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10-23-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
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K1000 Hong Kong???

When I picked it up at the flea market there was a loose tag on the bottom of my new K1000 that said "Made in Hong Kong" on it. It does have the Ashai Pentax name on it and the logo. This thing is definitely an all metal beast of a camera. No lightweight Chinese parts here. The tag was half off and I seem to have lost it somewhere on the way home, but I do remember it said Hong Kong and not Japan. That being said this camera is made just like an old Spottie.

It's actually quite a bit heavier than I thought a K1000 would be and the details of the camera seem to match up better with the earlier Japanese K1000. There's a screw to the left of the prism etc. But it doesn't say "Made in Japan" on the reverse. It says "Ashai Optical Co" on it where that would be. I thought the Hong Kong/Chinese cameras were supposed to be inferior and were not supposed to even say Pentax Ashai or have the logo? When exactly did they switch out to the plastic models sans logos? I'm a bit confused as to vintage because looking at it this camera is lovely, totally solid. I'm definitely impressed with it. It's not the SE version I wanted, but still, I'm not at all unhappy I wasted my flea market pay on it. I like this camera almost as much as I like my Queenie. Not quite, I still think Queenie is a bit more elegant, IMHO, but as K mount Pentax cameras go this one is definitely a keeper.

Is it possible I got a leftover Japanese model that was simply shipped then bottom tagged for Hong Kong? Or do all Japanese models absolutely say "Made in Japan" on the rear? In every aspect this one looks like the pics and descriptions I have seen of the Japanese models, and definitely weighs like one, but it actually doesn't say that. For the record I seems to be working very nicely, meters et all. I'm going to take it along tomorrow on an outing I have planned and use it, put it through it's paces a little.



10-23-2011, 09:15 PM   #2
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If I remember correctly, the cheapo Chinese K1000s were at the very end of the life cycle and were not really "Pentax" but bootlegged copies before Pentax shut the operation down...at least that was the rumor I heard.
10-23-2011, 09:21 PM   #3
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Apparently, starting in 1978 K1000's were assembled in Hong Kong. Later in the 90's they were assembled in China. Still Pentax cameras though. See -> MF Bayonet
10-23-2011, 09:24 PM   #4
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Yeah, I know that, been reading, thanks, but everything I've read on these suggests that the earlier post Japanese cameras that were made in Hong Kong may have used metal parts they usually didn't have the Ashai name or logo or I gather maybe not the prism screw for the later ones. This one, it's all metal, very heavy actually, and has all that? It did have the HK sticker, until I lost it, but there's no engraving on it that says Made in so and so country. If I hadn't seen that sticker? I really would have thought this one was Japanese given what I have read of the Japanese models. What I was wondering is if when they made the switchover is if they sent some of the Japanese stock to Hong Kong? It would make sense given mine looks Japanese but said Hong Kong. I would have thought that it would have been in engraved "Made In Japan" if assembled there though. It looks like they took a Japanese made camera, skipped the usual place of origin engraving, and just stuck a "Made in Hong Kong" sticker on this one. It's weird. I added it to the database.


Last edited by magkelly; 10-23-2011 at 09:30 PM.
10-23-2011, 09:45 PM   #5
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My K1000 has a tag "assembled in hong kong" and in every respect (mentioned) it matches yours. One could be a rarity, two implies common!
10-23-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
My K1000 has a tag "assembled in hong kong" and in every respect (mentioned) it matches yours. One could be a rarity, two implies common!
The parts were made in Japan, but the camera was assembled in Hong Kong. So it will not be engraved with “Made in Japan” like the early K1000’s or other K series bodies. The MIJ K1000's also had the s/n engraved on the top plate like the other K series film bodies. (KM, KX, K2 & K2DMD) The original 1976 MIJ K1000's also were the only ones that came with the K55/2.

It’s a similar situation with the FA43’s, 77’s and so on, the originals were made in Japan and the later ones assembled in Vietnam with no MIJ indicated.

Phil.

Last edited by gofour3; 10-23-2011 at 10:00 PM.
10-23-2011, 09:55 PM   #7
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I think what confused me was all the Ashai logos and text. Every article I've read so far on these says they ditched the logo and the text when they started assembling in Hong Kong. Then later in China they even went to some plastic parts. I'm going to assume this is an early Hong Kong model and that it was made from Japanese parts in Hong Kong before they switched text and dropped the logo. I'm glad I got this one. It looks like the next best thing to a Japan model. I like the all metal aspect. I don't much like plastic parts on cameras, at least when it comes to old ones.
10-23-2011, 10:08 PM   #8
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I went and picked up my two K1000s. One of them says 'Body Assembled in Hong Kong" and has a serial number of 6038210 and is the better looking one. The other has a serial of 7683181 and has no sticker and is more beat up. So there is a difference of 1,644,971. I doubt there is a difference of a million plus cameras, as the number probably represents something other than sheer numbers, but you never know.

10-26-2011, 01:49 PM   #9
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They didn't drop the Asahi logo until much later. Your camera isn't an exception. As you're familiar with the K1000 database look through some of the other entries and you'll see the trends. Most of the K1000s without the stamp are made of plastic.

My four K1000s are all made/assembled in Hong Kong and they are all metal with the Asahi stamp on top.
10-26-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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Here are a couple photos of a MIJ K1000 circa 1976, with the K55/2 kit lens and manual. There is nothing stamped/stuck on the base plate, like all other K series bodies from that period. The K55/2 was only available with the early K1000ís and was not sold separately. The 1976 manual also had the K55/2 pictured on front and had the DOF guide listed for this lens inside.

Phil.
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10-30-2011, 10:26 PM   #11
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Well, despite the fact that I'm still sick with a seemingly never ending upper-lower respiratory thing, dealing with Fall allergies, pretty much sneezing my head off I took the K1000 out for a little while today. I just wanted to run some film through it see how it goes. It's a nice camera but I still think my SPII is a bit more elegant. I'm thinking hard about recovering this one though. I've got some dark green, some smooth white, and some red leatherette in my material boxes. I was thinking about hand painting some delicate flowers on the white and using that. I've also got some nice vintage tapestry in there though and that might be fun too. I'm not into going for anything as bold as my pink leopard Ricoh, that one was done strictly for laughs, but still I think I'd like to recover it. K1000's are a dime a dozen so there's no real reason not to. Camera Leather's prices are a bit too rich for my blood, and I've already got plenty of leatherette anyway...
11-01-2011, 09:05 AM   #12
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This thread made me go out and get some fresh batteries for my K1K. Soon I should be shooting what may be one of only a handful of times I will ever shoot film again. Kinda cool.
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