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04-13-2010, 01:34 AM   #1
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Comparison Super Program vs. AE-1 Program

I have not found any comparison between the Pentax Super Program and the Canon AE-1 Program, two cameras that must have been competing back in the days. Does anyone own both cameras and can give an objective statement? And what was Nikons front-runner at that time (1980-something)?

Thanks

04-13-2010, 02:45 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pyra_ohms Quote
I have not found any comparison between the Pentax Super Program and the Canon AE-1 Program, two cameras that must have been competing back in the days. Does anyone own both cameras and can give an objective statement? And what was Nikons front-runner at that time (1980-something)?

Thanks
The AE-1 Program is built like a tank (my partner has one and I have the Super Program), but lacks the technical details of the Super Program. That starts with the TTL flash control and includes the then innovative controls of the Super Program with the top plate LCD and the push buttons (coming from the ME Super). The AE-1 is a very conservative camera in comparison, just adding the P mode to the predecessor AE-1.

Both cameras can be used with a winder, but I am not sure, whether there was a motor drive fitting the AE-1 P, whereas the Super Program has that nice motor drive A.

All in all the features of the Super Program would be more comparable to the then more expensive Canon A-1, than the AE-1P, in my opinion.

The Nikon of that time? Not sure. EM, FE? The F 3 was in another class.

Ben
04-13-2010, 08:30 AM   #3
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I agree with Ben Edict. The Super Program is more comparable to the A-1 than the AE-1P, since the AE-1P lacks aperture priority (something the A-1 has.)

That said, I've used both the A-1 and the AE-1P and both are great little cameras. It's more a question of what you need (or want) in a camera. The A-1 is larger and heavier than the AE-1P, though, as its top and bottom plates are actually made out of brass, instead of plastic.

As for me, I really like both the A-1 and the Super Program. Both are going to be a part of my collection one day. The closest equivalent Nikon seems to be the Nikon FG, which has manual, aperture priority, and program.
04-13-2010, 10:28 AM   #4
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In addition to that motor drive A mentioned by Ben, the SuperProgram can also use the ME II winder. I have one that I use with my SuperProgram and ME F.

04-13-2010, 10:31 AM   #5
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Here is a quick synopsis of the SuperProgram and Dimitrov and here. You probably have seen them.

superA*/<BR>superPROGRAM

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-manual-focus-film-slr-reviews/6124...r-program.html
04-13-2010, 12:18 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
In addition to that motor drive A mentioned by Ben, the SuperProgram can also use the ME II winder. I have one that I use with my SuperProgram and ME F.
Side note: Have you got the AF lenses with your ME-F? That's a very interesting camera, seen from a historical perspective.

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04-13-2010, 12:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Side note: Have you got the AF lenses with your ME-F? That's a very interesting camera, seen from a historical perspective.

Ben
Yes, I have the lens. I had Eric Hendrickson go through the body last summer. Unfortunately, I didn't have the lens at the time and he couldn't verify whether or not it af . . . it doesn't. However, the glass is excellent condition optically so I use the body like a mf body.
04-13-2010, 01:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Yes, I have the lens. I had Eric Hendrickson go through the body last summer. Unfortunately, I didn't have the lens at the time and he couldn't verify whether or not it af . . . it doesn't. However, the glass is excellent condition optically so I use the body like a mf body.
That 35-70 (if I remember correctly) was a very good lens. A shame, that it doesn't work anymore. Most of the ME-Fs I have seen lately come either with a non-AF lens or a dead AF lens, so seems working pieces are rare.

Ben

04-13-2010, 03:02 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
That 35-70 (if I remember correctly) was a very good lens. A shame, that it doesn't work anymore. Most of the ME-Fs I have seen lately come either with a non-AF lens or a dead AF lens, so seems working pieces are rare.

Ben
I had a beautiful ME-F together with the AF 35-70 lens a while ago, but unfortunately there was a problem with the mirror so I sold it. A shame, because as mentioned the 35-70 seemed very nice (sharp) indeed. The autofocus was very primitive though and I think that feature never performed as good as promised even under optimal conditions. I used a ME Super for a while but wanted a more automatic camera that could choose aperture. Now I own a two Super Programs and the Motor Drive A and I really think they are spectacular cameras.
04-13-2010, 05:22 PM   #10
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Yep, I've used the AE-1P pretty extensively, actually. The A-1 is more the Super Program's opposite number in most respects: digital display, PASM modes, a compensation dial, etc. Same chassis as the AE-1P, though, (And both will take the Winder A, Winder A2, and Motor Drive MA, btw. ) The original AE-1 and similar ones can only take the Winder A.

I'd consider the AE-1P like a good courier bike, really nothing you don't need (Except maybe the Program mode, itself, why bother. It's so fast in manual, you don't need it, ) The meter's less sensitive on the very low end and not as precise, (Rather, a string of numbers that light up: this is actually pretty darn quick, you don't even have to consciously-read them, once you're used to them, and I have what I call a 'metering waggle' to get my precision, if I need that. I probably actually like em better than the A-1, all told, (At least being so used to them) and they all came with the brighter screen that was introduced midway through the A-1's run. )

Since there wasn't very sophisticated Program mode or meter patterns at the time, I really actually don't particularly recommend using it on cameras of that vintage. I used to be pretty dead-set against using program modes, until the automation started getting smarter. For me, I generally may as well set it myself, anyway. (Though I do like the hyperprogram mode on the modern cameras, kind of makes up for being harder to just set by feel as with old dials. )

Yes, my old Canons are still in service, though.



Mind you, I'm quite fond of the Super Program, myself. I have the Super A for Pentax.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 04-13-2010 at 05:27 PM.
10-17-2010, 10:52 PM   #11
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The other advantages of the Super Program over a Canon A-1 are 1/125 flash synch speed and 1/2000 top speed
10-17-2010, 11:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
I agree with Ben Edict. The Super Program is more comparable to the A-1 than the AE-1P, since the AE-1P lacks aperture priority (something the A-1 has.)

That said, I've used both the A-1 and the AE-1P and both are great little cameras. It's more a question of what you need (or want) in a camera. The A-1 is larger and heavier than the AE-1P, though, as its top and bottom plates are actually made out of brass, instead of plastic.

As for me, I really like both the A-1 and the Super Program. Both are going to be a part of my collection one day. The closest equivalent Nikon seems to be the Nikon FG, which has manual, aperture priority, and program.

i agree. its more comparable with A-1

i have both of them .. just bought the A-1 recently, merely because the item is in very good shape .

if i have to choose between them SP an A-1 .. ill go with SP. because its sleek design and easy to understand while you handling it at first time.

A-1 has its advantages with the SP because the jog dial and LED indicators.

.
10-20-2010, 08:50 AM   #13
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I had both an AE-1 Program and Super Program. The AE-1 was alot more obtuse, and didn't give the user as much information as to what it was doing. The view through the finder was a little better, but not enough to overcome its shortcomings.
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