Pentax super A

35mm MF film SLR camera



Production details:
Announced:March 1983
Also known as:Pentax SUPER PROGRAM
System: Pentax K (1975)
Imaging plane:
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Pentax K [45.5mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:15 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL), open-aperture
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Physical characteristics:

Manufacturer description #1

Introducing the Pentax Super Program and the state of the art now.

A lot of people who bought a programmed camera already are about to discover they jumped the gun. Because among all the cameras that call themselves programmed cameras, the new Pentax Super Program is the most advanced.

It's both beginner-simple and a challenge to professionals. In Program mode, you only have to focus and fire. Yet the most creative photographer might never outreach this camera's capabilities.

More automation than any camera in its class.

Programmed: The Pentax Super Program sets the precise combination of aperture and shutter speed automatically with the push of one button.

Aperture Priority: You set the aperture and control depth of field on the most important part of your picture. The Pentax Super Program sets the right shutter speed.

Shutter Priority: You set the shutter speed, and the Super Program sets the aperture. You have all the control you need to stop a race car or a hummingbird's wings.

Shoot at will.

No programmed camera gives you more ways to do it. To the Pentax Super Program's three automatic modes, add three more. Full metered manual and two kinds of autoflash.

Two automatic flash modes.

Attach any of the Pentax dedicated TTL auto flash units to the Super program and select from two autoflash modes.

Program Dedicated Flash: In the Program mode, the camera will automatically select the proper shutter speed and aperture, and automatically control flash output.

TTL Flash: Set the camera in Aperture Priority mode and the precise amount of flash needed is metered at the film plane during exposure. This allows you to select any aperture in the flash range and control depth of field in autoflash pictures.

Oh, the extras.

The new Pentax Super Program not only gives you more auto-exposure modes than any camera in its class, it also gives you manual control of all automated functions, for complete creative control. It gives you f-stop and shutter information via an LCD readout inside the viewfinder. Outside, on top of the camera, there's another LCD readout that gives you the shutter speed.

You get a shutter speed twice as fast as any camera in its class, at 1/2000 sec. Faster flash sync, at a 1/125 sec. There's even a button to brighten the viewfinder display in low light situations, and a depth-of-field preview, features some other manufacturers forgot.

Get with the program.

Wide angle to zoom, there's a full complement of new A-Series lenses for the Pentax Super Program. Or, use any of over 40 Pentax SMC lenses and work them to their fullest capabilities.

Add a digital data back. Infrared remote control. An auto winder or motor drive.

Manufacturer description #2

TYPE: 35mm SLR camera with multi-mode automatic exposure controls, electronically-controlled focal plane shutter, and open-aperture center-weighted Through-The-Lens metering

SIX EXPOSURE CONTROL MODES: Programmed AE, Aperture-priority AE, Shutter-priority AE, Metered Manual, TTL Auto Flash, and Programmed Auto Flash mode

EXPOSURE CONTROL MODE SETTING: By using combinations of settings on shutter dial and aperture ring of "A" series lenses

FILM: 35mm film

FORMAT: 24 x 36mm

LENS MOUNT: Pentax KA Bayonet (A Pentax K bayonet mount with electrical contact)

SHUTTER: Seiko MFC-E3 vertical-run metal focal-plane shutter, automatic exposure and manual settings electronically-controlled speeds from 15 to 1/2000 sec., 1/125 sec., and B. Electro-magnetic shutter release with release button lock

EXPOSURE INDICATION IN VIEWFINDER: Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). Automatic and manual shutter speeds, automatically set lens apertures, exposure factor warning, shutter-speed setting error warning, battery life warning, and Programmed AE indication (P). LCD window illumination

EXTERNAL INDICATION: Automatic and manual shutter speeds, Programmed AE indication (P) and shutter cocked indicator

FLASH SYNCHRONIZATION: Hot shoe (X-synch contact, dedicated flash contacts), X-sync at 1/125 sec.

DEDICATED AUTOMATIC FLASH COUPLING: Automatic setting of 1/125 sec. synch speed with dedicated automatic flash units. TTL-automatic flash control provides film-plane metering. Slower than 1/125 sec. synch flash photography is possible at Manual mode setting

SELF-TIMER: Electronically-controlled, delay time indication by flashing lamp and electronic buzzer, approx. 12 sec. delay time, possible to cancel at any time; initiate process by pressing shutter release button

VIEWFINDER: Silver-coated pentaprism finder with split-image/microprism focusing screen; shows 92% of the picture area, 0.82X magnification with 50mm lens at infinity. -1.1 Diopter eyepiece

MIRROR: Back-swing type instant-return mirror

FILM LOADING: Magic-needle loading

FILM TRANSPORT: Single-stroke, rapid wind lever with 135° throw and 30° standoff angle; LCD shutter cocked indicator; film advance and rewind indicator window. Accepts Winder ME II, Motor Drive A

EXPOSURE COUNTER: Additive type, automatic resetting. Automatically sets shutter-speed at 1/1000 sec. up to "0" frame on the counter when shutter dial is set at AUTO or M

FILM REWIND: Crank type

EXPOSURE METERING: Open aperture, Through-The-Lens, center-weighted, average area metering system with GPD cell. Film-plane Metering for dedicated automatic electronic flashes

METERING RANGE: EV 1 (f/1.4, 1 sec) ~ EV 19 (f/16, 1/2000 sec. or f/22, 1/1000 sec.) with 50mm f/1.4 lens and ASA/ISO 100 film


EXPOSURE COMPENSATION: Compensation dial indexed at 4X, 2X, 1X, 1/2X and 1/4X

DEPTH-OF-FIELD PREVIEW: Via depth-of-field preview lever when aperture set manually

POWER SOURCE: Two 1.5V alkaline or silver-oxide batteries, or one 3V lithium battery

METERING CIRCUIT MAIN SWITCH: Switched on by shutter release button and remains on for about 30 sec., shut-off by built-in timer

BATTERY WARNING: When batteries grow weak, LCD alternately flashes exposure designations and 'ooo' sign. When batteries exhausted, LCDs go blank and shutter locks

BACK COVER: Standard camera back with spring catch, built-in memo holder/grip, fully interchangeable with Dial Data ME and Digital Data M

Similar cameras (18)

35mm full frame • Manual focus • Film • Singe-lens reflex • Pentax K mount

Model Shutter Metering Modes Year
Ricoh KR-10
Also known as Ricoh XR-1000S, Ricoh CR-10
E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1980
Ricoh KR-10SE E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1980
Ricoh KR-5SV M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 2000
Ricoh XR Solar M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 1994
Ricoh XR-1 M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1977
Ricoh XR-1S M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1979
Ricoh XR-2 E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1977
Ricoh XR-2000
Also known as Ricoh KR-10 Super
E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1982
Ricoh XR-2S E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1979
Ricoh XR-8
Also known as Ricoh KR-5 Super II
M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 1993
Ricoh XR-8 Super
Also known as Ricoh KR-5 III
M, 1/2000 TTL • OA M 1994
Ricoh XR-F E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1983
Ricoh XR-S E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1981
Ricoh XR5
Also known as Ricoh KR-5 Super, Ricoh CR-5
M, 1/1000 TTL • OA M 1980
Ricoh XR500
Also known as Ricoh KR-5
M, 1/500 TTL • OA M 1978
Ricoh XR500 auto E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1982
Ricoh XR6 E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1981
Ricoh XR7 E, 1/1000 TTL • OA AM 1982
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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.