Film Photography

(Book preview) The Pentax ME: In praise of an overlooked 35mm SLR

I haven’t forgotten, if perhaps you understandably have, that I want to publish a book of photographs from my Pentax ME. It’s an overlooked camera if ever there was one, and I think it’s high time its praises were sung. I just finished the manuscript, and I wanted to share an excerpt with you. My soft goal is to make it available for purchase by the end of the month.

Second Pres
50mm f/2 SMC Pentax-M, Fujifilm Fujicolor 200

Second Presbyterian

This grand church on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis is one of the places I like to go when I’m testing an old camera. It’s so photogenic! And I love how in this shot the sky’s color is like you’d find on a postcard.

This building was completed in 1960, but the congregation dates to 1837, making it one of the oldest in the city. It’s one of the largest Presbyterian congregations in the United States. It is perhaps best known for hosting the 1990 funeral of Ryan White, a boy who contracted AIDS via blood transfusion at a time when this disease was ill-understood and greatly feared. His fight to attend school in his hometown of Russiaville, about 45 minutes north of here, made the national news and was instrumental in helping our nation understand that AIDS was not just a “gay disease.”

Over 1,500 people attended White’s funeral, including then-First Lady Barbara Bush, Michael Jackson, and Elton John.


23 thoughts on “(Book preview) The Pentax ME: In praise of an overlooked 35mm SLR

  1. Wonderful picture! Second Pres may be the most traditional building I have ever seen among those of its era of construction.

    Bill Hudnut (the longest serving mayor in Indianapolis history) was senior pastor there for nearly a decade before entering politics in the early 70s.

  2. Andy Umbo says:

    I Love the ME/MX size body. I owned an MX back in the late 80’s, and it made me remember how really great those Pentax lenses were!

  3. Jim, all the best with your book!

    I had an ME after having an ME Super, so was anticipating something of a downgrade when I first used it. But it was nothing of the sort, I enjoyed it just as much (and its siblings the MV and MG)!

    And as you’ve said the Pentax K mount glass is excellent, not just Pentax-M, but there are also gems from Ricoh and Chinon in 50mm.

    • There’s all kinds of goodness available in K-mount glass! Although after just getting a roll back from the processor’s I think I’ve decided I don’t like my 28mm f/2.8.

      • Yeh I had a Pentax-M briefly and didn’t keep it. The Yashica ML 28/2.8 is very good (C/Y mount) but I didn’t keep that long either, I just can’t get my head around 28mm with an SLR.

        • I don’t like the twisty distortion. At all. And maybe it’s my scanner but I’m getting softness I don’t like.

  4. Dan Cluley says:

    Another K mount fan here. I got a ME Super a decade ago to replace a stolen K1000, and when I finally got a DSLR this year, I went with a Pentax K-x.

  5. Christopher Smith says:

    I have both the MX and ME both great cameras although I prefer the MX for its full manual control.
    Good luck with book looks like a good project.

  6. I remember Ryan’s story, so sad but I think his efforts were heroic. Congrats, I can’t wait to see the book!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.