Pentax P30T  –  Vintage Camera

Pentax P30T (three quarters, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)

Pentax P30T (three quarters, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)

Pentax P30T (three quarters, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)

Pentax P30T (three quarters, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)

Pentax P30T (front view, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)

Pentax P30T (front view, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)

Pentax P30T (rear view)

Pentax P30T (rear view)

Pentax P30T (top view, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)

Pentax P30T (top view, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)

Pentax P30T (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Pentax P30T (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Pentax P30T (three quarters, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)Pentax P30T (three quarters, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)Pentax P30T (front view, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)Pentax P30T (rear view)Pentax P30T (top view, with Pentax 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 lens)Pentax P30T (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Pentax P30T Specifications

Manufacturer: Asahi Optical Co.
   
Country of Origin: Japan
   
Made in: China
   
Introduced: 1990
   
Camera Type: Single Lens Reflex
   
Lens Mount: Pentax K-Mount
   
Format: 135 Film
   
Dimensions (cm): 14 x 8.8 x 6 (body only)
  14 x 8.8 x 12.5 (with lens)

Pentax P30T Review

The Pentax P30T is a plastic manual focus SLR spawned during the peculiar limbo period that took place after manufacturers began moving away from heavy, all-metal manual focus SLRs but before plastic autofocus cameras became the norm. The P30T differs from the base P30 and its other variants in that it has a plastic film door as well as a diagonally split focusing screen.

The P30T uses Pentax’s KA mount and its electronically controlled shutter has a range of one to 1/1000 seconds as well as bulb mode. It has no built-in flash but is capable of syncing with external flash units. The P30T is designed to take DX coded film (which automatically communicates film speed and number of exposures to the body) and can support ISO 25-1600 or non-DX coded ISO 100 film.

Technically speaking, the P30T is a wholly unremarkable camera but I think it’s pretty interesting for what it is. Its classic design mirrors that of MMM (metal, mechanical, manual) cameras of yesteryear but is made of gunmetal-hued plastic. As far as Pentax 35m SLRs go, it simply cannot compete with the might of the K1000 which remains one of the most popular SLRs of all time, particular among student and beginner photographers. The P30T might be an underrated, overlooked, awkward mishmash of different eras but, being a middle child myself, I’ve got a soft spot for it. Besides, at $2.99 for body, lens, flash and bag, it was a true thrift store bargain.

References:

“Pentax P30/P3,” Camera Wiki, http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Pentax_P30

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