The Pentax Zoom 105 Super is part of the Pentax Espio IQZoom series of cameras and was also sold as the IQZoom 105 Super point and shoot film camera. It was released in 1990 and then updated in 1991, when a Zoom 105-R version was also released incorporating a red-eye reduction feature.
Specifications for the Pentax Zoom 105 Super
The Pentax Zoom 105 Super is a fully automatic point and shoot film camera and comes with a whole series of features. These include a f4 to f7.8 38-105mm zoom lens, comprising of 11 elements in 9 groups. It can use DX coded 35mm film ranging from ISO 25-3200 and, unusually, treats non-DX coded films as ISO 25 – most auto-detecting compact film cameras will treat non-coded film as 100 ISO. There is also an auto-off function, which turns the camera off after three minutes.
The Pentax Zoom 105 Super is a feature packed point and shoot film camera, although its bulk may be off-putting for some.Auto-focussing uses an infrared system and the shutter speed ranges from 1/250-1/3. There is also a self-timer mode, allowing up to five frames. There is a built in flash and double exposures and various macro photography modes are also possible. There is also a super-macro mode, accessed by using a red button hidden under a flap on the side on the camera. Normal focussing is limited to 1.35m, however macro mode allows close-ups down to 0.75m and super macro at 0.45m. Quite how useful macro photography is in an auto-focussing camera is debatable, but it’s certainly nice to know that these features are there.
Other features include focus locking, the ability to rewind the film half way through, various flash modes (including disabling the flash), consecutive photo shooting, interval photo shooting, various bulb modes, exposure compensation and multi-exposure shooting.
Using the Pentax Zoom 105 Super
One of the first things I noticed when picking up the Pentax Zoom 105 Super, is that it is heavy and rather large. It is unlikely to have passed the pocket camera test. But, as can be seen by the specifications above, the camera has a large number of features.
The zoom lens is interesting in that it can be used as a continuous zoom, or in a step zoom function of 38mm, 46mm, 55mm, 70mm, 85mm and 105mm. The LCD display at the top of the camera shows the focal length, as well as a number of other functions. Interestingly (or irritatingly, depending on your point of view) the film chamber is on the right of the Pentax Zoom 105 Super, and so film exposures are recorded upside down.
If you can get over its size and weight, the camera is quite comfortable to hold, especially with large hands. Although you may want to use two hands, to keep it steady whilst taking photos. The shutter button is also comfortable to use and well located (as long as you are right-handed), next to a contoured hand grip.
There are three settings buttons which are disappointingly located, in my opinion. They are small and sandwiched between the eyepiece and power switch and not as tactile as I would have liked. The LCD display has a handy illumination function for dark environments, which stays lit up for 8 seconds.
The viewfinder is reasonably sized although, for such a big camera, I would have expected something a bit larger and clearer. That said, the viewfinder does have some useful features, such as a green light to indicate focus and a red light to show that the flash is ready to fire. A flickering green light indicates that the subject is too close to the camera and a flickering red light indicates that the flash is being charged.
Overall, this a feature packed point and shoot film camera. Its bulk may be off-putting for some, but its feature set is certainly comprehensive for a compact film camera.