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REVIEW: Pentax Espio 135M

Reviews
Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2013-11-28

Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M

Introduced: 1992

This cameras also go under the name Pentax IQZoom 135M.

Specs:

Lens: SMC Pentax Zoom 38-135mm f/4.8-f/12
8 elements in 6 groups
Closest Focus: 0.8m (2.6ft) at 38mm - 1.08m (3.5ft) at 135mm
Aperture: f/4.8 - f/12 to ??
Shutter: 1/400s to 2s + B (Bulb)
Leaf shutter
Light meter: Yes (Iso 25 - 3200) ((DX coded film only and uses ISO 25 with a non DX)
Battery: One 3v CR123A or equivalent
Flash: Yes, built in only
Weight: 235g (without battery)

Self-timer
Auto focus and exposure
Two AF systems (Multi-focus or Spot AF)
Panorama mode
Support a wireless remote control

Takes 135 film
24×36 mm negative size or 13x36mm in panorama format


Viewfinder:

Small size but good brightness and it works very well.

Info:
Close focus compensation frame.

AF and flash info
Two led light just to the right of the viewfinder.
One green which is for the AF info.
Fixed light after it found focus and blink if it don't.
And then a red under this which lights up if the flash will go of in the shot.



Image quality


Analogue B&W film

Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Download full size image. Here
38mm - about 80mm - 135mm

Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M


Bokeh

Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M

Flare / Backlight
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M


Build quality

Very plastic but still well built and quite solid.

Look and feel:
The design looks okay and quite typical from the time but all that plastic don't make for the best feel.

 
Operating
Pentax Espio 135M / Pentax IQZoom 135M


Conclusion


This is a surprisingly good camera and way better than I expected.

Image quality is really good especially for a long zoom on a compact camera.
Great sharpness which holds up the whole zoom range but do have a some soft corners.
Contrast and bokeh is also very nice.

Using the camera is very easy and the AF and exposure systems works great.
AF almost never got it wrong but did struggle to find focus in some occasions where I needed to half press the shutter a couple of times before it found it.
The light meter have also been flawless but it did want to use the flash in some odd occasions where this would do nothing and was not needed.
These were in bright sunlight but I locked the focus on a part in shadow so it I think it did this as a fill light.

So what's the saying .. don't judge a camera by its exterior :)
Because this is a great one even if it's not a looker.
Yes the lens is really slow but small full frame compact camera + long zoom + fast lens don't unfortunately go hand in hand.

Thumbs up:
Image quality
Easy to use
Small and Lightweight

Thumbs down:
Plasticky
Slow lens



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Technical Info
Scanner: Plustek OpticFilm 7600i
Film: Kodak Tmax 100
Developer: Kodak Xtol

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