Pentax P3

I ran into a challenge with the 100-Day Project this week. Yesterday and today were both overcast days. Full cloud cover. Today it rained. What do I, an avid outdoor photographer, shoot on days like these when the sky is dark, grey and damp?

Today I tried walking outside around the strip mall. I didn't see anything worthy of shooting. I got in the car and drove to the Quick Chek, hoping to see something I could work with. Nothing.

Recently I have felt a bit nostalgic for some older "tech".   Last weekend, I asked some friends on Facebook where I could find a colour film. I got some good suggestions but they all involved travel. I don't have the time this week for a trip, even if just one to the next county. Last night I ordered a roll of Kodak Professional Ektar 100.

Hopefully, my Pentax P3 still works. I bought the P3 for a photography course I took in my sophomore year of college. I shot a lot of black & white films back then. I still have some negatives and prints in the basement somewhere.

I didn't check if the battery in the P3 has a charge. But if it does, I am curious to see how well I can coach usable images from a film camera.

The Pentax P3, also known as the Pentax P30, was first manufactured in 1985.

In terms of competitors, during its time, the Pentax P3 faced competition from other 35mm SLR cameras in a similar price range. Some notable competitors of the Pentax P3 included the Nikon FM2, Canon AE-1, Minolta X-700, and Olympus OM-2.

The Pentax P3 offered a range of features, making it a popular choice among photography enthusiasts. It features a TTL (Through-The-Lens) metering system, which provides accurate exposure measurements. The camera also has an aperture-priority auto-exposure mode, manual exposure mode, and a program mode for automatic shooting. It has a built-in light meter and a vertically travelling focal plane shutter.

In terms of build quality, the Pentax P3 has a sturdy construction. Its durable hard plastic chassis provides a solid feel and ensured longevity. The camera's exterior body was predominantly made of high-quality plastic, which contributes to its lightweight design.

The Pentax P3 was a compact and lightweight camera for its time. The Pentax P3 primarily features a lightweight plastic body, which is durable. However, the details regarding the materials used in its construction are limited. It measures approximately 135mm (width) x 86mm (height) x 50mm (depth) and weighs around 425 grams (without batteries). Its compact size and lightweight design make it portable and easy to carry for everyday photography.

Regarding ergonomics and comfort, the Pentax P3 is designed to be user-friendly. Its comfortable grip gives me secure handling and ease of use. The controls and buttons are well-placed, providing intuitive operation and easy access to essential settings.

The design aesthetic of the Pentax P3 can be described as a classic and functional SLR camera design. It has a clean and straightforward appearance with a black exterior finish. The overall design focuses on functionality rather than flashy aesthetics.

The exposure modes of the Pentax P3 include aperture-priority auto-exposure mode, manual exposure mode, and a program mode. These modes provide me with various options to control the exposure settings based on their shooting preferences.

The Pentax P3 has a shutter speed range from 1/1000th of a second to 1 second, along with a bulb mode for long exposures. This range allows me to capture various scenes with different motion dynamics, from fast-action shots to long-exposure night photography.

The ISO range of the Pentax P3 varies depending on the film used. It supports ISO film speeds ranging from ISO 25 to ISO 1600, providing flexibility for lighting conditions and film choices.

The Pentax P3 uses the Pentax K lens mount system. Pentax cameras widely use this lens mount system and offer compatibility with a vast range of lenses. It allows me to use various Pentax K-mount lenses available in the market.

The lens compatibility of the Pentax P3 extends to a wide range of Pentax K-mount lenses. This includes prime, zoom, and speciality lenses produced by Pentax and third-party lens manufacturers. The camera supports manual and auto-focus lenses designed for the Pentax K mount.

Montgomery Township, New Jersey, United States of America

Author:Khürt Williams

A human who works in information security and enjoys photography, Formula 1 and craft ale.