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How to Change Light Seals on a Pentax ME Super Camera

The Pentax ME Super was produced between 1979 and 1984, and proved to be one of the most popular Pentax shutter-priority automatic cameras. A classic 35-millimeter camera, the ME Super is hard to service and even harder to find parts for. Over time, the light seals will ultimately need replacing.

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  1. Locate the small slotted screw toward the hinge area. Using the screwdriver, slide it downward to remove the film door.

  2. Moisten a paper towel with solvent and clean around the edges of the film door, as well as around the pressure plate. Be careful not to jar the plate loose.

  3. Soak the old light seal with solvent and let it sit for a few minutes. Using the bamboo tool (or a toothpick), remove the old seal. If any gunk remains, wipe it away with a saturated paper towel.

  4. Replace the old hinge seal with a new one, measuring 6mm x 48mm, from the replacement seal kit.

  5. Locate the two tiny seal pieces on the film door and remove them, using appropriate-sized pieces from the seal kit.

  6. Using a paper towel soaked in solvent and your toothpick/bamboo tool, completely clean out the remainder of the film door slots. When clean, begin installing the seal strip at the end of the slot, with the glossy side out.

  7. Press the seal strip gently with the bamboo tool/toothpick as you go around the film door, making sure to stop at the film frame reset lever, which is located under the serial number near the film door. Repeat this for the other side of the film door and the bottom slot.

  8. Locate the mirror damper pad. It should be a strip of pad with a screw in the middle, housed in a circular area within the camera's backing.

  9. Use your utility knife to remove the old pad, making sure to not get any of the old seal on the focus screen. Tilt the camera slightly as you work so the bits will fall out of the lens opening. If necessary, use some tweezers to get bits of old pad off, but don't use any solvent here to aid the removal of old pad.

  10. Cut a strip of the 2.5mm foam into a 40mm x 3mm or 3.5mm piece. Using a scissors or utility knife, cut a V-shaped notch in the centre of that newly-cut piece to account for the screw that sits in the middle. Set this piece with a tweezers to assure steady-handedness and accuracy in this small spot.

  11. Lift the mirror up gently to meet the newly installed damper pad, once the adhesive dries, and press against it. This keeps everything flush and sealed properly within the focus screen area.

  12. Locate the latch end and remove that seal, as we have been doing throughout, with both solvent and a toothpick/bamboo tool. Cut a piece of 1.5mm thick open-celled foam, measuring 2mm x 43mm, and install on the latch end.

  13. Go through all the seals you have just replaced and press down on them, gently and evenly, to assure they all have tight, uniform pressure throughout.

  14. Tip

    Jon Goodman provides a great Pentax seal kit that takes the hassle out of actually making all the materials yourself. He can be reached at either Jgood21967@aol.com or Jon_Goodman@yahoo.com. He also recommends that when fitting with a new seal, "remove the backing paper and lick the adhesive side well to delay adhesion. Then you can slide it into place easily. After 20 minutes, your saliva will be dry, and you can press it down for a final fit." If, after reading these directions, you still feel a bit leery about doing this job on your own, feel free to contact a repair shop, like Picture Perfect Unlimited (http://www.brokencamera.com/), and get a quote to see what it might cost to do the same job.


    Goodman has the following warnings/caveats for light seal replacement: "These instructions were given to you as an accompaniment to a general seal kit, or for any of several reasons. You should be able to easily cut your own seal pieces from my seal material, using methods described in my general kit instructions. Your camera is a fine-precision instrument, and the materials you are using have been carefully tested to be compatible with its design. You should never use inferior seal materials as a substitute. On the hinge end and for the tiny pieces at the latch end of the film door, I use 1.6mm self-adhesive fabric seal. You could use my 1.5mm open-celled foam seal, however I prefer the fabric in this instance. For the long thin door slots, use a "Seal Strip"---a 2mm non-adhesive strip cut from a foam product I had made especially for this purpose. For the mirror damper, use 2.5mm self-adhesive open-celled foam."

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Things You'll Need

  • 2-foot x 2-foot piece of cardboard
  • 1 can/bottle of cigarette lighter fluid or denatured alcohol
  • 1 roll of paper towels
  • Toothpicks or wooden cuticle sticks
  • Razor blade/small scissors/hobby knife
  • Small slotted screwdriver
  • Tweezers
  • 1 replacement seal kit

About the Author

Dan Gaz is a graduate of Indiana University with degrees in both exercise science and applied sport science. A self-proclaimed Internet Renaissance man, Gaz is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. His work can be seen in the "Post-Bulletin" (Rochester, Minn.) and on various websites.

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