focal plane shutter malfunction?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by easilyamused, May 5, 2010.

  1. easilyamused

    easilyamused TPF Noob!

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    Hey folks,

    I have a nice old Asahi Pentax K (no meter) which came out of my aunt's attic a while ago. (I am not, I guess, a "serious Pentax photographer.") It handles great and has wonderful lenses, but when I developed my test roll I found a few pictures where part of the frame is dark. It looks just like a flash shot with the shutter set faster than the sync speed. In my case, these were all existing-light shots. I didn't keep a log, but I have a feeling these may have been shots where I set the shutter to 1/500 or 1/1000. I can't be sure about this though.

    Anyone know what might be happening? I tried to upload some examples to my user gallery, but they haven't appeared. I'm fairly new to this forum, so maybe I'm doing it wrong or it needs to pass through a moderator--anyone want to offer website help too?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    These shutters are mechanical devices and they usually require some form of lubricant (which may need to be re-applied). And of course, parts of it can become worn out etc.

    You might consider taking it into a repair shop for a 'CLA' (clean, lube & adjust).
     
  3. easilyamused

    easilyamused TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Mike. Have you seen this particular problem before?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've got some old cameras that would probably exhibit something like this...but I really don't shoot with my old cameras so I wouldn't know. Sorry.

    If you can find Mitica100 on-line, he could probably offer much better insight.
     
  5. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    I actually have (I think) one of these same camera's. On mine, the shutter wouldn't always close all the way. It sounds like you might also have some issue with the shutter itself; but I'm not sure. The material the shutter is made out of, on mine, seemed like it was kind of dried out and obviously wasn't operating correctly. I sent it to the guys at camerarepair.com and just got it back this week. I would definitely recommend these guys if you're looking to have it repaired. I don't know what kind of shops you have around, but my local shops said they were unable to repair it (I'm guessing due to rarity of parts). It sounds like yours might be better off than mine was, but it cost around $180 to have mine completely repaired. It works flawlessly now, so for me, it wasn't much at all for such an awesome camera and sentimental value of it being my Grandfather's. Might be worth shipping off and at least getting a quote from them.

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/collectors-corner/196478-my-new-pentax.html
     
  6. easilyamused

    easilyamused TPF Noob!

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    Yes, Goontz, that's exactly the model! It's a great little camera. Thanks for the recommendation. I've got a bunch of old cameras in need of CLA (or worse...); maybe this would be a good place to send them.
     
  7. Dallmeyer

    Dallmeyer TPF Noob!

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    I'm sorry i don't know anything about your focal plane shutter problem but the serious pentax thing cracks me up! There's something inherently insecure about it IMO. Did you ever hear/read anywhere the distinction "oh i'm sorry, this is only for serious Arriflex, Sinar, ____ fill in the blank users!" funny!
     
  8. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It may simply be a case of old lubricant having thickened from the camera
    sitting for so long and gumming up the works a bit. Working the shutter
    repeatedly may solve it. Remove the lens and open the back and hold it
    in front of a working TV screen while you repeatedly fire the shutter at
    various speeds. You may see the hanging shutter curtain at times while
    doing this. If so, keep working it and hopefully it will stop misbehaving.
    If it keeps mis-firing it will need service to correct.
     

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