What type of Battery does the Pentax ME Super use? (All you need to know)

Navigating the labyrinth of vintage film cameras can be a challenging venture, particularly when it comes to identifying the correct battery. If you’re inquiring about the Pentax ME Super’s battery prerequisites, this comprehensive guide is tailored just for you. The Pentax ME Super can use either two LR44 alkaline batteries or two SR44 silver-oxide batteries. Alternatively, you can use a single CR1/3N 3V lithium battery. While these batteries are readily accessible on Amazon, they can also be located in local stores such as Walmart, as well as in specialized photography stores like B&H photo.

Owning a Pentax ME Super is akin to possessing a piece of history. This classic 35mm film camera has earned its reputation due to its robustness, compact size, and excellent performance. Understanding its power requirements ensures a seamless photography experience, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner venturing into the realm of vintage photography.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the specific types of batteries compatible with the Pentax ME Super, the factors you need to consider when choosing a battery, where to get these batteries, how to change the battery, check its power, and finally some intriguing facts about battery consumption on the Pentax ME Super.

Let’s get started.

Does the Pentax ME Super require batteries?

Unlike some other vintage film cameras, the Pentax ME Super isn’t completely dependent on batteries to function. However, it’s important to note that without battery power, the Pentax ME Super will only operate at a single shutter speed – 1/125 of a second. It’s worth noting that while the mechanical shutter doesn’t require a battery, at this speed the Pentax ME Super’s built-in light meter always does. The light meter is an essential tool for determining correct exposure, especially for beginners or in tricky lighting situations. Without a battery, you’ll need to use external methods to estimate exposure.

What Batteries Should You use for your Pentax ME Super?

Selecting the right battery for your Pentax ME Super is key to ensuring optimal performance of your camera’s light meter. The user manual for the ME Super recommends the Eveready S763 or the Mallory MS76H. However, it’s crucial to note that these are simply brand-specific names for the same standardized types of batteries that we will discuss in this guide: the SR44 Silver Oxide battery, the LR44 Alkaline battery, and the 3V CR1/3N Lithium battery.

LR44 Alkaline Battery

The LR44 alkaline batteries are widely available and reasonably priced. They can be sourced from most general electronics or photography equipment stores, making them an easy-to-find option. However, they have a slow discharge curve, meaning that the voltage they provide gradually declines over their lifespan. This can potentially lead to inaccuracies in the light meter’s readings over time as the battery loses its power.

SR44 Silver-Oxide Battery

Silver-oxide batteries, such as the SR44, present several advantages over their alkaline counterparts. They have a flatter discharge curve, meaning they maintain a consistent voltage output over their entire lifespan. This results in more accurate and consistent readings from your light meter throughout the life of the battery.

Additionally, silver-oxide batteries typically have a longer lifespan compared to alkaline batteries, meaning you won’t have to replace them as often. While these batteries might be slightly more expensive and harder to find than alkaline batteries, the consistent performance and longer life often make them a worthwhile investment for photography enthusiasts.

3V CR1/3N Lithium Battery

The final option is the 3V CR1/3N lithium battery, which is suitable for the Pentax ME Super. These batteries boast a flat discharge curve, ensuring consistent light meter readings. Known for their long lifespan and ability to perform well in a broad spectrum of temperatures, they present a reliable choice for photographers who frequently shoot in diverse climates.

However, while lithium batteries typically offer superior performance, it’s worth noting that they can be more expensive and may be harder to find locally compared to alkaline or silver-oxide batteries. In addition, there are environmental considerations, as lithium batteries are more challenging to recycle than other types.

Where can you get a Battery for the Pentax ME Super?

Securing the right battery for your Pentax ME Super is quite easy, due to the ready availability of the necessary battery types. Depending on your preference, you can shop for them online or at a physical retailer.

Online marketplaces like Amazon can provide a wide selection and competitive pricing. The convenience of fast delivery straight to your home makes this option an appealing one for many.

On the other hand, physical stores can be particularly useful if you’re in urgent need of a battery. Retailers specializing in electronics, photography supplies, or even large supermarket chains are likely to stock the types of batteries compatible with the Pentax ME Super.

For a more detailed understanding, let’s delve into the types of batteries and the brands typically associated with them:

Battery TypeMost Common (Recommended)Other Common Names
Silver Oxide (SR44)(SR44) Duracell 303/357/76EPX76, SR44W, 357
Alkaline (LR44)(LR44) Duracell 76 AA544, 4A76, GP476
Lithium (3V CR1/3N)(CR11108) Duracell DL1/3NCR1/3N, 2L76BP, DL1/3N

Remember that various manufacturers may use different names for the same type of battery. Thus, having a list of common names can come in handy when shopping around. Despite the fact that all three types of batteries can work with the Pentax ME Super, remember that each has its benefits, as highlighted in the previous section.

How Long Does the Pentax ME Super Battery Last?

The battery life of your Pentax ME Super camera depends on various factors, including the type of battery you use, the frequency of camera use, and the conditions under which the camera operates.

Battery Life for Each Type

1. SR44 Silver-Oxide Battery The SR44 silver-oxide batteries tend to have a longer lifespan compared to other battery types due to their flatter discharge curve. They maintain a consistent voltage output over their entire lifespan, meaning that their performance doesn’t degrade significantly over time. Assuming normal usage, an SR44 battery can last for approximately a year.

2. LR44 Alkaline Battery On the other hand, the LR44 Alkaline batteries are prone to a more gradual decrease in voltage over time, which may impact their overall lifespan. Despite this, with regular use, they can still last up to 6-9 months.

3. 3V CR1/3N Lithium Battery The 3V CR1/3N Lithium battery outshines the other two types when it comes to longevity. Due to their stable performance across various temperatures and conditions, these batteries can last up to a whopping 2 years with regular use.

Remember, the actual lifespan of a battery can vary based on the frequency and type of usage. More frequent and intensive use will deplete batteries quicker, so the above estimates assume average use.

How to Replace the Battery in Your Pentax ME Super

Replacing the battery in your Pentax ME Super is a straightforward task. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

From the original manual
  1. Locate the Battery Compartment: The battery compartment is on the bottom of the camera. Look for a small round cover with coin-slot access.
  2. Open the Battery Compartment: Use a coin, or a similar flat object, to twist the cover counterclockwise. The cover should easily come off, revealing the battery chamber.
  3. Remove the Old Battery: Carefully tip the camera to let the old battery slide out. If it’s stuck, you can gently shake the camera or use a non-metallic tool to nudge it.
  4. Insert the New Battery: Place your new battery into the battery compartment, making sure to align the positive (+) end with the “+” sign inside the compartment.
  5. Close the Battery Compartment: Once the new battery is in place, replace the cover by twisting it clockwise until it is secure.

Remember, improper handling of batteries can cause leaks or corrosion, so always handle with care. Always use high-quality batteries from reputable manufacturers to ensure the best performance and longevity.

Troubleshooting Tips

If your camera isn’t working after a battery replacement, here are a few things to check:

  • Battery Orientation: Ensure that the battery has been inserted with the correct polarity.
  • Battery Type: Ensure you’re using the correct type of battery (SR44, LR44, or 3V CR1/3N).
  • Battery Compartment: Check the battery compartment for any signs of corrosion or damage. This can impact the functionality of your camera.

When Should You Replace the Batteries in Your Pentax ME Super?

Replacing the batteries in your Pentax ME Super is not a regular event, but it’s an essential part of maintaining the camera’s functionality. Here’s how to know when it’s time for a change:

  1. Regular Check-ups: If you’re a frequent user of your camera, consider replacing the batteries every six months to a year, even if you haven’t encountered any issues. This ensures your camera operates at its peak at all times.
  2. Camera Performance: Monitor your camera’s performance closely. If you notice slow response times, weak light meter readings, or inconsistencies in the camera’s operation, it may be a sign that the batteries are running low and should be replaced.
  3. Camera Battery Indicator: The Pentax ME Super is equipped with a battery check function, which is an excellent way to evaluate battery life. You can use this feature to regularly monitor your battery status. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use the battery check function:
  • Set the exposure mode dial to either the “AUTO” or “M” (Manual) mode settings.
  • Lightly press the shutter button to activate the metering switch.
  • If your batteries are fully active, one of the LED shutter speed dots (those between “1000” and “4S”) will glow continuously in the viewfinder upon depressing the shutter button.
  • If the batteries are weak, the “2000”— “4S” LED shutter speed dots will not illuminate as expected.

How to Properly Dispose of Used Batteries?

After powering your beloved Pentax ME Super for countless photo sessions, your batteries will eventually run out of juice and need to be disposed of. But it’s not as simple as tossing them in the trash. Batteries contain chemicals that can harm the environment if they end up in landfills. So how do you safely and responsibly dispose of used batteries?

  1. Battery Collection Sites: There are designated battery collection sites in most cities where you can drop off used batteries. These places ensure that batteries are disposed of properly and safely. A simple online search should reveal the nearest battery recycling facility in your area.
  2. Local Retailers: Some local retailers, especially those that sell batteries and electronics, have collection bins for used batteries. Look out for these next time you’re out shopping.
  3. Special Recycling Events: Many cities host special recycling events, where you can bring items that are tricky to dispose of, like batteries, electronics, and paint. Keep an eye on your local news for information about these events.
  4. Battery Recycling Kits: There are battery recycling kits available for purchase online. These kits include a container for storing used batteries and prepaid shipping to a recycling facility.
  5. Local Waste Facilities: Some local waste facilities might accept batteries. Always check with them first before you drop off your batteries.

Troubleshooting Common Battery Issues in the Pentax ME Super

Sometimes, you might encounter issues that seem like they’re battery-related. This section will help you troubleshoot and identify potential solutions for common battery issues in the Pentax ME Super.

  1. Camera Not Turning On: If your camera doesn’t turn on, first ensure the batteries are inserted correctly, with the positive end (+) facing down. If the problem persists, try replacing the batteries as they might be depleted.
  2. Camera Turns Off Unexpectedly: If your camera is turning off unexpectedly or if the shutter speed LED dots in the viewfinder are flickering or not illuminated, this could be a sign of weak batteries. Try replacing the batteries with fresh ones.
  3. Battery Check Function Unresponsive: The battery check function is designed to help you monitor battery health. If it doesn’t respond when you press the shutter button lightly, try replacing the batteries. If the issue persists, there might be a problem with the battery contacts in the camera. In this case, professional servicing might be necessary.
  4. Battery Drain: If you find that your batteries are draining quickly, make sure to turn off the camera when it’s not in use. If the problem persists, it could be a sign of defective batteries or, less commonly, an issue with the camera itself.
  5. Camera Not Responding Correctly: If your camera is not responding correctly, or the exposure isn’t working as expected, it might be a sign of low batteries. Replace the batteries and see if the issue is resolved.

Remember, while these troubleshooting steps can solve many common issues, if problems persist after changing the batteries, it’s a good idea to consult a professional camera technician.