HELP! I dropped my meter (Pentax spot,zone) in the lake. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Gave my meter a dunking today. First it only read 0 or 1 now a couple hours later it is jumping around! What about trying to take it apart? Where can I send it to get it fixed? Do you think it is just a wet battery? I sat down and cryed, when I realized what had happened. Thanks, jules.

-- Jules Hancock (, November 16, 2001


been thereand done that. Since you have turned it on while it is still wet it may be fried. Turn it off removethe battery and let it dry ourt for a couple of days before inserting a new battery and tru=ying again,

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, November 16, 2001.

Richard Ritter is one of the original Zone VI team members, and I have routinely used his services calibrating the Zone VI modified/Pentax digital spot meters. He has a web site:, and his phone is 802/365-7807. You might give him a call before sending it back to Pentax factory service.

-- Christopher Campbell (, November 16, 2001.

I am afraid like Ellis said it might be fried....had you taken the battery out and let it dry you might have gotten away with it, but now I think your only choice will be a service rep.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, November 16, 2001.

The Pentax factory HQ and service center are here in Denver. A fine outfit. If you need any assistance, email me off list. Good luck. Richard Boulware - Denver.

-- Richard Boulware (, November 16, 2001.

Once I dropped my Pentax Digital Spotmeter down a mountain in Turkey. Neither I or the meter were very happy about that. The first thing I did was take it to a camera shop in the nearby town. That was a mistake. The well meaning owner and all his friends tried to poke all sorts of metal things inside to make it better, whilst I spent my time, like an anxious mother, trying to get my poor meter back so at least it could die at home. But then someone had the good idea that since it was mostly electronic, the man who repaired televisions might be the best doctor. And indeed that was the case. He confidently pealed back the little label at the back and found the screws which opened the body and was able to get everything back and working. It now bears honorable scars but has worked for many years since - and I even know how to do simple repairs myself. The moral of the story is: a digital spotmeter is "electronics" not "cameras". All the same, I hope your meter gets better soon.

-- Stephen Humphreys (, November 17, 2001.


All may not be lost.

I suggest you call your insurance agent immediately and make a claim if you have any household insurance because many items are covered for water damage. It may be subject to a deductable, but it is worth a try first.

At worst, it is gone, but if you try this it may work. I am an engineer with an insurance comapny and we often have situtions where computers etc get wet in fires and this is standard procedure for restoration ofter a fire. Most of the time they can be cleaned and restored, if as noted above it has not been "fried" by having been energized when there may have been short cirduit conditions. Since the voltages and power are low it is not a certainty.

First, disassemble the unit to get the case off, then take out the guts- circuit board and other bits -and try to remove any bits wired on, for re-soldering back later. Take the circuit board and rinse it vigorously in clean tap water with a dilute detergent then a rinse in clear water, as the killer is bits of minerals or carbonized organic material that starts to conduct across circuit paths. All the components themselves are water-resistant to a large extent.

Then rinse the board in distilled water a few times, then take it outside, so the alcohol fumes won't catch fire or otherwise affect you. Then soak the board in ordinary rubbing alcohol for about 10 minutes, then take it out and dry it with a hair dryer. I have done this on a rather expensive flashgun that got soaked. The alcohol has a great afinity for water and dehydrates the board, removing all the residual water.

Then all the desoldered bits can be resoldered. This usually works in better than 90% of the cases.

Good Luck.

-- RICHARD ILOMAKI (, November 17, 2001.

Quality Light Metric in Hollywood is your best bet if the meter is stock. Here is the address.

Quality Light Metric 6922 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 210 Hollywood, CA 90028 (323) 467 2265

If your meter was modified by Zone VI, use the Ritter address above. I have used Quality and was very satisfied.

Hope this helps. ;^D)

BTW, a back-up meter is not a bad idea!

-- Doremus Scudder (, November 17, 2001.

I would also suggest, whether you are successful in fixing it or if you have to get a new one, that you get some of those neat little retractible key chain devices or similar fishing line-type items put out by Op Tech (more expensive but designed for the purpose) and attach your meter to yourself or your epuipment bag or your vest pocket in this manner. I learned by dropping my BTZS exposure calculator in a murky stream. I've dropped enough pieces of equipment to sympathize.

-- Rob Tucher (, November 19, 2001.

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