Ever heard the Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell?
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Till it’s gone
How many cameras have you had that you later regretted parting with?
I’ve lost count. Once in a while you just have to get another one and keep it.
I got this Pentax PC35AF at a thrift store for $1.50 USD and took a roll to test it and pretty impressed by how good sharp and colorful the images were. At the time I wasn’t really looking for a constant companion pocket camera and gave that one to a young friend who works at a local camera store. It wasn’t until he’d taken it on vacation and showed me some of his killer pics that I started kicking myself. Anyway, I found one on Etsy that looked like it was in pretty good shape and took a deep breath, closed my eyes and took the plunge. Thank goodness I was rewarded with one that’s just as good if not better than the one I gave Kyle. Not going to part with it this time.
The PC35AF is a real sleeper. It was the first 35mm compact camera with autofocus from Pentax. It has an exceptional 5 element 5 group 35mm F2.8 lens, a sliding cover similar to the Olympus ‘clam shell’ and is built like a brick pagoda. It runs on AAA cells, has a great viewfinder, built in flash and is has a certain rugged charm – sorta like Kirk Douglas’ chin. It has a few downsides like no DX coding and only manually set 25-400 iso and is a bit heavy but those are minor compared with the stellar images it produces.
IMHO it’s every bit as good as an Olympus XA and some of the more pricey cult pocket gear and not nearly as expensive. I’ve gone through 3 XA’s and in the end I like this little guy much better. If you find one nab it. You won’t be disappointed.