For the past few years, I’ve been shooting a Pentax Super Program as my primary camera. It’s been a great travel companion and I’m happy to have one in my collection. Having put numerous rolls of film through the Super Program, I started to feel qualified to share my thoughts about this camera. So here they are.
I’ve had a bit of Pentax SLR GAS recently. I’m not going to try and sugarcoat it, the reality is, I’ve just let myself fall into the trap of buying kit to solve a problem I don’t really have. It’s even got as bad that – at least in some cases – I’ve buying even more kit before I’ve really even had a chance to try the last bit of kit I’ve added to the pile. The unusual thing is, at the end of this path I’ve found myself with a camera I haven’t even bought to review, which is definitely the reason I buy most kit these day. Instead, I’ve bought because I actually think it might really suit me, in some ways at least. But I’ll get to that in a moment…
I have to confess, I have a bit of a panorama problem. I absolutely love panoramic cameras and cameras with a panorama mask feature. I love them big and small, expensive and cheap. Some people find the panorama masks that were all the rage for a hot minute in the 90s to be a cheap trick or a useless fad. And I completely understand that point of view. You could, after all, simply take a full frame photo and crop it to a panoramic aspect ratio in Lightroom or photoshop later.
So I bought a Pentax 6×7 in May 2018. That was the year I felt it was time to be more serious with my photography and that meant a serious medium format set-up. Abandoning digital cameras, I returned to film five years ago and dabbled a little with 120 stuff through vintage viewfinders and TLRs. But nothing serious or expensive. Now was time for that upgrade.
It’s been nearly three decades since I signed up for my first college photography class, and I am only now beginning to realize how lucky I was to start out with a Pentax KX. Most people will say their first camera is their favorite, or at least their most memorable, just like their first car, first kiss, first apartment. The KX is the camera I grew up with, and of course its first-ness impacts my opinion.