Pentax Zoom 70 – The world’s first zoom compact camera which entered the market while Duran Duran were on the Top of the Pops with their hit song Notorious. It was a sensation just like this black number from Pentax. Duran Duran were the pop playboy idols of the time with their fast synthesized sound.  As far as I know the Zoom 70 was sold for 199 pounds sterling in the UK. Quite a tidy sum of notes for the time. It was no slouch of a camera either. Featuring Autofocus, power zoom and macro function with of course built in flash and self timer. Not too shabby for 1986. The design ubiquitous of the eighties with straight edges and blocky buttons. It’s definitely a quality camera.

It may not be able to match the frames per second on the beginning – ‘Girls on Film’ but that’s not point.

A solid block of hard plastic with solid state electronics inside. I was lucky to find this version. All working perfectly without flaws. So far I’ve managed to try all the options on the Pentax Zoom 70 with a degree of success too. It may not be able to match the frames per second on the beginning of the other Duran Duran hit track – ‘Girls on Film’ but that’s not point. Consequently this could have well been the subtle seed planted as a teenage why I got into photography …

While this may well be the world’s first all-in-one camera, that has all the features you might lust for. Especially if you have traveled back in time to the nineteen eighties. However right here in the present it is a staple device if you wish to take up film photography for the first time. While it has sadly no manual settings on this camera. It’s the ideal cam to get the feel for film. What it gives you here is accurate exposures which is perfect for a beginners who wish to dabble with film development.  So allowing you to concentrate on getting your film and paper development. While getting chemicals and development time under your belt.

Dude where did I park my boat – Pentax 70 Zoom – Ilford Pan 100

Now those who are further on down the road with film development will find other uses for the automatic wonder. The Pentax I have to say is a fine travel camera especially when you are sunbathing and sipping away on cocktails into the sunset. (Which I currently am not doing unlike that of a Duran Duran video! well I can dream.)

Finger contact – Pentax 70 Zoom – Ilford Pan 100

So 36+ exposures was a long journey for me as I much prefer 12 exposures or at a push 24 exposures. The camera got to image number 37 when I made another attempt of creativity. Then the block stead beast realised the film was at the end. It auto-rewind kicked in like some fancy HiFi tape cassette desk might have done back in the day. The numbers counting backward on the LCD display. One of my favourite features on this camera. (Because it has a LCD screen with a film icon next to the number counter.)

How I feel about Stansted Airport – Pentax 70 Zoom – Ilford Pan 100

Macro Tip:  to activate the macro feature the green button is pushed  down first while sliding the power switch across the side of the green button. This keeps the button pressed down. An interesting way of doing things, but it ensures the macro feature isn’t activated by accident.

I was finally relieved of the Ilford Pan 100, not my usual Pan F 50 by the way. The long wait was over and I’m so excited to see the results.

Critical Mass, Tall Bike – Pentax 70 Zoom – Ilford Pan 100


I also made some Redscale too with this camera, which is on another post – The Redscale Funk Film

Treehouse in Ramsau am Dachstein #1- Redscale Fuji Superia

As Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran once said, “This is the most fun I’ve had with my pants on. Now if I’d said this is the most fun I’ve had while wearing women’s underwear, we’d be having an entirely different conversation… ”

This is the most fun I’ve had with my pants on. Now if I’d said this is the most fun I’ve had while wearing women’s underwear, we’d be having an entirely different conversation… (Simon Le Bon)

The Results

So back with my photographic pants well and thoroughly on, it’s time to develop and see what fun I’ve made. Yes, Simon, we’ve all been there I guess at some point in our lives. So let’s try and concentrate on the images.

The images were self developed in Rodinal at home. Most of the images were made in Graz, Austria at the Sculpture Park. The Sculpture Park open most days and it’s free to enter. A wonderful place to visit and get away from the city buzzle.

How do I rate this experience

After all this Duran Duran references I feel I’ll need to do a post very soon about a camera with reflection and honor to Joy Division. Certainly with the emphasis on repenting and redeeming myself from this notorious post (pun intended)

Of course I’ve left you with the video from the time of the Top of the Pops. I mean how can I let you get away so easily after you’ve read so far. Really ?  I guess at this point there’s no chance of feedback or a comment below…

Fun Factor:   8
Build Quality:  Solid
Ease of Use:  Point, Shot and Run away.