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Pentax ME

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23 71,123 Sun November 5, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
87% of reviewers $55.00 8.25
Pentax ME

Pentax ME
Pentax ME
Pentax ME
Pentax ME

The Pentax ME was introduced in 1976 as the most compact SLR ever for the 24 x 36mm film format.

The introduction of the Pentax ME was a bold move by Pentax in that it only provided one exposure mode - Av exposure automation. The photographer set the aperture, the camera would set the shutter speed. The camera did have a +/- 2EV exposure compensation - this was the only means by which the photographer could influence the exposure.

There was one mechanical speed, 1/100 s, which was intended as a backup in case the batteries went dead. Metering was not available in that mode.

The view finder was large and bright, larger than on the full size K-series of film cameras introduced the year before.

An SE (Special Edition) model variant was introduced later with brown leather.

An external 1.5 fps winder was available.

Year introduced
Meter range
1 - 19 EV
Meter pattern
ISO range
DX ISO range
No DX coding
Exposure modes
Av, X, B
Exposure compensation
+/-2 EV
Exposure memory lock
Shutter speeds (auto)
8 - 1/1000s
Shutter speeds (manual)
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
1/100s, B
Self timer
Mirror lock-up
Auto bracketing
Multiple exposures
External winder 1.5 fps
Built-in flash
TTL flash
P-TTL flash
Sync speed
Flash exposure comp
Autofocus sensitivity
Not applicable
Power zoom
0.97x, 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 x 82.5 x 49.5 mm
460 g
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: March, 2017
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 3

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 5, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $39.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, Av Mode, winder availability, big viewfinder,
Cons: none

The ME was my first SLR. It could not have been a more fortunate find. I bought it from a local pawn shop here in Edmonton for a steal at $50.00 Canadian. The body was near mint with only some minor scuffing on the bottom plate and the bumpers were a little deteriorated. The price included an SMC Pentax-M 50mm, 1:2. The camera went everywhere with me for years - especially in my art school days when it served as an unbiased witness to all of my creative musings. I pulled countless of rolls of film through it and it never failed to provide perfect exposures (kudos to the metering system). It would be years before I purchased a zoom lens and a another year later I purchased a winder to facilitate the winding.

Its previous owner(s) and I have taken good care of it. Aside from the scuffing and a wee dent on the bottom plate you'd think it's been sitting in a box for 30 years. The foam bumpers and the the light seals do require replacement. The rest of the body is gorgeous. The battery lasts ridiculously long. I've changed it only once in twenty years - that's an average of 10 years per battery.

Since my first ME, I have added a second chrome body, an all black body, and an ME SE (chrome body with the brown leatherette).

Replacements for bumpers and light seals are available online from, for example. Mr. Asahi also sells excellent quality skin replacements for this body (and others).

In my hometown, ME bodies sell for around $50-$70 Canadian. They are not as common as the ME Super.

I have no complaints about this camera. There are certainly a number of "better" bodies, but that clearly is a matter of subjective preference and personal needs. Knowing what you are getting for the money being paid is key to making a satisfying purchase - no matter what yo are buying. If you are looking for a reliable, easy to use camera, then I recommend the ME. I won't bother with noting the specs as they can be found at the top of this review page and in countless of sources throughout the WWW.

New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 4

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 28, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: little, rugged, precise, economic
Cons: self-timer doesn't activate mirror lock-up

As a kid, I was allowed to use the super-practical AGFA Optima III (compur leaf shutter, 2.8/45mm lens) of my parents. I shot slide 50ASA film with it, with good results.
Later on, I used a Pentax PC35AF-m point-and-shoot with a good 2.8/35 optic of my girlfriend, and soon got the photo-virus, and needed something that offered me more possibilities.
As I was a student at the time, I had to buy cheap. So, 1989, I bought used my first SLR: the ME with the M 1.7/50 for 250 Deutsch Mark (inflation-related comparable to some 200 $ today). Today, in the German eBay, you may get one for 50€ or less.
What amazed me: the viewfinder image was huge for such a tiny thing; the 50mm lens was marvellous; the body was better adapted to your hands than many others (compared to eg an Olympus OM2 of a friend, where the self-timer lever was always competing with your fingers -on the ME nothing like that).

For a short time after using the ME and because I thought I‘d need Tv functionality, I bought the "semi-pro" Canon A-1
What a big hoax! Set at Tv, you mustn‘t use the override, because in that case the A-1 overexposes by multiple f-stops.
Super-expensive batteries in the Canon, while my ME still lived on the same two tiny 1.5V cells after over 170 film rolls of my first year using it.
Shutter noise? The ME is loud, yes (if you want a more silent ME, take a look at the MEsuper); but the Canon sounded as if there was a capital execution machine built in it.
The plasticky 1.8/50 Canon lens wasn‘t a match for the smc-m.
Looking through the viewfinder at a candle in a dark room, I saw multiple candles within the Canon finder, whereas the ME had only one very dim phantom candle reflecting somewhere.
The bottom plate of of the huge Canon was secured with two screws: it wobbled a bit so that sand grains & lots of dust entered into the camera without problems. The ME‘s bottom plate is thicker, steadier, and is secured by 3 screws.
I vowed never to touch any Canon again, and went on taking perfect pictures with the ME.
In the Pentax user's manual, the longest exposure time in automatic modus is given as 8 seconds: I had once -the classical photo of charcoal in an unlit cellar - this tested, and after 3 minutes I shut off the cam. The user's manual doesn't boast with anything. The Seiko shutter NEVER ever failed.
When the camera was released, all critics‘ articles in Germany showed apallment because the ME had no manual-time function. They put the ME in the category „toy camera“ because of this. Well, it DOES have: you chose the f-stop, it measures/computes instantly and VERY ACCURATELY the exposure time, and you may OVERRIDE the camera‘s proposal at free will by -2EV to +2 EV, without having to push any stupid button (like in all Nikons) to do this override. My slide films were always very well done.

For those who use flashes: yay, the ME was released before Pentax got its IDM flash-TTL-technique. But with a good flash meter, you have all pro possibilities of flash photography at your hand, and you may use the hot shoe on the prism, or the VERY PRACTICAL flash nipple.

The only con I find in the ME: if you use it on a tripod, with a heavy macro lens or similar things, the rough shutter movement may get involved into the camera-tripod-system shivering because using the self-timer will not put the mirror in an up position some seconds before the shutter releases, as some other cameras do.

I ride bicycles. The ME fell once on the asphalt, with a huge Vivitar series 1 zoom on it. My heart almost stopped. But the ME (and the Vivitar) took no real damage, only scratches. I sold it later (1998) to a friend who moved to wet and moist Ireland. He still uses the ME.

If you roll the film on in a dark room, with a bit of practice (thanks to the „magic needles“), you may get 38 or 39 pics out of a 36 roll. Fine thing.

Pentax lenses have a tiny protruding indicator on them: you can change lenses with closed eyes (equivalent to „in a dim lit situation“, „in a hurry“) just by aligning this protruding indicator with the lens release lever on the cam.

Last, but lot least: the ME is a beautiful object. The engraving on the prism, the matte shiny METAL bottom & upper body caps, the silvery line on its top corresponding to the silvery circles on the beautiful M lenses, the roughness of the „crocodile leather“, all these make it a desirable object.
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 6,290

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 15, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $18.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good small P&S camera for occasional use.
Cons: No DOF preview, MLU or Manual metering. Too small for everyday use.

The Pentax ME camera was released in late 1976 along with the MX, they were the first bodies introduced with the new Pentax “M” (miniaturized) series of lenses. The MX was aimed more towards the advanced photographer, while the ME was marketed towards the casual shooter who wanted the simplicity of a P&S camera, but with a camera that had interchangeable lenses.

The ME was the first Pentax SLR that did not feature the traditional shutter speed dial and instead featured a “Program” dial. This was carried over to the ME Super and later to the Super A/Super Program bodies. The ME was also the first Pentax to have an Aperture Priority (AUTO) only meter, with no manual mode. There was one mechanical shutter speed mode “1/100X” used for electronic flashes. This was the only shutter speed that could be used if the cameras batteries failed. There is also a lock “L” position on this dial and a “B” mode for long exposures.

- The first thing you notice about the ME is its small size, it’s even smaller than the MX. Placed next to a “K” Series body released the previous year, you immediately notice the size difference. Free holding the ME is very hard for me due to its small size, so I beefed it up with a strap and the bottom half of the ME soft EverReady case. This makes it easier for me to hold and less of a chance to drop this tiny camera.

- The ME has a simple vertical meter display on the left side of the viewfinder, that indicates the selected shutter speed with a red dot. The meter range is between 1/1000 to 8 sec. There is also an OVER & UNDER indicator to show if the meter range was exceeded. This display is pretty good and I like it better than the half dial in the MX. Both bodies use the same GPD centre-weighted meter & sensitivity pattern.

- The ME also has the new “M” series “magic white needles” film loading system. So you can insert the film leader into any slot on the spool, instead of the dedicated slot on the “K” Series cameras.

- Other features on the ME are an ASA range from 12 to 1600, film memo holder, exposure compensation of 1/4x, 1/2x, 1x, 2x and 4x and Self-timer. There is no DOF preview on the ME or MLU, both are sorely missed. The ME came with a split-image focusing screen, which was not user changeable like the MX.

- For continuous shooting the ME uses the ME and the newer ME II Winder.

The Pentax ME makes a good small “P&S” SLR, for those days when you don’t want to lug around a camera bag or kit and mess with manual metering. Combined with the pancake M40/2.8 lens you have a great little package that’s better than any fixed lens P&S film camera from that period and also pretty close in size.

However I would not recommend the ME as your “main” camera or a film camera for “students”, since it’s too small, does not have enough features and has no manual metering. Overall a nice little camera for its intended purpose.

Here’s how I rank the ME in my Pentax K-mount manual focus body collection:

1) LX, 2) K2DMD, 3) KX, 4) SUPER A, 5) K2, 6) MX, 7) P50, 8) KM, 9) ME, 10) K1000SE, 11) K1000

I paid $25.00CDN for my ME and it’s in Mint condition.
New Member

Registered: November, 2015
Location: Barrhead
Posts: 5
Review Date: November 28, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 


I have had my ME for ever. She was my first SLR that my dad got for me when I was a kid. I'm pretty sure it came out of a pawn shop because it looks a little rough but 30 years later, and only one CLA, it's still taking pictures. Dad's ME super has quit. The ME will always have a special place in my heart because it was my first, but it was so easy to learn and get good shots. I have a whole slew of cameras including a new K-3 but the ME just seems more... elegant?
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 6,332

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 14, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small size, aperture priority with pre A series lenses, mechanical fallback after battery failure
Cons: Ergonomically awkward with heavier lenses; EV compensation dial not intuitive

This is a wonderful camera for those who want ease of shooting and a light, compact package for use with short and normal prime lenses. The lack of manual control might be "controversial", but it overcomes this by telling you, on "ladder of lights" display in the viewfinder, which shutter speed it has selected - so if you want "shutter priority" you need only turn the aperture ring until the appropriate speed is displayed.

Exposure compensation is available for two stops either side of neutral, but the dial is not intuitive - it is marked 1/4, 1/2 on one side and 1X, 2X on the other; it would have been better to have +1, +2, -1, -2 as appropriate, and I find I have to look in the viewfinder and check the new shutter speed to be sure of what it's doing.

Manual reversion in the complete absence of battery power is available to the flash sync speed - 1/100 sec. This might seem odd - 1/125 might seem more natural - but in fact it's perfect for "Sunny Sixteen"-type shooting with ISO 100 film, which seems to be rare today but which was much more common during the heyday of this camera. Adjusting these rules is naturally very easy when using the 200 or 400 speed film which seem to be all you can get in bulk stores and pharmacies these days - just close down one or two more stops as appropriate (if the lens will let you, of course!).

ISO is covered from 12 to 1600, manually selected, of course. Given that this seems (IMO) to be a consumer-level rather than a professional-level camera, this probably caters to most of the films a consumer would expect to use at the time.

Size, weight and balance are perfect when reasonably compact primes are mounted (I tried 28, 35 and 50mm; I don't have the 40mm M, but will possibly pick one up if I should stumble across it in the future), but with longer zooms one finds oneself using the left hand as much to support the end of the lens as to focus and zoom, and this might be a problem in some situations. I suspect professionals who chose this or the similarly sized MX probably went with the winder option, which would ameliorate or even eliminate these issues. On the contrary, the plastic-bodied and almost ridiculously light FA 28-90 is a perfect match in size, weight and balance terms, but that lens's manual focus qualities are less than endearing (badly damped, to the point where I think even mirror-slap would jump it out of sharp focus).

I have the basic version, with the horizontal split prism rather than the (IMO better) diagonal version that came out with the SE variant. If you had missed the K series and were still clinging to your Spotmatic up to the moment you bought this, it's certainly an improvement over the microprism screen of the basic Spottie, and the size difference is remarkable - though as I've said, this can be a double-edged sword.

Its major advantage today lies in being able to offer aperture priority with K and M series lenses and non-Pentax K-mount lenses that lack compatibility with Pentax "A" features. Because of its permanent aperture priority mode, it also makes a natural "pair" with all M42 lenses that have (or can be modified for) manual stop-down. I have tried the 50mm/f3.5 M42 Industar lens on this body, and for those willing to work with the quirky, fiddly nature of this lens, it's a natural match in size terms and because of the permanent Av mode.

Naturally, since the actual mount ring is "blind" and there are no sensitive SDM/DC electronics in the mirror box, there are no issues with the Dreaded Ricoh Pin or any other sort of proprietary protrusion that I can imagine (anyone who can tell me otherwise is welcome to PM me and I'll alter this paragraph).

The only real pity is that for all its (semi-)automation, it isn't quite sophisticated enough to drive those Pentax lenses which don't have an aperture ring (the DA40/2.8 Limited, in particular, just begs to be put on this tiny body). That had to wait for the next generation, but the designers can't have been expected to foresee this.

Owners are cautioned to watch carefully, as the screw on the right hand side of the mode selector dial (adjacent the winding lever) can work loose, enabling the shutter button to fall out and the plunger in its base (which transmits the push of the cable-release plunger) to be lost. Once this happens, the shutter button can no longer actuate the shutter and either spare parts or a professional repair will be required.

All in all an excellent little camera to take with you for a fun, casual outing where happy snaps with a prime or a short, light (e.g. 28- or 35-70) zoom are the order of the day and unbridled creativity is not quite as important. For those wanting night shots, the beastie has a self-timer and is capable of metered exposure up to eight seconds, which even some later consumer level Pentax film cameras couldn't handle. Size, weight and balance with a normal lens and a sturdy table-top tripod should be good for this sort of work, and for longer exposures a cable release can be threaded in through the shutter button.

ETA: I have since acquired the 40mm M pancake, and it provides an ultra-compact package that can be dropped in the larger pockets of travel and hiking vests with no trouble at all, or slung from a cross-body strap and almost forgotten until needed. FOV is almost normal, and the combination is good until early evening outdoors. I took it on a trip as a second camera for when I didn't want to haul the K-5 and the Limiteds around, and it slung very neatly under my jacket, unnoticed. The only thing it lacked was a flash as the sun went down, and on a future occasion I may yet leave the digital at home, bring a thyristor flash and go film-only. Another lens that balances well on this camera is the 135mm f/3.5 Pentax M; certainly I find it more compact and easy of handling than the 80-200mm one-touch lenses I own for my film bodies, and it offers useful reach.
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 27
Review Date: September 29, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Ease of use, great viewfinder, good light meter, small and cheap
Cons: lack of DOF preview

It is very quick to use, and has a wonderfully big viewfinder. I mostly shoot aperture priority and check if the camera chooses a shutterspeed that is fast enough.
All I ever want is to make a photo that has the right exposure, so why not let the camera 'turn in' the right exposure time?

In case some manual correction is needed, there is still the exposure compensation dial. It even has a 1/100 mechanical speed for the moment your battery is dead, which is just fine for daylight shots with a wide angle or standard lens.

I also have a MEsuper which has a bit softer mirror slap, but I had no problems caused by camerashake on either of them. The vibration is mainly caused by the mirror returning, that's when the picture has already been taken.

If you look at a ME that is in nice condition it is quite pretty, elegant in design really and amazingly small. It's a pity the ME doesn't have DOF preview, but for quick point & shoot I don't really need it.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Greensboro,NC
Posts: 503
Review Date: September 14, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Simple, Small, Aperture Priority
Cons: max 1600iso

I actually like the fact that it is an aperture priority only camera because its the mode I use most on my other cameras. I mostly do outdoor portraiture so DOF control is very important while shutter speed isn't so much. It also makes a very good street photography camera, just attach any small pentax-m lens and off you go. My only complaint is it can only shoot a max iso film of 1600 and sometimes I like to shoot 3200 film or push films beyond 1600. Not a real problem because I have other cameras that can do that, but for someone who is looking for a camera that can shoot faster films on this could be an issue.

Its a great simple and small camera. If I need something more complex I just grab one of my other pentax camera bodies, but when I just want to go out and have fun this is my go to camera.
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 403
Review Date: May 14, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: simple, small, solid and light
Cons: none for me

I got a deal on ebay for a brown SE version with a diagonal split focus screen - a big plus. I almost always have the smc m 40mm attached which makes it a light carry about camera for casual shooting or when I want to shoot for simplicity's sake. Focus, set aperture and click. Though it appeared to be in great condition inside and out, I sent it immediately to Eric Henderson for a CLA and the camera works like a charm.

What it lacks, I don't need when out for simple shooting pleasure. It is a solid, compact Pentax camera of days gone by.
New Member

Registered: February, 2014
Posts: 7
Review Date: February 22, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, a joy to use, great sound, great BIG finder, simple & beautiful

Really don't understand the review down the page, rating it "3 of 10", owning it since 1979 and "loving it".
Yes mirror-slap is feel-able (this is not a damped camera body) - but personally I get sharp shots at 1/30 with a 50mm lens like with any other camera if I hold still.

This is one of the best SLR's I know / have used.

This little thing has one of the biggest, brightest and best finders I've seen, ever.
It's optimized for fast glass, so focusing a lens like the 50mm f1.7 is nice as can be.

It's really small, and light, it's really straight-forward and beautiful made, it's reliable,
it has the best sound ever (besides some modern pro DSLR's maybe) - *TSCHAKKK*

Would most definitely recommend.
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2012
Posts: 828
Review Date: September 15, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Size, cost, simplicity
Cons: Manual shutter, age

I purchased mine sight unseen from ebay a few years ago, I paid $40 for it with an A series 50mm F2 lens attached.

Since then it's been my go-to film camera.

The size is a great benefit, it's small and light compared to modern SLRs and compared to most of the film SLRs after it.

Being aperture priority only, there is no manual shutter speed option, but if you're like me and find that you rarely use shutter priority it's a perfect choice.

The only bad points I have are related to it's age, being over 30 years old many of them are developing issues with sticky mirrors, degrading seals, and general wear. The benefit is that even with this wear they will often still work quite well (mine has worn mirror dampers, so occationally the mirror will not sit in the exact correct position, causing minor focus errors. I've only noticed this as an issue with infinity focus on lenses longer than 200mm though)

Overall, great camera, perfect for somebody starting off with film who doesn;t want to spend a huge amount.
Although, the ME Super is the better camera, the ME isn;t exactly a paperweight.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 83
Review Date: February 3, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $12.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact; convenient Auto, bright finder, creamy soft shutter sound.
Cons: For the price and versatility - NONE.

I like the compactness, bright finder and split image and Auto mode allowing me for faster action following.
Makes a perfect backup camera - light and fast picture taking tool.

M mode and other non existent in ME features are good things, but if I had to keep it as my only analogue camera - it would be not a harm to my pictures at all.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Japan
Posts: 1,116

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 6, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, weight, viewfinder, ease of use

My first Pentax manual focus camera.
I bought a black one second hand for 1050 yen.

As I've been using my K10 and K-5 in Av mode, the aperture exposure control of the ME was a good choice for me.
It ticked the boxes: size, weight, ease of use.

Basically, you choose the aperture on the lens and the camera chooses the shutter speed.
Turn the switch to "auto", focus, and shoot.
The ME does feature an exposure compensation dial to give you a bit more control.
It feels solid with a large viewfinder.

On a side note, you do pay for what you get, and mine was cheap.
Keep in mind, that a cheap, old camera will likely need a bit of work doing to it.
I have to get the light seals fixed on mine.

That said, if I find I am enjoying film again, I will probably buy another ME in silver, or maybe another black one, and spend a bit more cash on a model in better condition.
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 167
Review Date: June 15, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax ME: No | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Size, viewfinder, cost, k-mount
Cons: Can't use exposure comp with iso 1600 film, can't use 3200 speed film, NO WORKAROUNDS

This camera's best feature is its K-mount.

It was my first camera after a K1000, and I liked its size and enormous split-image viewfinder. However, as I got deeper and deeper into shooting, this camera began to let me down.

I like using auto mode with exposure compensation. But as soon as I loaded neopan 1600 and went off to shoot a friend's show, I found myself stuck. Whenever I needed to +1 the exposure comp, I couldn't. In fact, there is NO WORKAROUND for this, as the ISO does not go over 1600 either. Without a manual mode, you can't override what the camera is metering. And sometimes, +2 exposure comp is not enough. I shoot people against a bright window sometimes, and like their faces to be neutral and the whites to be blown totally out. Can't do it with an ME.

That about sums it up. Even if you never shoot 1600 speed film, and only shoot in aperture-priority mode, you should still get an ME Super. The ME has too few features, and no workarounds.
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Posts: 27

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 2, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $21.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Simple elegant easy to use
Cons: none

The ME gets a bad rep for having no manual control, all of which is true. However, this is a strength too. I have plenty of manual cameras. I have two KX's, a MX, a handfull of Spotmatics, 6x7, 4x5, 8x10.... If I need to shoot manual, not a problem but when I want to carry a camera everywhere I go, the ME is my first choice. It is small, elegant and quick. No buttons to adjust, switches to push. Just point, focus, (adjust shutter via aperture if needed) and shoot. The ME has a satisfying clank when the shutter fires. I have the ME super as well and I never or rarely use the manual mode. Another nice feature of these cameras is flash. Most, if not all my 35mm manual cameras do 60/sec, my 6x7 even less unless I use a leaf shutter lens. The ME and its cousin does 100 to 125/sec. Combined with a K 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7 you got the ultimate compact little machine.

The Pentax ME (especially the black version) feels good in my hands, elegant to look at and a pleasure to shoot.
Forum Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Essex
Posts: 97
Review Date: August 26, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax ME: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small & compact, big view finder,ease of use
Cons: none

I've had this camera almost 3 years now and it is still going strong.


The size of this camera is very small at the time of it's release in 1976 it was one of the worlds smallest SLRs avalible on the market at the time. It's very easy to slip into your pocket and carry around with you all the time.


The seiko shutter was brand new in 1976, the all metal shutter is very good and durable compared to other cloth shutters that were being used in SLRs at the time, the only issue being that the shutter requires two LR44 batteries to fire. The shutter can fire manually at a speed of 1/100th SEC , with this being the flash synchronization speed.
The camera's main feature is the AUTO setting, this put's the camera into a aperture priority which means that the camera will choose the shutter speed whilst you select the aperture.
The center-weighted through the lens meter uses GPD cells for a fast light response, & the meter is very good and gets it right everytime.
The view finder contains a silver-coated pentaprism with a split image microprism focusing screen which alows for the sharpest focusing point. 92% of of picture taking area is visible which allows for good framing of photos, the shutter speeds are visible when looking through the viewfinder with LEDs to show what shutter speed the camera has selected to go with your chosen aperture.

My view on the camera

Overall the camera is light, weighing at 460g, i don't see the lack of manual shutter speed control a big problem. shooting with aperture piority is faster when compared to using fully manual, however in some cases fully manual controll would be nice (ME Super was later released which added this feature). With the standard Pentax-M SMC 50mm f/1.2 , f/1.4 , f/1.7 or the SMC Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8 , The combo setup is very nice no matter what lens you aqquire with the ME, i have the 50mm f/1.2 and it produces some really top photos with the ME.
With the M series cameras introducing the PK mount (pentax K mount, still used by Pentax Today) there are a great selection of Pentax SMCs to choose from and dont forget all those third party brands that manufactured lenses in the PK mount. you can even use modern lenses providing that a aperture ring is present!
Can i recomend this camera? Yes , Should you get this camera? Yes , Is this my favorite camera? Yes.

My ME in black
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