Pentax ESPIO mini,(UC-1) Black 32mm f3.5, 35mm point and shoot film camera


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Overall condition 8.5/10 some minor scratches on body. Lens and finder are super clean. with original case and 6 months warranty 



The Pentax Espio mini is a pocketable 35mm compact camera with auto-focus and a wide-angle prime lens by Pentax. In the US it was known as thePentax UC-1. It was available in black, champagne or silver and is one of the more collectable cameras in the Espio range. The champagne finish has a common problem that it easily get's worn off, even with the slightest use, making it a cheaper option. It has a very sharp lens, and some say it's SMC grade. The UC-1 Model has a Date function that can be set on the LCD screen, while the Espio Mini not, and it replaces with a Panorama or Normal function indicator on it's display.



  • Lens: Pentax 32mm, f/3.5, 3 elements in 3 groups.
  • Focusing: Pentax phase-matching autofocus system with focus lock.
  • Focus range: 0.3m (1 ft.) to infinity. Spotbeam is emitted in low light and/or hard-to-autofocus subject.
  • Shutter: Programmed AE electric shutter with speed aprox. 1/400s -2 sec. Bulb: 1/2 sec. - 5 min, Electromagnetic release.
  • Film: Auto film speed setting with 35mm perforated DX-decoding film with ISO rating from 25 to 3200. Non-DX coded films are automatically set to ISO25.
  • Exposure Control: Programmed auto-exposure control. Range: EV 9.0-17 in Auto or Day-light-Synchro mode (ISO 100), EV2.6-17 Slow-Shutter-Speed mode. The Exposure meter is turned on by half depression of the shutter release button.
  • Viewfinder: Actual image viewfinder: 85% field-of-view ratio. Magnification: aprox. 0.34x. AF frame (blinking when subject is too close and/or hard-to-autofocus subject). Picture frame, Close distance compensation frame, Panoramic format picture area, Green lamp lighting: in-focus signal, Green lamp blinking: When subject is too close and/or hard-to-autofocus subject, Red lamp lighting: Flash-ready status, Red lamp blinking: Flash being charged.
  • Flash: Built-in auto flash with red-eye reduction mode. Automatic flash emission in low luminance or a backlight situation. Flash-ON = Daylight-Synchro/Slow-Shutter-Speed Synchro (up to 2sec.), Flash-OFF = Flash override, Bulb-Synchro = 1/2 sec.-5 min.
  • Power: One 3V Lithium battery CR123A (CR123). The 3.6V Rechargeable CR123 may not work with some revisions of this camera.
  • Dimensions: 105x55x37mm.
  • Weight: 155g (5.4oz) without battery



I was on the market to find a nice point and shoot camera without touching anything in my ‘saving-for-a-Leica’ piggybank. So naturally I have to scratch those lovely Minilux, Contax and Tiara off, and also because I dislike zooms, any P&S with zoom is out of the question. This then brings me to the Olympus Mju II and the Pentax Espio Mini (known as the UC-1 in the US).
For me, the Espio Mini wins. I feel that this camera suits me better. I like the shape, the color, the LCD, and if you look closely through the front lens element, you will see lovely coatings there, which will make you fall in love too. Feature-wise, it has focus assist beam, different exposure modes (basically I just leave it at auto, with red eye reduction activated), and the fill flash just works really nicely. And it also has a Panorama mode, you can slide a switch on top, and it crops a section on the top and bottom of the frame.

If I have to nitpick, though, I’d want to put an ISO knob, simply because I almost never shoot film at its box speed. And a tougher body would be nice, the plastic seems a bit soft and prone to scratches (that’s why you need to keep it in its vinyl pouch.

All in all, this is a very lovely camera, and I can’t see myself parting with it. It feels refreshing sometimes, to just point, compose, and shoot, yet knowing that your favorite film is properly exposed with its solid AE system and sharp lens.

If you can find one, buy it, you’ll love it!


Sample Photos:
1. burnsurns

2. muhkamalpasha

3. thirdculture

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