Week 49 – Pentax ME Super


Prior to meeting my first ME Super I had never considered the concept of a compact SLR. Sure, I knew intellectually that cameras came in different sizes, but I still felt that all SLRs were more or less the size of my Nikon FM2. In my experience, they were.

Not the ME Super though. Produced from 1980-1986, it was designed to be smaller and lighter than almost everything else. It features aperture priority automatic exposure and a novel shutter speed control. Instead of the customary knob, the Super’s wheel has simply Lock, Automatic, Manual,1/125 for battery-less operation and flash sync, and Bulb. A pair of small buttons next to the wheel serves to adjust the shutter speed up or down when in manual mode. Speeds are indicated by LEDs inside the viewfinder.

I met my first ME Super at a Greater Boston Analogue and Film Photography Meetup show-and-tell. I was impressed with its diminutive size and weight, and I decided to add one to my collection. Ebay came through with an included 50mm f/2 and a Digital Data M back.

I’m in the mood for vibrant color this week, so I’ve loaded it with Fuji Velvia 50.




Manual courtesy of Mike Butkus

The eBay listings are a bit messy. People have lots of things listed as MEs which are not. (Hey, I just got a deal on a Pentax KM!) They also appear to like to graft winders, handles and big zoom lenses onto these small cameras. It’s a counterintuitive thing to do, and it negates the advantages of the small size.

(Edit: Results)