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11-18-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
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Yes, another question about the worshipful K1000

Dear Pentaxiani,
as written in my introduction I decided I have to have a K1000 because...well everybody has one.

I tried to gather as much information as possible on the different variants of the camera that lasted for 20 years, and I must confess that the database of this forum has been very useful BUT I still don't understand: it seems that there have been at least four different K1000, the Made in Japan, the Made in Hong Kong (the majority), the made in Taiwan and finally the made in China.

So if I understood correctly you can distinguish by the following characteristics:

1)MIJ: 55mm f2.0 lens, serial number on the left shoulder plus bump,Asahi Opt.Co. Japan on the back
2)Made in HK: main variant, serial number on the button plate, 50mm F2.0 standard (first K then M), usually sticker with written "assembled in HK".
3)Made in Taiwan: screw on the left shoulder where Mark I has the bump, otherwise identical to Mark II, I've never seen a sticker "assembled in Taiwan".
4)Made in China : easy to spot because lighter and with top and button plate made of plastic, plus no Asahi logo.

And if I understood correctly at least for the first years of production we have to add a 1 to the first two digits of the serial number to get the year of manufacture, so:

75XXXXX-1976
76XXXXX-1977
77XXXXX-1978
78XXXXX-1979

The production from Japan to HK has been moved about 1978,so theoreticaly speaking if I want a 1978 MIJ K1000 I should look for a 78XXXXX camera Asahi Opt.Co.Japan.

Now, here my perplexities start because on ebay I found a lot of camera that corrisponded to the Mark I (serial number on the top, bump, 55 mm f2.0) BUT without the Japan engrave after the Asahi.Opt.Co....I mean really many! It can't be an error...so I wonder if these cameras are made in HK or in Japan...I've seen some of them with the 75 or 76 number so still in the MIJ production years range, in one case the camera had a sticker that stated "assembled in HK!"

The second question regards the Taiwan version: are we positive that any camera with the screw on the left should is MIROC? They are relatively common, but none had a sticker "assembled in Hong Kong", in short it looks like a mess to me!

The general consensus seems that the 55 f2.0 is better than the 50 mm cousin, but I was wondering if these lenses were also used outside Japan, anybody has an idea on the matter?

11-18-2013, 06:21 PM   #2
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I don't have a specific answer for you, but my general answer is: what's wrong with owning more than one?

I own more than one.
11-18-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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I have two...and three Spotmatics and...two KXs, and two SuperPrograms...

It's called camera buying addiction for a reason.
11-18-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
Ole
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What we know and don't know about the K1000 is collected in this thread.

There were at least six production runs each with their differences in the exterior.

The serial numbers are not sequential. First run was 75xx xxx to 77xx xxx, then came 60xx xxx to 69xx xxx etc etc. Refer the above mentioned thread.

11-18-2013, 07:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Dear Pentaxiani,
as written in my introduction I decided I have to have a K1000 because...well everybody has one.

I tried to gather as much information as possible on the different variants of the camera that lasted for 20 years, and I must confess that the database of this forum has been very useful BUT I still don't understand: it seems that there have been at least four different K1000, the Made in Japan, the Made in Hong Kong (the majority), the made in Taiwan and finally the made in China.

So if I understood correctly you can distinguish by the following characteristics:

1)MIJ: 55mm f2.0 lens, serial number on the left shoulder plus bump,Asahi Opt.Co. Japan on the back
2)Made in HK: main variant, serial number on the button plate, 50mm F2.0 standard (first K then M), usually sticker with written "assembled in HK".
3)Made in Taiwan: screw on the left shoulder where Mark I has the bump, otherwise identical to Mark II, I've never seen a sticker "assembled in Taiwan".
4)Made in China : easy to spot because lighter and with top and button plate made of plastic, plus no Asahi logo.

And if I understood correctly at least for the first years of production we have to add a 1 to the first two digits of the serial number to get the year of manufacture, so:

75XXXXX-1976
76XXXXX-1977
77XXXXX-1978
78XXXXX-1979

The production from Japan to HK has been moved about 1978,so theoreticaly speaking if I want a 1978 MIJ K1000 I should look for a 78XXXXX camera Asahi Opt.Co.Japan.

Now, here my perplexities start because on ebay I found a lot of camera that corrisponded to the Mark I (serial number on the top, bump, 55 mm f2.0) BUT without the Japan engrave after the Asahi.Opt.Co....I mean really many! It can't be an error...so I wonder if these cameras are made in HK or in Japan...I've seen some of them with the 75 or 76 number so still in the MIJ production years range, in one case the camera had a sticker that stated "assembled in HK!"

The second question regards the Taiwan version: are we positive that any camera with the screw on the left should is MIROC? They are relatively common, but none had a sticker "assembled in Hong Kong", in short it looks like a mess to me!

The general consensus seems that the 55 f2.0 is better than the 50 mm cousin, but I was wondering if these lenses were also used outside Japan, anybody has an idea on the matter?
Mine doesn't fit in with your list. It has a sticker on the bottom "Japan", a black bump under the rewind knob, "Asahi OPt. Co on back of right shoulder and serial no 6391356 underneath metal right side
11-18-2013, 07:21 PM   #6
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I admire your enthusiasm. I am more like Pentax pretty! Must buy! If given the option I would go for one with metal plates(personal preference which has nothing to do with perceived quality). Now for whats better in lenses, well I think the people believe K is slightly better than M. But I also think there really is no bad lens from that era, and all can give amazing results! So try as many as you can grab onto!!
11-18-2013, 07:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
2)Made in HK: main variant, serial number on the button plate, 50mm F2.0 standard (first K then M), usually sticker with written "assembled in HK".
Welcome to the forum!

Regarding the kit lens available with the K1000.
The only K series lens to be packaged with a K1000, was the K55/2. This lens was only available with the 1976 K1000 and not sold separately. The K55/2 was replaced with the M50/2, note there was no K50/2 lens.

Phil.
11-18-2013, 09:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
The K55/2 was replaced with the M50/2
...and later by the A 50/2. At least that is the lens that is mounted to my brother's and father's K1000s.

Steve

11-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
...and later by the A 50/2. At least that is the lens that is mounted to my brother's and father's K1000s.

Steve
That was the kit lens when I got my K1000 in 1987...
11-18-2013, 09:32 PM   #10
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I guess you're looking for the original Japan version? Perhaps get one of the later ones first. Most likely it will both be much cheaper/easier to find and seals could be good shape. Shoot it and give yourself plenty of time to score an original Japan version. But I haven't priced a K1000 in a long time and I assume the later China K1000 only costs beer money.
11-18-2013, 10:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
...and later by the A 50/2. At least that is the lens that is mounted to my brother's and father's K1000s.

Steve
Yep, then the A50/2.

Phil.
11-19-2013, 11:30 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
What we know and don't know about the K1000 is collected in this thread.

There were at least six production runs each with their differences in the exterior.

The serial numbers are not sequential. First run was 75xx xxx to 77xx xxx, then came 60xx xxx to 69xx xxx etc etc. Refer the above mentioned thread.
Then 78xx xxx with features of the early MIJ cameras aren't supposed to exist?

QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Welcome to the forum!

Regarding the kit lens available with the K1000.
The only K series lens to be packaged with a K1000, was the K55/2. This lens was only available with the 1976 K1000 and not sold separately. The K55/2 was replaced with the M50/2, note there was no K50/2 lens.

Phil.
Ah Ok, I'm confusing the K lenses with the Ms, I'm aware that the 55/2 were available just on K1000s but what about the 55/1.8? Were they used on KMs and K2s?

QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I guess you're looking for the original Japan version? Perhaps get one of the later ones first. Most likely it will both be much cheaper/easier to find and seals could be good shape. Shoot it and give yourself plenty of time to score an original Japan version. But I haven't priced a K1000 in a long time and I assume the later China K1000 only costs beer money.
For what I've seen the K1000s MIJ don't command a higher price than the others, just they are more difficult to find, and I was wondering why so little information is available on such a famous camera.

I just scored a MIJ (I think) K1000 for 45$ with the 55/2 lens but excluding shipping and I think it's a reasonable price IF the camera is really in good condition.

Last edited by Cuthbert; 11-19-2013 at 11:36 AM.
11-19-2013, 11:53 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Ah Ok, I'm confusing the K lenses with the Ms, I'm aware that the 55/2 were available just on K1000s but what about the 55/1.8? Were they used on KMs and K2s?
The K55/1.8 was released in June 1975 along with the KM, KX and K2. You could buy the K55/1.8 on its own or as a package with any camera body. I bought a KX with the K55/1.8 later that year.

Phil.
11-19-2013, 12:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
The K55/1.8 was released in June 1975 along with the KM, KX and K2. You could buy the K55/1.8 on its own or as a package with any camera body. I bought a KX with the K55/1.8 later that year.

Phil.
Ok then it was the OEM lens for the KX and the K2? And does it perform? I've heard that it's a very good lens and I live 55 or 58 mm more than 50 mm.
11-19-2013, 12:16 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Ok then it was the OEM lens for the KX and the K2? And does it perform? I've heard that it's a very good lens and I live 55 or 58 mm more than 50 mm.
In those days cameras didn't come with a lens direct from the OEM. Sellers like B&H and Adorama would sell bundles, usually with a third party lens, or you could buy whatever lens you liked.

In 1991/92 you could buy a K1000 from B&H for $115. The A 50/2 was $45. You could buy a bundle with the F 50/1.7 for $189, but the 1.7 was only $61.95 when purchased separately, so that wasn't a very good deal...
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