Why I love the Pentax PC35AF-M
No I’m not mad, this is an 80’s plastic not-so compact, BUT it’s still cheap, solidly built and embodies the 80’s which I love.
OK its not small, its fairly light, but is roughly the same size as your average pentax slr body without the lense. About the same size as most 90’s zooms.
What is good is that it’s an auto that doesn’t have any of the annoyances of the later full autos like the MJU2 etc.
It has a flash, but not by default, It has DX but unlike others if you tape up the sensors, you still have 4 iso settings, not 1 like most others (normally crappy 100iso) My model must be a crossover, it has DX but isn’t emblazed all over the body like the slightly later DX ones.
This camera is ideal for people who manually load their own film canisters. It has 4 isos as mentioned, it has a great moving bar on the rear door like Pentax SLRs to see when the film is rewinding, so you can stop it before it goes back in the canister. The rewind can be stopped at anytime as well.
The lens is as good as any other 2.8/3.5 prime of the day, I can’t tell the difference between pictures taken by this or an XA2. The clamshell is spring loaded which is cool.
Some people complain of the beep when low light (telling you to turn on the flash). This doesn’t bother me but annoys street photographers. Truth is unless your in a big city/busy place if you take random candid photos of people, you’ll either get smacked or reported to the police for being a pervert (well in the UK anyway).
The viewfinder is pretty cool as well. At the bottom there is a focus distance guide with a little needle that indicates roughly the distance the AF has picked before you fully depress the shutter button.
The only issue I can find is the battery door hinge is flimsy so load batteries carefully. Once broke, other than tape theres not really a refined fix for this.
Unless space is a major issue, I’d rather take this away than an MJUII. Yes its bigger, but its less plasticky, shoots more or less the same, and takes normal AA batteries so no trying to find CR123’s if your caught out.
Find one while you can as you can still get mint ones for under £30 on ebay at the time of writing this (2018/19)