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.
I decided to bring the First Roll project to Youtube and boy is it a fun; and an equally challenging experience. This two minute video took me three days to film and edit but the amount of new editing techniques that I learned was astonishing. That’s what it’s all about; taking a step or two forward everyday and before you know it, you’ll be standing in your full potential.
After filming my Youtube video the other day, I was quite perplexed on what I was going to do with all of the cameras that I received. To be completely honest, I thought the seller was just going to send me a box of junk. Non-working pieces of plastic that I would have to take to a recycling center. I was beyond surprised this morning when I discovered that twenty-seven of the thirty cameras were actually in full mechanical working condition. After lining them up in perfectly balanced rows, it hit me, I’ll pay-it-forward by donating half of them to a local thrift store and offering the other half on a first come, first serve basis for a very reasonable price ($30 including shipping within the US). We’ll even be throwing in free stickers and whatever other random stuff we have laying around. If you’ve been wanting to get your feet wet by buying an inexpensive point and shoot film camera, this is the perfect opportunity to dip your toe in at a low-risk, high-reward. The club opens up at 12pm and you can get there from here.
That’s right, I’m officially making my way back to Youtubebut this time, dumbing things down and not aiming for perfection. I’m just going to create for myself and let you see all of the mistakes along the way.
This round of First Roll was a shot in the dark as I knew absolutely nothing about the Rollei™ Prego AF camera. I found it on an online thrift store for $90 (shipping included) but wasn’t even sure if it was in working condition. I just really liked the way it looked and thought it was worth a shot; and when comparing it to eBay prices which put this camera at a $200+ value, I figured this is the perfect type of point and shoot to test out. After purchasing the camera, I tried to do a bit of research but couldn’t find very much information on it aside from a photographer using it for a few frames in a Youtube video and briefly talking about how it tends to have light-leaks. Not really a fan of lomography type images, I was already regretting my purchase.
The camera got delivered and upon the initial inspection I was really happy with the visual aesthetics and overall condition. It looked like it was hardly ever used and came with the original Rollei™ neck strap and pouch. Things were looking good so far but the real tests happen when I install a battery and fresh roll of film. First things first, I popped in C123 battery and prayed for juice. I hit the on button and boom, the camera came to life. Just like the voltage running through the circuits, I was equally energized with optimism as I loaded a roll of Kodak™ Portra 160. Time to take this baby for a spin.
While walking around and shooting, I found myself constantly keeping it in my hand. That’s really rare for me. I usually just snap a shot then put the camera back in my pocket or bag but with this one, I wanted to keep holding it and using it. I wasn’t even sure if the photos would come out good due to the untested mechanics but I simply didn’t care because I was getting lost in the viewfinder and the experience that I got each time I hit the shutter button. Aesthetically, it’s a very fun and responsive camera that feels great in your hand and is extremely easy to shoot with. After a day of walking around in Hollywood, it was time to drop off the roll.
I was honestly blown away when I got the scans back. The photo quality was beyond what I expected and quite frankly, comparable with the likes of a Yashica™ T4, perhaps even superior. I absolutely love everything about this little shooter, dare I say, it’s my new favorite point and shoot. It definitely performs way above its price bracket, even at $200, and is surely one that I’ll never get rid of. Hopefully if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to find another one as a back-up. Some of you may be saying, “wait, if this is your new favorite, why isn’t there that many images from the roll?”. That’s because I took this camera with me on the gals birthday and didn’t want to share her special occasion with something as mediocre as my need to nerd-out over a piece of plastic (you can scroll down to see the images). Now time for the pros and cons.
Easy to use
Super sharp 35mm 3.5 lens
Accurate auto focus
Great contrast and tones
Hard to find
The fact that I wish I had 5 more
In closing, this is the type of camera that embodies the whole point of this First Roll project. Hunting for an overlooked piece of machinery that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. This camera singlehandedly is the epitome of what my pursuits are geared towards when digging through the mud and trying to strike oil. If you happen to come across a Rollei™ Prego AF, please don’t buy it, just let me know where it is so I can come and get it. Thank you.
Here’s a couple of the frames that I captured with the Zeiss™ 35-70mm lens over the course of a week or so that I had a roll of Portra 400 in my Contax™ 167MT. I really love how the lens performed throughout the different natural lighting situations and shutter speeds. The versatility of the focal lengths without any major distortion or lack of sharpness was extremely impressive. I’m obviously not one that likes super sharp images when it comes to photographing humans (hence the Pro Mist filter) but I know there’s going to be situations where the sharpness comes in handy (for instance, the first frame). If you’re looking for a versatile lens that you can keep in your bag for numerous situations that doesn’t lose the photo integrity and can keep up with a fixed 35mm or 50mm, then this one is for you. Lenses to photo-makers is equivalent to brushes to painters. This brush, well, I plan on painting a lot with.