Oh Wow! Pentax P3

A few weeks ago while searching through my box of old film prints looking for a photo of a client’s dog (shot about 7 years ago during my hobbiest days), I stumbled upon some of the very first pet photos I ever took, of some of my favorite pets ever, like Lucy and Willa below.










I started thinking about the camera those shots came from and wondered if I still had it somewhere. Well guess what! It was in my cabinet along with the rest of my assorted camera gear. Not where I keep my Canon EOS 5D, but in another place. I digress…

The camera this shot came from is a very basic, yet fine quality Pentax film camera, the P3 to be exact. It came out in 1985, which makes it 22 years old. Awesome!

I originally bought it for my first photography class I took in high school. I was 17. I did all of my own film developing and darkroom work at that time. I loved the photo-taking but hated the processing. I digress (again)…

So over the past few weeks I have been curious to see what kinds of shots I can take with the Pentax now that I have some experience under my belt.

I am sooo excited to try out the camera again! Tomorrow I will be making a trip to the Glazer’s film department to pick up rolls of film and a battery and make sure it doesn’t need to be repaired or cleaned. (Do film cameras need cleaning?). They are going to love my idiotic questions. 😉

Side note: this will be my first time not going to the digital shop- Alan and Russ will probably wonder what Fergie and I are doing walking past, lol. I should tell them that I was always a digital imposter and see if they want to buy my 5D, ha ha ha, hee hee…

This Sunday I will be taking the lovely Ferguson somewhere, maybe Pioneer Square (seems perfect for gritty black and whites) to do a film shoot for her.

If all goes well and I am happy with the results I will add a film session to my photo session options on my new website I am building (just a few more weeks and it will be live!). This will satisfy the clients who love the look and feel of film photographs.

I anticipate having great results because I recall that for a few years before I started my business my ‘keeper’ shots were few and far between. Now that my skills have improved and I know how to get what I want from a camera I think I can coerce the Pentax to give me what I want. I used to shoot in fully manual with the Fuji, and shoot in aperture priority with the Canon, so I think it will be ok. The main difference is that the Pentax does not have AF, which means I will be manually focusing each shot. I think this will be ok too because now that I am used to using the viewfinder on the DSLR I think I can swing it. Wish me luck!

I did a little bit of digging just now to see what kinds of shots the P3 will take and stumbled upon this shot taken by David Viglianti, which literally had me saying “Oh Wow!” out loud. If this is this is an example of the kinds of shots the P3 will take, I am soooo psyched!!

Pentax P3, Pentax smc P-M 50mm f/1.7, Fujicolor Reala, copyright David Viglianti


I will post my film shoot results here. 🙂

P.S. Holy crap- I just turned it on and the battery still works! It’s a sign!

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