homebrew processors and film camera love

Program A – A worthy ME upgrade?

Program A – A worthy ME upgrade?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my ME Super and ME, so much so that I bought a spare just in case my main one goes wrong. To compare the Program A to the ME standard model is a bit unfair. The Program A is basically a more modern ME Super without a few posh features that the Super A has.

Note this has manual shutter speeds as well, so despite being the modern equivalent of the ME standard, it has basically the same comparable features as a ME Super.


If you don’t know, the ‘A’ series pentax’s have auto and manual aperture modes, meaning if you just want to forget about things and just focus and shoot then you don’t need to worry about anything else. I like these modes for when I’m out and about with family and don’t have time to ‘slow the moment down’ as some ‘hipster photograpists’ like to do.

In terms of useability, its easier to carry than a ‘M’ range pentax, due to the front and back thumb and finger grips.



The main downside people have the the Program and Super A’s is the internal LCD display that shows aperture and shutter speed.

It’s a bit of a love/hate thing. If you are setting manual speeds, I find it very handy. Also if you are new to film photography, the Auto settings are a good idea of seeing what settings you would pick for different situations as they are shown on screen.

The two main downsides are you need ok eyes to see them (glasses might be a struggle) as they aren’t massive and also you need a bit of light in the image to see the LCD good, indoors could be a struggle.

My only dislike personally is the same as alot of people who’ve moved up from the ME Super. The ME Super use’s coloured LED’s in auto mode for showing the chosen shutter speed. This makes it very easy and quick to select a decent shutter speed by simply adjusting the aperture ring on the lens until the LED’s are green. This is a big miss on the A series.

However, I suppose if you are using auto and aren’t bothered about what aperture, then the whole idea of the A series is Auto-Aperture which removes the need for the LEDs I suppose.

If you had a choice, I would pick the Super A over the Program as it’s very slightly better built and feel, nicer selection wheel and it has a lovely tiny LCD next to the winder showing shutter speed. However unless they are the same price, the program is 95% the camera of the super for usually alot less money.

*I’ve chosen the Pentax Program A as my first camera to shoot the first film I’ll be processing on my ‘Developist’ processing assistant so keep an eye on the Build Diary¬†
I’ll be using fairly simple stuff for my first attempt, bog standard RPX 100 film and Ilford Dev chemicals.


Hot off the press!, first photos to be dev’ed with ‘The Developist’, RPX100/ILFOSOL3/100ISO