Pentax ME Super

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Pentax ME Super

Maker: Pentax

Dates: 1980-1986

Variants: chrome, black, SE

Camera Type: 35mm SLR

Focusing: manual

Lens mount: Pentax K with fully automatic diaphragm linkage

Shutter: SEIKO MFC-E2 electronic focal plane, vertical, metal
from 4s to 1/2000

Exposure meter: TTL, open aperture,
center weighted by GPD cells. EV 1-19

Exposure modes: aperture priority, manual, 125 mechanical, Bulb

ASA/ISO range: 12 to 1600 ISO

Finder screen: fixed split-screen

Flash shoe: fixed hot shoe, contact for dedicated flash

Flash speed: 1/125

TTL Flash: no

Motor drive: external Winder ME (1.5i/s) or Winder ME II (2i/s)

Battery: 2 × 1.5V (SR44, LR44 or equivalent)

Weight: 445g w/o lens

Number produced: unknown

In 1977, Pentax introduced two compact 35mm SLRs, the MX and the ME. These followed a trend towards smaller size in SLR cameras inspired by 1972's Olympus OM-1.

Of the pair, the ME was the autoexposure model, but it lacked any manual shutter-speed settings. In 1979 Pentax replaced the original ME with the simpler MV and the more advanced ME Super, which had the following changes:

  • manual mode added, which lights a green indicator LED in viewfinder
  • shutter speed range from 4s to 1/2000, sync at 1/125
  • over- and under-exposure LEDs blink
  • blinking "EF" indicator LED when exposure compensation dial is moved away from standard 1x position
  • additional shoe contact for dedicated Pentax flash units
  • -1.0 diopter eyepiece (changed from -0.5)
  • The marking "ASAHI" in the pentaprism housing was eliminated sometime between the ME and the ME Super

The "Super" version is also a fraction of a millimeter taller than the original ME, although the difference is imperceptible in use. Both are exceptionally small bodies for a full 24x36mm format SLR.

The Pentax ME Super is an aperture priority automatic camera, with a focal plane shutter electronically timed from 4s to 1/2000, and with flash sync at 1/125. The shutter uses vertically-traveling metal curtains. For manual mode the ME Super uses two buttons, up and down, to select the shutter speed, rather than a more conventional rotary dial. The exposure meter is of the standard TTL open aperture center-weighted type. It is activated by a slight pressure on the release button, which should illuminate one or several LEDs at the left edge of the viewfinder.

The selector around the release button has five positions: L (lock), Auto, M (manual), 125X and B. With dead or missing batteries, A or M settings revert to a minimal, uncalibrated shutter speed. The user who fails to notice the unlit viewfinder LEDs and is fooled by the normal-sounding shutter operation may discover they have shot only blank or greatly-underexposed film. The mechanical B and 125X settings are usable without batteries, however.

The Pentax ME Super has a 0.95x viewfinder, covering 92% of the field. The finder screen is fixed, with a split image and a microprism ring in the center. The shutter speed chosen by the camera or the user is displayed in the finder, although aperture is not.

The ME has a mechanical self-timer with a maximum delay of about 10 seconds. After setting, the self-timer lever must be nudged clockwise again to begin the countdown. The camera has a hot shoe with an additional contact. Dedicated Pentax flash units use this to communicate a flash-ready indicator in the viewfinder and to automatically select the correct 1/125 sec. shutter speed, overriding any manual or auto setting.

The Pentax ME Super can accept either the external winder ME (1.5 i/s) or the later Winder ME II (2i/s). The Pentax ME Super can also mount a Dial Data ME databack, or the later Digital Data M databack via a cord adapter.

Interchangeable lenses for the ME Super use the K bayonet mount. SMC Pentax-M lenses are a more compact K-mount series introduced alongside the ME and MX cameras.

The Pentax ME Super exists in chrome or black finish. There is a special edition called ME Super SE, only sold in chrome finish; the differences are the SE marking and the diagonal instead of horizontal split-image device in the focusing screen.[1]

A derivative with a primitive autofocus mechanism, called the Pentax ME-F, was released in 1981. Production of the ME Super stopped in 1986.


  1. ME Super page by Bojidar Dimitrov.


Pentax K mount SLR Cameras
K2 | KX | KM | K1000 | MX | ME | ME Super | ME-F | MV | MV1 | MG | LX | Super-A | Program-A | A3 | P30 | P50