Pentax ME Super

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by davecaz, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. I took a chance on non-refundable Pentax ME Super, yesterday, and I think I made a bad decision. While the lenses, a Pentax 50mm f/2 and a Vivitar 80-200mm f/4.5, appear absolutely mint, the body has some minor paint loss around the edges of the film door, signs of wear on the prism, and the meter doesn't seem to work.

    It didn't work in the store, but they never do, at thrift stores. Usually, it's due to dead or missing batteries but, this time, fresh batteries didn't make a difference. What seems odd to me is that, even though this is a highly automated camera, it still seems to work despite the lack of visible metering. That seems odd because I'm shooting it on the Auto setting, which I would expect to be reliant upon the meter. What it's actually doing, though, is a mystery.

    I guess the meter could be working and just the LEDs are failing to light up, but I'm not sure that's really possible. It's a shame because it seems like a really nice camera, aside from that. The viewfinder is big and bright and clean. The film advance is smooth, which I know because it came with film in it. That seems to be a trend, with me. And it's a nice compact OM-size body that seems solidly built, with no obvious damage.

    I was able to move the mode dial off of Auto, to M(anual), but that didn't solve the metering problem. I can't tell if the manual shutter speed buttons work, or not. So, I don't know if this thing is usable, or not. Any ideas?
  2. The ME Super will shoot at 1/125s with no batteries or on bulb, but no other speeds will work. Your electronics sound as though they're dead, especially if nothing is lighting up in the viewfinder. The good thing is that ME Supers are not very expensive on ebay so it would be easy to replace the one you have.It's one of my favorite cameras, the first 35mm SLR I ever used! A lot of people like the MX better because it's mechanical and only relies on the batteries to run the meter, but I like that the ME Super has a top shutter speed of 1/2000 vs 1/1000 on the MX. It's a nice, smooth camera to use and the size, along with the MX, is so nice and compact. I hope you'll get another one because I think you'll really enjoy using it.


  3. Are you absolutely sure the batteries are inserted correctly? It's easy to get this wrong on these as the batteries seem to go in upside down compared with many cameras. I once bought one for next to nothing, as it was apparently faulty, inverted the batteries, and away it went.
  4. And a P/S to John's post - Don't forget to clean the ground. In the battery compartment you can get a cold ground if anything impedes the current flow. Get some Scotch Brite and clean the inside of the battery cap along with the contacts in the bottom.
  5. Lots of good info, there. Thanks, Andy. Oddly enough, I did happen to find another one today, and that one works. I think. The LEDS light up, anyway. They do change/move as I open or close down the aperture. But, it seems to go from Over directly to Under, never happy. That doesn't seem right. Does it only work when there's film in it?

    I like your thinking, but yes, I tried turning them around, just in case. It made no difference. And the same batteries that don't work in the first one DO work in the second one, so they're not the problem.

    Now, that's something worth trying. The battery cap on the one that doesn't work is a bitty cruddy looking. I'll update the thread after I test that.
  6. Ding, ding ding! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Your theory, sir, was correct.

    Since I had two battery caps, and I knew that one of them didn't cause a problem, I put that one on the non-working camera, and turned it into a working camera. So, now I knew the theory was correct, and cleaned up the other cap, and it, too, worked. No surprise, but much happiness.

    So, now it looks like the "bad" camera may be the "good" one, because the meter behaves as I would expect. The second one still behaves oddly, with the lights dancing around for no apparent reason. Now that I've seen one that works, I can't help thinking that it may be a built-in signal about something, but I don't know what.
  7. Well, it's all good, now. I discovered that I had the second camera in Manual mode, and that apparently makes the meter behave differently. I don't know why they thought that was a good idea, but the camera behaves the way they designed it to act, as far as I can tell.
  8. I like the idea, but I'm not the kind of guy who could safely do that. The camera would last 1/2 a day on my belt.
  9. Not good for day outside. Museum, art gallery or similar outing....
  10. Anyhow you sound happy, davecaz, :)
  11. These micro sized Pentaxes are great. The ME Super was my daily carry in a bike bag because I had two, they were light, cheap, reliable enough, had great glass, and were easily replaced if damaged.

    The MX is now my daily carry. If the battery fails, it still operates on Sunny 16. I have two, so if lost, stolen or broken, I am not too sad.

    When I go on photo safari, I carry something more interesting. But it is very hard to beat these little Pentaxes.
  12. For no particular reason, it may be interesting to some that this camera in a slightly modified form (the ME-F) was the first autofocus (AF) 35 mm SLR camera to reach production.
    Andy Collins likes this.
  13. I'm glad you got it working. I can't wait to hear what you think of it after you've used it for a bit. Like Bradley said, they're great cameras!
  14. That's interesting. But is it the camera that autofocuses or the lens? It's hard to tell whether the part that says AUTO FOCUS is part of the lens or the camera.
  15. Well, they sort of got put aside, for now, when I discovered that the one that I thought had film in it, doesn't. So, now I don't know why the frame counter moves/moved, so now I have another mystery, and less time to investigate it. I wish I only had one of them. Then I wouldn't know that one of them is acting strangely. But, I don't know which one is acting correctly and which one is acting strangely.
  16. The frame counter registers each shutter release with or without film.
    Resets when back is opened and closed.
    Posted a couple of shots from mine.....
    Film Camera Week for March 30

    I was using that little belt clip when I took these......
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  17. both, but the body will work non af with other than the AF zoom lens
  18. One of mine does that, the other one doesn't. I wonder if opening the back to reset it would kickstart it.

    I saw those. Gorgeous Velvia colors!
    Much like any other AF system, I guess.
  19. Absolutely. Unfortunately, though first, it was not as satisfactory in use as the later cameras like the Maxxum.

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