I’m going to be brutally honest, I had no desire to purchase another Espio due to my past experiences with this series of cameras and their lackluster ability to capture the vibe that I like in my images. I’ve seen countless people rave about the Espio 80 and the 90MC but unfortunately, both fell short for me when it came to my personal experiences with them. I was on the verge of completely writing off this line of point shoots until the Pentax Espio 140V scrolled on to my screen for an extremely reasonable price. Perhaps it was a calling from the camera gods telling me not give up so fast or maybe it was divine intervention, call it what you will but I’m glad I didn’t throw in the towel before pulling the trigger on this snazzy little shooter.
The camera showed up in beautiful exterior condition but I still wasn’t sure about the mechanics due to most second-hand snappers coming untested. It’s always a roll of the dice, especially when you’re buying an old point and shoot for the low price of $70 shipped. I was pleasantly surprised when I popped in the CR123 battery and heard the lens mechanism begin to open as everything was powering up. The LCD display was immaculate and the zoom extended and retracted as smooth as can be. The flash fired, the shutter blades opened and the film-spool spun which indicated to me that it was time to load a roll of Portra 400 and go on an adventure.
The first thing that I noticed was the smooth clamshell design and how user-friendly this camera is. There’s no extra buttons to add confusion or gimmicks to get hung up on, which means you don’t have to think about the mechanics and you can just focus on the framing of what you wish to capture. For me, this alone makes for a good design and is something that I hold in high regard when it comes to picking a camera that I’ll keep in my collection. Over the couple of days that it took me to run through the roll, I really tried to exercise different lighting conditions and compositions to test the full range of what the 140V is capable of producing. I was honestly shocked when I got the scans back and my eyes gazed over the images. I didn’t think that I was going to have anything usable but to my surprise, nearly every frame was correctly exposed and there was little to no image distortion when zoomed all the way out. For the most part, everything was nice and sharp and only a few frames got muddy or lost their dynamic integrity due to camera shake. This was probably caused by me trying to snap a photo while I was walking (no flash) or because I zoomed too far and was out of the focus range. Either way, the camera performed spectacularly and I’m glad this Pentax Espio 140V found its way into my hands. I guess the third time really is a charm.
- Easy to use
- Clamshell design
- Super sharp 38mm-140mm lens
- Accurate viewfinder
- Adjustable AF modes
- Adjustable flash modes
- Great contrast and tones
- Plastic body
- Somewhat slow lens
- Scratches easily
- Shutter button has some tension
- Viewfinder isn’t air tight (common problem with the Espio series)
To put a bow on this, I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a well-rounded point and shoot that delivers dynamic images that has a sharp, crisp feel. The quality is not only superior to what I could have hoped for, but more importantly the user experience and output that this camera delivers is nothing short of praiseworthy.
Film was processed and scanned by @DarkRoomFilmLab