Pentax SFXn

In 1985 Minolta introduced the 7000 AF (in some markets the Maxxum 7000) which was the first commercially succesful autofocus 35mm camera.  It included a motorised film wind and mulitple exposure modes.  Although Pentax had introduced AF with the ME-F and its dedicated 35-70mm lens, this was painfully slow and not a success.  Similarly, it's budget A3 had introduced an integral power wind. The SFX was released in 1987 as Pentax's response and featured a built-in power wind, multiple exposure modes, autofocus and a built-in flash in front of the pentaprism.  In order to accomodate the LCD screen on the back of the pentaprism, the hotshoe was offset to the right (from the photographers perspective). 


The following year (1988) Pentax introduced a slightly more basic model, the SF7 with fewer exposure modes and no ISO over-ride.  Then in 1989 the SFXn (shown here) was released which was a minor upgrade on the original SFX.  It featured a slightly faster power wind (2.2 frames per second), a higher top speed (1/4000 sec), and a innovative feature, auto-bracketing.  With the latter, the camera would take three frames with two seconds between each.  The camera is clearly a child of the late '80s with its boxy, angular look, quite different from what went before.  It is an extremely capable, if noisy and (to modern eyes) ugly camera.


Along with the SF series, Pentax introduced its F-series lenses, their first with autofocus driven from the camera body rather than built into the lens.  The SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 was a standard "kit" lens but it is very sharp and has a useful macro feature.