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07-26-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
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K1000 durability

At the post office today I picked up a used K1000 I recently purchased.
The package wasn't much bigger than the camera and not properly padded.
The clerk dropped it on the floor from waist height on the way to the counter.

Once home I opened the box, expecting at least a ding or a dent, or maybe worse.
But lo and behold, there wasn't a mark on the camera (besides worn paint from normal use).
And when I tested it everything worked perfectly. I was amazed (and relieved)!

As a new member of the K1000 Club I now believe the stories of this models legendary durability.
Does anyone else have a story of a K1000 that endured extreme abuse or mishap and came up shooting?


07-26-2010, 04:31 PM   #2
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Not really. I had the meter die on one, but I can't say it did or did not have anything to do with a knock. Basically, the meter or the foam seals are the only things I've ever had fail on a mechanical camera.
07-27-2010, 06:20 AM   #3
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I dropped one on the floor the other day from about chest-height. It's fine.

Then again, I also had one just plain fail on me when I took a photo. Mirror never came back down. It was pretty beat up, though, and I was NOT the first owner.
07-29-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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Anything that used the traditional K sized body (so the whole K series, and the Spotmatic for 12 years prior to that) is a tank of a camera. They weigh about a 1.5lbs without a lens on them, and most of that is the painted brass top and bottom covers. The K1000, because it was in production for so long, slowly got cheapened (the covers went to plastic over time among other changes), but if you've got one of the original varieties, your camera will take all manner of punishment.

The first of my two Spotties was used by my father at many a rock-concert in the 70s in Vancouver, and has seen more than it's fair share of knocks. He kept the leather ever-ready case on it, and when I inherited it, all it needed was a CLA and it's been working good as new for the last two years.

They don't build anything like that anymore.

07-29-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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I was travelling, and had stuck my K1000 with 50mm lens in a side pocket of my big, heavy pack. Like a moron, I forgot about it and handed my pack to a bus driver. Just as I realised my mistake and turned to get the camera out, he hurled the pack into the luggage compartment under the bus, and I watched as it arced gracefully along and came down directly on that side pocket, all 50 lb or so of pack. "Oh well, so much for that camera," I thought. Not so - once I got the lens cap detached from the filter it was jammed into, it was fine. Heck, even the lens, which obviously took the brunt of the blow, was fine! Haven't used the K1000 much lately, but the lens is fine.
07-29-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by unixrevolution Quote
I dropped one on the floor the other day from about chest-height. It's fine.

Then again, I also had one just plain fail on me when I took a photo. Mirror never came back down. It was pretty beat up, though, and I was NOT the first owner.
The mirror return issue is fixable. That's how my inherited Spottie started to fail. About six months after I started putting it through it's paces, the mirror wouldn't come back down at speeds slower than 60th. You had to fire off a few frames before the mirror would return (obviously not practical if the camera is loaded). The CLA fixed that up.

A lot of very heavy handling can cause said mechanical workings to drift out of whack, but generally, we're talking a lifetime of very heavy handling before noticeable issues occur, if people's experiences here are anything to go by.
08-05-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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I once heard a rumour that the K1000 was the camera of choice for the Geological Survey of Canada because you could use it to hammer in tent pegs.
08-06-2010, 08:05 PM   #8
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I must say. I have beat my K1000 like the red headed step child that just stole a candy bar from a nun and it keeps on going. Many of you will remember when I dropped it into a 3 foot stream and aside from ruining the film inside, I dried it, reloaded it and still using it some 3 years later

08-12-2010, 08:28 AM   #9
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I am 45 yrs old. I still have the K1000 that I got in 6th grade. Actually, it went to a friend for many years. He was still using it when I asked for it back.

I did get a CLA (reasonable, after nearly 30 yrs), but even before that it worked fine.

I've never beat it, but it has not been babied, either.

08-13-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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Got my K1000 in 1978 in Cyprus while I was in the RAF. For the next ten years I dragged it around the world on postings to some extreme locations such as the deserts of North Africa and above the Arctic circle in Norway and it never let me down once.
I have had it serviced twice the last time needed the meter replacing and it has had 1000s of films through it. It is not pretty to look at; lots of dents and brassing but it still took good accurately exposed pictures when I used it last week.
All the K series camera were built like tanks and will put up with an amazing amount of punishment.
08-16-2010, 07:42 AM   #11
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My k1000 has been accidentally dropped and knocked many times in the course of duty during the time I've had it, and has outlived its younger digital relatives in my collection. (a bottle of water broke in my bag and soaked both my point-and-click casio camera and the k1000 and it wrecked the casio, but the k1000 was completely fine.

Before I had it my grandfather owned it for 20 years and used it all the time, and it received a few whacks when he owned it as well. Despite all this it never let either of us down.

I agree with others above - built like a tank!

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