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02-21-2009, 08:55 PM   #1
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My new (old) ME F

I came across an ME F in good shape at keh.com so I couldn't pass it up.

I'm probably not going to use it but it will enter the collection. After all it was Pentax' first autofocus SLR and - guess what - the focus motor was located in the lens and controlled by the camera! A principle that Pentax reintroduced with the SDM lenses more than 25 years later!

The ME F was no success on the market - just one autofocus lens was available, a 35-70 mm zoom. The lens was bulky because it had to hold 4 AAA batteries!

Pentax was simply out too early, the micromotors were not yet available. In 1987 Pentax switched to the screw-drive autofocus system with the introduction of the SFX/SF1, whereas Canon adopted and refined the motor-in-lens concept with the EOS system albeit at the cost of abandoning their old lens mount.

Here is my ME F with a manual focus lens. I do not have the autofocus zoom but you can see it in the lens review database:

Pentax Lens Review Database - 35-70mm F2.8

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02-22-2009, 11:37 AM   #2
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Hee, I remember those. You still see the lenses about here and there: a friend had one of these long ago. Seemed more of a curiosity at the time.
02-22-2009, 01:32 PM   #3
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I'd think that the focus confirmation would be a really helpful feature. I know it is when using my dad's SF-1n.

How does the ME-F compare to the ME Super? Does the AF/focus confirm get in the way, or is it useful? Which do you prefer in use?
02-22-2009, 02:46 PM   #4
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So except for the "F" on the body, is this just like a regular ME without the autofocus lens on the body?

02-22-2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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It is a regular ME Super with the autofocus added on, so you can set the shutter speeds manually in addition to using Av autoexposure.
02-22-2009, 02:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
I'd think that the focus confirmation would be a really helpful feature. I know it is when using my dad's SF-1n.

How does the ME-F compare to the ME Super? Does the AF/focus confirm get in the way, or is it useful? Which do you prefer in use?
The finder on the ME F is large (I mean huge) and bright just like the ME and ME Super so in my opinion focus confirmation is of little use.

The three LEDs for the focus function protrude a tiny bit into the bottom of viewfinder frame; do not really distrurb.
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Last edited by Ole; 02-22-2009 at 02:58 PM.
02-22-2009, 05:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
The finder on the ME F is large (I mean huge) and bright just like the ME and ME Super so in my opinion focus confirmation is of little use.

The three LEDs for the focus function protrude a tiny bit into the bottom of viewfinder frame; do not really distrurb.
Some people like that confirmation feature, actually, I never thought much of it, but Canon made a camera with just such a thing, ...the AL-1, if I recall correctly: I've met one or two people online who are kind of fans of it, despite a rather uncharacteristic-of-old-Canons battery door that tends to be fragile. (I'm forgetting details, but I think they had certain kinds of eyeglass prescriptions. Put that in a lovely finder like an ME Super's, and I bet it could be pretty useful for folks in similar positions. )
02-22-2009, 06:10 PM   #8
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Nice little camera.

My mom has a Pentax ME, and it's very small and cute.

That's a nice lens you got on there though. My moms has a Pentax-M 40mm F2.8 and Tokina 135mm F2.8. Also nice lenses.

-Isaac

02-22-2009, 06:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
I'd think that the focus confirmation would be a really helpful feature. I know it is when using my dad's SF-1n.

How does the ME-F compare to the ME Super? Does the AF/focus confirm get in the way, or is it useful? Which do you prefer in use?
I have an ME-F that is in great condition except for the battery cover (which was not designed very well...made of plastic and the little tabs that hold it closed easily break off, especially with them aging up as much as they are now). Anyways, from my simple messing around with the camera, the AF confirmation is MUCH WORSE than you get with todays DSLRs. You really need a high contrast edge for it to work correctly. It did not really offer any assistance in well-lit indoor room. It may work pretty well outside in bright light, but I haven't actually run film through it yet.

I also have the AF 35-70mm zoom to go with it (well, 2 copies now...one copy is still intact...the other was modified for easier use on my K200D...), but don't have any AAA's to try it out! Should be fun to play with though, and collect. The good copy I recently got included the original box for the AF zoom, as well as the booklet and serial number card that came with it. I was excited about it! Weird though, it came mounted on an ME Super. Oh well.

Here is some eye candy of the lens + box etc.

-Jim

Last edited by arpaagent; 03-02-2009 at 07:03 PM.
02-22-2009, 06:47 PM   #10
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That lens is nice, looks mint!
03-10-2009, 04:43 AM   #11
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I found one nearby, will go to take a look at ti this evening....
any points to look for?
I'll take batteries with me, and a pencil to cealn the contacts just in case.
03-11-2009, 01:17 AM   #12
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So I got this ME-F body + 50/2 lens last night.
It came with the digital DataBack M, a Cosinon 28-50 and a soft case.
It seemed OK, normal use, battery door was fine, battery contacts clean (rubbed them with eraser anyway)
Put new batteries and it was alive, but the film-advance lever seemed wobly and sometimes it misfired in 125X and sometimes it fired in 125 event though it was in Auto mode and should have fired for 1S or so.
So I adjusted the circular screw on top of the lever and tried again. That seems to have done it and the camera is in my hands with a roll of (expired) Kodak Gold.

Now, Tha databack is supposed to have a LED in there, but that is gone and I can only see 2 small metal stubs. I’m tempted to put a drop of epoxy to isolate them and avoid further problems… or could I replace the LED? Any ideas?
03-16-2009, 10:12 AM   #13
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I found the SMC Pentax AF 35-70 zoom lens for sale for $100.
This is the lens designed for use with the ME-F.

The seller, a retail store, tells me it is brand new in box.
If anyone is interested send me a PM for contact information.

Chris

P.S. - I am in no way connected with the seller etc.
03-25-2009, 08:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by arpaagent Quote
the AF confirmation is MUCH WORSE than you get with todays DSLRs. You really need a high contrast edge for it to work correctly. It did not really offer any assistance in well-lit indoor room. It may work pretty well outside in bright light, but I haven't actually run film through it yet.
Agreed. However, the focus confirmation (for mf lenses) is still a lot of fun to play with (well, at least for a few minutes it is - <g>). And, you can turn the in-focus "beep" sound on or off (just like on newer af bodies - <g>).

There are a lot more MEF's around than the AF 35-70/2.8 lenses. In fact, there was even a time when Pentax was unloading MEF's (with mf 50mm lenses) through certain NYC distributors for almost the same money as ME Supers - apparently Pentax was just clearing out its stock.

Last edited by fwcetus; 03-25-2009 at 09:46 PM.
03-25-2009, 09:01 PM   #15
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I've joined the club!

I recently acquired a nice ME-F from a forum member.
What sort of battery life can I expect from this thing?

Chris
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