver cost effective. Please consider.
If you need more info, please comment (I am not a camera dealer).
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.
First, check that you've inserted the batteries the correct way up. the positive terminals face down as you hold the camera inverted. Also check that the camera's battery terminals are bright and clean.
With the batteries inserted and the battery cover in place, set the camera mode selector to Auto or M (manual) and lightly press the shutter whilst looking into the viewfinder. If the batteries are good one of the LED's from 4s to 2000 will light steadily. If they don't then you have a faulty camera and ME Supers are not easy to fix and the electronic parts which usually let them down are very hard to obtain. It's perhaps forgiveable when you think that these cameras are nearly 30 years old now... Not really a problem though as there were so many sold that it's usually fairly easy to obtain another for free (good old FreeCycle and Freegle) or very cheap, but a bit more difficult to find one which still works correctly in all respects.
The ME Super is very limited without batteries as the light meter won't work. By setting the mode selector dial to 125X you get the single mechanical shutter speed of 1/125 of a second.
If you want a free download of the user manual, it's in two parts as a pdf file on the Norman Butkus website
It doesn't need batteries to shoot. You can use it on manual without batteries, but the exposure meter won't work (if you know what you're doing you can go by). But the stuck mirror should be fixed. It could be just plain dirty/rusty/bent etc. The advance lever might be gone since it won't 'click'. A professional shop can fix it, but the one you tried doesn't sound very professional...
the shutter locking lever is sticking. time for a clean, lube & adjust.
i would take, or send this fine rugged camera to a reputable camera repair shop, have an estimate for a cla.
This model pentax is made with very little plastic and will last a long time with an occasional cla.
May be the problem is with the lens. Put a maximum aperture say f 22 then press the shutter, if the leaves of the diaphragm shuts and opens fast ten your lens is OK .If there is any oily appearance between the leaves of the diaphragm then it should be cleaned.
It is possible that the mirror is stuck in th "up" position. You should be able to fire the shutter as you say on the 125x setting with no batteries.
You can download the manual from the link below:
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