Unsung Point and shoots with extra features.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by TonyB65, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. TonyB65

    TonyB65 Member
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    There are times when a "point & shoot"/compact camera are just nice to use, and doing some research on the sort of point and shoot I'd like to try I stumbled upon an excellent camera that I'd never heard of. I was actually researching the Pentax zoom 70 range, which apparently was the first point and shoot zoom camera ever produced. If you're not familiar with them they are fairly large, but pretty robust and capable cameras. As I was browsing some old reviews of the Pentax 70 one reviewer mentioned the Pentax 280-P, and some of it's features. This piqued my interest so I did the usual searches on this camera. To my surprise there is a veritable dearth of information about it, it's almost like it never existed, at least on the internet, even a search on Flickr only returned a single page of images, and a single youtube video on dismantling one (In Thailand). Anyway, I did a search on ebay, not a lot on there either, though I did eventually spot one, in the UK, in very good condition, with a manual, so I bought it for the princely sum of £10.50.
    It duly arrived, as described, in excellent condition, fully working, and what a revelation this camera is in terms of features. I'll just summarise some of the great features it, and it has one of real killer:

    • 28-80mm F3.5-F8 lens with 10 elements in 8 groups, not many point and shoots of this era go to 28mm
    • Stepped zooming with focal length indicator on the LCD
    • Pretty decent viewfinder, certainly much better than the Canon Powershot's, with a dioptre adjustment.
    • Removable remote control built into the camera itself.
    • Very well made (In Japan)
    • 3 second flash recycle time
    • Interval shooting - 10 secs to 60mins
    • Bulb shooting down to 10 minutes!
    • Multi-exposure, which can do more than two shots
    • ISO 25-3200
    • Multiple flash options including red-eye, slow sync etc.
    • Infinity focus setting
    And now for the real killer feature for me:
    • Exposure compensation +/- 3 in 0.5 steps, which stays activated even after power off, which means you can overcome DX coding and push or pull a film 3 stops either way, for DX coded compact cameras this is almost unheard of, I haven't identified any other P&S of this type that can do this.
    Downsides -
    • Not as dainty as some, 400g in weight, not going to win a beauty contest.
    • Disable flash takes two button presses, not saved after power off, however flash will only fire when light is not sufficient and will warn you with a flashing light by the viewfinder.
    That's about it really. It really is a very well made camera with some real killer features, and the lens is pretty decent as well. I did some further research and it appears that the Pentax Espio line took over, with less features, worse build quality (they're built in Thailand as opposed to Japan). It seems like the 280-P was a bit of a one off which may have cost a bit too much to produce and was quickly replaced by the Espio's. This would explain the dearth of information and availability of it.

    So, that's my find in the point & shoot world, do you know of any hidden gems, which don't break the bank, with killer features?
     
  2. Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    Ricoh used to make some of the best compact 35mm point and shoot cameras. (In my opinion :wondering:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  3. OP
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    TonyB65

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    They may have done, but they didn't make this one :wink:
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Personally I think this is one of the best point and shoots ever made. I have a few of them. I think in terms of plastic 35mm cameras nothing can focus better, or expose better than this. In fact it focuses better and exposes better (advanced matrix metering) than many metal/pro 35mm cameras. I also think the 'kit' lens that comes with it is better than the lens on any other plastic 35mm camera.

    One reason I'm so assertive with these statements is to challenge anyone to correct me with something better. I'll be the first to buy one! I'm always interested in cool new (to me) equipment.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I wish the OP had posted a picture, I had to look it up. Thanks for the review, I may pick one up if I see one for sale. I think the picture can be important because some of the best deals just indicate "35mm camera" and you have to figure out what it is by the picture. I hope this is the correct one that was reviewed as many of these types of cameras had a lot of little changes in their production and it may be important to get the exact one being reviewed to have all the important features that made it so good.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. OP
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    TonyB65

    TonyB65 Member
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    That's not a point and shoot is it, that's not what I'm referring to, you might as well have post about the Pentax 67 and 105mm F2.4 as a "point and shoot". :errm:
     
  7. OP
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    TonyB65

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    Yes, that's the bad boy.
     
  8. Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    But they do now own Pentax.
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I did not intend to challenge you idea of the thread, but I stopped using the smaller viewfinder-style point and shoots when I discovered the Nikon N75. If you ever get a chance to hold one you may see that it is very compact and light weight; one might mistake it for an APS camera (I was impressed by the width dimension below if it is correct). Most importantly it makes a near perfect negative more times than not in a Point And Shoot situation; it does a better job of giving a well-exposed and focused negative than any other 'compact camera' I have ever used.

    Having mentioned that, the Pentax 280p looks pretty nice. 28mm is my favorite focal length; I was just scanning e-bay. I'd like to compare it side by side with the Nikon.
    Pentax 280P = 143(W)x81.5(H)x61.5(D)
    400g

    Nikon N75 (no Lens!) 131 (W) x 92.5 (H) x 65(D)
    380g


    n75Zorki.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  10. Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    ic-racer I too went through a phase of using viewfinder compacts, but stopped and started using entry level Nikons, F60, F65 etc for the same purpose, I agree with your comments regarding the very good image quality of the under rated "kit" lenses.

    I fancy a Nikon FG, now they are small, but not sure how reliable.
     
  11. David Brown

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    I have this one: the Pentax IQZoom 928. 28-90mm, a decent auto-focus, and good exposures.
    pentax-iqzoom-928.jpg
    I suspect it's very similar to the OP's Pentax.

    As to the small, lightweight SLR, I have the Minolta Maxxum (Dynax, Alpha, pick one) 7. I agree that it can be used "point and shoot" and gives excellent results. I have gotten 36 good negatives in one roll, a feat never achieved (by me) with any other 35mm camera.

    However, last year, on a trip to the National Parks in Utah (a vacation), I chose to take the Pentax because it would fit in my jacket pocket. YMMV
     
  12. Huss

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    Rollei QW 35 series. Designed by Porsche, built of titanium by Samsung. Shutter speeds (auto and manual) run from seconds to 1/8000 sec. Auto, manual, program modes accessed by 3 simple dials. MF overide w focus confirmation. Meter reads from something like EV-1 to 18. Mine has the 28-60 lens, I tested it wide open and it matches up to my Leica 28 Asph (I posted the results on this site).
    Few flaws - I wish the vf would auto correct for parallax, vf is a little small, camera is loud. Same size as a Leica M9. Love mine.
     
  13. macfred

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  15. ronwhit

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    I have a Pentax WR 90 (38/90 mm lens) for free is anyone is interested. Just pay $8.00 postage in the CONUS and it is yours. (Listed in "free stuff" classifieds.) Has spot AF, red-eye reduction, synchro-sun flash, self timer, multi-exposure, and interval shooting among other features. However, the infrared remote on this one quit a while ago.
    ronwhit
     
  16. Theo Sulphate

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    Not sure if it is considered a "point and shoot", but the pocketable Ricoh GR-1 had:

    - programmed or aperture priority exposure
    - exposure compensation
    - indication of selected shutter speed in the viewfinder (to 1/500)
    - indication of focus distance in the viewfinder
    - illuminated frame correcting for parallax in the viewfinder
    - special focus modes
    - self-timer
    - flash enable / disable / auto
    - 28mm f/2.8 (7 elements, 4 groups)
    - titanium lightweight body
    - easily fits in shirt pocket
     
  17. OP
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    TonyB65

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    Comparing this type of cameras to an SLR is pointless, they have contractible lenses and will fit in a coat pocket. That wasn't the point of my post, when I want to use an SLR I'll use one. When I want something quick and easy then I'll use the 280-P or similar. Can we stay on topic and not get caught in the whole SLR thing please? if you want to do this type of comparison maybe you should create a thread about it? I like SLR's, I use several, but they're not point and shoot/compact cameras.
     
  18. OP
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    TonyB65

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    Yes, that is the same camera, the 280-P, maybe named slightly differently for the US market.
     
  19. OP
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    TonyB65

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    The Ricoh GR-1 is the sort of camera I like, however, at £450 for a second hand one in the UK, it's not something I could justify buying right now. My 280-P cost £10.50, that's a world of difference.
     
  20. Sewin

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    I think the Ricoh I had was the FF9, cost me about £10 on fleabay a few years ago. Quite heavy and curvy, noisy motor but very good lens.
     
  21. LolaColor

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    There must be something in the air these days as I am currently awaiting delivery of a 280p. I became interested in it because I had picked up a Zoom 105 in a shop and liked it's features but disliked its too-long minimum focus distance.

    I used Pentaxoda site to check the specs of similar cameras in the Pentax range and settled on the 280p as the only other camera with similar features and a closer focus.

    It's not the same as the 928, which is 2 years later but is very similar in specs.

    I'm looking forward to checking out the 280p lens performance throughout the range, as well as an Espio 80 which I also ordered (fewer features but truly pocketable).
     
  22. OP
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    TonyB65

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    It certainly looks the same as the 280-P, but must have been updated I guess. I don't think you'll be disappointed with it, it's a very well made and designed camera.
     
  23. Theo Sulphate

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    True. I would say that the interval mode and exposure compensation features are amazing for such a camera. Even most advanced SLR's don't offer an interval mode without a special back and it's a feature I would use.
     
  24. wjlapier

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    Extra features--two shutter buttons. 24mm f/2.8 on the wide end. Viewfinder is actually pretty nice. Fuji glass. Usual customizing--flash or no flash, self timer, date stamp or not. Something called "quick shot" which I think I understand what it is but never remembered to use it. You can also lock infinity focus as well. Tiny.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Maybe change the title to NON-SLR point and shoot.
     
  26. OP
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    TonyB65

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    Looks cool, I like the range, but is it APS?
     
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