In 1977, Pentax introduced two compact 35mm SLRs, the MX and the ME, after the Olympus OM-1 presented in 1972 had introduced a new trend for compactness in SLR cameras.

The Pentax ME was succeeded in 1979 by the more advanced ME Super and the simpler Pentax MV. The differences were the following:

  • no shutter speed display in the finder
  • no winder attachment
  • no exposure corrector
  • no winding indicator
  • no self-timer
  • no shutter lock
  • no sync plug
  • no memo holder on the back
  • ASA range from 25 to 1600
  • additional contact in the hot shoe for dedicated flash
  • 0.85x finder

The Pentax MV was an aperture priority automatic camera, with an electronic focal plane shutter from 1s to 1/1000, synchronized at 1/100. The shutter curtains were metal and had a vertical movement. There was no shutter dial, and the camera could not be used in manual mode, except for B and 1/100 exposures. The exposure meter was of the standard TTL open aperture center weighted type. It was activated by a slight pressure on the release button.

The Pentax MV had a 0.85x viewfinder, covering 92% of the field. The finder screen was fixed, with a split image image and a microprism ring in the center. Neither the shutter speed nor the aperture was displayed in the finder.

There was a hot shoe on the top of the prism with an additional contact for dedicated Pentax flash units. The selector around the release button had three positions: Auto, 100X (1/100, X sync) and B. The Pentax MV could not attach a winder or motor drive. It could use the Dial Data ME databack with an adaptor to slide in the hot shoe, or the later Digital Data M databack via a cord adapter and the hotshoe adapter.

The lenses were interchangeable with the K bayonet mount. Together with the M series was introduced the SMC Pentax-M series of compact lenses.

The Pentax MV only existed in black finish.

Magazine comment at the time noted that the lightweight structure of this model in particular, meant that the Pentax mirror mechanism (identical to that of others in the M series) had sufficient energy actually to introduce some camera-shake, leading to the advice that the MV was best used on a tripod - this analysis did nothing to assist sales, which were not strong.

It was followed in 1980 by the improved Pentax MV1.


Pentax K mount SLR Cameras
K2 | KX | KM | K1000 | MX | ME | ME Super | ME-F | MV | MV1 | MG | LX | Super-A | Program-A | A3 | P30 | P50