135compact.com       35mm ultra compact cameras       Pentax Zoom 105R

This was my biggest misbuy in the truest sense of the word. This camera isn't really a compact, it's big. I saw the features and as I have quite some compact Pentax models, I did not pay attention to its size.

The Pentax Zoom 105R is a 35mm film camera of the top-range series.
It was first released in 1991 when the digital market was not yet a consumer market at all. It has a zoom that covers 38-105mm. And it has so many features, that there is nothing left to desire.

Its main features are:

38-105mm F4-7.8 lens, 11 elements in 9 groups (!), autofocus with focus lock, min. focus 1.35m, 1.35 - 0.45m macro mode,  0,45m super macro mode
Electronic shutter, 1/250-1/3, 1/3-1min bulb mode
Size 144x83x67,  Weight 480 (!) gr. without battery
25-3200 ISO, automatic DX coding, automatic film advance, focus lock.
Modes: Macro, super-macro via distict buttons. Orange button: Flash: Auto, on. off, bulb sync. Bulb. Backlight compensation. Bulb sync, bulb and exposure compensation can be fine tuned via the black button and the zoom lever. Keep the black button pressed and touch the zoom lever to fine tune. To cancel fine tuning, shortly touch the on/off slider. Blue button: Single frame, self-timer, consecutive shooting, interval shooting, multi exposure. Except single frame all modes can be fine tuned. Refer to the manual, the possibilities and combinations are incredible.

Camera in its original pouch and with its strap.

Camera, pouch and strap.

Camera front closed.

Camera back. Viewer with 2 LED for flash and AF. 3 setting buttons. On/off slider. Wide/Tele lever. Film type window. Slightly touching the zoom lever moves th lens in steps, touching harder moves it continously.

Camera front open. The flash is set automatically. Flash guide number ~22 (!) (m/ISO 100). The lens moves automattically to 38mm.

The lens set to wide position, 38mm. The distance is indicated on the LCD screen

Lens moved out to its tele position.

View from above.  LCD screen.
Shutter release. Macro button. Camera set to flash off. The LCD can be lit with an extra button.

Extra super macro setting under a slider. Remote cable socket.

Camera set to macro. Pay attention to the macro frame in the finder.

View from below. Tripod socket. Battery compartment, takes 2 (!) CR123 batteries- Extra anti-red eye setting. Mid-roll rewind.

Film compartment.

There is a tool on the strap for mid-roll rewind and for opening the battery compartment. So the strap should be present.

This camera is easy to use. Autofocus is responsive and works well. Putting a film is easy as well, you drop the film
, tear the film leader up to the mark and that's it. The camera winds it automatically. It has so many manual settings that you should download the manual. The menu is very easy to access on a big clear LCD screen. The basic settings are easy and logical without a manual..

The picture are sharp, it has a very luminous lens for its range which adds size and weight. It's a very good point and shoot camera with a moderate wide angle and a long zoom lens, good picture quality, nice finish in a big body which is quite bigger than other cameras. It sets the flash auto from start but there is a real flash off mode. Some of the features you will not find on other cameras. For example you can put it on a tripod and set it to shoot one photo per day for weeks !

A nice camera, but as I said, it's big and heavy. Pentax made smaller models later, as they stayed in the film camera market well into the 2000s.