Tag Archives: Pentax Espio Mini

{Oh Smoky Mountains}

Here’s a story for you:

My family and I had a little vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee/The Smoky Mountains in September 2016. I took only film with me, waited awhile before I sent it away to be developed, and got a surprise once the film arrived at the photo lab: the package had been damaged in transit, and two rolls of film had gone missing. I was gutted. I knew at least one of those rolls was the primary roll I’d shot while we were in the Smokies. There would be nothing I could do to recover those photos. Thankfully, once I got my film scans back, I found that my secondary roll of film hadn’t been lost after all. Basically the first couple of days of our trip were on the film that was lost (as well as photos from the rest of the vacation,) but at least I also have some Instax Mini photos to share from those first two days!

Fannie Farkles Family Fun Parlor, downtown Gatlinburg

We can never get enough No Way Jose’s Mexican food while in G’burg!

In the Village Shops in Gatlinburg – was surprised to see a British red phone box here, as I’d just been photographing them in London a few weeks earlier ūüėČ

We went to The Apple Barn sooooo many times on this trip! 

There was some sort of Harley Davidson meet-up at our motel that weekend

“Homemade Wine,” downtown Gatlinburg

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium and the Gatlinburg Space Needle

Gatlinburg Space Needle and Arcade

This is a cannibal pumpkin at Dollywood. 

50s-themed area in Dollywood called Jukebox Junction

EPIC eagle sculpture near the Wild Eagle rollercoaster

Red’s Diner

Inside Red’s Diner¬†

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH – Rockin’ Roadway, Jukebox Junction

Metal sunflower sculpture 

Rides in the County Fair section at Dollywood

Smoky Mountain Cat House 

Our drive through Smoky Mountains National Park, on our way to Cherokee, North Carolina 

On our way back from Cherokee, we stopped at Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I made my brother-in-law pose for this photo

Pinhole photo at the Farm Museum 

Chicken at the Farm Museum 

Crazy overexposed photo of the chicken

Delicious ice cream shop in downtown Gatlinburg

Light fixture made of spoon’s at Maypops

Caramelcorn, downtown Gatlinburg

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium

Ah, good ole Fisherman Cove (the area of our hotel in Gatlinburg where our room was located)

Bear sculpture in the parking lot of our motel

One last pit stop at the Apple Barn before driving back to Mississippi

Truck stop on our way back to Mississippi

These photos came to mean even more to me because, a couple of months after we were in the Smokies, there were devastating fires which reeked havoc on the¬†area. I don’t yet how the landscape will have changed since I was last there, but I am so thankful for our time in that beautiful part of our country. We also found out that the motel we’d stayed in for our 2015 and 2016 Gatlinburg vacations had torn down so they could build a resort hotel there, so things will definitely be different for us next time we visit the area!

Photos taken with my Pentax Espio Mini, Fuji Instax Mini 90, and Lomography Diana F+

{Short and Sweet} 2.0

I wasn’t sure that there were enough photos in this set to warrant a blog post, but much like my previous “Short and Sweet” blog, I am posting them any ole way!

These are photos from the same roll that gave us the Forrister “forgotten frames,” but these don’t really qualify as forgotten. When you keep a compact 35mm camera with you at all times, you can end up with a random assortment of photos on one roll. This film was loaded in September and finished in February. It started its life at a photo shoot for Muddy’s and ended its journey at the aforementioned show where I photographed Forrister.

Muddy’s Broad Avenue¬†gnomes on the windows

Window looking in to the kitchen at Muddy’s Broad Avenue

Snapshot of one of the groupings we photographed for the Muddy’s holiday look book

Rainy day at Dollywood

My rainy day at Dollywood style aesthetic in a mirror self-portrait

I can’t resist photographing cars that have rims painted to match the car itself

Thanksgiving at my brother and sister-in-law’s house

I don’t remember when this was, I just know my niece was being pouty at dinner one night

Pentax Espio Mini ‚ÄĘ Agfa Vista Plus 400

This roll just confirmed for me what a great little camera the Espio Mini is. I think it might have earned a spot in my “travel camera” arsenal!

{Forgotten Frames} Forrister

Same old “Forgotten Frames” story: I had this roll of film in my Pentax Espio Mini for months, then waited so long to get it developed that I didn’t remember much of what was on it. Such as these photos of the band Forrister (and a few of Wicker) that I took in February. I had no clue that’s what was on part of the roll. I’m sure I’ll be posting more random photos from this same roll soon, but here’s the Forrister photos from it!

Pentax Espio Mini ‚ÄĘ Agfa Vista Plus 400

Pentax Espio Mini {Two Rolls In}

My point-and-shoot 35mm camera collection has grown again.

Back story:

I have actually wanted a Pentax Espio Mini for awhile now. Always searching for the best compact 35mm camera, ya know. I nearly bought an Espio Mini from Hamish some time ago, but that didn’t work out. As fate would have it, my dear friend David was slimming down his camera collection and remembered the fact that I wanted an Espio Mini. He very kindly sent me his! I’ve seen a lot of photos he’s taken with the camera, and it’s cool knowing he’s used it to capture images of his life and I’m using it to capture images of¬†my life now.

About the Pentax Espio Mini UC-1:

  • The Pentax Espio Mini UC-1¬†is an auto-focus, auto-exposure 35mm camera
  • It has a 32mm/3.5 lens
  • It features¬†a clamshell design, where you slide the cover open to turn the camera on and close it to turn the camera off. It also protects the lens.
  • User selectable modes, via mode buttons on top of the camera:¬†auto, flash on, flash off, slow-sync flash, bulb mode, bulb mode with flash (plus red-eye reduction mode selectable any time the flash is used)
  • Panoramic mode, via sliding switch on back of the camera
  • Automatic aperture range of f/3.5 ‚Äď f/22
  • Film speed set automatically with DX-coded film cartridges, ranging from 24-3200 ISO
  • Automatic shutter speed range¬†of 2s ‚Äď 1/400s, bulb mode usable from 1/2s – 5 minutes (wow!)
  • Focusing distance of¬†1 ft.¬†(.3m) – infinity
  • Real-time parallax correction shown in viewfinder when focusing at close distance¬†(more on that later)
  • Self timer is 10 seconds long, with a blinking indication lamp¬†on the front of the camera (the camera’s instruction manual says “the lamp starts blinking 3 seconds before the shutter is released, letting you know when to smile.” That makes¬†me smile ūüôā )

SAM_0187

clamshell design

Top and back views of the Espio Mini

A couple of things:

  1. I am very happy about the fact that the Espio Mini has a panoramic mode. I know a lot of people don’t like cameras that just mask out part of the film area to create a panoramic effect, but I don’t mind it. I liked having that option on the Pentax ZX-7 I used to have, so I was excited for it on the Espio Mini too.
  2. This camera has BULB mode. That’s crazy! Only high-end point-and-shoot cameras have bulb mode, usually. This means you can take long exposures with the Espio Mini, and while I haven’t tried it out yet, I’m very excited that the option is there.
  3. I have never experienced a point-and-shoot camera with this type of viewfinder before. Shooting with a non-SLR camera means you don’t see in the viewfinder¬†exactly what is being recorded on the film. This is a problem when you’re photographing something close up. Some cameras have indication lines printed in the viewfinder to give you some idea of what will be included in the photo when focusing at close distances. The Espio Mini’s viewfinder greys out portions of the viewfinder to give you a clearer indication of what the final photo will be like. I can’t explain it that well, so here’s an excerpt of the camera’s manual (which can be found here)

Enough technical stuff. On to the photos!
(note: on the panoramic photos, I included a link to their full size images, because they look better bigger than blog post will allowed them to be displayed. You can click the panoramic photos to see the full-sized versions.) 

Roll #1 was Ilford HP5 Plus

I can’t resist photographing lace curtains

Nor can I resit photographing a Vespa. This one was at the auto auction where I work a couple of days a week. 

My family enjoyed having ice cream at Area 51 ice cream in Hernando, MS this summer. Here are a few photos take outside the shop.

Barber shop next to Area 51

We took Dilly with us to Area 51 one time

Dilly, on a car ride with us

Pei Wei in Midtown Memphis before I had a photo gig with Muddy’s

Area 51, again!

AM, having some mint chocolate chip ice cream at Area 51

Owl mural in Cooper-Young, Midtown Memphis

Aldo’s Pizza Pies in Cooper-Young, Midtown Memphis

My sister, visiting Otherlands Coffee for the first time (Midtown Memphis)

Me, in a mirror at Otherlands

On the rooftop¬†patio at Aldo’s (we ate there twice in one week, actually. This was taken on a different day than that earlier photo from Aldo’s…)

My Kiev 4AM, at Aldo’s with us

Corner of Cooper and York, Midtown Memphis

Parking lot behind Aldo’s

Some onions in the kitchen at home. Not my onions, obviously. Onions are my arch nemeses!

A few panoramic shots outside the auto auction (Memphis)

Roll #2 was Agfa Vista 200

This roll has all the signature “Amanda” things: cars, red shoes, my niece, mirror self-portraits.

I photographed this car two different days at the auto auction. The first time was in the lobby of the auction’s building, because I didn’t know I’d later have the chance to shoot it in the auction bay, with better lighting and fewer distracting things in the background…

Dodge Challenger Hellcat, take two…

Another Harley at work

Malco theatre in Oxford, MS, where I took my niece to see the new Dragon Ball Z movie

You know me, taking my photo in bathroom mirrors since way back in the day

THIS WAS THE BEST! We went to Bottletree Bakery in Oxford, found out they were about to close for the afternoon, ordered some coffee to go, and were handed a box of free, delicious pastries as a consolation prize. 

Me, in a mirror outside Bottletree Bakery

What your to-go cup of coffee looks like when you wear red lipstick

Me and some models in a clothing shop window in Oxford’s town square

I love red shoes and I love tiles

AM, having some iced tea outside Square Books in Oxford

Mom, browsing the sale table outside of Square Books

Mirror in a boutique’s sidewalk sale in Oxford

My shoes and some books, Oxford

Statue on the town square in Oxford

Conclusion?

I like it. I really, really like it. I’ve said before that I wish the features of Konica Big Mini and Canon Sure Shot Sleek were combined in one camera, and I feel that the Pentax Espio Mini does just that.¬†Not to mention it has features that none of my other compact 35mm cameras do. Sure, it’d be cool if it had an f/2.8 lens like an Olympus Stylus Epic, but I am really not complaining since I’ve gotten use to the f/3.5 due to using the Big Mini and Sure Shot Sleek. Plus, the Pentax’s lens is wonderful. All in all, I think I’ve found my go-to compact 35mm camera. Thanks so much, David!