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12-08-2009, 10:54 AM   #1
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K1000 how to tell Japan made version?

I read somewhere that the K1000 has the Japan made version and a China made version.

I am searching ebay for a good deal. Can one tell which version by looking at the camera body itself?

Is that true the China made version does not have the word ''Asahi'' above the Pentax label?

12-08-2009, 11:44 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Japan version:

1. says "Asahi corp Japan" on the back to plate under the winder (or something like that)
2. has a "fill plug" on the left side of the prism, where the battery test switch is found from the KX
3. all meter top and bottom plates
4. metal shutter speed selector.

Taiwan

1. Metal top and bottom plates
2. a small screw where the KX's battery test button was
3. Does not say Japan on the back of the top plate

China

1. plastic top and bottom
2. Does not say Asahi on the prism
3. does not have a bump or a screw where the KX's battery test was
4. Shutter speed dial does not have a silver edge, it is black plastic not metal
12-08-2009, 05:39 PM   #3
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K1000 Serial Number Database

QuoteOriginally posted by manteiv Quote
I read somewhere that the K1000 has the Japan made version and a China made version.

I am searching ebay for a good deal. Can one tell which version by looking at the camera body itself?

Is that true the China made version does not have the word ''Asahi'' above the Pentax label?
Read the K1000 Serial Number Database thread for a complete description of the versions. It is Sticky at the top of the Film SLR Forum (this one).

You may be able to get close to knowing the version you are buying if you can determine the serial number before bidding.
12-08-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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Cool -- thanks for that. By that description, I have a Taiwan version. My brother has a made in China version -- it just feels cheap with those plastic plates.

12-09-2009, 09:35 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote
Cool -- thanks for that. By that description, I have a Taiwan version. My brother has a made in China version -- it just feels cheap with those plastic plates.
The Chinese ones have more plastic than just those plates.
12-09-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
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Yikes, those Chinese made ones sound bad.
01-13-2020, 05:03 AM - 1 Like   #7
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The Chinese made versions are usually much more reasonably priced than the daft prices the metal ones get jacked up to. They are also a little lighter and just as well made as the Taiwan or Japan made ones in terms of function. Because they are more recent than the often worn-out or abused older Japanese ones, you can also find them in far better condition. So don't fall into the trap of assuming metal is good, plastic is bad. The metal ones hold their value more only because people have anti-plastic attitudes, so if you don't like photography based on taking great photos, but you do like making money selling gear, the Chinese version is no good for you.

I found the Chinese version to have a very strong top and bottom plate, a more basic prism focus centre, but it had a much better designed film pressure plate and roller system in the rear panel. One website I read was banging on about the Chinese having worse internal parts made of plastic and cheap metal, but mine was exactly the same as the Japanese version. Taking apart the Chinese version is much easier than the Japanese. After once owning the Chinese version, I came to the realisation that a lot of people are wrong to dismiss it just because it's not got a metal top and bottom.

Another way of thinking about it is that the A-series SMC lens system by Pentax has lots of plastic parts inside and with overall build but people love them and are willing to buy the lenses for seriously inflated prices. Plastic does not mean lower quality in terms of the photos you take with the gear.

Another way of thinking about it is that all modern cameras and all those built from roughly 1980 onwards have some aspects of plastic cases, tops, bottoms, and internal parts. It doesn't mean they are "bad" or dysfunctional.


Last edited by Nick Crumpler; 01-17-2020 at 04:23 AM.
01-13-2020, 06:04 AM - 3 Likes   #8
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Simple; buy a Pentax KM instead.

They're all made in Japan, and it's the same camera without some very useful features removed.
And they usually sell for considerably less than the K1000!

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 01-13-2020 at 04:24 PM.
01-13-2020, 03:22 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I have a Made in Japan one.....

It has Asahi on prism housing
No blanking plate or moulding where the KX battery test would be. Its just plain metal.
Metal top and bottom plates
Metal shutter speed dial
Asahi Opt. Co. engraved under film advance lever
Small silver sticker on base plate marked Japan

Came with an M series 50 f2.0

People seem to have lost their minds with the prices of these and of late I have been sorely tempted to sell it and cash in on the madness and buy myself another Minolta but then I would have to deal with angry Pentaxians with burning torches storming my castle

Id say just skip the K1000 and get a KX, it wont be as expensive and its much nicer to shoot with plus it has a better meter, self timer, DOF, mirror lock up and PC connect for flash cords for non hot shoe flashes.
01-17-2020, 04:17 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Simple; buy a Pentax KM instead.

They're all made in Japan, and it's the same camera without some very useful features removed.
And they usually sell for considerably less than the K1000!

Chris
That's so true! But, sadly, there are not many about! And lots of the ones that do come up for sale are in poor condition.

Last edited by Nick Crumpler; 01-17-2020 at 04:23 AM.
01-18-2020, 04:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The Chinese ones have more plastic than just those plates.
About 25 years ago, a guy was waxing poetic about the merits of his SRT101 and its full metal construction.
The grizzly old guy I was working with at the time said, "you know, the SRT series pioneered the use of nylon gears in cameras. First SLR to use plastic for the important bits".

I don't know if he was right or not, but if you aren't a collector, and the functionality is the same, does it matter much?

The Chinese-made K1000s I've used don't feel the same, but they don't feel that different.
It isn't like the difference between a Nikon FM and a FM10...

And in terms of feel, I'd rather shoot with any K1000 than a P-family camera.
They have other qualities that are attractive, but feel isn't one of them...

-Eric
01-19-2020, 01:57 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I don't know if he was right or not, but if you aren't a collector, and the functionality is the same, does it matter much?

Both Pentax and Minolta pushed it past engineering limits with their ZX/MZ and XG series,
with unfortunate consequences for consumers...

Chris
01-19-2020, 03:57 PM   #13
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I dont know that thats true with the SRT......I have had 5 SRT 101s to bits,admittedly not a total strip but I didnt see any plastic gears at all. The later models like the cheapie SRT 100b they made for Sears which were stripped down versions of the 101 rather like the K1000 was from the KM/KX might have replaced bits with plastic.

If you really want metal and tank like construction check out the Canon FTb, it weighs a ton and I would serioulsy doubt there is any plastic in it at all.
01-19-2020, 05:37 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Astro-Baby Quote
I dont know that thats true with the SRT......I have had 5 SRT 101s to bits,admittedly not a total strip but I didnt see any plastic gears at all.
Those are my thoughts as well. The SR-T line spanned from 1966 through to 1981 with the initial model SR-T 101 cameras marketed as professional offerings. As time went on, features were added and dropped and it would not surprise me if plastic gears were substituted, but would not have expected such until Minolta dropped the CLC metering along with a few other features in the late 1970s.


Steve
01-19-2020, 06:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
As time went on, features were added and dropped and it would not surprise me if plastic gears were substituted, but would not have expected such until Minolta dropped the CLC metering along with a few other features in the late 1970s.
But did they really drop CLC or just stop advertising it? CLC didn't necessarily need two CdS. I have a Hi-Matic 7s with a "CLC" badge. The Hi-Matic only had one light cell... Getting a little off topic in this zombie thread...
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