Pentax ME Super 35mm SLRs

ME Super

Out-of-production multiple function SLR.

User Reviews (62)

Showing 1-10 of 62  
richard hale   Intermediate [Nov 21, 2011]
Strength:

Small compact excellent handling vast array of lenses available reliable excellent hand held handling reletively cheap and easily replaceable in the event of terminal damage or theft Mechanical shutter speed availble (s/125) if batteries fail.

Weakness:

Awkward on tripod lack of DofP review only winder facility available no motor wind

Fantastic little camera, Sturdy and reliable, Feels nice. Classic good looks in either chrome or black.

I first used Pentax's ME Super when I used to borrow my uncles, back in the 80's. In the 90's I bought my own s/h. I mainly used it when out for a walk with no particular intention to take pictures, as it was so compact, with a standard or wide angle len attached. Unfortunately it came a cropper whilst on holiday in Budapest as it slipped out of my hand onto a kerbstone, somehow jamming the shutter and twisting the film back. I have recently replaced it with another in very good condition for £70. I could have probably got it a bit cheper but it was easily worth this much to me, thats how much I rate these cameras.

The best thing about the MESuper is its size. If you can get the pentax 40mm 2.8 pancake lens (mine cost £90 4 years ago) it will fit in a jacket pocket, alternatively wear it under your armpit under a coat or jacket, no one will notice until you use it.

I have medium to large hands and they envelope the camera providing a snug grip. I tried a pentax LX once , and it, being just that little bit bigger, just did not feel right, Big cameras like Minoltas XE1 or the Pentax K1000 are not a probem for my paws though! I digress however.

The MESuper is really designed for handheld use, as the use of buttons to set shutter speeds in manual mode mean it is awkward to use on a tripod, your eye needs to planted to the viewfinder, shutter speed dials are far better than buttons in this situation. Most of the time, most of us handhold 35mm cameras and the little pentax really scores in the handling stakes here. The film advance is smooth, not as nice as a Minoltas, but far nicer than Canons or Nikons.

You can buy a nice ergonomic winder cheaply which provides good grip and balance if you use a short telephoto or zoom lens.

There are a massive range of lenses and accessaries available, but I think it better to buy Pentax's own Ka fit lenses rather than K fit or other proprietory brands, as the Pentax Ka ones provide full functionality aprt form AF of course, with their current range of DSLR's. If you don't have nor intend to get a Pentax DSLR, by all means get basic K mount leanses as they are optically very good and very well built with a nice feel to them, and cheaper.

The ME Super should prove reliable unless you do stupid things like drop it onto a hard surface. All you need to do is check that the light seals are ok, maybe get it serviced every so often and fire the shutter to keep it running. Your local camera shop should be able to advise, especially if its been trading for a few years as they will have seen and sold numerous of these little gems.. If something terminal should happen to it, it's dead easy to get another one as so many were made and sold. All those customers in the early 80's could not be wrong!

Purists might consider there to be a few shortcomings with this camera - lack of DofF preview, but really how often do you use that? In any case you can always use the DofF scale on the lense barrel, All those Leica RF buffs have done without for decades. Lack of motor drive facillity - but this is an amateur's camera not a pro's and with the cost of film processing these days motordrives might be considered an expensive luxury. Even the awkward tripod handling is not really relevant - This camera is about being light, compact and easy to take with you anywhere, providing good results. All of which it does very well indeed.

Would I recommend this camera? I certainly would with the proviso that if you really want a small compact SLR which is easy to use on a tripod and has DofF preview and can take a motorwind, buy a Pentax MX instead. You will of course lose your auto exposure and pay more for the privelage.





Similar Products Used: Pentax MX, Penatx superA, Pentax MZ5n, Pentax ist, Minolta Xk, MinoltaXE1, Minolta X700, Minolta SR1, Minolta SRT101, Nikon FM2, Nikon F3, Nikon F4, Olympus OM1n
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
J-Mortimer   Expert [Nov 08, 2008]
Strength:

Versatile, Strong reliable metering, crisp, bright and expansive viewfinder coverage, abundance of quality lenses available, many system accessories to choose from (Winders etc), lightweight and compact, rugged and reliable build quality, slick handling and well laid out controls, great functionality, great classic looks.

Weakness:

The only to my knowledge is a lack of Depth Of Field Preview, though this is just a small glitch and can easily be lived without after a little experience. There are other ways to judge this.

What can i say. WOW...What a Camera. I originally purchased my 1st mint condition used Pentax ME Super in 1998, well it was a gift more than a purchase and got on so well with the camera that a year down the line in 1999 i purchased myself a 2nd body with standard 50mm Pentax SMC 1.7 lens for a modest fee of £75 in mint condition and still boxed.

These two cameras have been literally everywhere with me and are still battling on with no problems whatsoever. Im a serving member of the British military ( Royal Marines Commando's specifically) so they've had to serve in some pretty tough conditions from the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan, the streets and wastes of Bosnia and also in a variety of other conditions from Kenya and Norway to the USA and Australia to name just a few. These two i own are in the same fantastic condition now as when they were first pruchased.Still working faultlessly and producing some fine images. My personal portfolio just keeps growing.

There is an abundance of quality lenses to be had secondhand both from Pentax SMC lenses to other manufacturers (Tamron, Sigma, Takumar to name just three) and a whole host of other ancillaries (MEII Winder, Independant Mfr Winders, remote releases etc) with which to expand your system. For a modest outlay of cash you can build a very versatile kit based on the ME Super. As i have myself. You have your automatic function/setting if the need arises and also the full creative option of full manual. Mine seem to spend their time permanently on manual as i find its the best way to get the image im after. I love that feeling of being in complete control of the image taking process.

This camera would suit a whole host of potential users in my opinion from Youngsters looking for an entry into SLR photography, photography students, keen amateurs and right upto Professionals looking for a back up to their usual Camera. The reasons for Buying this camera are, in my opinion, too many to list. Its rugged, reliable, accurate, precise and its extremely light and compact compared to many SLR's from its era and even compared with todays digital SLR offerings. I also own a Canon EOS 40D but thats just gathering dust.

All in all this is a true classic thats still as useable today as the day it was first unveiled. A true pleasure. Wouldnt give these up, not a chance.

Customer Service

Never used as yet.

Similar Products Used:
Canon AE1 Program
Pentax MX
Pentax P30T

The Pentax ME Super is the only one to have stayed with me though and will remain to do so.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
titrisol   Expert [Aug 05, 2008]
Strength:

Size and weight are quite small
Very good light metering system
Availability of lenses and compatibility with all Pentax lenses even the new ones

Weakness:

No DOF preview

A very well built camera, with most of the features you need

Customer Service

not needed

Similar Products Used: A wide range of Pentax Nikon and a few minoltas
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
kurttarvis   Expert [Jun 23, 2008]
Strength:

Strong sturdy design, both great manual and automatic features, great shutter, much smaller than many other SLR's

The Pentax ME Super is a cool camera. It is a lot like the classic Pentax K1000 with it's manual controls but also advances in technology and has very good automatic features as well. This, like the K1000 is a rugged long lasting SLR that has made it's mark on the affordable SLR market.

Similar Products Used: Pentax K1000, some old Minolta, Canon EOS 1N
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
elvin   Expert [Mar 27, 2007]
Strength:

Strong, light, a lot of lenses possible with K-fitting, manual and half-auto and so much more (see http://people.zeelandnet.nl/elvin/foto )

Weakness:

Well, not so much. maybe missing autofocus like in newer camera's

For me, this is about the best camera I have ever owned and still use it a lot.
i bought my first second-hand when I was a kid; my second camera ever, with tele and standard lenses. Later there came more and more parts and also another body of the same kind.
After years of use and also a lot of bumps on bikes, outdoors, in windmills and holidays, the bodies have merged to one still working and the other for parts.

Customer Service

used only for a lightning-meter some years ago for the second body

Similar Products Used: MG, MZ-5, P-30, A-3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
almo   Expert [Jun 17, 2004]
Strength:

tough as nails reliable good size lasts forever great lens line up

Weakness:

bearings in the lens mount have gone bad on mine, but it still works. has for years.

Wow! What a peice of work this camera is. Virtualy indestructable. Built like a miny panzer tank. I received mine as a gift from my father 3 years ago. He bought it in the early 90's at a garage sale for $10.00 complete with bag and 50mm smc lens. This camera has never failed me. I have used plenty of cameras since getting into photography 4 years ago but none stand up to the out right quality of this one. It's what I like to call "Unpacked with features". It has everything you need to create a good photographic image, and nothing you don't. Simply just one of the best ever.

Customer Service

none needed, but nonexistant for cameras this old.

Similar Products Used: pentax sf7
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
A.Spanswick   Casual [May 05, 2004]
Strength:

Easy to use and get used to. Easy and cheap to replace should it break (unlikely!). Does everything I need it to. Metal body so you can use infra red film in it too.

Weakness:

If you are shooting a dark scene, it can be hard to see the lights telling you whether the picture is over or under exposed (although you can always just put in on manual and let the camera sort it out for itself).

Just fantastic! Got this camera when I stared a college course several years ago, imagining I would upgrade when I knew a bit more about photography. There is no way I would change it now. It is so easy to use and appears totally indesructable. It has been everywhere with me and has always given fantastic results. If anything were ever to go wrong, I would go straight out and buy the same again!

Customer Service

Never needed to use it

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Kathy   Intermediate [Jan 15, 2004]
Strength:

dunno yet, we'll see - it's certainly beautifully made, solid metal. Now let's see the pix!

Weakness:

dunno

Well, I'm thrilled to see here what I've just picked up for 49 cents! Downloaded an owner's manual and a service manual for it; cleaned the sand and dirt out of it; unjammed somebody's last roll of film, and poked and clicked for a while. I don't see anything wrong with it. Maybe a very slightly sprung back door (there's always duct tape). I'll pop in a roll of film, study the manual and see what've got here, but it looks like I've got a beauty. Have otherwise used my old Minolta all these years which I bought secondhand in NYC in the 70s. I don't like anything auto. What a find. Might even shell out to get it repaired if I find it needs it. Very nice size for me. kjc grand rapids minnesota

Customer Service

n.a.

Similar Products Used: old Minolta
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
A Primm   Professional [Jan 09, 2004]
Strength:

Virtually indestructable, cheap, easy to find parts and replacements. Wide variety of Pentax and aftermarket lenses (just search Ebay for "Pentax K"). So easy to use that my child could shoot with it. A beginners dream, a professional's best friend.

Weakness:

Not a fan of the button switch shutter speed selector, but I seldom use the full manual mode anyway. Can be a pain to use the last shot on a roll, I just stop at 24 shots (or however many the roll is supposed to have). Very hard to find inexpensive large aperture lenses (2.8 or faster at 200mm). No support from Pentax if you do manage to break the thing.

A warrior since I bought it. I used it in the rain, I used it in the snow. I used it riding in the take down van on a drug bust. It is unstoppable. Aperture priority makes it easy to use in poor shooting conditions for sports and low-light photography. Fair range of shutter speeds that switch automatically in the AE mode when you set the aperture, but must be changed manually in the full-manual mode with a pair of buttons that can be difficult for large handed people like myself to use. Works without the battery at the 1/125 sec shutter speed, and will fire a single pin flash in that mode. If you buy one and you have big hands, buy the winder also. Aside from the convenience of having auto advance, the winder gives you a stable handhold. Be warned, the camera is very heavy with winder, zoom lens, and flash, and the winder is loud, but I would take my ME super and SMC (pentax factory original) lenses against any Nikon-shooting, auto-focus-having photojournalist who wants to try it with my little 20-year-old gunslinger.

Customer Service

who knows, I never needed any. Pentax, however, will no longer repair this camera or provide any parts for it.

Similar Products Used: Pentax ZX-5, K1000, and Chinon CP-9
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Alia   Intermediate [Jan 05, 2004]
Strength:

Ease of use. Everyone I know who has ever used one has loved it, and won't hesitate to say so. Plenty of good quality, inexpensive second-hand Supers around.

Weakness:

Lacks auto-focus, which would be the only reason I'd ever want another camera.

I began using the ME Super as a novice, and even without knowing how to operate a manual SLR this camera gave me stunning results. It's ease of use is phenomenal. I currently own two ME Super camera bodies, which I use interchangeably. They haveshot beautiful landscapes, gorgeous portraits and fantastic wedding pictures. They have been taken out in freezing weather and humid conditions, knocked and shaken and used extensively, and despite their 'fair' second-hand condition, they just won't die.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 62  

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