Simplicity and reliability in your hands. That’s the Pentax K1000. A mechanical camera produced from 1976 to 1997 by Asahi Optical Co., Ltd. (Japan). This camera requires a single battery (LR44 or equivalent) to activate the light meter. If you get a Pentax K1000 with a broken light meter, you can always use it calculating the correct exposure with the “Sunny 16 rule” or some “Light Meter app” from your cellphone.

Pentax 01

My Pentax K1000 is a SE version, with brown leather.

Previous cameras from Pentax (like the Spotmatic) used the M42 lens mount, invented by the Germans in the late 1930’s. The Pentax K1000 and other models of the same era (1975/1976), starts using the K lens mount, the Pentax’s own design that can be found in their modern cameras. Pentax lenses are legendary for their excellent optics. Especially the SMC lenses.
Note: I’m not an expert in K mount lenses. You should check the K lenses compatibility before using any modern Pentax lens in a Pentax K1000 or any other Pentax film slr.

Since the K1000 is a straightforward design, this is what you have to know:Pentax controls-3

  1. Shutter button.
  2. Shutter speed dial. (it has the ASA/ISO dial, too)
  3. Film advance lever (and the film frame counter)
  4. Film rewind crank.**
  5. Hot shoe for the flash unit.

** Note: Remember to press down the silver button on the base of the camera prior to attempt to rewind the film!

The shutter speed dial goes from “Bulb” to a 1/1000 of a second. (The flash unit will sync at 1/60 of a second.)  And you can set the ASA (Iso) dial from 20 ISO all the way to 3200 ISO.

The K1000 doesn’t have a “self timer lever” or exposure compensation functions.
There is nothing you can do about the lack of “self timer” feature. If We talk about the “exposure compensation”, well, you can always trust your eye to determine if there is necessary to over or underexpose the scene, before firing the shutter.

Don’t you hate when you forgot if the shutter is ready to fire or not??  The K1000 has a clever feature to solve this. When you cock the shutter mechanism, an orange dot can be seen next to the shutter button. That’s your “ready to fire” reminder and film saver!

Pentax 03

Pentax cover

In the 35mm film slr history, the K1000 has a lot of significance. Since it’s introduction in the mid 1970’s, this Pentax model was the camera that initiate a lot of people into photography. And even today, it’s a reliable camera! Just get some great Pentax  lenses, and you’ll have a solid contender against any modern Dslr (and for a fraction of the cost).

What are you waiting to get yours??!

Thanks for reading!


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