Skip to comments.ASAHI PENTAX K1000, Another 5 buck camera
Posted on 06/09/2011 12:42:29 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER
On my last thrift shop expedition I found this Pentax K1000. It is probably from about 1976.
It was clean, the shutter worked fine but the meter was dead.
When I got home and opened it up I found that a leaky battery had dissolved the lead from the battery box.
The battery box contact is stainless steel and the wire had been crimped in place. It wasn't possible to open the crimp, it's too small to work with.
There is a product made for repairing the defroster grids on car windows, it's a conductive paint product. I used it to repair the wire and it worked great, the meter is fine now.
I ordered the material to make new light seals and a mirror damper, once I install those the camera will be shooting again.
Happy shooting. :-)
What a find! Congratulations!
I still have my old Spotmatic, which I bought in the Danang PX in 1966 for $115. I carried a Nikonos most of the time in RVN but it got KIA. The Pentax survived and still takes a great picture.
I had a Spotmatic F. I miss it dearly. Although when the original Nikon D1s came out, I admit I forgot about it for a while ;)
I still have my Asahi Pentax Spotmatic, purchased in 1970 at Robinson Barracks PX in Stuttgart, Germany.
Have the good f1.4 50mm Super Takumar lens, too. Plus cheaper wide angle, and telephoto accessory lenses.
Rarely use it, but it still works; batteries a little tough to find. But they last a long time.
Not worth much money, in excellent condition.
One of the finest cameras, ever made, I understand.
The internal parts are works of art, excellent machining and finish.
You just can't put them away without removing the battery.
I was worried that the conductive paint would have too much resistance to current but I built up multiple coats. It has good adhesive strength too.
And since these are air-activated batteries they'll go dead within a month even with the meter turned off. So I usually rely on an old hand-held light meter or just bracket my exposures on the rare occasions I use the camera. Digital is so much more convenient--not to mention economical--it's no wonder people donate their film cameras to charities. I only wish the garden-variety digicams had the quality lenses Pentax and their competition made in the '60s and '70s.
I still have my small Petri 34mm camera. They went out of business many years ago.
There is no switch on the K1000, if you forget to cap the lens the meter will kill the battery.
Well made camera. Thats a heck of a deal and good work on your part. That body looks pretty cherry. No wear marks.
Good coated optics on that lens. Is that a screw mount lens?
Somewhere I’ve still got an old Canon Ftb (not an FtbN) in my storage. 1.4 50mm Canon lens. Last I checked, about 5-7 yrs ago it was still working. I took the battery out before I stored it so I’m not sure about the metering. But the shutter, mirror lock-up, depth of field lever and timer were all O.K. Built like a bank vault. Black body model.
The K-1000 is a lovely, simple, and rugged SLR. I have only one complaint: it is a “noisy” and perhaps slightly imbalanced camera. When you press the button that shutter/mirror combo is like firing off a gun, and the camera shakes noticeably. A bad thing for slower shutter speeds.
I was always very fond of the Olympus OM series bodies and the Nikon FE body.
Likewise I bought a Petri when I got stationed at Tachikawa AFB, Japan, in 1963 (can't remember for sure but think it was around $25 or so)and took thousands of pics (actually slides) with it while traveling as a Crew Chief all over Asia as well as my 18 Months in Nam.
Had a built-in light meter and was practically foolproof with regards to taking good pics.
Don't know what happened to it, but over the years it "disappeared."
I still have my Spotmatic II from 1971. However, I took most of my Vietnam snaps with a cheap Kodak Instamatic since I didn’t want to risk the Pentax. Since I flew helicopters this meant those photos were wide-angle with more distance. Still works and at the time only the Nikon SLR was considered better (and cost a whole lot more).
Postscript: as a 54-year old reservist I got deployed in 2003 to Uzbekistan. I had the old Pentax sent to me from home and got some great shots of Central Asia. The young people, both Uzbek and American, were amazed at its heft and durability.
Takes a lickin’ and keeps on clickin’
I'll have to check with my brother to see if he still has his old Pentax Spotmatic camera--a real collector's item, in my humble opinion!
Then you're in luck because there are plenty of people who will dump them at any price they can get. I see them in yard sales all the time and I wouldn't pay a dollar for one.
There were a lot of great cameras made by Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Minolta, Konica, and others during the golden era of film SLRs, but IMO the best was the Olympus OM series, because designer Maitani started with the goal being an SLR and lenses which were small and light. The OM could do almost anything a pro Nikon could do, but cost less and was much less of a burden.
You can adapt almost any classic SLR lens to a mirrorless digital camera like the Micro 4/3 ones or the Sony NEX.
I don’t think I ever has a camera I was as comfortable with or as passionate about photography with than the Olympus OM-10. There were many reasons for this - my youth, my excitement - but I was never able to rekindle that passion when, after all of my Olympus camera stuff was stolen while traveling (along with 10+ undeveloped rolls of what I believed were the best pictures I had ever taken), I moved on to the Nikon system. That said, the FEs were just incredible, intuitive bodies that gave you tons of info through the viewfinder.
By the way - can anyone recommend an affordable, reliable mail-order 35mm development house?
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