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03-04-2018, 07:05 AM   #1
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stop down metering K1000 M42 - so lost...

Hello all. I need some help, I've read myself stupid on the internets (including scouring this forum).

Been rocking my mom's K1000 since my sophomore year of college in the late 90s, but after school I got a job and shooting slowly fell by the wayside. I made decent photographs here and there in my teens/early 20s, but now I want to actually be technically competent versus hoping for one printable negative per roll. I wasn't awful or anything; I shot slide film all over Mexico and years of Tmax 3200, lots of which is displayed in my house. Not that I was particularly good either...enough room for improvement that I recently dug out all my old books and started studying the basics again so I know what I'm doing this time. Or so I thought.

Here's my question: can someone explain stop down metering to me like I am the dumbest person you have ever met? I'd like to use some M42 lenses on this camera, but the more I read about it the more I want to get rid of the M42 paraphernalia I already have. What I have read is heavy on the 'why' stop down must happen but light on the 'here's-how-you-actually-do-it-you-moron.' I need the latter most. I think.

I don't plan on stepping foot in a darkroom ever again; as a public servant, I just can't afford it. Film and processing will be on a budget since I'm in grad school now. I don't plan on taking pictures professionally. I just want to shoot film again because I really enjoyed doing it. I work in the field and feel I see things others might not stop to notice sometimes. The frustration over my kid brother nearly destroying the camera and kit lens (a 55, which I guess is sort of unique) without telling anyone combined with realizing how much I have forgotten -- or maybe never knew to begin with -- is getting seriously depressing.

Like I said, I need some help and would really appreciate any insight.


03-04-2018, 07:50 AM   #2
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Location: Venice, CA
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M42 lenses have no linkage on K-mount cameras to let the body know which aperture is set on the lens. So a meter reading much be taken with the lens stopped down to measure the amount of light coming through the lens. If you notice the M42 adapter will move the aperture setting linkage to a position that allows stop-down metering.

The K1000 user manual can be downloaded from here:
03-04-2018, 08:12 AM   #3
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Simple answer, if you have a lens with Auto/Manual switch, you typically focus in auto (wide open aperture) to get the most critical focus on the subject. Then to get the meter correct results and to have the depth of field you want you dial in the aperture desired and switch to manual aperture mode. As mentioned above you have to do this because the cameras used today can't automatically stop down the lens since they lack the proper linkage to do so on m42 lenses.

On a lens without an A/M switch you just dial aperture to open to focus then dial it in to stopped down to the aperture you want before you press the shutter.

On a preset lens there are two rings, one opens and closes the Iris, the other sets the limit of how far it will close essentially setting the aperture to a preset value. You dial in the aperture you want on one ring, then when ready you turn the ring to get exposure and dof to what your desired outcome is.
03-04-2018, 09:29 AM   #4
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Using M42 lenses on a K1000 is absolutely doable, but not really practical. The lens diaphragm needs to be manually stopped down for measuring the light, reopened to properly focus, then re-stopped down before tripping the shutter. Sure, you don't need to measure the light constantly, so you can save yourself some manipulations. However, I advise you to search for some K-mount lenses in order to have a quick, responsive shooting experience. Pentax-M and third party equivalent lenses can be found for really cheap : they are not ideal for Pentax DSLR because of absence of advanced exposure modes and autofocus. Hence they are not so in demand as later lenses, and will be a perfect fit (and historically accurate) for your K1000.


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