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03-04-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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So, I just got a hold of a Pentax SLR...

Many many years ago my aunt anduncle found a bag with a k1000 Pentax SLR in it, and now it's mine. Question is, how is this camera? And does anybody have any guides or tips on how to clean it?

Lens have smudges and small marks on them, mirror on the body has some lint on it, below the viewfinder is this godawful musty stench as well.

Here's a pic:
Flickr Photo Download: k1000 Asahi Pentax

03-04-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum

It looks like you have a nice little kit there. The K1000 is a cult classic camera due to its popularity with high school and community college photo instructors. It is a solid all manual, all mechanical camera with built in meter. If it has been sitting for any period of time, it will likely need to have its seals and mirror damper replaced. Any good camera repair should be able to give you an estimate for the seal replacement and a general clean-up. If you want a truly expert job, contact Eric at pentaxs.com. His prices are very competitive and his work is legendary.

It also looks like you have a couple of nice lenses. The Pentax-M 28mm f/3.5 has a good reputation. I can't tell which focal length Tokina you have there (135mm f/2.8?), but it is probably decent. They don't make junk. The Pentax-M 50mm f/2 that is attached to the camera is also not bad.

Steve
03-04-2009, 10:12 PM   #3
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Looks like I'll have to swing by a camera shop and have them take a look at it.

And as for the Tokina yeah, it's a 135mm f/2.8
03-04-2009, 10:39 PM   #4
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Hi, looks like you made it over from /p/ as I suggested. You'll find a great crowd here, ever-helpful and not nearly so rude as the /p/ bunch. Usually. Peruse the forums, ask endless questions, scan the Lens Ratings Database, and learn of all things Pentaxian.

With any interchangeable-lens camera, when you select (or inherit) a camera, you're getting into not just that specific body, but its lens system. Those lenses you have now are a good start, and some photographers would stick with those for a lifetime. But you may find yourself wanting (and being able to afford) even more lenses. Ah, the dreaded LBA, lens-buying addiction...

And you may want newer bodies that can use the same lenses. Hurrah! Almost all Pentax SLRs can mount almost all prior Pentax lenses! (This is unlike Canon and Nikon, whose mount changes render their earlier products effectively obsolete.) And many classic Pentax-compatible lenses can be had CHEAP, in pawn shops or thrift shops, on eBay or the Marketplace here. You'll see threads here where Pentaxians brag about their bargain deals. Believe them.

So welcome to the Pentax universe, and have fun. Unless you shoot all slide or color print film, you'll soon find yourself immersed in developing and printing your B&W pictures. That's a whole other arena of obsession and learning. Ah, those darkroom nights, those chemical fumes, those searches for the perfect paper...

03-04-2009, 10:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by heavensSinner Quote
Many many years ago my aunt anduncle found a bag with a k1000 Pentax SLR in it, and now it's mine. Question is, how is this camera? And does anybody have any guides or tips on how to clean it?

Lens have smudges and small marks on them, mirror on the body has some lint on it, below the viewfinder is this godawful musty stench as well.

Here's a pic:
Flickr Photo Download: k1000 Asahi Pentax
I once read an eBay description that used the term "basement fresh" to describe the smell. Airing the camera stuff out usually works. The cases hold the smell and I pitch the ones that continue to smell bad.

The exterior of the camera can be cleaned. The owner's manual doesn't recommend or warn against anything. I have used Windex and an old toothbrush without dissolving anything critical. The toothbrush is excellent for getting next to the shutter release and winder. Here's a site with the owner's manual:

Pentax Manuals

The interior of the camera is usually pretty clean except for three potential problem areas. The door to the film compartment is supposed to be sealed with thin strips of black foam. This material usually dissolves into crumbly or gooey stuff after 20 or 30 years. There is a seal in the front too, where the mirror flips up and blocks off the viewfinder. It's right in front of the viewfinder screen. If this seal gets gooey, the goo can spread to hard-to-clean parts like the mirror and viewfinder screen. It sounds like this seal is crumbling instead, and is the source of your "lint". These seals are easy to replace yourself. Here is a good source for instructions and replacement seals:

eBay My World - interslice

The third potential problem area is the shutter curtains. These are silk, coated with rubber. Don't touch them, just look at them and make sure they're intact and clean. Fire the shutter and wind the camera again to see both curtains. They aren't really user-serviceable.

The 50mm lens that's on the camera is pretty good. It would have a better reputation except it has several better and faster brothers. The Vivitar teleconverter is OK with a prime lens but starts to look bad with a slow zoom. The Tokina 135mm f2.8 should be good too. The Pentax-M 28mm f3.5 is one of the better Pentax 28mm lenses, very good to excellent.

The camera takes a silver-oxide battery (#76) that even WalMart carries. The battery only powers the meter, which only turns off when the lenscap is on. Cameras that haven't seen much use sometimes have trouble with slow shutter speeds (below 1/30 sec.) The slow speeds use a diffferent mechanism than faster speeds. If the meter and slow shutter speeds work, the camera is usually fine.

Here's the film discussion forum:
Pentax Film SLR Discussion - PentaxForums.com
03-04-2009, 10:42 PM   #6
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Oy, I'm afraid you have a batch of lemons there. You should send it all directly to me so I can dispose of it properly.

Seriously though, congrats!

I inherited my Mom's Super Program this past weekend and I can hardly wait to get through the roll of Ilford XP2 I've got in it.
[imgwideleft]http://www.perzactly.com/posts/2009/03/02/JDG06385.jpg[/imgwideleft]
03-05-2009, 02:15 PM   #7
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@RioRico: Yeah, I've posted a few times on /p/. 50/50 chance of getting posts full of ass reponses. And as for buying new bodies, I don't think I'll be able to do that lol. I recently just got a Canon 450d (Like 3 months ago).

@Just1MoreDave: There's like no rubber left on the film door. Surprisingly the seals you described in the front of the camera look brand new, it's still all in tact.
And the shutter curtains you mentioned, they're the ones that have ridges on them right? lines the side of the insides. So far it looks pretty clean and good.
03-05-2009, 02:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I have used Windex and an old toothbrush without dissolving anything critical.
Not on the glass part of any lens I hope!!!

Pat

03-05-2009, 03:01 PM   #9
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Out of curiosity, which RMC Tokina lens is that?
03-05-2009, 04:59 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
Out of curiosity, which RMC Tokina lens is that?
All it says on the lens is 135mm 1:2.8, 52 8017230 on it.
03-05-2009, 06:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
Not on the glass part of any lens I hope!!!

Pat
Well, yes, but in this case, I was referring to the exterior of the camera. I'm not sure what else to use for that. The leatherette panels can get somewhat grimy, and some kind of cleaner is better than a lot of water. The manual doesn't recommend anything either way. It shouldn't be something that dissolves the glue that sticks the leatherette on. And on the back of the camera, it should have a scent you can stand to have your nose next to.

As for my Windex use on lenses, the lens manual seems to rule out using almost everything that people use. I have actually tested Windex on half of an element from a broken lens. I don't see any difference between halves. I don't expect to convince anyone that my way is the only possible true path. I admit to doing it at my own risk.
03-05-2009, 07:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by heavensSinner Quote
Just1MoreDave: There's like no rubber left on the film door. Surprisingly the seals you described in the front of the camera look brand new, it's still all in tact.
And the shutter curtains you mentioned, they're the ones that have ridges on them right? lines the side of the insides. So far it looks pretty clean and good.
I wasn't that clear in my first post. The seals are in a groove on the camera body. They fold around the edges of the film door when it's closed. Nothing on the film door is good - gooey seals will stick to the door.

If the mirror seal is good, I'm not sure where your lint is coming from. I forgot to mention something important: the mirror surface and viewfinder screen are delicate surfaces. The mirror can be easily scratched. The viewfinder can be scratched and can dissolve in solvents. You shouldn't really have to clean them normally, just blow the dust off occasionally. When you're taking a photo, none of those surfaces are going to affect the image.
03-05-2009, 07:40 PM   #13
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Dave, Windex is harsh! I'd be afraid that windex will strip off the coating on the lenses... I only use proper lens fluid on lenses to clean smears.

As for the camera body, I guess you can't really hurt a k1000

Pat
03-05-2009, 08:48 PM   #14
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Looks like I'll have to bust out the Windex and toothbrush for the body..

EDIT: Anybody have advice on cleaning up lens? Was just wondering what materials I can use to clean them up.
03-06-2009, 08:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ve2vfd Quote
Dave, Windex is harsh! I'd be afraid that windex will strip off the coating on the lenses... I only use proper lens fluid on lenses to clean smears.

As for the camera body, I guess you can't really hurt a k1000

Pat
Quote from the manual for the FA 35/2:

"3. Never use any organic solvent such as thinner, alcohol or benzine, etc. to remove dust on the lens."

I'm not that good at chemistry, but here's a list of organic solvents I googled:

Common Organic Solvents: Table of Properties

I think it would be difficult to find a "lens fluid" that did not contain something on that list. I'm not sure what Pentax even means.
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