Wide angle point and shoot, Pentax Espio 24EW

As far as I’m aware there were very few wide angle capable point and shoot cameras ever made.  Ricoh made several including the R1s that I own, but most point and shoots started around 35mm at the wide end.  And then there is the Pentax Espio 24Ew.  The EW stands for ‘extra wide’, it’s lens goes from 24mm to 105mm.  This camera was released in 2003 right in the middle of the digital camera explosion.  I have to admit I only paid about 1% of it’s original cost making the film inside it more expensive than it is.  When you first start this camera up the lens is at a position somewhere greater than it’s widest so in order to get it where I want it I have to hit the zoom out button.  The lens does some amazing contortions to fit within the cameras 1 1/2 inch depth which then expands to a ridiculous 4 1/2 inches at 105mm.  So how was it?  It does an admiral job,  There is definitely softness at the edges at 24mm, which is really the only focal length of this camera I’m interested in and also vignetting depending on the aperture which it selects and you have no way of knowing what it is.  These limitations aside and considering the difficulty and finding anything this wide in a film point and shoot it does a pretty good job.

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