Pentax ME Super, opinions, metering, lenses?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Klainmeister, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Alright, so I can snag a Pentax ME Super and 50mm from craiglist tonight for a good price, which I think I will do, but I wanted to get some information about this camera. I originally was going to get a second Nikon FE due to the awesome metering ability and compact size, but then I saw a ME and was blown away by the size.

    Does it meter as well as the FE?
    How are the manual controls in real world shooting?
    How do the Pentax SMC lenses perform compared the the Nikon Ais lenses? I'm looking for a wideangle between 20-28mm to compliment the 50mm, so any recommendations will be helpful.

    Trying to think if there's anything else...hmmm...oh, how does that Pancake 40mm 2.8 perform. Lordy would that be a small camera!

    Thanks guys--been searching and found some useful info, but it's difficult to plow through so many assorted post.
     
  2. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    It´s a good camera, i have one for the last 20 years, features a Aperture priority and manual modes, the lenses are good and some are amazing, 50mm 1,7 is one of the best optics i have used. I have never used the pancake but as a tessar clone you will have the related virtues and defects, used around f:8 should be fine... remember, other normal lenses (around 50mm) aren´t that big... and are way cheaper!
     
  3. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Sounds solid. Glad to hear the 50mm 1.7 is a good lens. I think that is what it has on it. Haven't seen it yet. No word on metering or a wide angle?
     
  4. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    I never used an FE so I can't compare. My wife and I bought an ME Super new in 1982 and it was our all-purpose "family" camera for 23 years. It only broke down once (capacitor) when it was fairly new and was solidly dependable after that until 2005 when the light meter died. Now, as long as it has a battery it is essentially fully manual. I still love the feel and handling. It is surprising how small it is. The only part I never really liked was that the wheel for changing shooting modes was difficult to grip and use. But how often do you ever use that?

    AP metering was always dead on and easy to use with the viewfinder shutter speed indicator lights along the right side. The viewfinder itself is bright and focusing is accurate and quick. In manual mode, shutter speed is easy to change with 2 buttons on the top moving the indicator light up and down. The only Pentax glass I ever had on it was the 50mm kit lens, f1.7 IIRC. It was always sharp right out to the edge, with no flare at all. You need to pay attention when loading the film to make sure it catches on the take-up reel. In those 23 years I messed that up less than 1/2 dozen times.

    I shoot Minolta X-body now, but always get the urge to bite when one pops up. I am considering converting a body-cap to a pinhole lens and using it on a tripod with cable release, just because it deserves to get off the shelf and do some work.
     
  5. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Awesome, thanks! I just got off the phone with the gal and it's got the 50mm 1.4, so that sounds promising. I recently began enlarging 35mm again and fell in love, so since most of my other 35mm cameras are being used as learning tools, I need something for myself. Sounds like I might have found my go-to camera afterall.
     
  6. Luigi

    Luigi Member

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    One of the best features of the ME Super, IMHO, is the viewfinder, which is really a joy to look throught: extremely bright and clear, it is superior to the one of my Nikon FE.
     
  7. toro_mike

    toro_mike Subscriber

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    An ME Super also gave me decades of fantastic use. Meter is great! You'll love this camera.
     
  8. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Ohhhh, glad to hear it. I'm figuring the 1.4 + nice viewfinder should be nice to use.

    Any experiences with the SMC 20mm, 24mm, or 28mm lenses?
     
  9. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    I will admit to occasionally taking it off the display shelf and pointing it out the window and around the room, dry firing, just because it feels so good.
     
  10. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    double post
     
  11. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    The ME Super is a decent camera, but the FE just have a nicer quality feel to them.
    Both are aperture-priority AE with a vertical travel metal shutter.
    The ME Super is a little too small in my opinion but others may disagree. The pentax Super Program has a better feel to it for me, partly due to the added grip and partly due to the larger viewfinder.

    I've bought quite a few ME Supers from garage sales and thrift stores. The majority of them have had issues in one way or another. But if you can find one in working condition, it should be a fairly reliable camera.

    The 50mm f1.7 is a real gem and a bargain at that. The 50mm f1.4 is almost as good, but fetches a much higher price ($100+). Pentax SMC coatings are top-notch.
     
  12. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Great, I'm getting the body + 50mm 1.4 for $30. Not a bad deal methinks.
     
  13. Griz

    Griz Member

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    I never used an FE either, but I do have experience with the ME Super. It was the first new camera I ever bought, 30 years ago, for photojournalism classes. I also use the 1.7...excellent lens on an excellent camera. Got away from film photography for a looooooooong time, just recently came back into the fold. Set up a darkroom in my house, and I'm happily printing away! The camera is light, quick handling, and I've always found the meter to be dead on. If you can afford it (he's very reasonable), send your new purchase up to Eric at Pentaxs.com for a CLA and new light seals. Mine came back from him like BRAND NEW, can't recommend him highly enough! Best of luck with your new purchase!
     
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  15. Kokoro

    Kokoro Member

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    only issue i had with my ME super was that not every picture was focused properly. I dont know if it was just my inexperience, I havent used the pentax in a while. It is just that some of my pictures were miss-focused when I could have sworn they should be in focus. Not every picture, but some. I seem to get a higher hit-rate with my Prakticas. I will put another roll of film through it sometime in the near future just to make sure.
     
  16. BardParker

    BardParker Member

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    +1 for Eric Hendrickson at pentax repairs.com. I sent him a Pentax K1000 that I bought off APUG classified forum, and it came back looking like new. Also sent him 3 lenses from KEH in "BGN" condition, and he said they were fine and didn't need CLA. so he is very honest and does great work. Reasonable prices also. Highly recommend!
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have a 28, and an array of other lenses and a me super ... nice small camera,
    pleasure to use. the smc lenses are well worth the $$ ...
     
  18. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Alright, after reading through these reports and checking out online reviews, it looks like I can't really go wrong with the SMC lenses so I'll definitely be shopping around for a wide angle soon. Thanks guys
     
  19. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Depending on the condition and functionality, you will have a great deal or fantastic deal just on the lens alone!
     
  20. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Not to mention that with an M42 to K mount adapter, you can use the ME Super with auto Takumars like the 17mm f4 Fisheye. This combination is likely the smallest fisheye since that lens is also very compact.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Well, drove down to ABQ and got it. The body is in good shape except for the fact that the previous owner broke part of the flash shoe off....oh well, never used it anyhow. The lens is in perfect condition. Really looking forward to playing with it. Need to get batteries of course. Right now they're dead, so it just fires what appears to be 1/60 or so. Either way, getting that lens is nice. I can't believe how clean and bright the viewfinder is for the size of the camera. Wow!
     
  22. TorreyS

    TorreyS Member

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    you will love this. I actually work with 2 MX camera's, one with a 50 1.7 and one with the 28 2.8. I love this setup and I shoot wedding and portraits with it. Only reason for me going with the MX was no battery needed and i like a dial for my shutter speeds instead of the push buttons. For Christmas we bought my 8year old son a ME super and 50 1.7 from KEH, he loves it! The meter is dead on and easy to use.
    Enjoy it!
     
  23. Griz

    Griz Member

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    Sounds like a great deal, congrats! Without batteries, you're actually firing at 1/125, which is the flash synch speed (pretty quick in its day).
     
  24. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    Welcome To APUG !

    .
    Welcome Home !

    Ron
    .
     
  25. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    Welcome To APUG !

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    Welcome Home Griz !

    Ron
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  26. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Great news: just got some batteries and the thing works flawlessly. I tested it against known sources and the meter is dead on and the shutter seems damn near perfect. I think that was a well spent $30!