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12-20-2013, 07:25 AM   #1
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Pentax ME super

Hi Guys hope you are all well!

I don't really have a clue about old film cameras and I recently found this in my loft.

I was wondering if anybody can tell me about it? I honestly don't have a clue, I'm looking through the viewfinder and can't see anything does this mean is it broken. I also think that there seems to be something missing from the inside, shouldn't there be a mirror or something?

I must sound like an idiot so sorry if I do.

Hope you can help me out

Best Wishes,

Jack

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12-20-2013, 07:35 AM   #2
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The mirror is stuck up, it could be as simple as needing a new battery or it might need repair.

Don't try to pull the mirror down.
12-20-2013, 07:56 AM   #3
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Stuck mirror is definitely a sign of repair. The MEsuper does not have a form of mirror lock up and so the foam that is located around the focusing screen must be decayed and gooey. The other common problems are the internal bumpers going bad and the shutter leaf bumpers going bad.

If you can gently pry the mirror down and set the shutter mode to 125X and see if you can cycle it (winder, click shutter, winding again) easily... no batteries needed.
12-20-2013, 08:14 AM   #4
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Hi guys, thanks for this! I have pulled the mirror down and is is damaged! what a shame, was really interested in getting it running too. Might have to pop into a camera shop.

I also tried doing what you said mysteryonion but the mirror still stays up!

Thanks for the help, really appreciate it!

Best Wishes

12-20-2013, 08:19 AM   #5
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It still can be fixed... but you might not want to pay the money for that.
You can always try and sell cheap - mark it broken or for parts and someone who like these cameras might buy it and get it fixed or use it to put back to life another one.
12-20-2013, 08:37 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Super Repair?

Hello Jack, welcome to the forum!
A bit of background on the ME Super. It was a semi-automatic film camera in the mid-film era (1979-84), featuring two shooting modes, fully manual (user sets both shutter speed and aperture manually) and 'Auto' meaning aperture priority (now called AV) where the mode dial was set to Auto, the user set the aperture manually and the camera adjusted the shutter speed automatically for the exposure. These were the two most popular shooting modes in the late 1970's and 1980's. Later, shutter priority (TV, now) full-auto and program were introduced, and all those modes have continued into digital SLR's.
In US dollars, a good condition, working ME Super would sell for $60-$100, perhaps a little more for the scarce black body.
A complete CLA (clean, lube, adjust) plus new foam bumpers will cost about the same, $70-$90, again, here in the States.
I see you live in England, I'm guessing the relative costs would be similar, but don't know of a reliable repair center in the UK.
So, it will cost as much to repair (unless there's more work needed) as the camera is worth. If you're interested in trying film photography, it is certainly a good camera to use, easy to operate and (once repaired) reliable. But it does require some training and knowledge of semi-auto shooting and film costs, developing and printing expenditures will be ongoing.
Only you can decide if this fits your needs and budget. You could take it to a large camera store and probably get a repair estimate, then decide.
Selling it 'as is' wouldn't bring much, perhaps $25 USD.
Hope this helps! Good luck,
Ron
12-20-2013, 08:53 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Hello!

Wow Thank you very much very interesting stuff, I too am not sure if there are any camera stores nearby that would deal with this kind of thing but I'm going to do a bit of research. I do actually own a Canon DSLR so I know a little bit about cameras but this is the first time I've actually touched a film SLR, in fact I think it's the first time I've really handled any kind of film camera, (I'm only in my 20's so to be honest I've grown up in a world that's now completely digital.) A couple of months ago I watched a documentary about war photographer Don McCullin and it almost persuaded me to buy a film camera and I was looking into it on ebay and just sort of ended up not doing it for whatever reason! Was delighted when I found this while clearing out the loft, I have no idea where it came from, must have belonged to one of my grandparents or something! I'll have to look into getting it restored, but like you say if it's expensive it may just be worth buying a fully working one on ebay!

Thanks very much for the information Ron, very helpful and very interesting.

Much Obliged,

Jack
12-20-2013, 09:02 AM   #8
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P.S
I've also luckily found a manual online for the camera so if I do get it repaired I will have something to refer to!



12-20-2013, 09:38 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Reading Material?

Hello Jack,
Glad that my info was useful, and the user's manual will help quite a bit. In particular the exposure compensation dial (the outer dial around the ISO-setting ring) is a great way to adjust the exposure while in 'Auto' mode. The two little square buttons next to the shutter release are for adjusting the shutter speed while in manual mode. To change shooting modes you must depress the tiny white dot (button or safety lock) on the mode dial, while turning-it's a bit fussy but OK once you get the hang of it.
The ME super was the mid-range camera body at the time, the 'regular' ME (aperture priority only) and MV were lower-priced and the MX was the the top line model until the introduction of the LX. My avatar is a black-body ME Super with optional film winder and AF280T flash, all from the same era.
You also might be interested to know that Pentax kept the same bayonet mount (PK) throughout the the film, auto-focus and now, digital eras. Lenses from the 1960's until now, all fit the modern cameras and vice-versa.
One caveat is that the newest digital lenses usually don't have an aperture ring (fully auto) so there's no way to manually set the f/stop on an older camera. That still leaves literally millions of available and functional PK-mount lenses on the used market!
Good luck, and I hope you give film-shooting a try. It's great fun and a valuable learning experience.
Regards,
Ron
12-20-2013, 10:17 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Nice find! Is the mirror broken broken (as in cracked) or just not moving properly? The seals and internal bumpers can get gummy over time and a simple replacement gets things working again. Wondering what type of lens? I have an ME Super which I really like so if it was me, I'd probably invest in a cleaning, adjustment and seals replacement. I would bet it works fine after that!
12-20-2013, 11:11 AM - 1 Like   #11
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If you want it fixed, you could go to harrowtechnical.co.uk. They've specialised in Pentax cameras, so I'm sure they know what to do with your camera. IMHO you should get it fixed. It's always good to get an old classic back "on the road". :-)
12-20-2013, 11:15 AM - 1 Like   #12
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If the mirror is broken, the cost to repair is likely higher than the cost to simply buy a ME Super in good condition.

The Tamron SP mounted to the camera is perhaps more interesting. If fungus free and in working condition, it may be worth using on your Canon or in trade for a film camera in better condition.


Steve
12-20-2013, 11:29 AM   #13
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Thanks

Hi thanks for the help guys! The lens appears to be in good condition and I've found a couple of pentax MEs on ebay for as cheap as £20 by it now which is good to know if the repair ends up pricey. Thanks for the recommendation deus ursus. Dubiousone it's a 35 - 80mm lens and the mirror seems to be sticking up ( is it meant to be up or down when you remove the lens?) and also has a crack in it. I'm guessing theres a number of other problems with the camera too so would need some kind of diagnostic test.

Much Obliged

Jack
12-20-2013, 11:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jackclark3 Quote
Hi thanks for the help guys! The lens appears to be in good condition and I've found a couple of pentax MEs on ebay for as cheap as £20 by it now which is good to know if the repair ends up pricey. Thanks for the recommendation deus ursus. Dubiousone it's a 35 - 80mm lens and the mirror seems to be sticking up ( is it meant to be up or down when you remove the lens?) and also has a crack in it. I'm guessing theres a number of other problems with the camera too so would need some kind of diagnostic test.

Much Obliged

Jack
The mirror should be down; that its sticking up means the bumper it hits at the top is probably sticky and keeps the mirror up. Changing this with the rest of the seals during a CLA will fix that. Broken mirror well, still not the end of the world! I hate to see these fine old cameras go to the junk pile when they can be repaired.
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