In the instruction manual for the Pentax ME Super it says to set the shutter speed to 125x before unloading film and while reloading film. Is there a reason for this? I accidentally loaded film without doing this. Is everything fine?enter image description here

My theory is that turning the camera to 125x is the equivalent of turning it off.

thanks anyone for the help!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Apparently it has to do with preventing long shutter speeds during loading....not really sure what that means but there you have it...I doubt you did any permanent damage to your camera....if anything you might have messed up a few exposures on the film.... \$\endgroup\$
    – TheXed
    Jan 29, 2018 at 3:29

2 Answers 2


Short answer: it doesn't matter at all.

Actual answer. In the loading process, you'll need to unroll the film until you reach 1 at the counter. Usually with manual cameras, you shoot several empty (black, without light) images (which will overlap with the film that was exposed when you placed the film in the camera), until you reach 1. In order to do so, the practice is to go to manual, setup a speed that is not too slow (1/125, 1/4000, 1/30 for instance are OK), and shoot.

This really doesn't matter since you're not supposed to do anything with those images; they can be empty or not.

The speed actually matters when you reload a film that was partially exposed (eg., you shot 10 of 36 images). You'll need to reach the view 11 or 12 (for safety) by shooting images completely black; in that case, the practice is to accumulate: putting cap, close diaph, put maximum speed, cap the viewfinder, put the camera in black bag or room. In that case, you leave the 10 first images untouched.

Of course, any deviation to those practice are fine for specific practice, artistic purpose.


Page 8 of the manual explains why:

NOTE: You can also advance the film to the first exposure with the exposure mode dial set to "AUTO" or "M" (Manual), but for convenience [sic] sake we recommend setting it to "125X." If you use "AUTO," remove the lens cap and point the camera toward the light; otherwise inordinately long exposures will result, delaying film advance. Also, the same problem will occur if you use the "M" setting, unless a faster shutter speed is used.

The ME Super doesn't have an off setting per se; like many bodies of that era, capping the lens prevents light from reaching the photocell used to do the metering and drives its resistance high enough that the battery doesn't drain.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, the flash sync speed is often (have not checked whether that is the case with ME too) usable even with a dead battery - this might also be about avoiding messy/stuck/confusing situations due to batteries failing while loading... \$\endgroup\$ Oct 7, 2018 at 8:08

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