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 ;)

  2. this was my first cam­era in youth before fall­ing in love with the om‑1. i have only praises for it ;)

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