You could, if you wanted to, spent £2,000 on a compact 35mm film camera. There are plenty of sellers with Contax T3s charging just that for Kyocera’s swansong premium film compact.
You could be forgiven for thinking that to get your hands on a decent autofocus 35mm compact camera, you need to be shelling out this kind of money. But that’s only if you’re dead set on shooting on a cult camera that was already in short supply before the Instagram hype started moving up a few gears.
Turn your gaze away from the top-tier cameras of the 1990s and the 2000s, and the price tag looks a little more affordable. Especially when you look at one of Pentax’s undersung gems from the decade of ‘Miami Vice’ and ‘Knight Rider’, the PC35AF-M.
While the PC35AF-M won’t win many awards for refined good looks or miniaturisation (good look fitting this camera in your trouser pocket), its bulky frame hides a very well-specified camera. It has a five-element 35/2.8 lens, hidden behind a cover opened with a pleasing snap from the bright red button. It can handle films from ISO 100 to 1000 (or 25 to 1600 for DX-coded film) and has a manually activated flash as well as backlight compensation!
You can also see more on the Pentax PC35AF-M in this round-up of affordable 1980s compact cameras from earlier this year.
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