Pentax Espio : The $2 Wonder

2013-09-05 5

What was the cheapest camera you ever bought? Was it worth the buy? Read on about the story of the cheapest camera I ever bought.

Credits: walasiteodito

I often come around Japanese surplus shops here in Manila, hunting cameras, toys, and all sort of stuffs. One of my cheapest find is this compact Pentax Espio 35-70mm af zoom camera, complete with leather case, and panoramic mask. At first the guy was selling it to me for 200 Pesos (4$) but lucky enough, we made a deal at 100 pesos (2$) since it wasn’t tested and there is a chance that it was not working. The camera is in very good physical condition, the lens is scratch-less as hell.

Credits: walasiteodito

When I got home I immediately put a cr123a battery in the gear then it suddenly winded. I started testing the shutter, it was opening, then the flash, it fires. Though I don’t have any idea about this camera, there is only one thing left to do to really test the quality of this item, that is to load it with a roll of film.

Credits: walasiteodito

Before I started clicking, I googled about the camera first. It seems that this camera has many other siblings like the much more famous Pentax Espio mini, I believe that mine was one of the first editions. There was a manual in the web, after reading, I learned a few quirks about the camera.

Credits: walasiteodito

The camera is fully automatic, the gadget will be the one to choose the shutter speed and aperture to use in a certain situation. The ISO cannot also be changed, though you can cheat the DX coding of your film spool. It has a 35-70mm af zoom lens, and I was surprised that the viewfinder also zooms and focuses as close as 0.6m. There is a light indicator in the viewfinder if the flash needs to fire (red) and if the camera focuses (green, blinks if unsuccessful in focusing). And let’s not forget, a tripod thread.

Credits: walasiteodito

Now about the quirks. It has a lot of settings, more than you expected. Flash, nighttime without flash, nighttime with flash, backlight compensation, Bulb mode, and Bulb mode without flash. There is a separate button for red eye reduction and for landscape setting. There is a button for timer too that will also enable other modes. It has 2 timer length to choose from, it also has a timer that will automatically shoot twice, continuous mode, multiple exposure, 3 second interval, and 60 second interval. OK, Enough of the technicalities, let’s start shooting!

Credits: walasiteodito

I took it to the street, It has an almost perfect autofocus, let’s say 98% of the time it is correct.

Credits: walasiteodito

The exposure is superb, I love the way it exposes even in low light situations.

Credits: walasiteodito

One of my favorite quirks is the double exposure capabilities, just look at the photos.

Credits: walasiteodito

I think this camera is suited for street photography, because it is quiet and fast.

Credits: walasiteodito

All in all, this is worth every cent. So if ever you came across one with a good price, do not hesitate to grab it.

Credits: walasiteodito

written by walasiteodito on 2013-09-05 #gear #review #pentax-espio-35mm-street-photography-review-surplus-2-cheap


  1. dbuckle
    dbuckle ·

    Good review and photos. I found one of these in a Thrift Store for $1. Good little camera.

  2. guanatos
    guanatos ·

    great review!

  3. majooo
    majooo ·

    ganda po idol

  4. curiouscat
    curiouscat ·

    Hi I'm quite clueless about cameras but looking for one as a present to my friend. I saw an offer for a Pentax espio AF zoom for about 33£, would like to know if that is a good deal or if I would get ripped off? Haha would appreciate any advice thanks!

  5. rolandfei
    rolandfei ·

    Nice article kabayan! Salamat sa share! What particular model ng Pentax espio gamit mo dito? And any good alternatives for point and compact/compact analogue na may multiple exposure function? Maraming salamat :)

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