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03-13-2009, 09:08 AM   #1
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Pentax Super Program?

I bought a grab-bag online a few months back, mainly to get a couple of the lenses included, but also in the box was a Pentax SuperProgram body.

I haven't seen any discussion of this body here, and wondered about it. Looks like an early attempt at automating some functions and using digital readouts--even an early LCD.

I would love to hear some comment on this model if anyone knows anything

03-13-2009, 09:15 AM   #2
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I have three Super Program / Super A bodies, they're the same. My favorite film body along with the ME Super. Mount a lens on it, and shoot some film, you won't regret it. As it has a KA mount, you can put your lens in A mode, and use either program or shutter priority modes and, of course, aperture priority and fully manual as well. The body also supports TTL flash and has dof preview.

Film bodies on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
03-13-2009, 09:18 AM   #3
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Although I only have a Program Plus, it is one of my favorite and most dependable cameras. I would not mind if a Super Program was the only camera I owned. It does represent a pinnacle of manual focus camera automation.
03-13-2009, 09:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawsonstone Quote
I bought a grab-bag online a few months back, mainly to get a couple of the lenses included, but also in the box was a Pentax SuperProgram body.

I haven't seen any discussion of this body here, and wondered about it. Looks like an early attempt at automating some functions and using digital readouts--even an early LCD.

I would love to hear some comment on this model if anyone knows anything
It's international name is Super-A (Super-program is yet another american name). With the Super-A Pentax introduced the A-contacts in the mount which enables automatic apperture and program automatic. The same six contacts still exist on all new Pentax lenses, though a 7th contact was added later. The role of these first six contacts is to tell the camera the min and max apperture of the lens. In 1983 the Super-A was rewarded the major camera design price in Europe, U.S. and Japan respectively, which later on the MZ-5 and the K10D also did. The Super-A (aka Super Program) is a nice little body with the choise of full manual, full program, apperture priority or shutter priority. What more do you need? Get some batteries and film for it and start taking pictures! I believe the odds are very good that it works (my Super-A still work despite that it looks quite beeten up with the brass shining through in many places). Most common error is probably that the small lcd displays in the viewfinder or on top of the camera gives up, in which case you don't know what apperture or shutter speed the camera shoot at. Good luck!

03-13-2009, 09:37 AM   #5
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Only con about this body I can think of is the bit smaller viewfinder than the ME Super has . The LCD screens work well on all 3 bodies I have, but one body is suffering from a jamming shutter. Interestingly the 15s shutter speed these bodies have is actually 16sec.. which makes sense if you start to count 1sec, 2, 4, 8 and.. 16.

This body also makes the FA77 a bit faster, as wide open the body LCD gives the reading F1.7.
03-13-2009, 10:50 AM   #6
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I just got a Super Program myself about 2 weeks ago.

The controls certainly aren't as "friendly" as my K20D or PZ-1.
The viewfinder is smaller than I'd like and data LCD could be brighter in the VF.
Flash sync speed is slow (1/125), max shutter is 1/2000, only 2 stops of EV comp, no mirror lock-up and only a 12sec self-timer.


And I LOVE IT! It's a fun little camera that is giving me a chance to go back to my roots somewhat (a K1000) and slow down. I've got my first roll of film in it (36exp. XP2) and can't wait to finish the roll this weekend and get it developed. USPS should be delivering a "minty" A70-210/4 this afternoon so I will have more than just the A50/2 that were built-for this camera; and I'm scouring the web looking for A-series 28mm, 135mm and 200mm primes.
03-13-2009, 12:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
.
Flash sync speed is slow (1/125)
I find that a bit funny, because barring the top few PZ and the MZ-S/K digital, 1/125 is the fastest flash sync on all the manual focus and subsequent AF bodies. Certainly better than the 1/60th or so of my LX and MX (horizontal shutter).
03-13-2009, 01:29 PM   #8
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Apologies if my humor did not translate - all the "defects" I listed were made purely in jest. I honestly have nothing (valid) to say bad about the camera and am extremely fond of it.

03-13-2009, 05:20 PM   #9
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My SuperProgram seems perfect

Haven't shot a roll of film yet, but as far as I can tell, this camera is perfect. I have the manual as well. The LCD works, posting exposure info. I think I need to pop in a roll of film and maybe slip on my FA 31mm Ltd and take a walk around campus.

Thanks all for your encouragement. I'll report back the fun I have.
03-14-2009, 06:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawsonstone Quote
I think I need to pop in a roll of film and maybe slip on my FA 31mm Ltd and take a walk around campus.
That camera looks great with that lens!
03-14-2009, 01:27 PM   #11
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Pics of my Super Program with Lenses

Thought I'd try out for looks the FA 31mm Ltd, the FA 77mm Ltd, and then...the DA*16-50mm on my Super Program

For fun, I took these with the A-50mm f/1.7 that came on the Super Program. It's manual focus, of course, and my eyes aren't so good, and I don't have split-prism focus. Still, the lens did all right.

BTW I think that the DA*16-50 just looks WRONG on this camera!
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03-14-2009, 01:37 PM   #12
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Not as wrong as putting the 18-55 kit lens on a film body, it just looks very stupid and wrong. But the limiteds look very good on that body.
03-14-2009, 02:29 PM   #13
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18-55 Kit Lens on Super-Program....

I can only say LAME is the word. On the other hand, the old K1000 SE with it's companion Vivitar Zoom (I think 75-205mm?) is the definition of debonair.
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03-14-2009, 04:02 PM   #14
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This is my SuperA. I'm not sure if because it is mine, but I like its color scheme than that of the SuperProgram.

The lens is nothing to write home about, a Tokina 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.5.

But I don't see the databack very often.
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Last edited by SOldBear; 03-14-2009 at 04:10 PM.
03-14-2009, 10:25 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawsonstone Quote
I can only say LAME is the word. On the other hand, the old K1000 SE with it's companion Vivitar Zoom (I think 75-205mm?) is the definition of debonair.
I'll see your 75-205 and raise you an A70-210/4 I picked up this past week.

[imgwideleft]http://www.perzactly.com/posts/2009/03/13/JDG06851.jpg[/imgwideleft]

Scanning the first roll off my Super Program with the A50/2 and A70-210/4 as I surf the board tonight.
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