Pentax Me Super vs MX: most reliable?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Antigen, May 8, 2016.

  1. Antigen

    Antigen Member

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    Hi,

    I have the opportunity to buy a Pentax MX or a ME super, but i have a question.

    I read that they Are so similar, but the MX have a silk rubberizef shutter and the ME super a Metallic shutter .

    What is the most reliable camera?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I have both but prefer the MX, it's a mechanical shutter so will keep working even if the battery goes flat, I also find it much quicker to use. On the other hand the ME Super has aperture priority and auto exposure shutter, but is not so easy to use manually.

    Overall the MX is more reliable.

    Ian
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Antigen

    Antigen Member

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    My only doubt is about the silk rubberized shutter of the MX, respect to a metal shutter is not subject to natural damage because is made of silk?
     
  4. pentaxpete

    pentaxpete Subscriber

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    Both the shutters on my MX's have given up and a flash contact is burnt out but nothing wrong with my ME Supers except I have to watch the exposure readout -- if it goes 1/2000th at f11 on 100 ASA then I know to turn the exposure compensation dial back and forth a few times to clean the contact underneath, then it will read something like 1/125 @ f11 in bright light for 100 ASA.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I'm using 40+ year old Pentax Spotmatic cameras with no issues, they have the same shutter as the MX and no problems what so evever. I've never had a shutter cloth issue with any 35mm camera and some are 80 years old.

    You need to check the condition of the cameras.

    Ian
     
  6. Jeff Bradford

    Jeff Bradford Subscriber

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    The ME Super is prone to failure in the winding mechanism. I have several with this problem. They aren't worth repairing - I just buy another when one fails.
    I have not experienced any trouble from either of my MX'es. If one failed, I would send it for repair.

    The MX has a large viewfinder, traditional knob for shutter speed, is entirely manual, and is entirely mechanical. Battery only runs the meter.
    The ME Super uses up-down buttons to set speed, but also has aperture-priority auto-exposure. It's shutter speeds are electronically controlled (except B and X-Sync) - no battery means no photos.
     
  7. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    I have both the MX and the ME-Super. My MXs seem to vulnerable to a metering problem - the cell is exhausted in a matter of a few weeks. Originally my first MX's cell would last for more than a year, then it got the problem. I have a black MX with the problem; I need to send two of them to Eric.

    My ME-Supers have been fine, although I did return one which had metering problems. I gather that the ASA setting ring can develop problems which can be fixed by Eric. Both the MX and ME-Super are fine user cameras and can give excellent results.
     
  8. Don Promillo

    Don Promillo Member

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    I have both, too.

    And sadly, my ME Super sometimes has the issue of completely underexposing a few frames in a row.

    I did not have the time to open and clean the ME Super, and sending it in for CLA would cost me much more in shipping than it is worth, not even counting in the CLA yet.

    The MX is a tank and the meter is excellent. Slide film or night shots are no problem.
     
  9. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Rubberized silk has been used since the early days of 35mm photography so it's
    proven itself to be durable. Yes they do fail but it seems to be more common in some cameras.
     
  10. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    I have two overhauled examples of each and enjoy using all of them. Last weekend I used an ME Super. Both cameras are old and it is better to have them repaired properly than to get more old ones in unknown condition. The LEDs in the ME Super's finder are easier to see than the ones in the MX. The ME Super has a top shutter speed of 1/2000. What do I miss on the ME Super? A depth of field preview button or lever. The MX also has interchangeable focusing screens. Where the MX screens are concerned I think I like the plain microprism one best. The grid screen is somewhat dim, especially with the 50/4 macro. It's a little better with a 50/2.8 Sigma macro. I started with a camera which had a Copal Square shutter and thought that cloth shutters weren't durable. Over the years as I used cameras with cloth shutters I saw that they could be durable too. Which of these two cameras is more reliable? Neither.
     
  11. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I've had/have both cameras and unless you're into sports photography or subject matter where the automatic function is of real benefit I'd go for the MX every time. The MX's shutter is nothing too clever and there isn't much to go wrong with it that a CLA won't address. The ME Super on the other hand is prone to a host of shutter malfunctions caused largely by the ageing rubber components that 40 years on from date of manufacture are steadily turning to goo, resulting in sluggish shutter/mirror actions, nothing happening when pressing the shutter button after a period of non-use, etc.. The down-market auto-only MV had nylon components instead of rubber and doesn't suffer from the ME's issues.
    Steve
     
  12. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Reading many of the above posts I get the impression the thread title should have said " which is the least unreliable" :wink: in other words, something with less years and shutter actuations behind might be preferable.
     
  13. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Years bad maybe
    Actuations good
    These are not digital cams with counters.
    And the earlier Pentax have a better build quality.
     
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  15. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    My good old 6x7 gave up the spirit and was deemed beyond rescue by the repairman. One of the weaknesses on that model is the winding mechanism and it's Impossible for him to get spares.
    So with early models inactivity will make them gum up and use maybe even heavy use will eventually wear them down. Funnilly the shutter on my 1933 Bergheil is still accurate :angel:
     
  16. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    +1 for Pentax MX in good condition.
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    If you need either of the aforementioned 30 year old cameras to be " reliable" you need to have them serviced first.
     
  18. unclemack

    unclemack Member

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    I know this is an old thread but something that hasn't been mentioned about horizontal run shutters is pinion wear causing a step exposure difference across the frame, often near the mid-point of curtain travel.
    It can also be caused by film or light trap debris of course but that's relatively easily fixed.
    Pinion wear occurs in normal use as the teeth mesh/un-mesh and the drive/driven relationship reverses from cocking to release but the phenomenon I'm describing is slightly different to general wear.
    Close examination shows the top lands of the driving teeth striking the faces or flanks of the driven teeth wears grooves into them - mostly, I've found, in the release direction rather than cocking. Presumably the speed of rotation on release causes a greater hammering effect.
    Eventually the top land of one tooth and the groove in its partner tooth cause a hesitation which is enough to see the exposure step.

    I know of no repair option short of replacing the pinions - may have once been viable but not now.
    I've seen this in Pentax MX more than any other camera for some reason.
    A shame as it spoils an otherwise lovely little camera.

    Soeren mentioned 67 winding failure. Fashion photography students were the worst. Trying to work the mechanism too fast they used to break loads of them. Always thought that with two strokes to wind the film 70mm they would have lasted longer.
     
  19. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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  20. Billy Axeman

    Billy Axeman Subscriber

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    I have a whole lot of Pentax camera's in M42 and K-mount. As a regular visitor of PentaxForums for many years I see least one user a month who is complaining about an ME failure. It is also advisable not to use the Winder on the ME because that is a recipe for disaster.

    So the ME (ME Super, ME Super SE) is the most unreliable of them all, which is a shame, because it is a cute little camera especially with the Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8 Pancake.

    I also had a preference for metal shutters, but in practice the cloth shutters are very reliable. I actually can't remember seeing any complaints about that.

    This is already a revived thread, so I'm adding that the Spotmatic ES is my favorite. It is an old-style body (M42) but with Av, it has a very solid feel (almost 1000 gr with a Takumar 28mm f/3.5) and a pronounced but cultivated shutter sound.
     
  21. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I had a ME Super in the early '90s as my main camera. The one thing I didn't like was the fiddly little buttons for changing shutter speed - I would have preferred a traditional dial. The camera eventually developed a light leak which from memory was due to a shutter problem. When I look back at photos I took with that camera and the 50mm lens it came with I'm impressed by how good they look. Excellent colour, detail and exposure.
     
  22. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I had a ME Super in the early '90s as my main camera. The one thing I didn't like was the fiddly little buttons for changing shutter speed - I would have preferred a traditional dial. The camera eventually developed a light leak which from memory was due to a shutter problem. When I look back at photos I took with that camera and the 50mm lens it came with I'm impressed by how good they look. Excellent colour, detail and exposure.
     
  23. johnha

    johnha Member

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    I've used most of the '70s-80s Pentax cameras (apart from the ME-Super but have used an ME-F). It's not the reliability I'd worry about (one is as likely to be a problem as the other) but the user experience. For me the MX wins hands down - mechanical shutter, aperture displayed in the finder, dial rather than buttons. The only annoyance of the MX is that the dial is awkward to turn when holding the camera to the eye - something like a Spotmatic/KX/K2/K1000 is much easier (the dial is bigger, easier to turn and better positioned).
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    The original poster hasn't been on this site since July 2016.
     
  25. trendland

    trendland Member

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    .....:D:laugh: - he might made his decision on Pentax Mv and is much too shy to state...

    with regards
     
  26. trendland

    trendland Member

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    Best in comparison to Pentax LX.
    (If you can't affort a mind conditioned LX)
    Because of some realy nice change screens and other equipment : winder / motor /
    250 frame magazin a.s.o.
    (everything also avaible with LX)

    with regards

    PS : Tipping on plastic isn't a real advance from 80th engeneering with Me series. Later the grant decision of Pentax was : back to the "wheel"