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Pentax ME Super

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34 167,260 Thu October 1, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
97% of reviewers $79.15 8.76
Pentax ME Super

Pentax ME Super
Pentax ME Super
Pentax ME Super
Pentax ME Super
Pentax ME Super

The Pentax ME Super improved upon the original ME by introducing two push buttons on the top plate allowing the user to electronically dial in the desired shutter speed, giving him or her much more flexibility when shooting manually. This design was later carried over to the ME F (Pentax's first autofocus camera) and the Super A (which could set the aperture automatically and hence provided Tv and Program automation in addition to the Av and M exposure modes of the ME Super).

Other improvements over the ME was a faster top shutter speed of 1/2000 s and a warning light in the view finder when EV compensation was engaged.

PENTAX ME Super: The original
PENTAX ME Super SE: A 'Special Edition' version was released in later years, featuring a diagonal split screen rather than a horizontal one

ME Super
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
Autofocus sensitivity
Not applicable
Power zoom
0.95x, 92%
Viewfinder type
Diopter correction
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Image size
24 x 36 mm
Panorama format
2 x S76
Battery grip/pack
Size (W x H x D)
131.5 x 82.5 x 49.5 mm
445 g
Price History:

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Junior Member

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 47
Review Date: October 1, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: No | Price: $73.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Big and bright viewfinder, beautiful design, small size and and light weight
Cons: Unreliable aging electronics

The PentaxME Super certainly was a great camera 40 years ago. Now? Not so much.

Itís a beautiful camera. With the Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 lens itís pleasantly small and light. The viewfinder is huge and bright, great for manual focusing! I wonder why Pentax doesnít put such viewfinders in new DSLRs. Its only drawback is the lack of dioptre correction.

When I received the test roll from the lab, I was both surprised and disappointed. The 50mm F1.7 lens turned out to be an excellent performer, and due to the fantastic viewfinder, I nailed focus on every frame. This camera & lens combo can focus as well or better than my autofocus cameras.

Unfortunately, the light meter was AWOL in 8 cases out of 36 resulting in dark frames, and in cases when it actually worked it underexposed by about 1 stop.

Conclusion.You may want to get a clean copy of this camera to put in a cupboard to decorate your living room. However, if you want to actually take pictures, I suggest getting something more modern.

New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Posts: 2
Review Date: September 2, 2019 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: light weight, 1/2000th shutter speed, aperture priority capability
Cons: some photos seem washed out, threading the film leader

I was a vintage lens collector and user before getting into film bodies. I wanted a Pentax body to use with my then 4 (now 6) Pentax m lenses so went looking for a suitable slr camera. After watching lots of YouTube clips and reading online forums I settled on an me super.
Things I like are its size and weight. It is light enough that I really don't notice it hanging around my neck or over my shoulder for hours on end.
The other major plus is the fastest shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second. This is double the speed of my other three film cameras and has definitely saved me a few times when the sun has come out while using iso400 film. I don't want to shoot at f16 or f22 and having a faster shutter speed means that f8 and f11 are still completely usable.
Finally, as a newby to film photography, I don't necessarily want to use manual all the time. In this regard the aperture priority system works beautifully. The rolls of film I have put through have come back well exposed. If anything, they are slightly overexposed but that is easily fixed in pp.
The only other slight negative is it isn't quite as easy to load the film leader into the white finned canister. There is no doubt that I will get better at this, but it certainly isn't as easy as my Minolta Konica film bodies.
Overall, this is a great little film camera. I love how it looks and how it feels in my hands. Once the film is loades it is super intuitive to use. Highly recommended.
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 12
Review Date: February 16, 2019 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: What it does and how it does it
Cons: None

Small, light, 1/2000th high speed, magnificent technology, well-made, easy to use. Basically, and for 95% of photographers, this is a Pentax LX without the ability to change prism. How often do you feel the need to change a prism for optical alteration? And the ME Super is a fraction of the price because it does not attract people who want to pay through their noses to pose with an LX around their necks, or in the living room display cabinet. If you don't use the ME Super then it can develop mechanical failure that locks up the mirror, or causes other failures linked to winding on. But why have one if you don't use it? Otherwise, there is nothing weak about this magnificent piece of superb film photography technology.

Registered: September, 2017
Location: South Wales
Posts: 1,174
Review Date: September 10, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, light, manual options, range of lenses, battery-less option
Cons: No aperture in viewfinder, no DoF preview

This was my first SLR, bought new after some research. I knew I wanted auto with manual overide. I found the having to take it down from my eye to check aperture a bit frustrating, and the shutter speed buttons seem a bit fiddly and gimmicky looking back on it (Pentax wanted to look "modern"?). However it was perfectly satisfactory as far as it went. I took some good pictures with it and was inspired to move up to an LX after a year.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 882
Review Date: April 2, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: size, weight, manual controls, feel
Cons: no ae lock, no DoF preview, manual controls

I have borrowed or owned a few MES cameras over the years. Some have been sold due to pressing economic need or to finance another camera purchase. One was unfortunately dropped and stopped working, and my latest developed a wind on problem. For a long time the MES was my joint favourite film camera (the other a Mjnolta XE1). I still love them though I now am starting to prefer the MX. Tastes change.
Anyway these cameras are the dogs b*******ks! The size, light weight and feel, smooth wind, on huge bright viewfinder, excellent metering display and sturdiness of the body are the major points in its favour.
The manual metering control system is both a plus and a minus. Using the buttons to control shutter speed when the camera is at eye level is dead easy, but when you pick the camera up you have n't a clue what speed its set at! The control ring is also a little fiddly changing from lock (at least it has one) to AE to manual etc. An aperture window in the viewfinder would be nice as would AE lock and DofF preview. The Super A addresses many of these quibbles but not the AE lock nor fiddley control ring and despite sharing the same basic chassis manages not to feel quite so good in hand.
The major plus of the camera is of course it small size. with a small m series prime attached you can carry it around your neck all day with no. ache. You can carry it over one shoulder under a coat or jacket and no one will know you are carrying it and keep it safe from any bad weather.
Yes they can become a little unreliable in their old age, after all they are now over 30 years old, but most faults can be fixed, which is certainly worth having done and you can have many more years of service from them. My wind on fault complete with a service cost £80. The camera is now like new.
So in summary then a super little SLR which is highly recommended!
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Arnhem, Netherlands
Posts: 1
Review Date: October 12, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light weight, silent shutter, K-mount lenses, big viewfinder
Cons: Plastic feel

This camera has the perfect weight. Doesn't bother me when it's dangling from my shoulder & is nice and stable when shooting. I normally only take the 28mm (f 3.5 K version - yes!) and just leave it on the body. Shooting makes a lot less noise than with my old friend, the KX. The ME definitely is more suitable for street photography.
It feels less reliable than my KX though, even though I've not had any problems.
AND it's dirt cheap - mine came with the 28-80mm Takumar zoom and a motor drive (neither of which I've ever used) for the euro equivalent of $35, including the cost of the mail. I've had to renew the seals and clean the ground glass, which had remains of the old seals stuck to it. Removing the old gum was done in two minutes. Actually, alcohol did the job
For the price I've paid I will gladly buy a second ME, just to have a spare in case one of them dies.
Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2015
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 1, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small size, good balanced weight, easy to use
Cons: Light seals turn to goop with age (common to nearly all cameras of this age though)

I absolutely love this camera.

I ended up purchasing these back in my college days when the local used camera dealer had run out of K-1000s. Definitely a happy accident!

The ME-Super is compact in size but has a decent weight to it meaning that it doesn't feel flimsy.

It is incredibly difficult to achieve anything but good results with the ME Super so makes a great beginner's camera in my opinion.

I recently wrote an article on my site about this camera so if you are interested, please go ahead and take a look

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 7,216

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 14, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, easy to use, great viewfinder, 1/2000s shutter speed
Cons: no DoF preview

This review assumes that the ME Super is in good working condition - the vast majority of those still around today are not. Since I originally wrote this the light meter in mine has become completely unreliable, a typical problem with the electronics of these cameras.

The only thing really missing from the ME Super is a DoF preview button. Apart from that, it's my favourite of the smaller Pentaxes. I like the bigger, more solid K series but their viewfinders are considerably smaller and darker. The ME Super is much smaller and lighter, and with the fantastic viewfinder and good range of shutter speeds, it's the best all-rounder of my film cameras.

The shutter sound is wonderful.

I see a lot of threads in photo forums about ME Supers not working properly and of the three I have, only one works. One of the non-working ones was bought on ebay very cheap and was no great loss, the other I knew was broken but I wanted the lenses it came with. My point is this - don't ever spend more than $5 on an ME Super unless you've tested it to make sure it works. Most of the ones out there are broken in one way or another.
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Franken
Posts: 6
Review Date: March 14, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

Pros: small, light, ergonomically, good interface,
Cons: has no Stop-Down Button.

ME-Super - the perfect Dark-light Camera

The only important negative aspect is that it has no stop-down button.
So I use the ME-Super only for photography in dark light when I use to have the apperture wide open. At night I donīt need a stop-down button. But I need a bright control-interface in the viewfinder. The LED-Interface of the ME-Super is perfect. It shows everything that I need and nothing more.

(For daylight I use the Pentax K2.
It has a stop-down button. It has a needle-interface in the viewfinder which I prefer to LED, but it is not illuminated - so its very bad in dark light).

For me - the combination of ME-Super and K2 is a perfect combination. I always take these two bodys with two different kinds of film - one for night and one for day.
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 37
Review Date: June 18, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Size, reliabilty, ruggedness
Cons: Shutter buttons

I'm writing this camera review retrospectively.

I started my camera journey with a Canon point and shoot, then moved on the my father's EOS 100 with 28-80 and used that for a few years. At the time I was doing a lot of mountaineering and the bulk of the EOS, as well as having to molly coddle it, became wearisome. I saw a ME Super in Jessops shop window with M50 f2.0 and ever ready case, so I picked it up, sold the Canon and never regretted it. Soon picked up and M28 f2.8 as well. Eventually i went digital with Olympus 4/3 before coming back to Pentax with K5.

Anyway, about the ME Super, not much can be added that hasn't been said. i found the shutter buttons a bit fiddly, and the combined iso/exposure comp dial meant you couldn't dial in +/- at the iso extremes.

The camera had a few bumps and knocks under my stewardship. One knock bent inwards the metal ring around the iso dial where the viewing cutout was, locking it in place. A quick tap with a hammer and screwdriver soon had it straightened out!

I remember the M lenses were a joy to focus on this camera.

O sold the camera only last year during a massive clear out - i wish I hadn't, for all I got for it! In fact I've been inspired to write a review as I'm finding myself drawn to aquiring another K mount manual camera...
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 62
Review Date: January 5, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: light, not expensive, easy-to-use
Cons: has no TTL flash metering, but for it's prise...

my first PENTAX camera.
still in use for more than 13 years!
not expensive, lightweight and very accurate light metering, useful AUTO mode.
just set dial at AUTO and choose aperture setting, and it is work.

very clear and big enough viewfinder.
I love it!
recommended if You still using film and manual lenses.
New Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Stoke-on-Trent
Posts: 6

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 12, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light and chromium plated gorgeousness!
Cons: No AE lock

Mine was my Christmas present in 1982, replacing my Zenit EM. It came with an excellent SMC 50mm f1.7 lens and a free book!
The viewfinder is MASSIVE and very bright.
I have recently replaced all of the foam rubber light seals and put some rolls of film through it. It seemed odd, at first, not seeing my images appear on the back of the camera but I soon got used to using film again.
Anyway, after 30 years my ME-Super is still going strong! Unlike my mates Canon T90, which died 15 years ago.
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2012
Location: Milan
Posts: 338
Review Date: September 15, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: light, intuitive, solid
Cons: none

One of the best film camera I've tried.

Instead of writing about how good this camera is, I would like to explain why I love this camera.

I start saying that I bought 3 of these: the first was given to my girlfriend, the second was sold to make money and the third was bought since I need a film camera that should be intuitive, compact and reliable.

I've bought this for about 60$ and that is the black model (I think that there is nothing diffetent comparing this with the classic silver version).

What impressed me was first of all the long battery life of the camera: on previous cameras (minolta and canon), it died very quickly. Now are months that I don't change battery and this is, for me, an important thing.

Second: how you feel it in your hands. I have big hands, however I can act and set shutterspeed very fastly.

I haven't found any negative aspect so far.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 809

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 18, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, looks great, old school charm
Cons: No grip (common at the time when new)

I've owned my ME Super since I bought it new in late 1981 - and love it. It came with the 50mm M 1.7 lens (which I still have). The ME Super is a great camera that teaches you to shoot aperture priority since it's Auto mode works off the aperture ring input/setting.

I've used this camera for so long it's hard to criticize it, but I've never loved the tiny white button that must be pressed to allow turning the selector ring from Auto to off (Lock) and a DoF button would be nice. I find the camera is easy to load and think it's best not to rush winding (advancing) the film - but maybe that's just me. My camera eventually succumbed to the years and the shutter froze up. In 2013 I paid to have the camera overhauled with a new shutter assembly, new light seals, clean/lube and the meter calibrated. If you can find a good copy of this camera that has been overhauled properly it should last for a long time. If you have to have this done you could expect to pay around $140 to get it back to new.

The ME Super is not as common as the K1000 but they're still easy to find. Back in the day I wanted the Winder but never bought one. I'm over it now as I just enjoy the camera the way it was designed. I love the mechanical sound of the shutter, love the design and the look and find the meter easy to use.

UPDATE - June, 2014:

I have since inherited my dad's ME Super and some of his accessories. I had his camera overhauled as it needed seals, cleaning and they checked the meter (and found it was good). My dad bought this camera new and used it a lot over the years. I was surprised how good the internals were. The repair/overhaul cost a little under $60. I was happy to get the auto winder my dad bought new (it's in very nice condition). I don't know what I'll do with two ME Supers, but since they both have emotional attachment, I'll keep them.

If you're like me and have a leg in the film world and the other in the DSLR world I would recommend putting together a film kit. I have a "film bag (backpack)" with my ME Super and ZX-M along with three lenses: 50mm, 28mm and a 135mm. When I want to shoot film I can just grab and go.
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Port Angeles, WA
Posts: 501

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 4, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax ME Super: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Super light and compact, easy to use, shutter priority with EV compensation is super fast.
Cons: No DOF preview with K mount glass, Metering in full stops

Love this camera!

I had been using Nikon for a long time, and always loved my trusty Nikkormat FT3. After borrowing a Pentax ME Super with a few M42 and K lenses, I realized this puppy with a Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5 on it weighed less than my Nikon body alone. The weight balanced out when I put a 200mm on the Pentax, and a 50mm f/2 on the Nikon. This thing will feel weightless around your neck if you're used to cameras and lenses like that.

Size is a personal thing, so it shouldn't effect reviews too much. This is tiny, but fits perfectly in my small-ish hands. Personally, with small fingertips, the buttons for shutter speed are easier than a knob. The lock mode is fantastic, not sure why it's not on every camera. The shutter priority auto makes shooting so simple and easy-- just be sure to use exposure compensation on the rewind side when necessary and it'll take fantastic pictures.

As a camera for M42 lenses, this is perfect. Compose, switch the diaphragm to manual (DOF preview this way, too!), set shutter and click, or just click in auto, switch back to auto. Very quick and easy.

Unfortunately, I struggle a bit if I'm trying to gauge DOF with fast K glass, and usually have to pull the camera away from my face several times to check the focus scale. This only bothers me about 20% of the time, though.

Also, the metering and compensation are only in full stops. If I were really picky, I guess I could do that by changing the ISO dial, though.

If you're thinking about getting one of these, go for it. $40 for a good one on the 'FleaBay' from a 'camera shop', or just get one for $10 that only cocks the shutter every now and then-- give it a few slaps on its butt and it'll be up and running again.

Example images coming soon (shoot B&W and print with an enlarger, mostly; no film scanner.... yet) but pseudo-irrelevant for a camera body.

EDIT: D'OH! I was just informed the you don't have to turn the EV Compensation dial all the way, so it can be set to any fractions of stops... Metering is still only in full stops, though =/
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