Pentax ME / ME Super
In 1976, alongside the quintessential K1000, Pentax had lined itself with the electronic era by presenting the ME and thereafter the ME Super. Petite SLR cameras, with a futuristic-looking control panel on top. Not sure what was the rationale behind it, as it made a simple shooting complex.
The Pentax ME camera is a tiny creature, permanent aperture priority, where the shutter speeds are set by the camera. The on-dial speed settings consist of L for lock; Auto for well, auto, 100 for sync and B. On auto mode the selected speed is seen on the side of the finder, where an illuminated dot travels up and down by a speeds scale.
The ME super added M for manual mode, where the shutter speed is via by two teeny buttons by the dial. It takes fancy fingerwork to do so which is a nuisance. As settings allow little for creativity, there is a bracketing dial under the rewind lever. The whole concept may have been creative in the ’70s, but seems odd today. A similar configuration is on the Pentax Super Program of 1983. An extra manhole cover at the bottom is kept for a power winder.
On the positive side, the viewer is large and bright and there is a hot shoe present. The vertical shutter is metal and clicks like a happy billy-goat.
If all fails read the manual Dep’t: two batteries inserted upside down. Self-timer lever needs a push to activate, unlike normal cameras that pressing the shutter activates the timer.
In short, Pentax mixed all possible elements to create a camera awkward to use. Not sure how many were sold, assume not many.
|Mode||Auto / manual override|
|Weight||450 gr, Body only|
|Class average weight||560 gr, Body only|
|Lens make||SMC Pentax M|
|Lens mount||K mount|
|shutter||Focal plane vertical metal|
|Speeds||B, Auto, 125|
|Shoe||Hot, looks like an afterthought|
|Other||Ready for power winder|
Pentax ME Super
Pentax ME Super
Left side cover removed, showing power winder adapter.
Left Pentax ME Super, Right Pentax ME.