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03-08-2011, 10:05 AM   #1
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K1000 check points

Hello

Itīs been several months now since I decided I wanted to purchase a film camera. Currently I own a K10D plus several manual lenses.

I have now the opportunity to purchase a K1000 locally and would like to know what has to be checked to test it. This would be my first film camera.

Thanks for your help.

03-08-2011, 01:29 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by alvarossorio Quote
Hello

Itīs been several months now since I decided I wanted to purchase a film camera. Currently I own a K10D plus several manual lenses.

I have now the opportunity to purchase a K1000 locally and would like to know what has to be checked to test it. This would be my first film camera.

Thanks for your help.
The K1000 is a pretty simple camera. If the camera is being sold as "body only", or if you're not sure whether it has a lens or not, take one of your manual lenses along.

The most obvious think is the film advance and shutter. It should advance film and fire at all speeds from 1 second to 1/1000. While you can't measure the accuracy of the shutter speeds, you should be able to hear a difference between shutter speeds. At speeds of 1/30 and slower, you may hear a bit if gear train rebound after the shutter movement. This is normal. The K1000, like the Spotmatic that preceeded it, used two different gear trains for 1 sec. - 1/30 and from 1/60 - 1/1000.

Open the back and advance the film. You should be able to see the shutter move, as it is being cocked into the ready position. Trip the shutter at slow and high speeds. At 1/60 or slower, the shutter should be fully open for a brief moment. At higher speeds, the shutter forms a moving slit across the film plane, as the trailing shutter begins closing before the leading shutter has completely opened.

At high speeds, hold the camera up to a bright light and trip the shutter. Even at 1/1000 second, you should be able to see a flash of light. Sometimes, in older mechanical cameras, the shutter gets weak or out of adjustment and the leading shutter slows down, so that it does not keep ahead of the trailing shutter. When this happens, the exposure accuracy will be off and, at high speeds, you may get no exposure at all, due to the overlap of the leading/trailing shutters.

You might want to get a battery so you can test the meter. I believe the K1000 uses a PX625. You can't get the original mercury 625 anymore, but the alkaline version will suffice. Wien also makes a zinc/air version with the correct voltage.

Check the foam seals around the film back. On old cameras, sometimes the foam dries out and crumbles, or turns to black, slimy goo. The good news is, this is easy and inexpensive to replace. Its an easy DIY project. There is also a strip of foam inside the camera, just in front of the prism, that dampens the mirror as it flips up. This foam, too, can be brittle or gooey. Its also easy to replace. Foam seal kits are readily available on ebay for around $10.

The mirror should flip up, out of the way, with no hesitation or stickiness. It should return to viewing position just as quickly. Its really no different than the one on your K10D.

The K1000 has both hotshoe and PC connections for flash. You could take a flash unit along to test that, as well.

Other obvious things to check on any camera: the battery cover should come off fairly easily. (Use a nickel) If not, it could be corroded in place. If it comes off, check for corrosion in the battery compartment. Check the leatherette. If its faded, a little black shoe polish will make it look like new. If its lifting at the corners, it can be glued down or replaced. There are sellers on the web who have kits for this, in either the original black, or wild colors. I've even seen sharkskin K1000's, if you like that sort of thing.

You can download the users guide from Digital Cameras and Accessories - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site. Click on the Support tab and follow the prompts.

The lens should stop down to the selected aperture and pop back open after the exposure. If its your lens, this proves the camera is operating it properly. If its their lens it proves that the lens and camera are working as they should. If the aperture doesn't re-open quickly, look for oil on the blades.

A K1000 in good cosmetic shape and good working condition sells for $50-75, plus shipping, with a 50mm, f/2 lens, on ebay. I wouldn't pay much more than that, unless it is in exceptional condition, or comes with worthwhile extras, like additional lenses or a good flash unit. I don't consider things like a UV filter, or a lens cleaning kit to be worthwhile extras.

Good luck. The K1000 is a fine camera.
03-08-2011, 01:32 PM   #3
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Another thing: mounting and removing a lens should feel the same as you K10D. If it is too tight or too loose, there might be a problem with the lens mount on either the lens or the camera. That's where having your own lens along might be useful, even it the camera includes a lens.
03-08-2011, 03:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
You might want to get a battery so you can test the meter. I believe the K1000 uses a PX625. You can't get the original mercury 625 anymore, but the alkaline version will suffice. Wien also makes a zinc/air version with the correct voltage.
The K1000 did not use the same battery as the Spotmatic. It uses the readily available S76 1.55V Silver Oxide button cell. These are the 357/SR44, don't use the LR44 alkaline.

03-08-2011, 04:09 PM   #5
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Thanks

Thank you very much noblepa and boriscleto. Wow. Nice and detailed answer.

Let us see how it ends...hopefully fine.
03-09-2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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The K1000 is a simply beautiful camera. What a great checklist to run through when looking at a used camera. Also, the correction on battery type is accurate, the K1000 uses the 357 or SR44.

Also, Pentax has a very poor B&W copy of the K1000 manual. A much better copy can be found here at the bottom of the page: Free Camera Instruction User Manuals!
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