Tag Archives: pentax

Pentax P30 (P3)

This is the first camera in the P30 series or P3 series elsewhere. I have already tried the P30T and loved it. So when a friend cheekily asked for my ME Super in exchange for a few other cameras including this one, I decided to say yes. Though I did think long and hard about it. In the end I realised, yet again, I have far too many cameras and I didn’t NEED the ME so why not let a friend, who really wanted it, have it??

Hello Pentax P30 from 1985…I kept the lens though.

The difference from the ‘T’ is simple, no aperture priority mode. Apparently there is a program mode, as stated in the manual, but mine doesn’t show the ‘P’ with the lens I have attached.

The ISO/ASA is set by the DX coding on the canister and there is no way to override it. Though you could use the method I have written about before or adjust with the manual exposure you choose.

I tried my P30 with an expired film, that I had already half used in another camera, and took it for a walk in the woods on a very dull, windy day. Due to the movement of the branches and leaves I chose a speed of 1/125th which meant I was sometimes choosing f1.7 at some points. That meant a very shallow depth of field.

This camera is fine, in the passive aggressive sense of the word. I don’t like it as much as the P30t or the ME Super, but it does the job. If I was going to use a K-fit camera I would still choose Spiderman. I found it a porridge kind of camera, not bad, not good, sort of ok if that is all you can choose. You can tell I was enthused by the camera by the length of the post.

Pentax Zoom 70 R

For a compact camera, this Pentax is massive! Plus it takes two CR123 batteries…TWO!

For that reason alone I initially did not like this camera from 1991.

There was a found film inside and I blasted through it, just trying to lighten my load. I took it to Huddersfield quickly finished it off with the industrial landscape.

Nothing special and that film was poor too. My feeling for this camera just took a bigger plummet. I started writing this blog almost immediately and while doing so I found the manual.

In the manual I saw these two pages…

Look at all those settings! Bulb, bulb with synchro flash, Multi Exposure, Dual Frame Self Timer, backlight compensation…no wonder this camera needs two batteries. I think I better give this camera another chance.

Of course I did play with all the buttons on the camera and did see the symbols, but it is easy to forget them when you have already formed an opinion about something. Changing your mind after a bad first impression is very hard to do, hence all the advice against it during interviews etc.

I loaded a fresher Kodak 200 and decided to focus on the colour red meaning I would carry the camera with me, despite the size, and have something of red in each photo.

That was until I got bored and the rain came down and I just wanted to get rid of the damn thing. The first impression stuck. Here are some shots from the next roll.

As you can see I went to the UCI finishing line in Harrogate, in fact I was a volunteer up two of the main climbs during terrible weather. Today, I am coughing from a cold as a result of a very rainy weekend in a tent. Worth it? Maybe, but I would prefer to be working. The whole week wasn’t the best advertisement for the Yorkshire area in terms of weather, which was a shame as it really is gorgeous. For the UCI I volunteered for the location of Lofthouse, little did I know there were two places with that name in Yorkshire. The one I volunteered for was a couple of hours from my house. So this roll has both Lofthouses on it, I bet that doesn’t happen often.

I also took the camera to Blackpool, hence the deckchairs and that is it, experiment over. I do not like this camera 😦

Pentax Espio 738S (738G)

I put the 738S and 738G versions in the title as I obtained both in a job lot purchase. Looking both over, I could not see any differences between them apart from a few variations on appearance. I sent the 738G to a friend and used the 738S to try out the DX altered film I prepared previously as the camera accepts films with an iso rating from 25-1600. This camera was released around 1998.

As I also have the Espio 928M which I feel is a slightly better camera, I will not be keeping this one no matter how it performs in the test.

The film I chose was an expired truprint 200 I found inside the camera. I changed the DX code so the camera would think it was a 50 iso and took the camera to The Great North Run. I had to drop some family members off at the start and wait for them at the finish. That meant I had a couple of hours to hang around in South Shields, so why not test a camera?

In the end how many photos can you take of people running, so I finished the film off around The Hepworth Wakefield. Here are the results.

Well, changing the iso rating worked really well for this camera and film. The original rating of 200 would have under exposed the shots. The camera is a fine point and shoot, but as I have many others, to keep one it would have to be very special. For me, this one has nothing special to offer. It is fine, it is ok, it does the job without bells and whistles.

Pentax Pino 35

I am currently in Japan on a short holiday, but here is a review I prepared before I left. It is another Pentax, you would think it is my favourite brand. No, I know someone who is trying to convert me though. It is also another cheap and cheerful point and shoot from the mid 80s.

As you can see, it is a very simple camera to use. You set the film speed of either 100, 200, or 400 ISO/ASA then choose the conditions based on the weather symbols. The camera has a fixed speed of 1/125th, the weather symbols change the aperture which ranges from f3.8 to f19. If there isn’t enough light a red warning indicator appears in the viewfinder, but it will still take the shot. The camera will work without the two AA batteries as they power the flash and warning light not the mechanism. That means if you find an example with battery corrosion damage, it might still work. Oh, if you are using the flash, there is a distance scale on the side but that really opens and closes the aperture as it is linked to the weather symbols.

And that is it, not even a self timer to worry about, just point and shoot at things beyond 1.5m. This review says it is one of the worse looking cameras of the plastic era. Bit harsh, but somewhat true.

I had a film in this one for a while and kept it in my bag as I wandered around Yorkshire. It was small and study enough to go on a bike ride too.

Well, nothing special really. Some are sharp, some are a bit soft. It produced typical results for a basic plastic camera. It is fine if you plan on taking it somewhere where it might get stolen or damaged. But really, there are plenty of better cameras out there. It is fine if you find it for a couple of quid. I will not be keeping my example.

Pentax Espio 928M

I have recently tried another point and shoot from Pentax, which I lent to a friend who hasn’t tried film for a very long time. Then the person who gave me that camera sent me a remote for it, bugger. I always regret parting with cameras, but for the sake of my sanity and wallet, it has to be done. Anyway, in order to try the remote, I looked for a cheap but good replacement. Hello 928M.

The zoom on this 1999 camera was not as long as on the other one, but 28-90mm was still ok for me. I chose this one as I read somewhere that it did multiple exposures. I won’t link to that article, because it doesn’t. Though this one also has a bulb mode which is rather good for a point and shoot. It also accepts DX coded film up to 3200asa, available apertures range from f3.5 – f9, and has a maximum speed of 1/400s. That is all quite impressive really. Here are some more technical details.

I used this camera on a day out in Doncaster, exactly as a point and shoot might be used. One film, one location but I saved a couple of shots to use with the remote, gosh I have been enjoying fish and chips lately looking at my increase belly size. The remote worked perfectly, and the case even had a little pocket to keep it in. Cameras with a brushed metallic finish are always lovely to hold. It was quick and responsive, but the proof is in the pudding or photo whichever you prefer.

Golly, I think this one did well. Even the tricky shot of the market roof is perfectly exposed. I might be converting to Pentax as my main camera of choice. And what the heck is happening to the weather? The day in Doncaster was the warmest day on record for February in the UK, warmer than most summer days. Look at it now, barely a dry day in sight.

As for the camera, I think I will keep this a while seeing as I the other might not be returned and I now have a remote. These cameras are still fairly easy and cheap to find. If you can find a good example it would be a great one to keep in a handy location.

Pentax Efina T (aps)

This is the second APS I have tried recently. This one is small, well built, solid. It feels like a quality piece of equipment in your hand. There is also a lot about it online, including all these technical details. The brushed metal finish of this 1999 camera makes you feel like, yeah…this is gonna work. And then you remember the film issue.

Anyway, here is this great looking camera.

And look at that tiny, tiny flash! I thought…That is never going to work and most of the reviews agreed with that thought. Oh well, I still like it.

I loaded it with Agfa Futura II and left it in my bag for ages…and ages, whipping it out when I remembered, testing the flash on Christmas day. It was just so small, it was easy to lose it at the bottom of a big bag. Then, when I finally remembered it again, I took it to Bradford.

Oh, if it only had ISO over-ride it would be super. Oh, if only there was fresh film it would be even super-er. But no. Great to hold, fun to use, not great for important photos.

Pentax ME F

I saw this camera for sale on eBay for parts/not working. The description said the battery cover was stuck. I knew the ME F was very much like the ME Super and thought, I think I can fix that! So I bought it, for a bargain price.

When the camera arrived the battery compartment was indeed stuck. I unscrewed the bottom plate and there were batteries in the compartment. Luckily they weren’t leaking and the compartment showed no damage. I took them out and replaced the plate. Next, I tried pressing the battery open button and voila, the compartment opened without an issue. I am not sure why the cover got stuck, but it seemed fine now. I put in fresh ones and the lights came on. Maybe one had swelled and was due to burst. I got there in the nick of time.

I had come into contact with this model before, but it didn’t work. I then became a little obsessed with finding another. Finally, here I am with a seemingly working model. I researched it and found it is basically an improved ME Super with a focusing assistant for the very first autofocus lens. Without the lens, it is an ME Super with a focus indicator in the viewfinder. That made me think, sometimes we really want something, like a newer model. Something bigger, better, faster. I have lost count how many times I have upgraded something or bought a new digital camera and then realized the old one was perfectly fine.

Without that all-important lens, with the autofocus built in, this one was exactly what I already had. I didn’t need it at all. You can read more about it here, with technical details galore. 

Oh well, now I have it I might as well test it as I have a few Pentax K lenses. The camera works in aperture priority mode or manual mode. The “A” for auto on the lens I chose did not work on this camera, which was tricky when I accidentally went passed f22 by mistake.

Here is the test roll. It was very underdeveloped, I am still having issues adjusting to Ilfosol 3. I corrected the shots in Preview, well the ones I thought were worth it.

As a point of note, I do not like the new WordPress gallery. The old one would arrange the photos in a much more pleasing manner. The new one leaves big gaps unless you choose to crop the images for the thumbnails which I did for the camera shots and will do for the next test roll. I wanted to try the camera again after finding out about the auto issue.

There were taken on a lovely December afternoon around St.Aidans. The light went away quite sharply throughout the roll. The well-lit shots are fine, but the backlit ones caused this example to struggle. I took a similar roll with another camera and that coped much better with backlight. This camera, with both rolls, seems to underexpose a little.

Even though I love my Pentax ME Super, I just did not take to this version or example. I say example as it might just be this one, another MEF might be perfectly ok. If I use it again I will overexpose everything by half or one stop.

Sold

Pentax P30T

As you know I have returned to England for a while. When I was sure I was coming back I bought some cameras on eBay to be delivered here before I arrived. I thought these would keep me amused while I am out of work and lazing around. This was the first one I tried. I still have a few draft posts from Japan, I will publish those eventually but I wanted to post one from the UK.

Oh and this was the state of my bed when I arrived.

my bed

I forgot some of the things I ordered and ended up buying a camera I had already tested and gave away.

This camera was in one of the biggest parcels as it came with a bag, a zoom lens and a few filters. I took the 50mm from another Pentax camera to try it.

As you can see it was a little dusty on the outside, but the inside was clean. The zoom lens’ front glass had loads of gunk all over it. Nothing I tried would get it off. So I resorted to very a very gentle toothpaste mixture. That cleaned it, but I would not know if I damaged it until I tried it. Nothing lost for me as I didn’t pay much for it, do not try that at home though.

This camera was on my hit list after I read this blog. I then looked for photos on the net, particularly Instagram. I loved the look and colour of the body. This great blog gives a lot more technical details and instructions on how to use the camera.

I plonked in some Fuji Venus 800 that I got out of the gatcha machine at Suzuki Camera and headed for Harewood House.

The camera was light and very easy to use. The 800ASA film and the f1.7 aperture was perfect for inside the recreation of the gardener’s house which was quite dark. I loved this camera and am torn as to which I like more, this or the ME Super. And that is tricky as I just made the ME top of my current top ten. The ME looks more vintage, but the P30T’s grey finish has its own charm.

Here is my test roll.

I left the body on Auto and for the most part, left the lens on Auto too. Inside the gardener’s house, I changed the lens to aperture priority to make sure I knew there would not be any camera shake. The goat photo was taken using the zoom lens I cleaned as were the berries and the sunflowers with the fence. It is not great, but acceptable considering it was badly damaged.

I was also surprised by the film as I got it in a random machine for $2.50 as you got 2 films for $5. I was expecting it to be expired, but it performed beautifully. I great day out on a cloudy day, but a great film and camera coped with it perfectly.

Get yourself some Venus 800 here.

Keep or Sell: I eventually decided to sell it as I much prefer the Pentax ME Super and realised I would probably never use it again. Plus I don’t like keeping bodies without lenses.