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04-06-2010, 05:55 PM   #1
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Did the A-series cameras have identical shutters?

I began wondering about this after reading about the marketing game Pentax played back in the Spotmatic days, when offering a lower-priced model whose top speed was only 1/500 second - but it was really the same mechanism, and perfectly capable of going to 1/1000. In fact you could turn the speed knob to the missing setting, and it would work.

Doesn't it seem likely that when they introduced the A-series cameras, they used the same shutter in the Program Plus and Super Program, but did something internally to the Program Plus to keep it from using the top speed? Just one more spec to more clearly differentiate the models, and convince people to get the more expensive one.

I own a copy of both cameras, and know the shutters at least sound the same.

The question is just speculative. I'm not interested in trying to "overclock" my Plus.

04-06-2010, 06:08 PM   #2
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Isn't the Program Plus quieter than the Super Program (nosiest and most vibration Pentax ever )?
04-06-2010, 08:16 PM   #3
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I asked this question several years ago on a mail list. The answer was that the Super Program and Program plus are indeed not the same shutter.
04-07-2010, 02:51 AM   #4
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Did someone say how they knew that?

I realize the sync speed is different too (1/100 vs. 1/125), but that is as easily manipulated with electronics; a shutter that will sync at 1/125 will sync just as well at 1/100 if asked to.

04-07-2010, 03:04 AM   #5
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I once came across some very old US magazines (Modern Photography?) which did interesting lens & camera reviews. They would strip down the camera entirely and comment on their designs and quality. I remember Super A was once of them, maybe Program A too. If you are into old cameras, they are worth looking up in libraries if they are still available.
04-07-2010, 03:10 AM   #6
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I think the SuperA was a nice upgrade of the ProgramA and at the time all the electronics were upgrading.
So maybe the mechanical part is similar but hardly the same. I think Pentax was using Seiko shutters at the time....
run a google on pentax superA or super program and pop-photo who was the magazine that used to stripped down completely
04-07-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
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I exchanged email with Eric H. this morning. He says:

> ... when we ordered a shutter unit for the Program Plus the book referred us to the Super Program part number.

That's a pretty strong suggestion that there was only one shutter for these models. Not absolute proof though, as I suppose they could have had different shutters in the factory but only provided one downward-compatible part for service.
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