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05-02-2008, 12:48 PM   #1
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Will i have fun with a Pentax Super Program

i already have a K100D plus a bag full of lenses, and my next big purchase will be K20D so the point is that i'm not going to go into Film to create any sort of master piece works and most certainly wont use it for any sports photography or what not.

i have a line on a Super Program with a 28mm prime and some other small junk for about 100 bucks, will this do for simply taking pictures in Av and M modes? How reliable is its metering?

the shutter is electronic, for an older camera does that mean i might run into problem?

thanks,

05-02-2008, 01:08 PM   #2
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yes you'll have tremendous fun. I bought a Program Plus becuase it was attached to a SMC-A 28mm lens. I love that focal length. I think in most ways the Super Pgm is supposed to be better yet? (I won't look this up, but I think the Super pgm is also a K-A camera, so the lens is probably a K-A, which means a bonus for you: you have full metering/exposure automation on your K20D!)

Metering is fine, you just have to understand weighted averaging, remember the sky, use exposure comp etc. I find these cameras very reliable and robust. Knock on wood, I haven't had problems with any of my elecronic shutter cameras of that era.

BTW, there are a lot of advantages to these cameras, even for master piece works and sports photography. They are smaller/lighter than DSLRs, and once used to one they can be operated very quickly indeed (it's so automatic for me, sometimes I fumble for the advance lever on motorized / digital cameras!) and there's no AF lag.

Go for it! (Check prices on a SMC-A 28mm lens - it alone should be worth the entire package, or even more, the way ebay works... in other words, you might be able to talk down the price a bit...)
05-03-2008, 12:50 PM   #3
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Have you ever owned a MF SLR? If not, you should try it out...it's definitely worth your time.
05-03-2008, 06:08 PM   #4
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I've had a SuperProgram- the metering is absolutely fantastic. Go for it. If you want, just stick it in Program mode and go.

05-03-2008, 06:12 PM   #5
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I have a vague recognition that the super program was sold in that name only in the US, but that's not the point. The mother of that generation of cameras was the Super A that became the camera of the year (don't remember which of those prices, maybe more than one) when it came (1984?). It was my first Pentax (I baught the LX later). The following camera models were a little bit simpler, removing some marginal functions, and the last versions became very plastic (don't know about this one since I think it had a different name here). But all of them should be quite straightforward to work with, and a good way to test manual focus without having to test manual exposure at the same time (but still be able to do that as well). You will have a program mode quite similar to modern Pentax DSLR, a exposure time or apperture priority program or both, and manual mode. Had both the Program A and the Super A, and besides getting the LX for its weather proofing (and the cult status), they made me think I did not need autofocus until 1997. Would not mind to have one with a cmos-sensor in and skip of lot of the other buttons that makes me sometimes feel like I'm trying to fly a space ship (don't missunderstand me, I love my K20D).
05-03-2008, 07:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
I have a vague recognition that the super program was sold in that name only in the US, but that's not the point. The mother of that generation of cameras was the Super A that became the camera of the year (don't remember which of those prices, maybe more than one) when it came (1984?).
Funny you mention that. The Super A was sold in various markets as the Super Program.

FWIW, here are some reviews. 4.79 out of a possible 5 by 19 reviewers.

Pentax Super Program Reviews


woof!
05-04-2008, 01:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by woof Quote
Funny you mention that. The Super A was sold in various markets as the Super Program.

FWIW, here are some reviews. 4.79 out of a possible 5 by 19 reviewers.

Pentax Super Program Reviews


woof!
There was something like that in the bottom of my memory.
But then it is clear, if Super Program = Super A I can definitely recommend it.

What did they call Program A that came right after Super A? "Program Super"?
05-04-2008, 05:04 AM   #8
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yep here in the states its the superPROGRAM, same as the superA though I purchaed a superA from the UK cause it looks cooler.

05-04-2008, 05:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
What did they call Program A that came right after Super A? "Program Super"?
Here is the mapping. At a certain point, 1985 – 1987, all were in production concurrently.

super A / super PROGRAM
program A / program PLUS
A3/A3000


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05-04-2008, 05:54 AM   #10
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The Super A was my primary camera from 1984 to 1997, except for nature or other potentially wet jobs for which I had the LX from 1991. Compact as it was I carried it with me basically everywhere, for street photos, partys, travel, whatever. Lots of brass shining through the black color nowadays, but it still goes like a clockwork. And when I went to the north pole in 1991 it kept even steps with the LX (had color slides in one of them and black and white in the other), despite harsh weather conditions, not malfunctioning even ones (lost the figures on the lcd when it got really cold). Of course you never know with 2nd hand, you could get a bad copy, or the previous owner may have spilled champaign in it without telling you, but of all the 2nd hand lenses and cameras I have got, only one have dissapointed me, a Rikkenon fish eye where the aperture didn't work, which was a pity. It is of course a random when the electronics will give up. They will sooner or later. But both my Super A and Program A works today, even the little lcd display.
I would not goo for the A3/A3000, or the P30 which I think is also related, because I think Pentax was basically reselling the same concept again, but cutting costs by cutting quality. Better buy the older ones that was better built from the beginning.

If you get it you should start looking for A lenses, and except for the A*s, they are not soo bloody expensive and there are many good options. I can recommend the A50/1.7 (which some people hold as better than many 50/1.4) and the very compact A100/2.8. Those two lenses were with me and the Super A everywhere, at least until my A*135/1.8 came into the picture. For pentax A wide angles I can't recommend anything from personal experience, as I ended up buying a cosina "A"28 as a temporary solution when I was running out of money and found it so good (although plastic) that I kept it. There are plenty of review here at this forum and elsewhere, and several nice 24, 28 or 35 options. I don't know about zooms from that generation since I was strongly anti-zoom at that time and would not have touched one even if given to me for free (one do grow wiser with time, and I think zoom were not so good then, in difference to primes).

Good luck!
05-04-2008, 06:03 AM   #11
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I can vouch for the A 50 1.7, A 35 2.8 and the A 28 2.8
05-06-2008, 07:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I can vouch for the A 50 1.7, A 35 2.8 and the A 28 2.8
I can vouch for the first and third of those. Never tried the 35mm f2.8.
05-09-2008, 02:53 PM   #13
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well i pulled the trigger on this little combo, turns out i get a braun flash and leather carrying case to boot.. hehe
05-10-2008, 08:55 AM   #14
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I had a one for a short while and I will say that it was a great little camera. Easy to use and very well built. Doing things yourself can be quite rewarding if you ask me. I would get it, the price seems pretty good especially with a lens included.
05-11-2008, 08:21 AM   #15
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I bought a Super Program in the early eighties (to use instead of my then almost twenty year old Spotmatic) and loved it. Only problem that I had with it, was that I found it a bit awkward to hold and used to use it with a motor winder; made it heavier, but more comfortable to use. With one of the Vivitar Series 1 zooms, it really got heavy, but took great pictures.
Mine is sitting in a bag, unused for about ten years. One of these days I'll get around to getting it CLA'd.
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