Pentax is Considering Making a New Hand-Winding Film Camera

Pentax Film Camerea

Pentax is considering making a brand-new hand-winding manual film camera as part of its endeavors to develop a new analog camera that appeals to young film enthusiasts.

Ricoh Pentax publicly announced that it was working on developing a new 35mm film camera last December in response to the surge in interest in analog photography. Pentax isn’t alone here: Leica jumped in last year when it re-released M6, a camera it hadn’t actively produced in over 20 years.

“There has been a rebirth in interest in film cameras recently,” Ricoh said at the time. “We want to use the film camera skills and technologies developed over the years by Ricoh Imaging/Pentax and provide camera enthusiasts around the world with new film camera products.”

The company hasn’t revealed exactly what the camera it is making will look like, but in an interview with Barfout!, a Japanese magazine, Ricoh revealed that it is considering going farther back in time than even Leica by producing a camera that must be manually wound.

Most photographers who shoot film likely use cameras that feature battery-powered electric auto film rewind systems, since the technology started to appear in cameras in the 1960s — the Minolta SRM was the first SLR with built-in electric sequential motor drive in 1964. Even those specifically hunting for film cameras likely end up picking one that has some battery assistance. Pentax might forgo this.

When asked by Barfout! what kind of camera the designers would like to have, product planner and designer of Pentax Takeo Suzuki said he wants a camera that is both compact but also manual-winding.

“Developing a manual winding camera is really hard work, and it is sometimes easier to make a camera with a motor and automatic winding, but the act of winding a camera manually is a special act that is unique to film. And that is something we want young people to experience as well,” he says.

Basically, if fans of film cameras like the tactile nature of the art, Pentax’s designers think they’ll be even happier with a system that doubles down on that.

Ricoh Pentax hasn’t said when it plans to be done developing this new film camera.

Image credits: Pentax ME photo by Hiyotada, Creative Commons.