Pentax ME Super … or another version of the never-ending hunt for the Holy Grail!

In a galaxy far, far away … I’d like to tell the fairy-tale of a never-ending hunt for a Pentax ME Super, which took me more than a year and four attempts until getting one finally.

It was Jim Grey in his wonderful blog Down the Road who made me curious about this beautiful little SLR from Pentax. The Pentax ME is one of his favorites – if not THE favorite – and in several posts he talks about his fun and fascination with this camera. In posts like Pentax ME or Another Pentax ME I learned a lot about what to like using this camera.

As I was keen on having the successor with its 1/2000s shutter speed, I started my hunt for a Pentax ME Super.

One might think that the Pentax ME Super was one of the models for the mass market and that there are trillions of these cameras out there. One might be right in this assumption and yet it is tricky to find one in good working order for a reasonable price.

My hunt started more than a year ago where I bought my first used Pentax ME Super.

Suddenly, after a couple of shutter releases, the mirror hung and the shutter does not close. Searching the internet, I found loads of information about Pentax ME (Super) issues like that. Trying all the magic tips and tricks and finally … nothing worked. I put it in an old shoebox. I was frustrated!

Two months later and frustration gave way to desire and I started another try. Long story short, this time, after a couple of shutter releases, the shutter is not cocked when pushing the film advance lever. The film spool rotates, but no shutter cocking. I put it in the old shoebox. I was frustrated!

Two months later and frustration gave way to desire … again … and I started another try. This time everything seems to be fine besides a very stiff mode dial. You nearly cannot rotate it. Nevertheless I gave it a try. After some time, the shutter does not alway fire when hitting the shutter release button. Sometimes it does and sometimes it does not. I put it in the old shoebox. I was frustrated!

Shall I mention, that all were sold  in “fully working order”.

Some months later and frustration gave way to desire … again … and I took my old shoebox to the next camera repair workshop and asked for a price. To be honest … for that money I can play that damned game for a very long time. I took my old shoebox back home. I was frustrated!

But guess who’s a winner? The one with a shoebox … no, the one standing up after being frustrated … again and again and again! Last week number four arrived … and up to now it seems as if it’s working. Can’t await putting the first film in it. As soon as a film is pushed through, I’ll post some images on my flickr page … keeping fingers crossed.

Did I already mention that Jim Grey from Down the Road loves this camera (well, the Pentax ME) and that he even wrote a book about it? You can find all info about that book here: My first book! Exceptional Ordinary: Everyday Photography with the Pentax ME.

In case you’d like to comment, it’s appreciated … and maybe, you want to visit my website or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.


  1. I’m sorry you had such bad luck with three ME Supers before you found a good one!

    We’re fortunate in the US that a very good Pentax repairman in Tennessee charges very little to overhaul one of these. I just paid him $65 US plus shipping to overhaul a Pentax ME I’m about to give to my son.

    Thanks for all the links back to my blog!

    1. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “0”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “your blog” in “comment_content” *]
      No worries, there is a learning curve ;)

      Someone told me that the MEs are so dirt cheap that buying another one used is cheaper than a repair. If repair (or CLA) prices would not be so high, it would really make sense to heal them. Last time I had an Olympus OM-4Ti out for a CLA and it costs me 150 EUR too. So it seems that these are normal prices here in this part of the world.

      … and yes, I like your blog ;)

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