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Pentax ME F

Reviews Views Date of last review
6 50,794 Tue August 1, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $50.00 9.00
Pentax ME F

Pentax ME F
Pentax ME F
Pentax ME F

The Pentax ME F was Pentax's first autofocus camera. The autofocus motor was built into the lens. Although it was ahead of its time, only one autofocus lens was ever developed for it: SMC Pentax-AF 35-70mm F2.8. This lens's autofocus mode can only be used with the ME F. Neither the ME F nor the lens supported automatic aperture: only Av and M modes were available.

The ME F was a bold attempt at autofocus by Pentax, but the AF system was not reliable and a redesigned AF system / lens lineup was deployed for the SFX / SF1 in 1987. That that point, the competition was already way ahead of the game, and the Pentax SLR system would never become as big as it did in the manual focus era.

Today, the Pentax ME F is a rare camera that is prized by Pentax collectors, especially when combined with the AF lens.

Year introduced
Meter range
1 - 19 EV
Meter pattern
ISO range
DX ISO range
No DX coding
Exposure modes
Av, M, X, B
Exposure compensation
+/-2 EV
Exposure memory lock
Shutter speeds (auto)
4 - 1/2000s
Shutter speeds (manual)
4 - 1/2000s
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
1/125s, B
Self timer
Mirror lock-up
Auto bracketing
Multiple exposures
External winder 2 fps
Built-in flash
TTL flash
P-TTL flash
Sync speed
Flash exposure comp
Yes (1 point)
Autofocus sensitivity
4 - 16 EV
Power zoom
0.87x, 92%
Viewfinder type
Diopter correction
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Image size
24 x 36 mm
Panorama format
4 x S76
Battery grip/pack
Size (W x H x D)
132 x 87.5 x 49 mm
480 g
Price History:

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Junior Member

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Gwynedd, Wales
Posts: 45

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 1, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax ME F: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bright viewfinder, the focus confirmation, durability
Cons: No DOF lever, flimsy battery door.

I bought this camera in 1984. It came with an A series 1.7 50mm. It was the camera I used 95% of the time from then until 2007 when I got a K100D .

I have a sight impairment which made the focusing aid very useful to me , although I had 'managed' with my previous cameras ( a Zenit-B followed by a Chinon CE4-s) Never had a problem with the buttons for speed selection. The mechanism seems very durable and with my camera I've never had any winding problems that seem to plague the ME Super. Maybe because it has had pretty regular use for most of its life, even though now it is semi-retired.

Bonus - its very easy to swap focussing screens. Undo two screws and the frame swings down like the MX - I haven't tried to fit an MX screen though, because the existing one is fine.

Unfortunately I can't give it a 10 (I'm going to send it off for a CLA instead) because of two issues - no DOF preview (why didn't they fit the simple MX method to all the M series?) and it was the first camera to suffer from the Pentax flimsy door malaise - I have had to have mine replaced twice.

But even though I give it a 9 you'd have to take it out of my cold dead hands to get it off me.
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: In the most populated state... state of denial
Posts: 1,102
Review Date: August 31, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax ME F: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: FInder, Size, Focus-confirmation
Cons: Finding the AF lens

Excellent camera, built on top of the ME Super.
Super bright viewfinder, and a usable focus-confirmation system.

It is a tad thicker than the ME, but it works great.
The focus confirmation is very usable, not so much in low light though.

Works great with all the old lenses (K-A-M)
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: North Coast, NSW, Australia
Posts: 48

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 24, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax ME F: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: reliable, solid metal body, small & compact
Cons: full autofocus feature only works with one dedicated lens

i recently 'acquired' this camera, as a result of buying a 'package' on eBay, as the 'package' contained some items that i wanted for my original ME -- the ME-F camera was a 'bonus', that i intended to on-sell.
but i am KEEPING it
the 'green-light' auto focus indicator still works, with all the lenses i have tested -- of course, the lens must be manually focussed -- M, A, F, & FA series lenses all work (i don't have a K-series lens)
even a DA-L series 18-55 lens works, outdoors in good light, as it is 'locked' on f22 on the manual SLR camera, and the results with the lens on 18 are very interesting -- try it.
the batteries are easy to get, from my local camera shop -- i have not tried supermarket/hardware store.
i have fitted it with a winder-ME-II, and it works like a charm
lenses are easy to find, on eBay, at B&H, etc, as any lens with an aperture ring is suitable
i have had no trouble with any of my lenses, either Pentax or 3rd-party.
i have used my ME-Super only once since i got this camera

if you are interested in exploring 35mm film photography, these cameras are a really good way to do it


i have now had the camera 'working' for a while
it has a Winder ME II, and is a great addition
an 80-200 lens (purchased 'used' from B&H) , with a 'plain-label' 2x TeleConverter, gives the old camera great 'reach'
a new cosina 19-35 ultra-wide zoom lens now waits to be tested with my next roll of film

Forum Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 83

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 8, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax ME F: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, compact, sophisticated spec
Cons: No depth-of-field preview

I still have mine. All the advantages of the excellent ME Super with the added bonus of electronic focus confirmation (visual or audio signal), a very useful feature in difficult shooting situations.

Only grumble is the lack of d-o-f preview, an omission that annoyed me on the ME so I waited for the ME Super, and still Pentax left it out. Inexplicable.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 240
Review Date: September 4, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax ME F: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Bright viewer, Classic Pentax camera (first autofocus)
Cons: The autofocus is soooo slow and it hunts

Pros Bright viewer, Classic Pentax camera (first autofocus)
Cons The autofocus is soooo slow and it hunts
Rating 7
Price (U.S. Dollars) 0
Years Owned 0

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Heavy lens, glacially slow autofocus, small body.

Camera Review
I never owned this camera, but have used it some. It ONLY autofocuses with the 28-70mm f2.8 F lens. It is very slow, it sounds like you are skinning a live cat when you use it. The lens is quite heavy. But who cares? This is arguably the first autofocus body of any maker (Olympus has a similar claim to fame). The 28-70mm f2.8 is actually an excellent lens, just don't expect autofocus with your other bodies.

Own it to own a piece of history.
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Posts: 17,227

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 8, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax ME F: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Huge finder
Cons: quirkie AF & only 1 lens supported

Pros Huge finder
Cons quirkie AF & only 1 lens supported
Rating 9.5
Price 75
Years Owned 2

I can recommend this camera
: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
This camera has a nice finder.

Camera Review
I had this body reworked by the legendary Eric Hendrickson last summer. It is essentially like using an ME Super when an M series lens is used on it. I have the matching AF 35-70mm lens for collectible reasons. This is part of my working Pentax collection. It will also work with the ME II Winder. This camera is just as nice as the ME Super and is essentially that body with extra electronics to run the lens pictured below.

ME F with AF lens and ME II Winder are pictured above.
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