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Pentax ME-F with matching AF lens on ebay (auction)
Posted By: pathdoc, 11-15-2015, 05:19 PM

Pentax ME F Camera and SMC Pentax AF 2.8 35-70mm Lens

For anyone who wants a crack at it - currently US$54 with 2 days and 2 hours left to run.
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11-15-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
For anyone who wants a crack at it - currently US$54 with 2 days and 2 hours left to run.
Any other ME F aficionados out there ?
11-15-2015, 06:30 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
Any other ME F aficionados out there ?
Yeah, I am looking for a black one
11-15-2015, 06:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sergysergy Quote
Yeah, I am looking for a black one
Well, they do come along every once in a while...

Have you ever considered picking up the ME F black "top parts" (on eBay right now) and a black bottom plate (I have seen one on eBay recently) and doing a "transplant" on a working ME F silver body? (I think the rest of the body might be the same, regardless of which "color" the body "looks like".)

11-15-2015, 09:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestion but I would probably end up with a bunch of parts and wires
11-16-2015, 06:55 AM   #6
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I think there was a black one floating around as well, albeit not with the AF lens it was designed for, so if you wanted to spend the extra you could do it...
11-16-2015, 10:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I think there was a black one floating around as well, albeit not with the AF lens it was designed for, so if you wanted to spend the extra you could do it...
Considering that the ME Super family of bodies are increasingly (and sadly) now becoming less reliable, it is a bit tougher to get a good ME, ME Super, ME F, etc., from places like eBay, primarily due to sometimes inadequate (or even a lack of) testing for functionality.

In the case of the ME F, specifically, to get a fully functional body becomes even more problematic, since, while it is basically more or less an ME Super under the hood, it does have additional mechanical and electronic complexity to enable its primitive AF functionality. And, the problem is not just that more complicated bodies have more things than can go wrong, either (although some aspect of Murphy's Law could very possibly apply here) -- there is at least one additional problem:

In order to to fully test ME F AF functionality, after first installing four button cells in its base, one also needs a functioning AF 35-70/2.8 lens, equipped with its own three AAA cells, but many ME F owners and/or sellers don't have one of these lenses. Not only were the lenses sold separately (and I'm not sure if there ever was an actual ME F "kit" or not), but there eventually was a period of time when Pentax and/or the photo stores started pushing the ME F just for its ability to focus confirm with all lenses (and Pentax even had a full-page mag ad emphasizing this), possibly to try to clean out stocks of ME F bodies when it had become clear that the ME F was not going to be a huge commercial success. (There actually was a period of time when one could purchase an ME F body for almost the same price as an ME Super.)

The bottom line from the above is that there are many more ME F bodies out there than AF 35-70/2.8 lenses, and this increases the chances of ME F bodies being offered for sale without thorough or even minimal testing. While one might expect a seller to at least throw a couple of button cells in an ME Super to give it a quick test, one cannot expect someone who is selling an ME F without the dedicated lens to go with it to be able to honestly verify full AF functionality. (Furthermore, some additional familiarity with the unique features of the ME F and its matching lens on the part of the seller would also be required for the testing as well.)

[The corollary of the above is also true, of course -- someone selling an AF 35-70/2.8 lens cannot fully test it for use as anything other than a rather bulky MF lens without using a functioning ME F body for the testing.] [And BTW, the AF 35-70/2.8 ~IS~ a good lens optically, and it's too bad that Pentax never came out with a more compact MF version of it -- but I digress...]

So, probably the best bet is to buy an ME F ~with~ the AF 35-70/2.8, with both having been successfully tested together. Even if you ultimately wanted to play around with the ME F mostly for use with a few of your other lenses (including using your F and FA lenses as MF lenses only) employing focus confirmation, buying an ME F, tested along with its matching dedicated lens, would increase your chances of not buying a "dud".

Last edited by fwcetus; 11-16-2015 at 01:39 PM.
11-16-2015, 01:31 PM   #8
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I was mentioning the loose black body simply because you mentioned the idea of top and bottom plate swaps. Nevertheless, your history lesson was an interesting and fascinating one!

11-16-2015, 01:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I was mentioning the loose black body simply because you mentioned the idea of top and bottom plate swaps. Nevertheless, your history lesson was an interesting and fascinating one!
Understood completely. I was merely adding some of my own thoughts on the strategy for obtaining a working ME F (and matching lens) from sites such as eBay nowadays.
11-16-2015, 02:50 PM   #10
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Given that I have neither, getting both together would only make good sense. That said, with more ME F bodies than lenses out there, having one on its own would be good for the focus confirm feature if you liked older film bodies but your eyes weren't so keen on MF any more. As you've said, though, potentially a gamble.
11-16-2015, 03:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Given that I have neither, getting both together would only make good sense. That said, with more ME F bodies than lenses out there, having one on its own would be good for the focus confirm feature if you liked older film bodies but your eyes weren't so keen on MF any more. As you've said, though, potentially a gamble.
Yes, I agree. The focus confirmation feature is definitely a plus for the ME F -- it's fun to use, although it is really quite primitive compared to the focus conformation ability of a modern Pentax DSLR. However, what the shooter sees in the viewfinder is very much like what he/she would see in a ME Super viewfinder -- it even has a split-image focus aid in the middle of the screen (with a microprism collar around it) in case you just want to do some good ol' MF.

By the way, when I referred to the AF as "primitive", I do think that that is an apt description. Using the ME F and the AF 35-70/2.8 together (the only way to actually get AF with the ME F), the AF was slow, easily fooled, and involved a heaping spoonful of focus hunting sometimes. [Of course some of that is still true nowadays, isn't it? LOL]

HOWEVER, the ME F focus confirmation function is, IMHO, quite a bit better than the true AF, in that "simple" focus detection must be a lot easier task to accomplish than the additional task of making a lens adjust to a proper focus. So, while the AF functionality (using the dedicated AF lens) is, um, er, "interesting", it is the ability of this early 1980's cam body to help confirm manual focus with most any ol' (or new) K-mount lens that makse it fun to play with. Sure, it's a bit primitive, but it's also a bit like reliving photographic history...

EDIT: By the way, I used to have quite few screwmount and K-mount bodies, but I have whittled the "legacy portfolio" here down to an LX, two black ME F bodies, and one NOS (never been taken out of the box yet) silver ME F (and, relevant here, two AF 35-70/2.8 lenses).

Last edited by fwcetus; 11-16-2015 at 03:38 PM.
11-16-2015, 04:56 PM   #12
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LOL you hoarder, you.
11-16-2015, 05:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
LOL you hoarder, you.
But I ~"liberated"~ most of my film bodies, and I have only four left that I plan on keeping -- so, if that's "hoarding", it's no more than hoarding with a lowercase "h".

Last edited by fwcetus; 11-17-2015 at 06:41 AM.
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