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Pentax K1000

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42 112,011 Sun September 10, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $60.50 8.70
Pentax K1000

Pentax K1000
Pentax K1000
Pentax K1000

The iconic Pentax K1000 was Pentax's classic intro level film SLR, which gained a very high popularity among photography students due to its rugged build and low price.

The original K1000 was basically a KM without depth of field preview and self-timer. The K1000 became very successful and was produced from 1976 to 1997. The top and bottom plates were changed from metal to plastic in the final production run. In 1997, the ZX-M replaced the K1000 as Pentax's intro-level manual offering.

The main variants are the K1000 (black leather, microprism focusing aid) and the later K1000 SE (black or brown leather and with a split image focusing screen or a combination microprism/split image screen).

Year introduced
Meter range
3 - 18 EV
Meter pattern
ISO range
DX ISO range
No DX coding
Exposure modes
M, B
Exposure compensation
Not applicable
Exposure memory lock
Not applicable
Shutter speeds (auto)
Not applicable
Shutter speeds (manual)
1 - 1/1000s, B
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
1 - 1/1000s, B
Self timer
Mirror lock-up
Auto bracketing
Not applicable
Multiple exposures
Built-in flash
TTL flash
P-TTL flash
Sync speed
Flash exposure comp
Not applicable
Autofocus sensitivity
Not applicable
Power zoom
Viewfinder type
Diopter correction
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Image size
24 x 36 mm
Panorama format
Battery grip/pack
Size (W x H x D)
143 x 91.5 x 49 mm
620 g
Price History:

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Junior Member

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 35
Review Date: March 18, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $32.50 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Classic (asahi one), simple, hard iron
Cons: I like m series shape better

This camera fit to me as newbie on 35mm film slr, except for it dead meter, now i always depend on my iPod pocket meter
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 16,545
Review Date: March 11, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: All manual ... just like the one that I had in high school
Cons: Hefty, all manual - thus not a go to SLR for many reasons


I bought a very nice copy of this SRL off a French e-bay equivalent, the body is in great shape plus it came along with a SMC M 50/2, which is not a great lens ... but do not worry, I have plenty of other manual lenses to use on it. Looks like this K1000 sat in a shelf or drawer for many years.

I am really happy to have found such a good body, but it needs light seals and the mirror bumper replaced ... normal age and wear ... I have not shot a roll yet, but my impressions are back from many a long day ago when I had a K1000 in high school and for my photography class and yearbook candid photos, etc. ... Ah, the memories that this SLR brings back.

So, my review is based upon sentimental element, but that's no big deal, because all of the other review have said a lot about the K1000. It's worth an "8" in my books ... now my next task is to repair those seals, etc.

Salut, John le Frog

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Hong Kong / Irvine, CA
Posts: 564
Review Date: January 18, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: classic

"Build like a tank" as everyone said.
Very solid metal, I like the needle of the exposure meter.
Nothing wrong with it.
Feels very good in my hands.
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 345
Review Date: November 18, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Heavy, Sturdy, Manual, Simple, Beautiful (even when beaten up a bit) Compact(?)
Cons: Heavy, Manual, Simple

I snagged mine here on the marketplace. I had to get a lens for it (M50/1.7) So that brought the total to $80 excluding film.

I bought this camera to experiment with film and as my first SLR. Film is... interesting. I am not used to not having instant feedback on my shots.

This camera, even being beaten up a bit, still feels very sturdy. Being made out of metal kinda helps...

Being full manual, if I mess up or miss a shot, I have nothing to blame but myself. I like that feeling. It means that I know what needs to improve to mess up less: Me.

Another thing... This camera is beautiful, even with a few dents IMHO.

(Mine is the earlier Japanese made one if anyone wants to know)
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 7
Review Date: June 21, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Simple to use
Cons: exposure dial can be tricky to move

I have three of this cameras, and enjoy using them. I got my first one a few years ago in a lot of lens I was biding on, payed what I was willing for two lenses that I was after so I considered the rest extras. It was in really great shape except light meter doesn't work, but decided to try it out since I was into only digital at the time. Only use film in cheap point and shot cameras as a teen.

I found film to be interesting (it has want I feel is different look then digital, like both the same they just have different qualities that are great in there own way) so I looked for another so I could use different kinds of film at the same time. My second was a SE version that I got for $15 as-is, but got it and found it to operate just fine, except the film advance lever is a little sticky on the way back (it will stick out on the side of the camera and not return to its position on its own if you don't move it with your finger, but has loosened up with use). Cosmetically it is a bit beat up, but it does have to be pretty to take pictures.

I bought my third just to have yet another one for use and got that one for $20 and was told everything worked and it does. The condition pretty good, except it has numbers and letters engraved on it, but does have that much wear and a working meter.

This camera does what it's supposed to and I can't complain. Being a manual camera doesn't bother me since I've shot that way since I bought my K10D, not sure if I have ever used it out of manual mode or used the auto focus. I like controlling my photos as much as I can, more interesting that way.
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 167

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 15, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Makes you focus on taking photos
Cons: Everything else

I've owned 2 or 3 of these over the years, and have gone through a love-hate-love-hate cycle with them. Yeah, they're heavy. Yeah they don't have a self-timer, DOF preview, or any automatic features.

I think it became clear that this camera is a 10 when a friend of mine was getting into film photography after shooting digital for years. He kept asking if he should get this one or that one, each with more features than the K1000. I sat there and tried to imagine what it would have been like if I had started out on an ME Super or Minolta X-700. I couldn't.

Here's why: it's the matchstick metering. It's the most powerful tool I can imagine to communicate exposure to someone who has used only automatic cameras, or has never used a camera at all. And the careful setting of the aperture and shutter speeds eventually makes certain combinations feel familiar in a way a more automatic camera never could. "Oh, hello 1/60, f/2! Nice to see you again 1/500 f/4!" When the light meter broke on my sister's K1000 she just kept right on shooting, and nailed exposures every time because the camera had made her into a walking LV/EV chart. I'd sometimes ask her how she would set the camera for a particular scene, and then check her setting against the light meter on my Canon Elan 7 (she nailed it every time).

If you're like me and shoot cameras with lots more features, you still feel a sort of irrational pleasure when you pick up a K1000. It's the camera that taught us how to make a picture.

Set aperture.
Set shutter.
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 113

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 7, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built like a nuclear bunker (made of brass), easy to use (I taught myself at the age of 10), relatively inexpensive, Had a light meter needle in the viewfinder
Cons: expensive to fix (£60 for the light meter)

there's a lot of things I miss about this camera now I have my K-r; the light meter needle, the simple ease of use, the lack of autofocus (honestly, I prefer manual), the brass body… It's a great looking camera.

still took decent photos after 30 years, albeit it did have to get fixed 3 times. all of those times it was my fault though, just not taking enough care.

I really do miss this camera a lot, I wish photography was still like this, where it's not just about pointing a camera at something and pressing a button. Manual focus, film photography, and only 36 photos in a roll. You really did have to compose and work for a shot

To any future buyers, If you want to train someone in photography (in my case, my dad taught me with this one), do buy this camera. You learn proper photography
Junior Member

Registered: October, 2011
Location: Belton, SC
Posts: 33
Review Date: October 31, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $8.00 | Rating: 8 


Beautifully made camera. Fun and easy to use. Perfect for beginners or those who want to try stepping out into the world of film. It is very basic, which is why I prefer to shoot my smaller, lighter Super Program, but this is always my go to for a day of fun casual shooting. Great to have around.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 384
Review Date: July 7, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Love the looks, easy to use, if you good with manual
Cons: bit on the heavy side, film not cheap!

Got this with a deal of 2 lenses, seller did not know it work or not, got it and it works great, shutter opens and close like it should mirror lifts up
Mint condtion as you can see.
Rare to find them in this shape? I may be selling it to a good home soon after I get bored of looking at it

New Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Malang (East-Java)
Posts: 4
Review Date: July 3, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Can use with no battery
Cons: Big body

maybe K1000 the best Pentax 35 mm SLR....i use this camera for street photo
Inactive Account

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 20
Review Date: May 22, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Heavy, Solid, Manual,
Cons: Heavy, All Manual, no OFF if you lose lens cap.

In the philosophy of converting your weaknesses into your strengths this camera excels. It's heavy and it's all manual. All weaknesses, and yet all things we love about it.

I've had my K1000 for about 9 months now. It's very well built, metal top and bottom plates. Faux black is still in great condition. Everything works, since there's not much to malfunction. Love the simple light meter. I would really like a timer on it, but then again, not needed. Viewfinder is simple, period. Nice. No distractions.

Also, thanks to this camera I've gotten better at manual focusing with my digital which has no focus screen. I initially found the microprism focusing too difficult. The previous camera I had used a split image with microprism collar. To use just the microprism spot was difficult al first.

All in all great camera to have.
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Minahasa, North Celebes (Sulawesi)
Posts: 585
Review Date: February 25, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build. 'Real' Manual Experience.
Cons: If really like going manual. there aren't any.

Pros Build. 'Real' Manual Experience.
Cons If really like going manual. there aren't any.
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) 75
Years Owned A few weeks

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
There's nothing that haven't been said yet, so my word is: PERFECT

Camera Review
I have just got one. I think everybody must have one. Perfect tool to learn the curves of anything photography. Get one.

Forum Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: lower Alabama
Posts: 57
Review Date: February 15, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $275.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: best intro to SLR's
Cons: none

Pros best intro to SLR's
Cons none
Rating 10
Price (U.S. Dollars) $275 w lens
Years Owned 35 years

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The light meter in the original K1000 was all that was needed to get a good shot.

Camera Review
Having nothing automatic about it this camera took me from point and shoot to the world of a photo enthusiast. It still works as well as the day I bought it 35 years ago. Shooting and developing my own B&W photos with this rugged camera began a life long hobby of shooting and being told I should go pro. With the right lens I think it could do pro work.

I see some cons that the K1000 did not have a timer. I bought a mechanical one for mine. It was this little metal gadget you wind up, screw into the shutter release, click it on causing a shaft to slowly come down into the shutter button to act as a mechanical remote release. It still works too!

It will go down it history as the camera that launched many a lifetime love of photography. The attached photo is a scan of a print made in 1978 of Middle Bay Light House, Mobile Bay
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 3
Review Date: December 10, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: It's OLD which means: It's Durable, It's Reliable, and Produces a Great Image, what more could you ask for?
Cons: It's Manuel, so if your not a fan there's a good chance this camera is not for you.

Pros It's OLD which means: It's Durable, It's Reliable, and Produces a Great Image, what more could you ask for?
Cons It's Manuel, so if your not a fan there's a good chance this camera is not for you.
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) 50 bucks
Years Owned 8 Years

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Hands Down Great Value.

Light Meter, Shutter, Film Rewind, All Manuel. Battery only needed for light meter.

With the right lens Great.

It's old, and durable.
(W x H x D)
143 x 91.5 x 49 mm

620 g
---thanks to pentax forums for size and weight)---

Camera Review
Chances are whoever you ask will tell you this is the perfect camera to learn on.

It's true.

It forces you to work hard for an image by simply offering no bells and whistles.

The thing is, this can be a great camera for the professional as well. Most pros may want something more advanced with functions out the wazoo to simplify and speed up the process of taking a picture, don't forget, time is money, and if your relying on photos to pay the bills, time, as it is for many reasons is very valuable. This means no time for manuel rewind, manuel focus, etc.

If your a pro and you intend to work weddings, sports events, and take shots on the Serengeti than this isn't the camera for you (or maybe for a few of you it is).

On the other hand, if your a pro that is not pressured by time, than you need at least one of these cameras.

In essence, a camera does one thing, and that's open a small mirror, letting light paint a picture on film. That being said, it doesn't take a million dollar camera to capture a million dollar image. And I'm only talking about the body of the camera here, not lenses (for those who may not know there kind of important when it comes to image if you buy this camera and like it, buy a real nice lens to compliment it.)

As you know after looking on ebay and elsewhere, this is not a million dollar camera. With the right lens though, this camera is capable of taking a million dollar picture.

For somewheres around $50 bucks you can have a camera that you can always rely on, and not worry about taking it into unfavorable situations for the state of your camera (meaning you can have piece of mind and bring it anywhere because it's durable, but mainly because it doesn't cost an arm and leg to replace or fix it. And you know the best pictures always occur in extreme situations when either the cold, rain, sleet, 100 mph winds, tornados, and blazing fires are your obstacles...)

Basically this camera is a great bang for the buck.


Using a camera that only relies on the person to make the decisions not only makes for a great tool for learning, but it also doesn't hold you back when you know what your doing, and it allows you to get creative and work for your pictures.

What you learn from this camera will make you a better photographer, and continuing to use it will only make you a more capable and talented.

If you couldn't tell by my review, I like this camera and I highly suggest you get your hands on one.

But don't forget, the lens that comes with it is great, but investing in a real nice piece of optics will really make this camera sing.

(I only rated it a 9 because nothing is perfect, and with a camera with a lot of age using shows some signs of wear, but a little wear doesn't mean it's still a great camera.)
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,339
Review Date: November 25, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax K1000: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Simple rugged design, not much to go wrong. Early models are very well built, like the other K series bodies.
Cons: Lack of features. Overpriced in today’s market.

Pros Simple rugged design, not much to go wrong. Early models are very well built, like the other K series bodies.
Cons Lack of features. Overpriced in today’s market.
Rating 7
Price (U.S. Dollars) K1000 original version & K55/2 - $60.00, K1000SE & K55/2 - $80.00
Years Owned 6 months

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The K1000 is very similar to the KM, but is missing the Self Timer and DOF preview button.

The SE version has an improved 2 year warranty and a split-image/micro-prism focusing screen.

The early made in Japan version would be the most sought after and it has the same build quality as the other K series film bodies. The early version also came with the K55/2.0 kit lens.

Camera Review
The K1000 SE and K1000 are the latest additions to my K Series film body collection. My K1000 is the original made in Japan version and came with the K55/2.0 kit lens. This combo looks and feels very similar to a KM & K55/1.8.

There is not much to review here as the K1000 does not have many features compared to other manual film bodies of the mid 1970’s. This however is the best feature of the K1000, fewer features mean less to go wrong!

My SE version shows signs of Pentax cutting back on build quality, but the split-image/micro-prism focusing screen makes up for this.

The K1000 & K1000 SE are not bad knockabout cameras, but you will need a second film body with extra features for other than the most basic shooting situations. Both are perfect “student” cameras, but sometimes the selling prices are way too high. Please avoid the latter “plastic” made in China ones, I would not recommend them.

I’m basing my K1000 & K1000 SE review rating against my other K series film bodies, KM, KX, K2 & K2DMD.

I rate both the K1000SE & K1000 “Made in Japan” a 7.0.
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