Is This The New Pentax 35mm Film Camera?

Ricoh and Pentax have been working on a new film camera for the past 2 years, and it appears that the first images of this camera may have just been leaked!

We have been tracking the Pentax film photography project since early 2023, and while we were doubtful at the start on how serious it was, it looks like they are finally about to release their first film camera, which has us incredibly excited!

Who are Pentax?

With a history dating back to 1919, Pentax is one of the oldest camera manufacturers in the photography world. They were one of the largest film camera manufacturers since their inception up until the emergence of digital photography in the early 2000's. With models such as the K1000, Spotmatic and LX, Pentax were at the cutting edge of film photography. 

As the world moved towards digital photography, Pentax continued to focus on the analogue market. This caused their downfall as the market for digital photography exploded, meanwhile the analogue market was constantly shrinking. Soon, Pentax began to struggle and the first move to ensure their survival happened in 2006 when they merged with HOYA. Later in 2011, Ricoh Imaging purchased the company and operate it as part of its global imaging business to this day

What we know so far

So far Pentax have announced that the camera will be a 35mm half-frame film camera. 

The half frame aspect is particularly interesting. This format was decided for two main reasons.

One is the cost of film increasing year on year as the medium increases in popularity. Shooting 72 photos on a 36 exposure roll is far more economical than only 36.

The second is more interesting. As the majority of photos taken nowadays are a portrait orientation due to the emergence of the mobile phone, Pentax has opted to follow this trend but using film. Shooting in a portrait aspect allows greater sharing and visibility on social media. This follows the lead of Reto who have had great success with the Kodak H35 film camera.

It has also been confirmed thatthe lens will be a Pentax 25mm f3.5 lens, which unlike most film cameras currently on the market, is completely glass.

The Pentax team decided that it was important to have a film advance lever for the tactile feel of advancing film. This advance lever has been designed in a way that it can be transplanted into future SLR Pentax 35mm film cameras.

Pentax have been keeping us updated on the status of their film camera through their youtube channel. You can check out all their videos here

We have also written blogs on the subject that you can check out here and here

New rumoured Pentax film camera
Above is the leaked picture of the new Pentax camera, which was posted in r/analogcommunity on reddit. While we can't confirm that this is real, it is incredibly exciting, and if the acual camera looks anything like this we will be very pleased!
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