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09-21-2012, 02:40 PM   #1
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ME super v recent film slr

I have an ME super, but it is jammed and the electrics aren't working.

I took it to the local camera shop - a fairly good Nikon specialist - that does repairs. Generally, I think its a pretty good shop, I have used before. He said, apart from those problems, it was a pretty good example, and suggested it would be 55 to fully strip it and repair it - with 6 month warranty. Seems reasonable. But the thing is, I am not entirely sure how much I will use a film camera. I originally bought it as a kind of novelty - just like the camera and wanted to have it, even if I wouldn't use it - but for that a broken one is as good as a refurbished one.

But I do have a tokina 17mm, so thought I might occasionally use the ME (instead of my kr) if I want a superwide angle. And maybe also occasionally for long exposures in night photography, so no problems with noise from long exposures. But otherwise I would mostly use my kr.

But assuming that I will use it, occasionally, would it be better to get the ME fixed for 55 or to get a (relatively) modern film - maybe MZ-7. It seems that there are plenty of MZ-7s on ebay, for not much money, and given that they are that much newer may not need to be refurbished. (And on the reviews on this forum, the MZ-7 seems one of the best scores for lowest price.)

Any thoughts would be appreciated - and any recommendations for modern (ish) SLRs?

One particular issue is ease of use on the bulb setting. I have got a release cable for the ME super - but it is a bit of a pain to have to hold it down for a long exposure.

It seems some of the film cameras use the same remote control as my kr.

As well as the remote control, I also have a shutter release cable, from my old ist ds.

Also, I don't want to have to keep the shutter pressed. I want to be able to press it once to start and then again to stop (something I can't do with the ME) - and want to do this with a remote or a shutter release cable. Can I assume this will be possible with any of the MZ cameras.

As long as this is possible, it has Av and Manual, I can't think of anything else I would need.

There is something particularly appealing about the ME super, but I am wondering if a newer SLR would be cheaper and more practical.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Thanks

Rob

09-21-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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The thing is, once you get the ME Super repaired, you will have a reliable camera for years to come. You don't really know what you're going to get with another old camera.
You don't have to hold the cable pressed - some of them have a locking feature - set and forget.
09-21-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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That's useful to know. I am not sure if my cable release has a lock or not. Oh, it does! That does make the ME that bit more attractive.

Does anyone know if the MZ-7 has a bulb setting. The details in the camera reviews, on this website, state that it does. But looking at a picture of the dial, I can't see a B.

Oh, one other requirement. I need to be able to use lenses without an setting. (So rules out the MZ-30 I think.)
09-21-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
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I have a ZX-7. It does have b mode It is not on the dial tho. Page 60 of the owners manual tells how to set it. In M mode move the select lever till bu appears in the viewfinder.

09-21-2012, 07:06 PM   #5
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Any used camera you buy is likely to have issues unless you get very lucky and find the person who owned it before you has never used it. One of the reasons I tend to not go for more recent models versus old cameras besides the fact that I'm not as much into the looks of the later plastic not so fantastic models is that the more recent cameras tend to be more like modern DSLR's in that they have electronic chips inside that can fail. I'm the same way about sewing machines. I avoid that whenever possible because repair them can be very costly compared to repairing a machine that's not quite as advanced.

When I bought my Janome/New Home I bought the best model that I could get that was not computerized. There were several models at that price or even more that were but I wasn't willing to take a chance on any of them because they were heavily computerized. In retrospect it was a good move on my part because a decade later my machine is working like a champ and the other crafters in my group here are almost always having issues with their more modern more advanced models.

I'm personally not a fan of the ME. I rather like the small size of the camera but not much else about it. When it comes to Pentax SLR's I tend to like the 100% fully manual cameras. Cameras that still tend to function even if the meter finally goes. I don't know much about the innards of ME's, I will admit, but so far I've actually had 4 ME's come my way and they've all had major issues. Maybe I've just had really bad luck with them but I'm just not too impressed. I'd take my Spotties or my KX over an ME any day. At least with an ME though you can still fix it fairly cheaply whereas if you get a later camera it might cost you so much to fix it that it's not even really worth it.

Not to mention that a lot of the more recent models have proprietary batteries. A lot of the batteries are rechargeable and they can still be had on Amazon or Ebay but they are expensive to replace and that's another reason I'm not particularly fond of the 90's models. I do have to send out for the Spottie batteries, but most of my other cameras take LR44's or 6 volts and I can always get those at the local drugstore. A battery in one of my Spotties though can last me a year so it's really not a huge expense compared to replacing a rechargeable one.

I actually gave away a 90's model recently that someone gave me because the battery was like $35 to replace and I didn't feel like spending $75 on two of them just to be able to use that camera. I kept the lens that was on it but I had absolutely no use for the body once I realized it was going to cost me that much just to put a couple of batteries into it. One of the reasons I absolutely love my K-x DSLR is that it takes AA's.

I am looking forward to owning a K-30 eventually but I will be buying the AA adapter because I am not about to deal with the other type of battery all the time. The choice is yours but if it was me I'd just get the ME fixed rather than go with a newer model. In the end I think it will cause you far less hassle than a later model might and that's a pretty good price actually for a fix up job.
09-22-2012, 03:04 AM   #6
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Thanks Patrick. That is good to know - though think I might be leaning towards the ME super now.

magkelly, that's really useful. In fact, it is making me wonder if I'd be better off getting a fully manual camera that can be used in manual without any batteries at all. So may be time to do a bit more research, and see which camera would be good for purely mechanical use. I'd like it to be smaller than the K1000 though.

So looks like it is either the ME super, or back to the drawing board.
09-22-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Not to mention that a lot of the more recent models have proprietary batteries. A lot of the batteries are rechargeable and they can still be had on Amazon or Ebay but they are expensive to replace and that's another reason I'm not particularly fond of the 90's models.
The ZX-7 takes cr2 batteries they can be found readily around here. I opted for a battery grip It takes AA's. they can be found around. I found mine on KEH for around $10. I have a K-1000 and P 30t. All see use, but the ZX-7 has become my favorite film camera . The battery in the K-1000 seems to last for ever. The ones in the P-30t are the same ones I put in when I first bought it a couple of years ago. The AA's/ non rechargeable, in the 7 are also a year old.
Which ever camera you decide on Happy shooting
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