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02-10-2020, 12:24 AM   #1
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Just started in film photography and got and old k1000 have a few questions

Hi Everyone,

Just decided to get into film photography.without any previous experience in photography beside smartphone photos ,I was lucky to get a K1000 on a yard sale , it's a little dirty with a few scratches but seems to be working . But I have a few questions:


-What are the first key steps to know that the camera is working correctly without taking a photo? I have checked the mirror, the curtain , and camera at all the shutter speeds and seems to be fine , anything else?should I take it to a store and let them check it ?

- the camera it's a little dirty and with some dust under the shutter speed dial , beside the lense and other few places. So what to know what are some products or a guide basically to give it a basic clean up , or could I just use isopropyl alcoholic 99% and try to whipe it all.

Thanks in advance for the help

02-10-2020, 12:58 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Use an air blower to blast any dust away, use it obliquely to any moving parts so the dust is blown away from not into parts of the mechanisms like speed control.

With dust blown use a clean lint free cloth to wipe down the surfaces and remove any possible grit. Next use a cloth dampened with isoprop and polish, finally clean down with soft cloth. Be careful nit to pick up any grit which may scratch the finish. Also test a little IPA on something firts. If its a metal camera it will be fine but if its a plastic top ( which can look like metal) IPA may affect the paint so test first.

Absoluetly dont put IPA on the mirror or focus screen as they can be damaged.

Leatherette can be bought up by a moist cloth with dilute washing up liquid.

Testing, check slow shutter speeds, younshould be able to clearly hear differece in speeds at the slow settings. At faster settings its impossible to tell by hearing.
Is winder smooth ish. They are normally smooth but firm on a Pentax.

Put some batteries in and check light meter is reponding and reading reasonably.

Also the K1000 powers up on detection of light and if left out in even low light will run its battery down quite fast. Use a lens cap and a viedinder cap or keep it in a case or bag when not in use.

Check light seals and mirror bumper, they may have perished away. Easy enough to replace, check out Jon Goodman seals as they are the best and easiest ones to fit.

Set aperture to f16 and shutter speed quite slow at 30th amd look down lens as hou press shutter, does the iris close down and open again quickly, it should be near instant.

Take off lens and shine torch at each end while looking down other end....any nasties like cracks, scratches or fog looking stuff ? There will be dust as there always is in old lenses but so long as its just odd specks it will be fine.

Past that you will have to test with film.
02-10-2020, 05:46 AM   #3
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here is a good source for manuals

PENTAX MANUALS

this might be worth the time to review:

QuoteQuote:
How to Evaluate and Test a Legacy Camera
Buying Legacy Cameras
Ever wanted to dabble in film photography? Yes, buying an old camera can be daunting: Is it broken or about to break? Why doesn't it have many buttons? What's the lever for?

This article and the accompanying video will show you how to walk into a store, test a film camera like a seasoned buyer, check it with film for proper function, and set you on the road to happily shooting with one of the most rewarding and challenging media available -- FILM!


Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/evaluating-testing-legacy-cameras/buyin...#ixzz6DYTh2ATL
02-10-2020, 06:39 AM   #4
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Mostly you want to run through all the shutter speeds and listen to see if they're speeding up or slowing down as you change the shutter speed dial...sounds like you've done that already...then work the film advance lever to see if it seems to be turning the film advance sprockets inside the back, and then check to see if the light meter is working. You can do that by mounting a lens on your camera, pointing it towards something that's all one color and in an even light, then going through the various apertures to see if the meter is responding correctly. There's a lot more detailed checking that could be done, but those are the main things. If all those things are good, load up a roll of film and give it a go. Have fun!

02-10-2020, 08:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astro-Baby Quote
Testing, check slow shutter speeds, younshould be able to clearly hear differece in speeds at the slow settings. At faster settings its impossible to tell by hearing.
Is winder smooth ish. They are normally smooth but firm on a Pentax.
Great tips. Just want to add that you can do this step without a lens attached and the camera back open. That way you can check for any abnormal action of the mirror, shutter curtain, and film transport. It's also just plain cool to look at.
02-10-2020, 10:25 AM - 1 Like   #6
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A toothbrush is great for getting dirt out of corners and around controls. Use it dry first to get the loose stuff.
02-10-2020, 11:52 AM   #7
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And heres a tip for rubber if you end up with a lens that has rubber grips. Get the grips off, they usually stretch off a d give them a scrub with an old toothbrush and some toothpaste. Brings most rubber up like new.

02-10-2020, 05:18 PM   #8
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Here is the most important tip of all: Don't try to get or keep your camera equipment, especially the glass, perfectly clean. If a spot is particularly stubborn, just let it be. You will do more damage by cleaning your lenses and other glass surfaces than all the other reasons combined.
02-11-2020, 01:32 PM   #9
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As to lens cleaning, always use only tissue or cloth specifically made for lens cleaning and the same for any cleaning fluid. Ordinary tissue can damage invisible lens coatings, which are very important for lens performance. Pentax lenses, even vintage ones most often have especially fine lens coatings.

And welcome to the forum!

You have much to learn. While it is a good thing to learn with an all-manual camera and lens, which for many of us that was all there was when we started, be advised it will be a lot trickier and more costly than learning the same things with a DSLR. The term SLR is what you have there, a mirror system allowing the photographer to look through the viewfinder and right through the lens itself. The D is for Digital. The advantage being you can shoot away, see your results immediately, and not have to pay for film and processing.

Nonetheless, being forced to learn to focus manually with lots of practice to become good at it is very valuable, even when using autofocus in the future. To learn how to achieve good exposure via the settings you choose, shooting slide film is still the most accurate representation of the exposure your setting choices represent. With slide film, your choices will need to be virtually right on the money for accuracy. A good way to learn. Somewhat less expensive than ordering prints also. You should be able to find an inexpensive slide viewer, even one where you just hold it up to a light source, preferably daylight during mid-day hours for accurate colors. If you wish to get more sophisticated, there may still be slide projectors and screens available.

Obtaining a camera owners manual as indicated by aslyfox would be a very good idea.

You will learn how to read the camera's light meter to make appropriate decisions for "correct" exposure, and you will also discover how certain lighting conditions can fool the light meter which can then be misleading and how to deal with that. It is this kind of thing that when results don't turn out right, will often mystify new photographers who have only depended on leaving their modern cameras on all-automatic modes.

You can do a lot of practicing at no cost with no film in the camera. Practice accurate focusing. Do it at various distances. Note that the lens will have a minimum distance it can be focused. You will become more accurate and faster at achieving it. Always keep your eye on what the meter indicator is doing. Go ahead and fire the shutter.

You will soon learn the relationship between shutter speed and aperture. You will find you have a greater range of both available when you increase your film-type sensitivity, but the down side is image quality tends to diminish as sensitivity goes up. There is a manual control on the camera to set film "speed" (sensitivity) which will be shown on the outside of the film carton. You need to be sure to set the camera correctly for the film being used. A sensitivity of ASA 100 would be a very high-quality choice. ASA 400 might be needed for lower lighting, and still good for quality. (ISO=ASA for a DSLR).

You set aperture via the aperture ring on the lens with this camera. A larger aperture setting opens up the aperture more to let more light in, which means to maintain the same exposure value, the shutter will not need to be open as long, so you'll need a higher shutter speed under the same lighting conditions. While this may or may not be desirable, depending on the effect you are looking for, the larger aperture will also reduce depth-of-field (DOF) so less of the picture in front of and behind your subject focus point will be sharply rendered. In the case of a landscape shot having as well something in the foreground (which is a good idea), a reduced DOF would not bring a good outcome. So you'd need to close the aperture more, and deal with a slower shutter speed, which may require a tripod. But for other compositions, you might want the reduced DOF effect to make your main subject stand out better from the background. DOF also changes with the focal length of the lens and the distance from camera to subject.

A larger aperture setting is indicated by the smaller numbers on the aperture ring. Larger numbers represent smaller apertures. Apertures are given on paper with the f/ prefix.

You will also learn what shutter speeds you will need for which purposes, and the effects to expect. By changing your shutter speed, you can bring about a perceived speeding up or slowing down of motion, even freezing motion to a standstill (most-often desired). In that vein, with a live subject, and wanting a sharp result, it is critical to use adequate shutter speed, because no live subject can be as stock-still as a stone. As a rule of thumb, it is best not to attempt going below 1/30 sec, and better at 1/125 sec or above. Then there is your own live body's inadvertent motion. Also, a lens of longer focal length (more telephoto) is much harder to hold absolutely steady, and will thus require a higher shutter speed for hand-held shots. As already said, a higher shutter speed tends to freeze motion.

I hope these pointers will help you get started, and that your very old but potentially good K-1000 is in good working condition. We are here for any questions.

Last edited by mikesbike; 02-11-2020 at 03:57 PM.
02-11-2020, 03:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
As to lens cleaning, always use only tissue or cloth specifically for lens cleaning and the same for any cleaning fluid. Ordinary tissue can damage invisible lens coatings, which are very important for lens performance. Pentax lenses, even vintage ones most often have especially fine lens coatings.
Actually, an old t-shirt and breath will work just fine.
02-11-2020, 06:50 PM   #11
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Don't overthink the cleaning bit, particularly with lenses.

Chapter and verse, almost 10x the size of the Bible, has been written away on this subject unnecessarily across myriad fora.

As Wheatfield stated, an old t-shirt and breath is fine! I've used a hanky, a sock, undies or scarf when not fussed. Much of the time I use a microfibre cloth and a tiny bottle of lens cleaner from my optometrist, both for cleaning filters and front lens elements — neither are cheap in my case.

Cleaning camera bodies and lenses (e.g. lens aperture/focus markings) can be done with a toothbrush in mild soapy water, and tapped until only moist, then gone over with a tissue to dry. Stay out of the inside of any camera unless you know what you are doing, particularly avoid going anywhere near the mirror or shutter. Old cameras like the K1000 have a front-silvered mirror which will scratch even with a microfibre cloth.


I think you should load a roll of film and take photos, rather than imagine what the camera should do with nothing in it. "Shutter speeds seem to be fine" is a not really valid without testing for their accuracy (e.g. a camera service facility, or the store where you purchased it from), and the camera's meter ought to be given particular attention for accuracy.

Personally I would not use any camera without testing or viewing the results of several rolls of film shot in a wide variety of conditions. For the K1000 (count the decades for this camera...) I view thorough testing as a prerequisite before you go out committing it to something serious.
02-12-2020, 01:08 AM   #12
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Well what i've read from experts, a clean cloth is fine, clean microfiber cloth best, lens tissue is fine and not expensive, but chemicals used in making ordinary tissue can be detrimental to lens coatings. Same holds true for the coatings on eyeglasses, just check with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.

incidentally, if you wind up using a slide viewer without a battery-driven built-in light source, which is more desirable, and have the kind you hold up to a light source, never have it in direct sunlight, even coming through a window. This is bad for the film, and worse for your eyes. Also, store your photos out of any light for better preservation.
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