Pentax ME Super Problem/Question

Matt Friedman

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I just picked up a Pentax ME Super. I mostly shoot Minoltas, but I thought I'd branch out a bit. Seems like a nice camera, but I can't seem to get the shutter to fire.

This is the situation: I have fresh batteries in the battery compartment, and the light meter lights up, and displays correctly in both auto and manual modes. But the film advance lever does not advance, and the shutter does not fire. I have tried this in A, M, 125x, and B modes, and nothing happens. Is there something I'm missing here? Some setting that I need to unlock, or is this camera just DOA? (Not a huge tragedy, since I only paid $10 for it and the glass is from my K1000, but still...)

Thanks in advance.
 

tirediron

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Is there film in the camera, and is it correctly loaded? Does the film advance lever move at all, a tiny bit, or part of the normal winding arc?
 
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Matt Friedman

Matt Friedman

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No film. The lever advances loosely (not catching any mechanism) about 45 degrees into the winding arc, but no further. On further inspection, I noticed that the rewind/release button on the bottom seems to be stuck in the in position.
 

benhasajeep

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No film. The lever advances loosely (not catching any mechanism) about 45 degrees into the winding arc, but no further. On further inspection, I noticed that the rewind/release button on the bottom seems to be stuck in the in position.

There is a little hole in the top of the body at the end of the winding lever. In the wind lever recess. When it's black the shutter is not cocked. When orange it is cocked and ready to fire.
 

john.margetts

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If there is no film in the camera, open the back and rotate the sprocket shaft a few times - this might reset the film advance system and cause the rewind button to pop out again. If that fails, remove the base plate and have a good blow around the cogs and such as bits of film debris can end up here and jam the mechanism. If that doesn't work, my expertise is used up.
 

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Me Super...I have broken two of these, one in 82, the other in maybe 85 or so...this is a camera model that is _plagued_ with film advance system breakdowns...it has one of the weakest film advance systems I've ever heard of...these cameras can be broken at roll's end by attempting to advance past the last frame. You are perhaps the 10th TPF poster with an ME Super problem. As I mentioned, I personally broke two ME Supers belong to college newspaper photography departments.
 
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Matt Friedman

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There is a little hole in the top of the body at the end of the winding lever. In the wind lever recess. When it's black the shutter is not cocked. When orange it is cocked and ready to fire.
Thanks. The indicator shows that the shutter is not cocked.
If there is no film in the camera, open the back and rotate the sprocket shaft a few times - this might reset the film advance system and cause the rewind button to pop out again. If that fails, remove the base plate and have a good blow around the cogs and such as bits of film debris can end up here and jam the mechanism. If that doesn't work, my expertise is used up.
Yeah... I think I'm going to have to open it up. I'll have some time to sit down with it tomorrow. It's a good thing I have all the right tools.
 

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Please let us know what you find out about the inner workings on this, Matt! I say this because the ME Super is a fairly popular 35mm retro SLR that many people buy and will do searches on, and so having some info on where the problem lies would be helpful if you add that info to this thread, so that in the future others who search will be able to benefit from your problem diagnosis thoughts and your repair efforts. I took one really,really awesome photo with the ME Super at a football game I was covering at Western Oregon University (then WOSC) in '82, and I managed to break the doggone camera that very game. The other one was later. I KNEW I was in trouble with a very,very tightly-loaded reloadable bulk film roll...the film was very tight,frame after frame. After about 20 frames, snap! I had messed up another ME Super. Do'ah!, as Homer Simpson says!
 
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Matt Friedman

Matt Friedman

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Please let us know what you find out about the inner workings on this, Matt! I say this because the ME Super is a fairly popular 35mm retro SLR that many people buy and will do searches on, and so having some info on where the problem lies would be helpful if you add that info to this thread, so that in the future others who search will be able to benefit from your problem diagnosis thoughts and your repair efforts. I took one really,really awesome photo with the ME Super at a football game I was covering at Western Oregon University (then WOSC) in '82, and I managed to break the doggone camera that very game. The other one was later. I KNEW I was in trouble with a very,very tightly-loaded reloadable bulk film roll...the film was very tight,frame after frame. After about 20 frames, snap! I had messed up another ME Super. Do'ah!, as Homer Simpson says!
I will certainly report back. I'm interested to look inside. As I've said, I've only ever worked on late-60s and early-70s SLRs, and I (mostly) get their logic, with Thomas Tomosy's help. I've never really had the nerve to poke around an electronic SLR from the 1980s. But... Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It doesn't work, anyway. It's not like I'm going to break it!

And I hear you about tight film rolls. When I was shooting for a weekly newspaper in the 1980s, we'd routinely load up 40 -- and I think even 44 -- frames so we wouldn't blow out a whole roll with the autowinder. That made for a tight spool.
 

Dave442

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Hope to hear back on the outcome of opening it up. I used a couple ME Supers in the 80's and never had a problem with film - one one unit had the winder. Did manage to break one of the plastic shutter buttons with a cable release - super glue to the rescue. I had shot the SRT-101 before that and it really took a while to use the buttons in place of a dial.
 

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