I tested another camera this weekend. So what is new you guys are wondering (me too). This time it was a little point and shoot Pentax – the Espio 120SW. I knew of this camera from the excellent Film Advance blog where it is listed as one of Gary’s favourite cameras. Gary lives in the same town as me and we went out to shoot one day and it was his pocket camera so I had a close look at it then. When I saw one in the thrift store for $9 I had a pretty good idea what I was getting into.
This is the second shot I took with the camera. The flash fired when not intended (I really must remember to turn flashes off on these more modern point and shoots). The telephoto was extended quite a bit and I measured my distance with the long strap. Did you know that there was a time when these cameras came with a strap the same length as their nearest focal distance? Can make for a long strap, but very useful!
I very much like the feel of this shot. A bit soft, but that works well. I am thinking of lending it to someone for a trip overseas so I got the negatives scanned commercially in order to show them the quality they can expect.
Pentax Espio 120SW, Agfa Vista Plus 200, commercially processed and scanned.
Ehpem, I love this image! The softness really works in this case. BTW I have an old Espio 70. I picked it up for the grand sum of $2.50 at one of our local photo club exchange days. It seems to work well, though I have hardly used it much (I really prefer the convenience of digital). But maybe I’ll give it another try one of these days.
Hi Laurie, nice to hear from you. I agree this shot works really well. The (huge) Espio series of cameras is a mixed bag with only a few of them that are standouts in their class. I am not familiar with the Espio 70 but if it is as good as this one then it would be worth putting back in circulation. This 120SW is going off to Vietnam for a visit. It will be interesting to see how it performs in relatively inexperienced hands.
I like the softness and the subdued colours here – and a very attractive composition too.
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Thank you Andy. The composition was the only bit that I controlled. It is interesting to try out new cameras and get surprising results. I will need to investigate if the softness was due to low light and a bit of motion blur though with flash one would think not. So perhaps I was just a bit close for focusing, or the camera just does not do well (sharpness-wise) close up with telephoto extended. Something to try on the next roll.