5 Frames… Of Athens on Agfaphoto APX 100 Professional (EI 100 / 35mm format / Pentax ME) – by George Mertikas

I’m taking photos almost all my life and even more nowadays through digital photography. I recently bought a Pentax ME and travelled years back to when film was the only option for photography.

The camera is small (it can fit in a large coat pocket), light with a robust build and a large finder. It has aperture-priority automatic electronic exposure control. The only manual settings are 1/100 and Bulb. You focus and pick the aperture, and the Pentax ME picks the shutter speed automatically.


It is considering an amateur camera and the built-in light meter (with large readings in the viewfinder) can help you to shoot with the proper exposure. You can control the ISO manually (no DX reading) and the exposure easily. It has also a smooth (single stroke) thumb lever. Generally, it’s a very easy to use camera. The frame counter is easy to read, with bold, clear white numbers and all even numbers are listed. The SMC Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 lens is bright, light and compact without autofocus, of course. Its f/1.7 aperture can help shoot in low light conditions and it offers excellent bokeh for portraits

The first film I loaded was the Agfaphoto APX 100, which I shot at box speed. I loaded the film (very easily) without expecting much from the camera due to its age (almost 40 years). This film is cheap (5€ in Greece) so I had nothing to lose. I walked around my neighbourhood near Athens, Greece. Athens is a city, ideal for street photography with dark and colorful alleys, old and new buildings, with a clear and sunny sky almost all over the year, with a history over 3000 years.

Sent for processing in a nearby lab, I was amazed from the results I received back. The photos have a nice balanced contrast with retro effect, old school grain, beautiful tonality fine grain and balance.

I feel it’s ideal for everyday situations, including architecture, landscape, documentation, still-life photography and portraits. For the price, it’s a bargain (cheaper than Kodak’s top-class films but with similar results).

The camera is still alive. Film photography is still alive!

~ George


Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?

Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

Share your knowledge, story or project

At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

George Mertikas
George Mertikas
Photography is my passion, my shrink,my way out. In 2018 my work got published in the form of Explore Athens - My way (ISBN 9789606211928), a book-guide regarding Athens (Greece) with 200 photos of mine. Got was also nominated in a book of the year contest (Public Book Awards).

Related reading

Join the discussion