Introduced in 1981, the Pentax ME F was a variation of an earlier 35mm SLR camera called the Pentax ME Super, but it actually has a feature that placed it among the historically significant cameras ever made. Find out what made this camera special in this installment of Lomopedia!
Learning from the success of the Olympus OM-1 in 1971, Pentax followed suit and introduced its own 35mm compact SLR cameras, the MX and ME, in 1976. The ME was replaced by the ME Super in 1979, which in turn became the basis for the Pentax ME-F launched in 1981.
Compared to the ME Super, the Pentax ME-F had a focus assistance mechanism, brighter finder screen, and a different finder magnification. However, this amateur level camera became historically significant for being the first in the market to have TTL (through-the-lens) autofocus system. To enable the AF function, though, a special autofocus lens — the SMC Pentax AF 35mm – 70mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens — must be equipped. This unique lens contained the focusing drive motor.
Minolta would later introduce the Maxxum 7000, the first body-integrated autofocus SLR camera, in 1985.
- Camera Type: 35mm SLR
- Focusing: Manual
- Lens mount: Pentax K
- Shutter: Focal plane Seiko MFC-E2 metal curtains, vertical travel from 4s to 1/2000
- Exposure meter: TTL, open aperture, center weighted
- Exposure modes: aperture priority, manual, 125X, Bulb
- ASA/ISO range: 12 to 1600
- Finder screen: Fixed Split image (horizontal)
- Shoe: Fixed hot shoe, contact for dedicated flash
- X sync speed: 1/125
- TTL Flash: no
- Motor drive: External: Winder ME (1.5i/s) or Winder ME II (2i/s)
- Battery: 4 × 1.5V SR76 or similar
- Weight: 445g w/o lens