How to Replace a Foam Pentax Super Program

Written by brandon getty
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How to Replace a Foam Pentax Super Program
Run a roll of 35mm film through your revived Pentax Super Program. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The Super Program, also called the Super-A, was a mid-level 35mm film SLR produced by the Pentax camera company in the 1980s. When an A-series Pentax lens is mounted on the camera, it offers a fully automatic shooting mode, in addition to aperture and shutter priority modes. Full manual control is also available for seasoned photographers. Though the Super Program is now out of production, it is popular on the second-hand market. The foam seals that protect the interior of the camera from light leaks can erode over time and should be replaced before doing serious photography.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Cotton swabs
  • Solvent
  • Toothpick
  • Thin black yarn
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Measuring tape
  • Hobby knife
  • Black self-adhesive fabric (1mm thick)
  • Black self-adhesive foam (2.5mm thick)

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Instructions

    Replacing the Door Seals

  1. 1

    Depress the lens release tab, located on the front of the camera near the base of the lens barrel. Rotate the lens counterclockwise to remove it. Set the lens aside for now.

  2. 2

    Orient the camera so that the back of the film door faces you. Pull up on the camera's film rewind knob, located on the top left of the camera body.

  3. 3

    Locate the film door grooves at the top and bottom of the camera. This is where the film door's edges meet the camera body once the door is closed.

  4. 4

    Saturate the tip of a cotton swab with a solvent, such as window cleaner or isopropyl alcohol. Press the tip of the swab into the groove to distribute the solvent and loosen the old, eroded foam. Repeat this step for the other groove.

  5. 5

    Scrape out the eroded foam from the grooves using the tip of a toothpick. Start from one end of the groove and move toward the other, ensuring that all of the eroded foam is cleaned away.

  6. 6

    Cut two pieces of thin black yarn roughly the length of the grooves. Wedge the yarn into the groove using a toothpick. Repeat for the other groove. No adhesive is required to hold the yarn in place, as pressure from the door's edges will keep it seated.

  7. 7

    Saturate another cotton swab with solvent and wet the eroded seal along the door hinge. Allow the solvent to soak into the old foam before scraping it away with a toothpick. Once finished, this small patch should be completely clean of old foam and adhesive residue.

  8. 8

    Cut a piece of thick black self-adhesive fabric that is 5mm wide by 51mm long using a hobby knife. Peel off the paper backing and lick the adhesive to allow for easier placement.

  9. 9

    Place the fabric into position along the hinge and hold it there for one to two minutes. If necessary, use tweezers to ensure precise placement.

  10. 10

    Allow the adhesive to dry and harden for several hours before closing the camera's film door.

    Replacing the Mirror Damper Pad

  1. 1

    Peel away the mirror damper pad, located next to the camera's milky white focusing screen inside the camera, using tweezers. Hold the camera upside down as you do this to prevent crumbling foam from falling onto the sensitive focusing screen.

  2. 2

    Cut a piece of self-adhesive foam that is 2.5mm wide by 39mm long, using a hobby knife. Peel off the backing paper and lick the adhesive.

  3. 3

    Lower the piece of foam in place of the old mirror damper pad, using tweezers.

  4. 4

    Hold the foam gently in place with a finger as the adhesive sets. Allow the adhesive to cure for several hours before using the camera.

  5. 5

    Replace the lens by aligning the red guide dots on the lens barrel and body mount thread. Rotate clockwise until the lens locks into place.

Tips and warnings

  • When purchasing black yarn for your door seals, select a type that is tightly braided. This will prevent fraying once the yarn is installed.
  • All of the supplies required for Super Program seal replacement can be purchased at your local crafts store.
  • Never touch your Super Program's focusing screen with your finger or any other tool.

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