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01-25-2014, 12:00 AM   #1
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I love my ME. I hate the take up spool. MV/MG the same?

The pentax ME has those strange white sticks. It annoys me so much I think I want to get a different aperture priority camera that's also compact. I was thinking about the MV, MV1 or the MG. Do any of you know if these have the same take up spool? Are there other options I'm not considering? Thanks.

01-25-2014, 12:32 AM   #2
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I feel ya. I love my ME Super, but those little white sticks? not so much. Trying to feed the leader in a film changing bag feels like trying to thread a needle blindfolded.On top of that, it gets stuck at the very last moment when rewinding about 50% of the time)

The Pentax MG is even smaller than the ME, but it also has the lousy white sticks. (Also, my MG fell apart after not too much use , so I'm of the opinion that the ME, or at least the ME Super, is of better build quality)

As far as the other cameras, I'm not sure. Sorry I couldn't be of more help
01-25-2014, 03:25 AM   #3
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Have you considered the P series cameras? Rubbery take up spool rather than the 'magic needles'. I have an infrequently used P30t which would make a good workhorse. Plastic build, but adequtely 'weighty' and solid. It also has nice, discreet grips front and rear which improves the handling.

They're also 'good value' (cheap )
01-25-2014, 03:33 AM   #4
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I used the ME Super for years with that loading system and never had any problems, neither with loading nor rewinding. There should not be any need for a film changing bag when loading films, although you probably want to do it in the shade if there is strong sunlight. Pentax used this system for several cameras in that period but then switched to a different system that automatically picks up the end of the film, so younger Pentax film cameras will have a different system. The last film models, with auto-focus and built in auto-winders are however much bulkier and heavier than the M series - in addition to being louder and using up their big batteries much faster. The LX might be an option for you, it has a different film loading system than the M series (personally I find it neither better nor worse). A used LX is of course much more expensive than one of the M series cameras and a bit larger.
[Oops. I checked and the LX has the same setup as the M series, so you either need an earlier or later camera model if you don't like the film loading system from that era]


Last edited by gylfimag; 01-25-2014 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Realized there was an error in the post.
01-25-2014, 04:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gylfimag Quote
I used the ME Super for years with that loading system and never had any problems, neither with loading nor rewinding.
I agree - I haven't had a problem with it at all, I can do it with a single hand. Try re-loading a Pentax 67 with one hand or a Leica rangefinder.
01-25-2014, 07:42 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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Those "white sticks" were actually a Pentax change to make loading the film easier. LOL They were called the "magic fingers" or something like that. I always found that they worked pretty well. As long as I got the film leader stuck into them well, they did a good job of grabbing the film and advancing it.

Edited to add: Just a thought...but are you inserting your film cartridge, then pulling the leader across to the take-up reel? I had someone show me that if I inserted my leader into the take-up reel first, then pulled the cartridge across and loaded it, it was MUCH easier to load my film.
01-25-2014, 08:22 AM   #7
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I second TaoMaas in that the sequence is backwards to the instructions in the manuals - insert the film leader into the magic needles first, draw the film onto the rollers, then put the film canister in. Much improved over the traditional take up spools.

To your original question, all the other M series also incorporate the magic needles take up spool -> http://www.butkus.org/chinon/pentax.htm
01-25-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gylfimag Quote
The LX might be an option for you, it has a different film loading system than the M series (personally I find it neither better nor worse). A used LX is of course much more expensive than one of the M series cameras and a bit larger.
I have the ME Super, MX & LX and can confirm this but you can see from the manuals posted that the LX has the same magic needles configuration as the M series -> Pentax camera instruction manuals, Pentax professional instruction manuals

01-25-2014, 08:57 AM   #9
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Why not one of the later autofocus bodies? Loading is dead easy on my ZX-5N. Just keep the beep on and it lets you know when it's in focus with manual focus lenses.
01-25-2014, 09:50 AM   #10
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Or you go back to the "K" Series film bodies which just have the regular slots for the film leader.

Phil.
01-25-2014, 10:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerbermiester Quote
Trying to feed the leader in a film changing bag
Huh? Changing bags are for loading daylight processing tanks and sheet film holders. There is little (no?) need to use them for loading a camera.

Back to the OP's original comment:

Yep, the "Magic Fingers" were a much-heralded feature that were supposed to (in my humble opinion did) make loading easier. They were introduced for Pentax with the M-series bodies (all models), but some variation of the white sticks were found on most camera brands by the early 1980s. I have never tried the "insert first and then draw the canister across" method, but the following has worked fine for me since 1982:
  1. Put film canister on the left side
  2. Drop rewind into place to engage the the top of the canister. This helps hold the canister in place.
  3. Pull the leader across the frame gate and insert the leader into one of the slots between the fingers. It makes no difference which ones. A little slack helps.
  4. Move the film advance lever until the advance cogs engage the slots in the film, both top and bottom and the film slack is taken up. Alternatively, you may also move the take-up spool manually using the toothed wheel at the bottom.
  5. Close the camera back and advance the film until the counter is at the "1" position. Confirm that the film is engaged by the rotation of the rewind knob.
Some people add a full film advance before shutting the camera back. It is important to note that it is the cogs that drive the film transport, not the take-up spool. If the cogs are fully engaged when the door is closed, the film will move forward when the advance lever is thrown. Note that if you bulk load your own canisters it is important to cut a long enough leader


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-25-2014 at 10:14 AM.
01-25-2014, 10:10 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Try re-loading a Pentax 67 with one hand or a Leica rangefinder.
Every time I think about the Leica film load, I chuckle. As for loading 120 film...just part of the medium format experience


Steve
01-25-2014, 11:19 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Just a thought...but are you inserting your film cartridge, then pulling the leader across to the take-up reel? I had someone show me that if I inserted my leader into the take-up reel first, then pulled the cartridge across and loaded it, it was MUCH easier to load my film.
Thanks for the tip! I'll have to try that. I've been inserting the cartridge first then dragging the film across the back. Because the magic fingers spin individually, and there was already some tension on the film, I found that the leader kept popping out when I would swing the film door shut.

QuoteOriginally posted by gylfimag Quote
There should not be any need for a film changing bag when loading films, although you probably want to do it in the shade if there is strong sunlight.
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
There is little (no?) need to use them for loading a camera.
Yep, I agree with you both. there isn't any need, per se, for a film changing bag though there is a good reason to do so. I choose to use them because it allows me to sneak in an extra two frames on a roll of film that would otherwise be exposed by light while reloading. 26 for the price of 24 works for me, but I can understand why a lot of people would choose not to do it this way; it is a bit of a hassle. Even though the first camera I bought came with a film changing bag for free, half the time I just change film in the bottom of my backpack and it works just as well.

If there's a way to load film in daylight and still squeeze out an extra few frames, that'd be a tip I'd like to know.
01-25-2014, 11:38 AM   #14
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I got used to the magic needles on the ME Super but was never really comfortable with the manual shutter speed buttons.
Ricoh XR_2? That was a nice slr
01-25-2014, 12:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerbermiester Quote
Thanks for the tip! I'll have to try that. I've been inserting the cartridge first then dragging the film across the back. Because the magic fingers spin individually, and there was already some tension on the film, I found that the leader kept popping out when I would swing the film door shut.
You have to insert about an eight of an inch - or a bit more, of the leader through the magic needles so that it doesn't pop out.
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