Camera Speed Dating – Pentax *ist w/ 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 SMC FA J lens

Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with…the 35mm Pentax *ist w/ 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 SMC FA J lens.


A few quick facts about the Pentax *ist 35mm camera…it was first introduced in 2003. The *ist primarily uses AF lenses but like all Pentax cameras M and K series lenses can be used, though the metering may be limited (personally I have always used my Pentax cameras in a hybrid state, usually an AF electronic body with really old manual focus lenses, set on aperture priority). It has a high shutter speed of 1/4000 and has a multiple exposure setting! It even uses lithium batteries which last quite a long time and won’t screw your camera up, like AA batteries do by leaking corrosives into the battery chamber.

The year this camera was released I actually had the chance to purchase it as it was the year all my camera equipment was stolen from me. Greg the Pentax rep gave me one as a loaner till I decided  how wanted to move forward. I remember really enjoying the camera back then (in the end I decided to replace my stolen camera with the slicker looking – but regrettably heavier- Pentax MZ-S). I had always wanted to use the Pentax *ist again though. Recently one happened to turn up so I took it on more of a holiday than a date. I took it to the Eclipse Festival with me last summer. I found it perfect for this sort of thing with the *ist being quite a bit smaller and lighter weight than most cameras, and made totally of plastic, which doesn’t bother me in the least. Its kit lens has a modest zoom range and autofocus, which is very handy for a quick photo, also admittedly sometimes after little to no sleep its nice to use a camera that can think for itself on fully auto or be able to confidently pass it off to a friend!


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Beau Photo Supplies Inc.
Beau Photo Supplies Inc.