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Thread: Asahi Pentax ME

  1. #1
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    Asahi Pentax ME

    I've recently inherited a Pentax ME camera from my grandfather, who passed away a few years ago. I admit to being an absolute newb when it comes to cameras, especially a fairly nice one like this. In addition to the camera body, it has these pieces with it:

    - Sears model no. 202 macro lens
    - Rokunar Auto 2x Tele-Converter (4E/MC)
    - Owen Automatic MC 1:2.8 135mm lens
    - SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7 50mm lens
    - Rokunar 55mm Polarizer
    - Thyristor Sunpak auto244D flash
    - Leather camera cover
    - Nice Tough Traveler canvas carrying case for everything

    I'd like a little information on this camera, if anyone has it. I've visited the Wikipedia page for the M series of cameras, and I've been to the Pentax webpage and printed out the manual for it. I know it uses 35mm film...but that's about the extent of my knowledge about it. The mechanisms all seem to work smoothly, with no problems.

    What sort of film should I be using for this? Is this considered a decent camera? Can I expect good quality photos out of this? I've always wanted to get into photography, but never had anything more than a cheap digital camera to do it with; if I can use this to start taking nice photos right off the bat, then that's great. If not, I'll start saving up for a nice digital SLR or something along those lines.

    Any and all information you folks can give me will be much appreciated...thanks in advance from a newb.

    ~Mar
    Last edited by halmotors; 07-15-2008 at 08:08 AM.

  2. #2
    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: Asahi Pentax ME

    Quote Originally Posted by halmotors
    I've recently inherited a Pentax ME camera from my grandfather, who passed away a few years ago. I admit to being an absolute newb when it comes to cameras, especially a fairly nice one like this. In addition to the camera body, it has these pieces with it:

    - Sears model no. 202 macro lens
    - Rokunar Auto 2x Tele-Converter (4E/MC)
    - Owen Automatic MC 1:2.8 135mm lens
    - SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7 50mm lens
    - Rokunar 55mm Polarizer
    - Thyristor Sunpak auto244D flash
    - Leather camera cover
    - Nice Tough Traveler canvas carrying case for everything

    I'd like a little information on this camera, if anyone has it. I've visited the Wikipedia page for the M series of cameras, and I've been to the Pentax webpage and printed out the manual for it. I know it uses 35mm film...but that's about the extent of my knowledge about it. The mechanisms all seem to work smoothly, with no problems.

    What sort of film should I be using for this? Is this considered a decent camera? Can I expect good quality photos out of this? I've always wanted to get into photography, but never had anything more than a cheap digital camera to do it with; if I can use this to start taking nice photos right off the bat, then that's great. If not, I'll start saving up for a nice digital SLR or something along those lines.

    Any and all information you folks can give me will be much appreciated...thanks in advance from a newb.

    ~Mar
    I used to own a Pentax ME Super (same camera?). It was an excellent camera, sort of an upgrade from the all-manual MX. I eventually traded it in for another MX, not because it was bad but because I preferred manual feel of the MX.

    Other than the Pentax 50mm, the other stuff is so-so at best. Luckily, Pentax has the best lens compatability of all the major lines: pretty much all Pentax lenses will fit on the ME.
    “Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do so from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

  3. #3
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    Re: Asahi Pentax ME

    Hi Hal...Welcome to PR and the Pentax forum.
    I own 2 M series cameras but don't use much film. My first suggestion would be to take it to a reputable camera repair shop to have it checked out. When I got mine, they appeared in great shape, but needed a good cleaning and the light seals needed replacing. Not an expensive repair. If the light seals are bad, they can allow stray light in and can ruin a roll of film quick. I learned the hard way. It's possible that your grandfather took superb care of this fine camera and it may not need anything. You could run a test roll of film (ISO 200 or 400) through it to see how they come out. If you spot stray spots of light on your shots, then you will definitely need to get it repaired.
    Although some of the stuff is so so, you have everything you need to get started and take some wonderful photographs. In the meantime, you can do some research and find some great lenses. As MW stated, all Pentax lenses are compatible, and some of the older lenses are very affordable.
    As for film, I refer you to our Film Photography forum. The M series is a 35 mm camera, and there are numerous brands out there that will work wonders, depending on the type of photography you are interested in.
    If you decide to digitize your photos, you'll either need to get a scanner or at the least, ensure that you get your photos on disc when you get them developed.
    Good luck and happy photographing.
    Ken


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  4. #4
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: Asahi Pentax ME

    Hi Mar, wecome to PR The ME's are supposed to be great little cameras. Here's a link to a manual to help get you going if you're not familiar with the camera:

    http://butkus.org/chinon/pentax/pentax_me/pentax_me.htm
    Aaron Lehoux * flickr
    Please do not edit my photos, thank you.

  5. #5
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    Re: Asahi Pentax ME

    Thanks a ton, Ken and Mike, for the input. As I said, the camera is in almost new condition from how well it was taken care of. There's a Ritz just down the street from my work, so I think I'll pop it over there when I get out and see if they can take a quick look at it and tell me whether or not it needs to be cleaned, etc. I'll also pick up some film and take a few test snapshots to see how well the camera performs. I'll post back here when I find out what they say.

    Any more info people would like to give will be very much appreciated. Thanks!

    PS - Oh, you say that all Pentax lenses will fit on here...does that include newer ones that may be made for a digital SLR? Any suggestions on places to get new lenses? I'm going to mostly be doing macro work, but I'd like to also do some panoramic landscape shots, as well.

  6. #6
    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: Asahi Pentax ME

    Quote Originally Posted by halmotors
    PS - Oh, you say that all Pentax lenses will fit on here...does that include newer ones that may be made for a digital SLR? Any suggestions on places to get new lenses? I'm going to mostly be doing macro work, but I'd like to also do some panoramic landscape shots, as well.
    Oops! I should have written "all full frame Pentax lenses." The ones made for the smaller sensor won't have a large enough image circle. There are so many excellent FF Pentax lenses out there, you won't be limited.
    “Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do so from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

  7. #7
    The red headed step child jgredline's Avatar
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    Re: Asahi Pentax ME

    I have an ME super that is my baby.
    Compact and tight little slr..I love it......
    Here is my baby


    Here are a couple of images with it.




    Do yourself a favor....Pick up some cheap film to start with (as i did and still do )
    and go out and shoot and have fun...
    εὐχαριστέω σύ
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    διοτι το γνωστον του θεου φανερον εστιν εν αυτοις ο γαρ θεος αυτοις εφανερωσεν
    τα γαρ αορατα αυτου απο κτισεως κοσμου τοις ποιημασιν νοουμενα καθοραται η τε αιδιος αυτου δυναμις και θειοτης εις το ειναι αυτους αναπολογητους

  8. #8
    Analog Photographer, Digital World Axle's Avatar
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    Re: Asahi Pentax ME

    ME's are solid cameras. I used one, then gave it away when I got an ME Super. The ME Super lost it's life, after it fell down a silo at the Canada Malting Co. Plant.

    Use the 50 f/1.7, it's a solid nice lens.
    Alex Luyckx | Photography
    Capturing Beauty in Everything

  9. #9
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Asahi Pentax ME

    I've owned a couple of ME Supers. They served me well.
    Photo-John

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  10. #10
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    Re: Asahi Pentax ME

    currently got a pentax spotmatic pentax are great.. though i'm not incredibly sure on how the difference between the spotmatic is from the ME super but I love the old manual film SLRs now that I've got a decent idea on how to work with one. I've been out shooting color ASA200 kodak film, can't wait to see the results when i send the film off to be developed.

    One thing i can advise is to make sure the lens is the color it should be (take a roll of film and test out the shots; see if theres any tints of yellow in your photos) if this happens, then i can refer you to a link that helped me out because this is a common problem with older cameras.

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