Thoughts on Pentax Super Program?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by snegron, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    Hot, Muggy,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Anyone have any thoughts on the Pentax Super Program? Any known reliability issues with it?
     
  2. jwd722

    jwd722 Subscriber

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Location:
    New Baltimor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have had a Super Program for years and the ONLY thing that has ever given me a problem is that the film counter is stuck at 36. It's a decent handling camera and I especially like the DOF preview lever. Small but not too small with a nice thumb and finger grip that really make it pleasure to use. Accurate metering too.
    I also have the ME Super which handles nicely despite not having any grips nor DOF lever, button, etc. However, my favorite is my MX which I feel is THE perfect camera!
    Of course my Spotmatic SPll is quite nice in it's own right.
    Overall I think most any Pentax is a good choice!!
     
  3. snegron

    snegron Member

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    Hot, Muggy,
    Shooter:
    35mm


    Thanks! Do all the functions/modes work with all manual focus Pentax lenses, or only with the "A" designation lenses? Seems like Pentax lenses have become even pricier recently, especially the "A" ones. If I'm able to get all the metering and other functions to work with "M" lenses I think it would be less expensive/easier to find "M" lenses than "A" lenses.
     
  4. jwd722

    jwd722 Subscriber

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Location:
    New Baltimor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    When an "A" lens with it set at "A" mode on the aperture ring and the camera set to Auto (Program mode) the camera picks the aperture and shutter speed for you with the only override being the exposure compensation dial. Set at "A" in manual mode changes both aperture and shutter to the correct exposure using the up/down buttons. With the camera set on Auto and the lens not on "A" as you change the aperture on the aperture ring the shutter speed changes automatically to provide correct exposure. In manual mode you pick a shutter speed and use the aperture ring or button to set aperture or shutter speed.
    Using a "M" lens with camera in Auto mode, the buttons do nothing. You set the aperture on the lens and camera sets shutter speed automatically. In Manual mode, you set shutter with the button and aperture with a button also or if you want a different aperture you would use the aperture ring and the shutter button to set the correct shutter speed.

    Hope I didn't over complicate this...(I think I got lost somewhere myself), but basically both types of lenses will work, just a bit differently. If you want true point and shootability where the camera does the heavy lifting and you just focus then get an "A" lens. I, myself, never use it that way as I like to control both aperture and shutter...as it should be in a perfect world!!

    With all that said, the "A" lens used in Auto mode and camera in Manual is a definite time saver and convenience. Hope all this helps a bit.
     
  5. Nikon Collector

    Nikon Collector Member

    Messages:
    162
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Carolina Bea
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have a Program Plus, camera works great and Pentax lenses are second to none. I just don't like their system of pushing buttons to change the manual settings. (same reason my newest Nikon that I use is an F4, the N55 and F60 sit in a drawer)
     
  6. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,189
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    get a K1000 instead or even meterless M42 Pentax buy a can of Eastmann 5222 live in fast lane
     
  7. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,342
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I really like the Super Program. It feels right in the hands.
    Auto and manual modes. Depth of field preview. exposure compensation.
    Bright viewfinder.
    Shutter is on the loud side if that is an issue.
     
  8. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,742
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    A buddy of mine bought a brand new Super Program right when they came out. His girlfriend who eventually became his wife worked at the airport and was able to give him special access. He was wanting to shoot some double exposure shots and told me that his camera couldn't do that so he borrowed my Contax 139. He was very happy shooting my Contax.

    If you want to shoot double exposures this may be something you want to look into. I don't know if my buddy knew what he was talking about or not.
     
  9. snegron

    snegron Member

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    Hot, Muggy,
    Shooter:
    35mm


    Thanks! So, if I understood correctly I will lose "Program" mode if I use an "M" lens. Not that I shoot much in Program mode; I prefer Aperture Priority when it comes to automation. It would be nice to have Program mode as a feature (when I hand the camera over to someone else for a quick snapshot), but not really essential in my case. I can live without Program mode as long as I have Aperture Priority mode.
     
  10. jwd722

    jwd722 Subscriber

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Location:
    New Baltimor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yep, you got it. A nice, well built, rugged dependable camera...except for that darned film counter!
     
  11. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

    Messages:
    1,211
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You can do multiple exposure on all of these manual Pentax without the dedicated multiexposure control - as well as other brands, as follows:
    1. Take the first exposure
    2. Tighten film rewind and hold
    3. Press the film rewind button
    4. Advance the film and take second exposure on same frame
     
  12. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

    Messages:
    1,211
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Program and Shutter priority modes require the A lenses. For snapshots, aperture priority is good enough and the TTL flash makes flash photography a snap. The brochure may help -> Pentax Super Program
    You can't beat the going price for these either.
     
  13. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,742
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    That's what I told him but he said it wouldn't work. Like I said, he may not of known what he was doing.
     
  14. snegron

    snegron Member

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    Hot, Muggy,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for the link!
     
  15. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,721
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    Duvall, WA,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Also, if you're looking for a black version, the Super A is that camera. Had one for a while. Re: the frame counter issue - seems to happen to a few of them. Friend of mine in Canada has a Super Prog with a stuck frame counter as well. Anyway, a Super A with a 1st generation Spottie.

    [​IMG]

    -J
     
  16. snegron

    snegron Member

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    Hot, Muggy,
    Shooter:
    35mm


    Beautiful cameras indeed! :smile:
     
  17. Clay2

    Clay2 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    Minden Hills
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That film counter stuck at 36, try a drop of lighter fluid on the reset button at top right of film door.
    My Super Program has the common Pentax bug: Advance lever no longer resets shutter, just cranks on and on.
    Take off bottom cover and re-bend shutter release lever. They get bent away from the contacting lever.
    Otherwise a great camera.(with batteries in it!).

    /Clay