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09-09-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
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Lens recommendation for ME Super

I've dug out an old ME Super. I've been having fun with the 50mm 2.0 that it shipped with.

I'd like to consider 2 more lenses: a 28mm or 24mm and a portrait lens. I'd like to balance price and quality -- i.e. getting the best value for both.

Any recommendations for the lenses I should look at? I've gotten a bit confused over the different Pentax lens types. Also, is it worth upgrading to a 50/1.4 from the 50/2.0?

09-09-2012, 07:14 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The 28 should be easy to come by, but the portrait lens will likely cost a few bucks. I watched classifieds and such for several months before buying my M85/2.


09-09-2012, 07:17 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Yes it's worth it to get the 50 1.4. You need all the flexibility you can get when shooting film in low light. And the DOF is worth it.
09-09-2012, 07:27 PM   #4
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Can anyone supply me with the SPECIFIC lens nomenclature I need to look for, to work easily with an ME Super? I understand it's "K Mount" but is it an "A" Lens or other designation??

Also, I have seen some 105 and 135 lenses, as opposed to just 85mm. Are there good ones in the portrait length that are sought after over the others?

09-09-2012, 07:36 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by WT21 Quote
I've dug out an old ME Super. I've been having fun with the 50mm 2.0 that it shipped with.

I'd like to consider 2 more lenses: a 28mm or 24mm and a portrait lens. I'd like to balance price and quality -- i.e. getting the best value for both.

Any recommendations for the lenses I should look at? I've gotten a bit confused over the different Pentax lens types. Also, is it worth upgrading to a 50/1.4 from the 50/2.0?
Your ME super will work with all the bayonet mount type pentax lenses except the new DA series which is made for half frame. (APS-C digital cameras.) with an adapter you can also use the old screw mounts (m42) but lose the auto stopdown feature.

the Pentax SMC are the style contemporary for that camera body. When buying if you Buy an "Pentax-A" lens they have
the "A" position on the aperature control to support the newer bodies program control. the type F and FA are backwards compatible to your body, but have support for autofocus in them. a reason for buying one of the later lenses is that if you ever decide eto get
a newer body---then your lens will be 'ready' for the new features.

I wouldn't spend the money on an F1.4 - 50mm. it's a good lense one f stop faster... for the same money its more fun to have
a different focual length. A 28mm is a nice focal length for the film camera in a wide angle. the 24's are 'really wide' and less
useful. ---- you will find the 28's more common, and less expensive, but if you get chance at a 24 and the price is right don't refuse it.

I'd join the digital world soon though. --- the processing and developent cost a lot of bucks, and and its all pretty much free if you have a computer in the digital world.

As for a longer lense--- the classis is an 85mm for portraits,---but they are always very expensive. My poor mans substitute is to use
a 100 mm macro lens for the purpose. It's a little longer, but the macro doesn't mean that you can't use it for portraits---what it means
is that it has an extra long Helicoid so it will focus up real close. a whole world of fun photography is taking pictures of things
really close.... --- bugs, and flowers, etc....
09-09-2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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Hi WT21
I used ME super for many years, earlier tonight I just put another post about it.
To answer your second post specifically you should look for " SMC Pentax-M ..." lenses to match your ME. These lenses had a robust metal aperture ring and usually had a 49 mm thread for a filter/cap. For example "SMC PENTAX-M 1:2 50mm" that you have , per your first post.

There was also a set of lenses with K-mount that were carried over from the earlier screw mount and usually had a 52 mm filter/cap. These were called "SMC-Pentax ..." without the "-M". For example "SMC PENTAX 1:2.8 24mm"

Later came "SMC PENTAX-A..." These gave the ability for bodies later than the ME Super, to set the aperture. That was enabled when the user set the aperture ring to A^. These lenses will work on the ME Super however the aperture ring was often plastic I suppose because it was not meant to be used so much.
You can read about the optical quality which is often very good, but the plastic ring was not as good as the earlier -M ring.

Later there were other lenses functionally equivalent to "-M" and "-A" but without the true SMC coating.
These were usually called "TAKUMAR-A..." or "TAKUMAR (BAYONET).." . I havew some of these and they are of lesser quality than the ones abovementioned.
I leave compatibility of later lenses to others.
Good Luck!
09-09-2012, 08:49 PM   #7
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If you intend to use the same lenses on a Pentax Digital SLR, I would suggest finding the A lenses, it makes it much easier on the digital body, without any detriment on the film body.
09-09-2012, 08:55 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
I'd join the digital world soon though. --- the processing and developent cost a lot of bucks, and and its all pretty much free if you have a computer in the digital world.
You can spend $200.00 total for any manual Pentax film body & a CLA and it will last 20 years. In that time I bet the average DSLR shooter goes through six or seven cameras, as they are obsolete in three years.

The thousands spent on DSLR bodies & associated costs over the years is WAY more than the average film shooter spends on film and processing, especially if you develop/scan your own.

Phil.

09-09-2012, 09:57 PM   #9
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The M series lenses are the natural partners of the ME/ME Super/MX series cameras and are built to be compact just like the cameras. As earlier posters noted, these are fully manual lenses (no automatic aperature if you were to use it on later series cameras). I use M lenses on a K-x digital and on the M (Manual) program setting, the Green button takes care of exposure metering once you have set the desired aperature using the ring on the lens.

The M series 28mm F3.5 is quite a good wide lens for <$100 and reasonably common. The M 28mm F2.8 is a little cheaper - good colours but not as sharp as the F3.5. Wider lens (24mm and wider) are much less common and will start to cost a LOT more. Personally, I like the 28mm equivalent field of view. The M 85mm F2 I've just acquired, and it impressed on its first outing. But will probably cost you $250-300. The M 100mm F4 Macro is sharp and gives you macro versatility down to 1:2 magnification as a bonus and a new avenue for your photography to explore. Good colours also. Will have less of that wide open portrait softness that the M 85mm delivers at F2 though. The good news is that you should find one around the $120-150 mark. There is a 100mm F2.8 about also, but I don't have any experience with that lens, but it would be cheaper than the 85mm.

The M 135 F3.5 reviews quite well, and probably suits your use on film better than its use on APS-C sensors where the 1.5x magnification of APS-C means its field of view is starting to get narrow and restricting its application. On film, it would be considered to be at the upper end of portrait focal lengths. It needs to be stopped down a bit to bring chromatic aberations under control in bright lighting situations (this is probably accentuated on digital and may not be as obvious on film). Again a common lens and not too dear.

Although the focal length duplicates what you have, I believe either the M 50 1.7 or M 50 1.4 will give better results that the 50 F2 you currently have. The M 50 1.7 is common and you could probably pick a good one up for $60-80. Good, sharp lens. The 1.4 is a little more expensive but not riduclously so.

Above prices are all for lenses in good to very good condition.

I have an ME Super (acquired new circa 1980) that has unfortunately developed a problem where it doesn't consistently cock the shutter on advancing the film, and has been retired. Great little camera (with the emphasis on little which is what attracted me to it those many years ago). Am temped to pick up another and revisit film (and give a good excuse to use my M lens more).

Happy hunting!
09-09-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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Hi VT21
as you request comments and specific nomenclature:
SMC Pentax 1:2.8 24 mm
SMC Pentax -M 1:2.8 28 mm
Here I would recommend to start looking for the 28 mm if you need lower cost and easier to use lens.

For portraits, excluding high cost :
SMC Pentax 1: 1.8 (or 2.0) 55mm
SMC Pentax -M 1: 2.8 100 mm
Here again I would recommend to start looking for the 55 mm first

For your query about focal length, I suggest you get any old K mount zoom say 70~200 and run some iso 100 in the ME and shoot wide open to see.
Wide open outdoors late afternoon with subject in front of tree leaves etc. move subject forward and back, and at various FL.
Have fun,
09-10-2012, 12:36 AM   #11
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I'm also after a 28mm for my ME.
The M 28 3.5 looks favourable going by the reviews.

I have the K 50 1.4 which is a good lens with excellent bokeh.
I am considering the M50 1.7, just to get an M 50...if the price is right.

I've got the M100 f4 macro which is a superb lens.
If f4 is fast enough for you,I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up.

On a side note, I just picked up the M75-150 f4 and M200 f4 today.
Have yet to try them out.
09-10-2012, 12:53 AM   #12
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I would say it's worth upgrading from the 50mm f/2 to the 50mm f/1.7, which is a superb lens and is extremely common and therefore cheap. The f/1.4 version will cost more than double, although it's also a very, very nice lens and, though faster, is not as sharp wide open. It's a big price difference for a small speed difference which is not very useable due to the optical qualities wide open.

28mm lenses are easy to find, there are some non-Pentax branded ones that are good too. The M 28mm f/3.5 is good, the f/2.8 version is not as good, unless you find the mark II version which is optically identical to the later (and superior) A version. The mark IIs are rare though.

The classic portrait length is 85mm, and the cheapest in a K mount is the M 85 f/2. It's a superb lens though quite rare and therefore expensive. The 100mm f/2.8 is only slightly longer, a stop slower but more common and much cheaper. It's a very good lens too.

A lenses are not worth the considerable price premium over Ms if you are going to use them on an ME Super as the camera doesn't support the extra funcionality. A lenses are also not as well built.
09-10-2012, 01:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
You can spend $200.00 total for any manual Pentax film body & a CLA and it will last 20 years. In that time I bet the average DSLR shooter goes through six or seven cameras, as they are obsolete in three years.

The thousands spent on DSLR bodies & associated costs over the years is WAY more than the average film shooter spends on film and processing, especially if you develop/scan your own.

Phil.
Exactly !!

And add to this the pleasure of photographing analog . . .

Re the original post and the possible lenses: as you see, we will all come with different ideas. I suggest you visit a shop that has second hand Pentax lenses and you try them on your camera. ALL Pentax lenses are fine, including your 50/2 (I make 50/60cm - 20/24 - b&w fiber prints from negatives done with that lens, it is totally ok). The lensmakers like us believe that 1.4 and 1.2 is better. Yes, it is better for their bankaccount. When you try a lens on your camera, it is only then that you will find out if it suits you. Personally I find the ME Super and a lens with the size of a 50/2 the perfect match. It is a small and not intimidating combination.

Finally, do not forget to think about M42 lenses, Pentax and non Pentax. Ok, metering is a bit different, but for instance used wide open one can shoot fine in automatic or manual mode - as fast as ever. Sample image of my recent adventures attached . . .
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
645 PRO for iPhone  Photo 

Last edited by Hilo; 09-10-2012 at 02:42 AM.
09-10-2012, 02:51 AM   #14
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Film SLR Kit?

Hello WT21, Welcome to the Forum!
I agree with many of the previous posters, the M 50mm f1.7 is a better lens than the f2.0 version, and costs only a little more.
Normally, the suggestion for a prime kit is to double or half the focal length with each new lens; If you now have a 50mm, a 24mm or 28mm would "Half" it and a 100mm would double it.
There are a couple of Pentax 28's for sale on the Forum, an "A" series or "M" would be perfect for the Me Super.
For the portrait lens, well, I'm not exactly unbiased, the M 85 f2.0 is absolutely my favorite M, and I have lots of M's!
But the logical side of me admits that the M 100mm f2.8 has beautiful rendering, great bokeh and is sharp as a razor when focused properly. It costs about half as much as the 85mm, $125-$150 USD, vs near-$300 for the 85mm.
So, it's a better value, overall. Just as useful for portraits, a fine short tele and f2.8 is plenty fast enough for most lighting conditions.
JMO,
Ron
09-11-2012, 01:44 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I would say it's worth upgrading from the 50mm f/2 to the 50mm f/1.7
No question there. In regards to "A" vs. "M". It is good to consider the difference in build quality, particularly when shooting on the ME Super. The Pentax-A 50/1.7 is mostly plastic and many (most??? all???) have a cranky or inoperable aperture ring. This is death on a camera that requires a working aperture ring.


Steve
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