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09-30-2010, 12:09 AM   #1
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Picked up a ME Super! A few questions

Found a nice Pentax ME super on craigslist and picked it up yesterday and I'm really happy with it so far. It's a bit small for my gargantuan hands, but then again so is the K-x. It came with two M series primes: 50mm f/1.4 and 28mm f/2.8. Unfortunately the 28mm has a pretty gnarly scratch on it, so I was going to use it mainly for digital with PP.

I was wondering if any owners could post a few pictures taken with it (100-400ish ISO?) and any tips and tricks you might have when working with the light metering system. It's quite different than what I'm used to on the K-x. Is there anything special you need to do to get the best possible shots?

This is my first film camera and I'm shooting Ilford HP-5 ISO 400 black and white for my photography class. What other films in the Ilford or Kodak lines would you suggest? I want to stick with black and white for film.

Also, getting used to the depth of field on the 50 is quite difficult. I did some shooting in low light and controlling the DOF at f/1.4 was a real challenge.

Here she is with the 28.



and the 50mm



09-30-2010, 12:18 AM   #2
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Welcome and congrats on the ME Super and lenses. A fine place to start
That M50 is a great lens and I'll imagine you will get used to the shallow DoF. Then you might start wanting your other lenses to be faster!

cheers
09-30-2010, 12:26 AM   #3
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I already do want my other lenses to be faster! haha. One of the main reasons I bought the whole package in the first place was for that 50mm.
09-30-2010, 12:39 AM   #4
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In general the metering system is quite accurate and unless the situation is very challenging it will produce and acceptable result.
Have you read the manual? There's a few nice suggestions in there.

Try to get a few Hedgecoe books he had very good tips and tricks on exposure for tricky situations explained in a very simple way.

The 50/1.4 is a great lens and very easy to focus when coupled with the fabulous screen in the ME-super.
The 28/2.8 scratch may affect your pics but maybe not; put it on and shoot a few with it to check.

09-30-2010, 04:48 AM   #5
klh
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QuoteOriginally posted by Turbo_Spool900 Quote
Found a nice Pentax ME super on craigslist and picked it up yesterday and I'm really happy with it so far. It's a bit small for my gargantuan hands, but then again so is the K-x. It came with two M series primes: 50mm f/1.4 and 28mm f/2.8. Unfortunately the 28mm has a pretty gnarly scratch on it, so I was going to use it mainly for digital with PP.
Congratulations! I also found an ME Super on Craiglist (two weeks ago), although mine had an A50/1.7 (I already have one, wish I had found a 1.4 like you!).

Unfortunately after I got it home, I found out that the camera jams every so often, so I don't think I can risk any film in it yet. I'm not too bothered though, since I only paid $60 for the set.
09-30-2010, 05:53 AM   #6
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Great find. The Me Super with the 1.4 is a good outfit. I have had an ME for over 25 years with no issues. As far as Black and White film, you may want to try some Kodak Tri-x. I have always had good results with it. Have fun, film is great.

Mike Mock
09-30-2010, 09:20 AM   #7
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I just had my ME Super CLAed at Harrow Technical. I bought it new in 1985. In recent years the switchgear became a bit stodgy. Now it's back to new, and I can't put it down. I'm even shooting with it in preference to my LX! I'm one of the few (it seems) who love the shutter-speed buttons. Much easier to use than a shutter dial, and the LED display is far brighter than the LX's poor offering.
09-30-2010, 10:51 AM   #8
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^ I actually prefer the shutter speed buttons as well. Easier to change on the fly.

Thanks for the link to the manual, too! Appreciated.

Hopefully I'll be able to post a few pics that turned out decent when I develop my first roll.

Thanks all.

09-30-2010, 11:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by artobest Quote
I just had my ME Super CLAed at Harrow Technical.
Can I ask you how much that cost?
09-30-2010, 01:44 PM   #10
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Oh, one other question.. Is there any way I can use my 18-55mm kit lens from the K-x on the ME super? I know the kit lens has AF and electronically controlled apertures, but is there any way around that?

Thanks
09-30-2010, 01:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vendee Quote
Can I ask you how much that cost?
It cost around 56.00, if I remember correctly, and included a repair to the winder. Harrow Technical has a very transparent pricing structure, it's all laid out on their site here.
09-30-2010, 02:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by artobest Quote
It cost around 56.00, if I remember correctly, and included a repair to the winder. Harrow Technical has a very transparent pricing structure, it's all laid out on their site here.
That seems reasonable. Mine is fine at the moment but a good service will ensure many more years of service. Thanks for the link.
09-30-2010, 04:14 PM   #13
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I spent more years than I care to calculate shooting Kodachrome 64 with an ME Super. I found that the metering for views, buildings etc. was excellent if you dipped the camera a little and excluded most of the sky. If you metered including all the sky it tended, unsurprisingly, to under-expose by about a stop or stop and a half. On slide film that is too much! I used my ME Super almost entirely on manual and got used to the little buttons very quickly. I still find my forefinger seeking them out sometimes...

For BW I prefer to use Ilford Delta 100 ASA for fine grain images. I have had big problems with Tri-X 400 fogging probably due to airport x-rays (I travel a lot). I also find Kodak CN400BW film excellent and relatively cheap. It has a wide exposure latitude: over expose for fine grained but slightly flat images, under expose for contrasty but coarser grained images. I usually set the ASA dial to 320 which seems a good compromise. As it is a chromogenic film you can take it down to Happy Snaps (or whatever) and get it developed along with the colour print film. I, however, usually send it to a good quality developing firm as I had a few nice images ruined by poor developing and scratched negs.

Enjoy the ME Super. It may be a common camera, but they made and sold a lot of them for a very good reason!

K.
09-30-2010, 04:26 PM   #14
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The ME Super is a nice camera and meters well. I wouldn't worry about metering too much as you'll get the hang of it as you go along. Film has great dynamic range so minor-to-moderate under/over exposure can be corrected at the printing stage.
09-30-2010, 05:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Turbo_Spool900 Quote
Oh, one other question.. Is there any way I can use my 18-55mm kit lens from the K-x on the ME super? I know the kit lens has AF and electronically controlled apertures, but is there any way around that?

Thanks
It will mount, but you will be limited to the minimum aperture in M mode only with no internal metering.


Steve
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