Pentax A3

The Pentax A3 was released in 1984.  The A series bodies from Pentax released in 1983 and 1984 were the first to offer full programme exposure mode enabled by the addition of electrical contacts on the lens mount.  The new A series lenses had an 'A' setting on the aperture ring for use in programme or shutter priority modes. The A3 was the basic model being essentially a manual focus 'point and shoot' camera.  It offered full programme exposure or aperture priority, with the only over-ride being a button on the left hand side of the lens mount which added 1.5 stops to the exposure for situations when the main subject was backlit.  The A3 was, however, the first Pentax camera to have a built-in film advance and as a result was powered by two AA batteries.


The camera is not very popular with collectors or users of classic cameras.  It is very basic and rather lacking in charm. The example I have here was given to me for free and I'll admit I have only ever run one roll of film through it.  Of course, the lens matters more than the body and the SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4 shown here is worth many times the body on which it is mounted.