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05-28-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Pantex Super Program Light Meter

Hey everyone, so I just bought my Super Program yesterday, and I noticed that there isn't a light meter on the right hand side of the view finder like the other Pantex film cameras I've used before. I was just wondering if there actually is one and there is maybe a problem with the batteries and so I'm not seeing it or something like that? I'm visually impaired and the little screens in the view finder are really difficult for me to see, so I'm hoping that there is actually a little light meter dial inside the view finder... If anyone has any info on that, it'd be really appreciated! Thanks!

05-28-2012, 01:52 PM   #2
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Here is the user's manual for it...
05-28-2012, 01:53 PM   #3
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Hi...Welcome to Pentax Forums. Your camera does indeed have a light meter. The readout is in the LCD panels at the bottom of the viewfinder. Shutter speed and mode on the left and aperture on the right. For the most part, exposure is automated for your camera with the readout available for informational purposes. Unless, of course, you prefer manual metering as explained in the camera manual.

The manual for your camera is available (donations accepted) at:

Pentax Super Program, pentax super A,


Steve
05-28-2012, 02:11 PM   #4
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I saw the LCD panels, but I was wondering if it has a light meter dial at the side of the view finder? I can't see the readouts on the LCD panels clearly, and I was really hoping to rely on the dial like the other Pantex I'd used. But does it only have the LCD panels?

Thanks

05-28-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sibi Quote
I saw the LCD panels, but I was wondering if it has a light meter dial at the side of the view finder? I can't see the readouts on the LCD panels clearly, and I was really hoping to rely on the dial like the other Pantex I'd used. But does it only have the LCD panels?

Thanks
Yes. You have only the LCD panels, though exposure is automatic (programmed, aperture-priority, and shutter priority) in other than manual mode.

See the linked camera manual.


Steve
05-30-2012, 06:57 AM   #6
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That Pantex must be a rare camera.
05-30-2012, 12:15 PM   #7
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I have noticed, when it is not very light, it can be difficult to see the data inside the viewer. There's a lightswitch that lights up those little windows . . . you will find where it is in the mentioned manual
06-03-2012, 05:32 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hilo Quote
I have noticed, when it is not very light, it can be difficult to see the data inside the viewer. There's a lightswitch that lights up those little windows . . . you will find where it is in the mentioned manual
To Sibi ... see the frosted panel on the front of the pentaprism? Unless you use the momentary contact button described in this quote, the exposure information in the viewfinder depends on natural light coming through the frosted panel.

Here is the biggest problem with this design... by the time you get enough natural light hitting the panel to make the display clearly visible, you will also likely notice significant flare in your photographs.

An eye cup would probably help by eliminating light outside the viewfinder, but only if you don't wear glasses (I suspect you do). If your vision only needs a simple distance correction (no astigmatism like I have), you can add a correcting diopter plus an eye cup.

Now for the good news... I found the exposure metering on the Super Program to be quite good. Unless I needed a specific effect, using an 'A' series lens, I shot in P (program) mode most of the time and let the camera worry about exposure. My only concern needed to be whether I had a shutter speed fast enough to shoot handheld, and that number appears on the external LCD. Naturally, as with any automated metering system, you need to pay attention to your subject - the old black cat on snow, or polar bear in a coal field story. For really tricky situations like this, I used a separate incident light meter when possible, or made my best guess when not. Then I either used the exposure compensation dial (around the rewind crank), or manually set my exposure. I really didn't need to have a good look at the exposure values in the viewfinder all that often.

I recently sold my Super Program. I shot Ektachrome almost exclusively with a few roles of B&W here and there (those I could develop and print myself). I never really enjoyed shooting color negative film. The camera mostly sat on the shelf as I dabbled in digital via a couple P&S cameras. My wife saw my interest in photography decreasing and purchased a K-r for me late last year. I'm still learning this new instrument, but honestly even with its fewer features, I doubt I will ever be a better photographer than I was with the Super Program.

Play it safe and put in a set of fresh batteries. I liked the single 3v battery for convenience, but they are near impossible to find these days. I suggest using a pair of S76 (silver oxide) batteries. They will last a long, long time.

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