As promised, photos from the Pentax test roll. Taken 7 May 2006 at Wildwood Metropark.
I made a vital error in my testing of this camera: I used a different photofinisher than usual. I prefer to send my photos off to Snapfish, as I get scans of the photos as soon as they’re developed, and I know the quality of the prints and processing will be adequate and consistent. For this roll, however, I went to the local Wal*Mart one-hour lab, for convenience’s sake. (I wanted to know if the camera was functional before I bought it and its accompanying Bag O’ Fun™.) The colors and the contrast were a little “off” on this roll, and I couldn’t tell whether it was the camera itself or the different processing. I’m inclined to blame the processing, myself.
I also was in such a hurry to get the roll exposed and developed that I didn’t bother to take any particularly impressive photos. I thought for sure that taking the camera on a walk through Wildwood Metropark would result in some awesome photo ops. I thought wrong.
As far as the camera itself goes… I like it. The Honeywell Pentax ES is a standard early-1970’s SLR with that heavy, solid feel and sound. The mirror makes a fantastic *ker-chunk* noise as it snaps up when the shutter releases. The outdated 6-volt silver battery (necessary only for the light meter) is easily replaceable with a comparable lithium battery, and the light meter seems to work fine with its new-fangled power supply. I only used the “normal” 50mm lens for my test roll, but I’m curious about the wide-angle and the telephoto lenses.
Technical Data: Released in 1971, the Pentax ES (Electro Spotmatic) was touted to be the first aperture-priority camera with through-the-lens metering (basically, the camera can tell you whether there’s enough light to take the picture). It uses a now-defunct M42 screw mount to attach lenses. My particular camera was imported by the Honeywell company (hence the name Honeywell Pentax), although the camera was made in Japan by Asahi Optical.
Again, as with the Voigtländer, I’m not sure what particular purpose this camera will fill… but I like it. It reminds me of a camera I picked up years ago — that one was used, and had a sticky/slow mirror, and I ended up trading it to my aunt along with $200 in return for her (now my) Minolta. I liked that old used camera, too. It had that old, solid feel and sound to it that I really seem to appreciate.
Next time I take the Pentax out? I’m going to attach a neck strap. Man, my hand cramped up like a mofo trying to carry that damn thing around the park with no strap. 🙂