I’ll be completely honest, in the pursuit of my dreams, there’s some mornings I don’t even know where to begin or how to start my day. Sometimes I have a hard time putting things into perspective and I question why I even bother working so hard if the rewards aren’t coming fast enough. Then I remind myself, this is all apart of my journey and the only thing that I have control of is if I’m going to show up and move one step closer to what I know is rightfully mine. We all have treasures that are waiting for us, but it’s up to us to go out find them.
I’ve seen many threads in regards to what camera(s) Ren Hang used in his work. When I find the 110 at thrift stores, I buy them, sort of as homage to Mr. Hang. It’s yet another reminder that you don’t need an expensive camera to create compelling images.
This is the second iteration of the Rollei™ Prego series cameras that I’ve tested so far and this one has way more features; and perhaps way more issues than the aforementioned. I was so impressed with the Prego AF that I had to find and acquire another member of the family just to make sure my initial impression wasn’t a fluke. Scrolling through eBay I came across this 100WA that features a super compact design with a generously proportioned LCD display on the back. I was instantly intrigued with everything about this camera aside from the asking price of $170 (which is justifiable now that I’ve used it). Not wanting to break my streak of getting nearly all of my compact point and shoots for under $100USD, I decided to initiate my haggling skills. After a few back and forths with the seller, I finally got him to budge as he accepted my offer of $85 (shipping included).
When I received the camera and looked at it for the first time, my initial thought was “oh, she looks even better in person” which is something that I didn’t find myself saying very often back when I was in the midst of my swiping endeavors. The body has a slick compact design that feels good in hand and the visual aesthetics that meet my eyes lust for design. Now let’s talk about the LCD on the back. This is the only point and shoot film camera that I own that features a big LCD display with a toggle-button that allows you to hop-scotch through settings. I was in-like with the big digital counter but I fell in-love when I realized that the display illuminates as you engage the settings. This is perfect for when you’re out at night or shooting candid party moments. I don’t know why more compact cameras from the 80’s and 90’s didn’t offer this feature since most were used for family orientated events. Aside from a small leakage spot on the screen and a couple of vanity based war-wounds, this camera is basically in mint condition. Okay, time to stop swimming in infatuation and load a roll of film to see what this baby can do.
The first two issues that I immediately noticed while shooting is that the viewfinder is quite small and it makes framing a bit tricky, especially if you have bad eyes like this old bloke. Secondly, the flash is automatically set to on. Even if you set the flash to off, the camera will automatically switch it back to auto once you hit the power button. Admittedly, I felt a bit annoyed by this but I had to remind myself to look for the good in all encounters so I realigned my chakras and got back to shooting. I can honestly say I had so much fun making photos with this camera over the week or so that it took for me to get through the roll. Even with its short comings, I still found it quite enjoyable to use. Not only does it feel and look good, there’s also this weird quality about it that compels you to want to use it. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was or why I liked it so much, and then I got the scans back and it all made sense.
I had high hopes for this camera because of my past experience with its predecessor and let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed. As you can see from the images, this camera is pretty consistent and when the auto focus and exposure hits, it hits hard and captures all of the things that I adore about film snapshots. The mood, the vibe, the tones, the grain, it’s all there. Now, this also means that you have to take the good with the bad. When this little snapper is in a mood and doesn’t care to perform for you, it produces muddy, out of focus frames that made me question why I even bothered loading her up with Kodak Portra if she was just going to give me expired Fuji Superia results. With this being said, even with the misfires and squinty-eyed viewfinder experiences, I had a lot of fun capturing these images. So, how do you know if this one is good for you? Well, lets get into the pros and cons
Metal front chasis
Easy to use
Sharp Auto Focus (when it hits)
Great contrast and tones
Plastic rear body
Somewhat slow lens
Resets to auto when turned off
Focus range is a hit or miss
Hard to find and impossible to fix
In closing, even though this camera has its hang-ups and moments of unclarity, I can honestly say that some of my favorite recent snapshots were taken with this little shooter. It was fun to use and once you build up the muscle memory for hitting the settings before you frame your shot, you will discover that this compact will produce some truly beautiful images. If you can find one for under $200, I highly recommend you pull the trigger as these don’t pop up very often.
Here’s the lineup for the next batch of the First Roll project. I don’t know when this blog transitioned from naked bodies to camera bodies but somewhere along the lines the content has transitioned into me collecting a ton of cameras; somewhere in the ball park of forty to be exact, and that number keeps growing each week. With this being said, I think it’s time for me to purge some of them on the SS Camera Club next week. Get ready.
I bought the gal her very first camera for her birthday and she’s been taking photos since. I was actually quite surprised by how excited she gets pull out her little pink snapper and capture moments so I figured I would add to her collection. I’ll admit, the “his and hers” film storages next to each other in our fridge is pretty cute.
Here’s some images that I forgot I shot last month while testing out a couple of cameras. I believe I used the Espio 80 and the Minolta 110 Date (infamous Ren Hang shooter of choice) but wasn’t too impressed with the output so I left these frames on the back burner. I’m going to chalk it up as a miss-fire and will reload them soon.
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 140Vfound its way into my hands. I guess the third time really is a charm.
Easy to use
Super sharp 38mm-140mm lens
Adjustable AF modes
Adjustable flash modes
Great contrast and tones
Somewhat slow lens
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.
Never allow your lack of know-how to stifle your creative pursuits. I’m learning how to edit these videos as I go and even though they are no where near what I know they’ll become once I nail my style, I refuse to let my skill-level stop me from creating.
One of my favorite aspects of coming up with new products or selling up-cycled items is creating the packing. I love coming up with concepts and adding a hands-on DIY aspect to everything that I offer. I love the effort and human factor that breathes life into the end experience of wherever the items end up in the world. To me, good packaging doesn’t always have to be lavish or cost tons of money. In fact, some of my favorite packaging that I’ve ever held in my hands was extremely basic but you could tell there was thought and heart put into the end product. That’s what it’s all about.