5 frames with... Photos & Projects

5 frames with Pentax SuperA – By Aivaras

April 12, 2018

Recent news about decline of choices in consumer film market – Agfa Vista discontinuation, triggered me to revisit my own favorite stock of consumer grade film – Fujifilm Superia 200. I bought 5 pack of stuff and at present I’m burning trough third roll.

5 frames that I share with you came from second roll and were shot with Pentax SuperA camera equipped with SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 Lens.

What can I say… amazing combination; SuperA was named as European camera of the year in 1983 and this fact says a lot about it. My 5 cents would be that it is very capable and versatile machine, with good viewfinder and comfortable body. Only drawback is annoying locking main control ring / mode dial. But no camera is perfect. Taking into account all aspects that’s my favorite manual focus Pentax film camera body.

While 50mm SMC-A F1.7 lens is flimsy in its build, It posses very unique signature when shot wide open, hope you’ll be able to see what I mean in this set of pictures. This surreal look if further enhanced with Superia 200 films properties: vivid colors, glow in highlights and pronounced but not intruding grain.

All set is shot in Warsaw; beautiful city that I had opportunity to visit and explore.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!



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  • Reply
    Ashley Carr
    April 13, 2018 at 8:20 am

    I’ve got a lot of love for the Pentax Super A. A few years back when I was shooting Pentax 35mm I went through 2 x Pentax ME Supers, 2x Pentax MX’s, a Pentax LX and a Pentax KX. All broke eventually but my £40 Pentax Super A never missed a beat.

    I shoot at least 10 rolls of 35mm a per week consistently (not including the 120 film I shoot as well) so these old cameras took a lot of use, probably more in my ownership than they had in the 20 years previous. The Super A just kept on going!

    I favoured the earlier ‘K’ 55mm f/1.8 over the 50mm f/1.7 as I think it performed better, especially wide open, than the 1.7. That being said I’ve always felt Pentax glass to be underrated, especially alongside Nikkor glass.

    I enjoyed your photos they definitely show that unique Pentax look.

    • Reply
      April 13, 2018 at 10:57 am

      Thanks! You intrigued me with K55mm 1.8 lens – now will have to try it. Btw you burn impressive amount of film… 🙂

  • Reply
    Oliver Clarke
    April 13, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Nice shots, big fan of the Fujifilm Superia 200 myself – was always my go-to consumer film. Really like the way the reds come out, particularly in the last shot. More bad news is that it’s also been discontinued so you may want to stock up now. I’ve used the Fuji C200 instead, which is pretty cheap and I think produces some nice results too.

    • Reply
      April 13, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Yeah, I just ordered some amount of superia200 for my freezer… As for C200 and superia 200 – they are very close, sometimes I think it the same, sometimes It seems to me that C200 is more muted.

  • Reply
    Frank Lehnen
    April 19, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Very nice muted colors. Great photos!

    But I have juts one question: I see you have that Pentax-A 50mm 1.7 too! How do you feel about it? Is the aperture ring quite stiff and plasticky too, with a nasty ratcheting sound? The optical quality is great but mechnically no match for Pentax’ Takumar lenses.

    But that might be my copy that’s crappy…..

    • Reply
      April 19, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks! Your copy is the same as all of them… build quality of this model lens plainly sucks… 🙂 I own second copy of this lens and feel same experience stiff aperture, “jumpy” switch feeling, nasty sound. But results compensate this experience. BTW if you want to have same optics, but better lens build – go for Pentax-M 50mm 1.7 lens – build quality and feel is way better. I had one, and have a plan to return to it.

  • Reply
    John Grzinich
    April 22, 2018 at 11:51 am

    I love my Super A but it started acting up recently which is tragic since I love how this camera feels and performs. Basically it randomly runs the batteries down for some reason. I’ll take it out to do some shooting and pick it up after a day or two and it will be dead. From reading the manual in only shuts ‘off’ automatically after 30 seconds. There’s no other way apart from taking out the batteries. It’s too bad this camera is entirely dependent on its (aging) electronic circuits.

  • Reply
    Peter Boorman
    May 3, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Beautiful pictures that really showcase that wonderful lens; there’s something about the colour rendering that seems just to ‘work’ hand in hand with that smooth transition to bokeh that is attractive but also non-distracting. I enjoy several of the Pentax 50(ish) lenses – I say ‘ish’ because the 55/1.8 is also very nice and the 43/1.9 is incredibly sharp – everyone makes a good 50, but the Pentax ones do seem a bit special even in that context.

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