Asahi Pentax KM with a broken light meter...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Ces1um, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Ces1um

    Ces1um Member
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    So, I almost never do this but I was at the local photo lab to drop off some film last week and a guy had a box of camera gear and was asking the employee there what he thought the gear was worth. He had a few lenses (all zooms), a flash and a pentax KM. I bought it all for $100 and promptly sold the lenses because I have a lot of pentax lenses already. I had looked it over in the store but it didn't have a battery so I couldn't test the light meter. There wasn't any corrosion in the compartment whatsoever. After putting in a battery I get no response from the needle at all. The light meter doesn't function. I'm pretty sure there's no corrosion here based on what I can see, so I'm just wondering if it's very difficult to get the light meter back up and running again? I won't be doing the repair myself, I'll bring it to the camera repair centre in Halifax (those guys i'm convinced are camera wizards). It's just big repairs usually mean big money and this camera is really just going to be a spare body when I want to shoot black and white when my other pentax has a roll of colour in it and vice versus.
     
  2. Les Sarile

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    I believe it's as simple a light meter system gets and you should at least do the basic things. Clean the battery cover and use a new battery. If you're comfortable, open the base cover and check for obvious broken wires. Good luck.
     
  3. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member
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    Exercise the ASA setting and the aperture coupling. These 2 resistors may have bad connection.
     
  4. MattKing

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    Even without a meter, a KM is a nice camera. Of course it is easy for me to say that, given that I have more hand meters than is good for me.
     
  5. shutterfinger

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  6. andrewf

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    I have a KM and at one point the meter stopped working. As though the battery was flat. I took it to get serviced and it cost me more than the camera was worth (at the time) to get fixed but I hate throwing something out just because it's broken.

    Anyway, it works a treat now. I have no idea what was done to fix it, but it was predominantly labour charges if I recall. Hope you can get it fixed. They're a nice wee camera.
     
  7. OP
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    Ces1um

    Ces1um Member
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    I've always been of the same mind. If it's worth owning it's worth fixing. That being said, this was an impulse purchase that I now regret. I own a k1000 already which functions so likely I will try and trade this for a camera that's radically different than anything I currently own.
     
  8. genesmasher

    genesmasher Member

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    In 90% of all cases, non-operating meter in K series cameras is caused by the broken linkage between the battery and the main circuit board on top of the camera. It's just a thin wire. Most often than not, it is detached from the bottom of the battery compartment, and needs to be re-soldered. Sometimes, the wire has a physical break in the middle and needs to be replaced completely, which requires taking the front mount plate off (five screws under the leatherette) as well as the top of the camera to re-solder replacement wire to the main board. It is a 30min repair, if you know what you are doing.
     
  9. Dennis-B

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    Thoroughly clean out the battery compartment. Use a fiberglass brush to clean the contacts in the compartment itself. Then use the same tool to clean the inside of the screw-in cap. Now, also use some softer Scotch Brite to clean the threads of the camera compartment, and the threads of the retention cap. DC battery connections can be notoriously stubborn, especially on the negative side.
     
  10. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member
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    I have a number of KM bodies. All of them have been serviced by Eric Hendrickson. I prefer the KM to the K1000. I also prefer the 55/1.8 and 55/2 lenses to the 50/1.7 and 50/2 M lenses. With all of the bells and whistles of later cameras, the KM is breath of fresh air. The finder is uncluttered and the mechanical systems are simple and reliable.
     
  11. StanMac

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    The only one of the Pentax K-series camera’s I haven’t yet added to my collection is the KX. They are bit pricy compared to the other K cameras so I’m saving up for the one that I just can’t pass up. All the K’s feel good in the hand and their rugged simplicity is their best attribute. Ces1um, I would bite the bullet and send it out for a CLA and meter repair. It would be worth it for sure and you’d have another 30 years of use ahead of you.

    Stan
     
  12. BMbikerider

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    I am not in the market for a Pentax but if I were, the KX would be near the top of my list. I had one years ago. I looked upon it as a MX on steroids and suited my large hands more so than the MX
     
  13. aoresteen

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    +1 for Eric. He's serviced 7 Pentax 35mm bodies for me plus a 6x7. He's in Tennessee USA.

    https://www.pentaxs.com/
     
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