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Jammed Spotmatic?
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Jammed Spotmatic? Reply with quote

The other day I was able to help Matt on the other forum with a problem with his Pentax S1a. He'd wound on the film and cocked the shutter but the shutter release button wouldn't depress and he couldn't wind on any further. The camera was completely jammed.

The problem affects all Pentax Spotmatic models and probably all the earlier SLRs like Matt's. It happens when, for some reason, the mirror mechanism doesn't become cocked with the shutter when the film advance lever is operated. Fortunately it's very simple to cure this.

Remove the bottom plate and hold the camera with the lens facing away from you. To the left of the tripod mount there's a lever projecting up through a slot. There's a long spring hooked into a hole in the end of the lever. With your finger nail push the lever upwards towards the lens to the end of its slot and it will latch itself. Then fire the shutter and camera is back to normal.

So now you know what to do if you see a Spottie being sold for spares/repair because it's jammed! The camera in the pictures is an SPII which I bought for a few pounds recently and, as you can see, the problem was cured in a flash. Very Happy



Last edited by peterqd on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:14 pm; edited 4 times in total


PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Peter,
Great trick, and nice pictures!.
You've mastered the Spotmatic... Wink

Jes.


PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm,

Best not to let word get around - at least not until I can grab a couple of "broken" Spotmatics !


PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesito wrote:
Hello Peter,
Great trick, and nice pictures!.
You've mastered the Spotmatic... Wink

Jes.


Oh no, I don't think so! You should see the PCB and wiring in the SPF! I'm going to be consulting my electronics expert again soon! Wink


PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This Forum is GREAT!

Here are photos of my "Jammed Spotmatic" that I bought off eBay. Fixed 2 minutes after it was out of the shipping box Very Happy





PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Now I see this. Great!


PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful Michael, I'm really pleased it helped you. Smile

That camera looks like it's in superb condition. Having both the black studs for the PC flash sockets still in place is a good indication - I'd take a bet this camera jammed years ago just after it was new and has been stored away ever since. You'll probably find the door seals and mirror buffer need replacing and the shutter and mirror might be a bit sticky to start with until they've been used a few times.

When you start using it I'd be very keen to know how you get on, particularly about the metering and the battery. Don't believe what some people say that it will work fine with a 1.5v silver oxide cell - mine underexposed the first roll by at least 1.5 stops. As a temproary measure you can increase the ASA setting x3 (i.e. set it on 1200 for a 400 film).


PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very happy with it! I bought it hoping the information in this thread would fix it. The seals all look good, but are starting to get sticky. I am going to throw a Wein Cell 1.35v battery in it shortly and go out for a test ride.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what causes this in the FIRST place? (Why is the pin out of place - or not returning by itself - or whatever it is supposed to do?)


PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheekygeek wrote:
So what causes this in the FIRST place? (Why is the pin out of place - or not returning by itself - or whatever it is supposed to do?)

When you wind the advance lever, the cogs turn and the long lever at top left pushes the "pin" along the slot. As the pin approaches the top of the slot it pushes the latch across, against its spring, until it passes the latch and then the latch should flip across to stop the pin sliding back down. The camera jams when the latch doesn't catch the pin properly and it returns to the bottom of the slot, as in the first pic.

I'm not exactly sure why this happens. Often I've found that a tiny dab of grease on the latch, where it slides under the pin is enough to cure the problem. A spot of oil where the latch pivots is also a good idea. It could also be a weak latch spring. Once or twice I've had to resort to bending the latch very slightly.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always try the "bang-it-on-the-palm-of-your-other-hand" trick first and foremost...just don't tell the seller that's what you're going to do Laughing

I've un-jammed a couple cameras that way...a couple more by poking around with a screwdriver. It works Laughing


PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryan s wrote:
Always try the "bang-it-on-the-palm-of-your-other-hand" trick first and foremost...just don't tell the seller that's what you're going to do Laughing

I've un-jammed a couple cameras that way...a couple more by poking around with a screwdriver. It works Laughing

Ryan, if you saw how the heavy prism is held in place on the Spottie you'd think twice about banging the camera anywhere at all - just two tiny set screws. I've seen several cameras with damaged silvering on the top or the front face of the prism, where it's seated in its "cradle", which causes a black line in the viewfinder. This happens very easily because the special orange prism-cushioning foam is nearly always perished after 40+ years. Even if you don't damage the prism, you're likely to get bits of foam on the top of the focus screen, and the prism has to be removed to clean it.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter, did you realize yourself you are replying to a 1,5 year old topic?


PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better late than never Laughing


PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spotmatic wrote:
Peter, did you realize yourself you are replying to a 1,5 year old topic?

Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, I did realise, but it's not a problem, is it? I hadn't seen Ryan's message until now and I feel my reply is important to anyone searching for information about their jammed Spotmatic.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterqd wrote:
but it's not a problem, is it?

Certainly not a problem! Cool
Anyone looking for info in a search is going to find this thread, so the warnings about potential damage (especially easily-preventable self-inflicted damage!) are appreciated!


The real question though... which has us puzzled... What made you re-read this thread again after so long?

Has your Spotmatic re-jammed? Question You know that things have come full-circle when you need to fix something, and the best repair guide you can find is one that you yourself wrote several years ago. Very Happy


PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scheimpflug wrote:
The real question though... which has us puzzled... What made you re-read this thread again after so long?

Aha! Smile
Well, the answer is that when Attila explained how to use Quick search the other day, I tested it using "jammed" to see if it would find this thread. The ordinary search didn't find it when I tried a few weeks ago.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'm glad this thread got resurrected because I just found a jammed spotmatic with 55/1.8 in a recycle shop for about 10 dollars. I'm gonna go back and buy it and see if I can un-jam it. Thanks Peter.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. This thread began long before I was a member here, so I'm glad it got resurrected. Yebisu, let us know how things turn out for you.

And, yep, next time I see a "jammed" Spotmatic, I'm liable to go for it. I wonder, since the K-1000 and KX are really just Spotmatics with K-mounts -- or so I've read -- will this same thing work with them? I know the mirror-up trick works with my KX, same as Spotmatics, although it's not all that reliable.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yebisu wrote:
Well I'm glad this thread got resurrected because I just found a jammed spotmatic with 55/1.8 in a recycle shop for about 10 dollars. I'm gonna go back and buy it and see if I can un-jam it. Thanks Peter.

Good luck with it Yebisu! There are other possible reasons why the mechanism jams, but they are nearly always due to poor lubrication in my experience. The important thing to understand is that the film advance, double exposure interlock, mirror cocking and the shutter curtains all operate like falling dominoes, in that one action sets off the next. If one of them is sticky then the interlock is not reset as the 2nd curtain closes and the camera seems as if it's "jammed".

Michael, I don't know about the K1000 and KX but the mechanism of my K2 is completely different to the Spotmatic. It's never jammed so I haven't investigated it, however all manual SLRs work on this chain reaction principle, and a touch of lubrication in the right place is generally the cure. My Chinon CE-3 kept "jamming" when I first got it, but a little oil soon cured it.


Last edited by peterqd on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:20 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Peter,

The K2 is a completely different animal. It's more closely related to the Spotmatic ES II than to anything else from the early era, being electronically controlled, but even more so than the ES II. Maybe this is why your K2 has never jammed, and is likely never to do so.


PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:50 pm    Post subject: Thank You!!! Reply with quote

Thank You!

I just revived my Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic last night with this trick.

I inherited my spotmatic from my mom who passed away a few years ago.
She had puchased it new at some point in the 60's and was a quite capable photographer and had her on B&W darkroom for a number of years.
Someday I hope to be able to go through and scan her photos but for now I'm far enough behind on digitizing my own work.

My pentax is my favorite camera for somewhat sentimental reasons but I've also been happy with the lens and exposure I get with it.



Thanks,
Josh


PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Thank You!!! Reply with quote

jpbturbo wrote:
Thank You!

I just revived my Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic last night with this trick.

Well done Josh! Nice of you to let me know.

I just discovered I've deleted the pictures from my server but you seem to have managed OK without them. If it ever happens again, a tiny spot of Vaseline on that arm that catches the spring would be a good idea, to assist the spring to slide off it. Smile


PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Thank You!!! Reply with quote

As soon as I read the description I knew what it was as I had been under the hood of this spotmatic fairly recently.

A while back I was shooting my only roll ever of Kodachrome through it and the mirror became stuck in the up position not allowing me to see what I was shooting or metering.
With the lens pointing away there is a little arm mounted on top of a small black(in my case anyways) gear that has a little peg that protrudes from the flat surface of the gear.
The little arm has a section that is bent at a right angle that is supposed to be hit by the peg as the gear rotates around.
Merely lubing the pivot points didn't seem to help enough for it to consistently lower the mirror so I ended up removing the tiny C-clip that holds the arm on the pivot and taking a pair of pliers and ever so slightly bending it back so it was a true 90 degree angle.
Now when the gear rotates the peg makes a more noticeable contact with the arm at the end of it's travel and the mirror always returns to it's lower position.

Anyways,
Now that it's fixed for the second time I'm scouring the internet and my local classifieds for some more lenses.

-Josh


PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey I think this is exactly whats happening to my Pentax Spotmatic right now!
Just what do you mean by 'Remove the bottom plate', does this mean to actually screw off the silver bottom?
It might seem like a stupid question, but im asking it.
Thanks Rolling Eyes