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06-20-2012, 11:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Pentax ME Super - Weird metering/LED issue

My friend recently gifted me a Pentax ME Super and I initially was struggling to come to grips with the manual shutter speed settings. At first I thought it was because I wasn't using it correctly but after spending some time today experimenting with a film in and now a film out, I believe my I have encountered an usual issue with the LED/metering of the camera:

So long as I am in Auto or Manual mode, the LEDs will show upon a light depress of the shutter button, which appears normal from all the manuals and FAQs I've so far read.

The trouble is that it will only show 3 different combinations of lights, which I am able to cycle through up and down respectively with the buttons (the obvious problem being that they don't show me all 14 available, accurate shutter speeds).

1. Manual light on, green. 2000 light on, dark green. 8 light on, amber.
2. Manual light on, green. 1000 light on, dark green. 4 light on, amber.
3. Manual light on, green. No other lights.

If I press down, down, down (obviously after a light depress of the shutter button), I'll get: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 (sometimes 3 two times in a row).
If I press up, up, up, I'll get: 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1 (again, with intermittent 3's twice in a row).

After experimenting with the shutter speed, I count 14 different settings available to select, by doing it blind. IE: Not looking at the meter and shooting 14 times whilst pressing down between each shot. Starting with the fastest exposure, I count 14 steps before I get down to the 4s exposure. I add this only to tell you that the exposures are still definable. The issue is that I can't accurately define the exposure length because I only have 3 combinations of LEDs to work from.

The LEDs appear to react and cycle through when I change apertures, but again we're talking about a 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 situation just as if I were trying to cycle through by pressing the up or down manual shutter speed buttons.


I sincerely hope this has been a thorough explanation of the problem. If you have any further questions then don't hesitate to ask.

If I'm being really thick and am messing around with the 'battery level indicator' instead, I'd greatly appreciate being told how to properly define the shutter speed, and how to properly meter, but I remember I am following an original user manual so I don't think I'm doing anything wrong here.


06-20-2012, 11:54 AM   #2

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Frankfurt am Main
Posts: 1,094
Try to repeatedly turn the ISO settings up and down, and the exposure correction, which is coupled with this.

The ME Super is famous to suffer from dust and oxidation of the contacts (I owned 2 ME Supers). If this has happened, the LEDs turn crazy.
In Auto Mode, also the exposure times themselves will be affected.

If you find my suggestion offers a temporary fix (it will not last), only CLA will help.
06-20-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2
Original Poster
Thanks for your reply, RKKS08.

I have tried your suggestion of repeatedly messing with the ISO setting, but to no avail. It behaves just as it did before.

As for 'exposure correction', I'm not entirely sure what you're referring to. Same goes for 'CLA', but it sounds bad .

Is there anything else I can do to test this problem now you have this information? I will take this camera to a Jessops tomorrow but I'm not holding my breath.
06-20-2012, 05:11 PM   #4

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Frankfurt am Main
Posts: 1,094
"Exposure correction" (I don't own an English manual, so I don't know how it is called there) is the wheel combined with the ISO setting. With the ME Super, it offers to shift exposure by +/- 2 stops against the measured value. There is an additional LED in the viewfinder to show you have activated it.

CLA means "Cleaned Lubricated Adjusted", a common expression which means serviced.

I am afraid some part of the electronics is broken.


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