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06-06-2015, 01:54 AM   #1
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Trying to decide on a film SLR

There are a couple local ads up near me for some film SLRs that interest me. I have a few older MF lenses I could use with them as well.

I'm just asking if either of these would be the SLR deal I'm looking for, or if I should just wait, which I don't mind doing.

The first is just an ME body, it's $15, but the film counter doesn't work.

The second is a K1000 with a 50mm f/2 SMC lens for $45, and for $15 more it would come with a 70-200mm.

Both are working (aside from the counter on the ME) and in cosmetically good condition.

The K1000 seems a little more appealing to me, but I'm not sure if I should wait and see if a cheaper one pops up later.

Overall I don't do much film photography at all, but I think it would be fun to have around in case I want to run a roll or two through it every now and then.

Thanks for your opinions.

06-06-2015, 02:01 AM   #2

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Go the K1000 for sure. The ME is nice but they are prone to some mechanical problems unlike the K1000 - which is nearly bullet proof. The K1000 is also much more useable when batteries are dead.
06-06-2015, 04:41 AM   #3
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My choice...K1000.
I have both since the 70's, still use and love them. The K1000 is all mechanical with 1 battery powered light meter. An awesome foundation to any photographer, as you need to set aperature, shutter speed, and focus.
The ME is a bit smaller and lighter, and requires 2 batteries to operate. You have less control in the sense you can only control shutter speed by aperature adjustment. You also can select 100x (flash setting) or bulb for shutter control. Seems counter failure is common with ME, but I count my shots or put tick marks on film label. This was my goto when flying and it certainly took a beating and keeps on ticking.
You found a good deal with both and will enjoy either one.
06-06-2015, 05:05 AM   #4
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I would also take the K1000. Keep in mind though, that with cameras of this age, not all shutter speeds might be working properly, the light seals (near the film compartment) might need replacemet, etc.

I got lucky with an MX (for not much more money than the K1000), the light seals are gone but I don't see any effect on the pictures.

06-06-2015, 05:26 AM   #5
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Go with the K1000, BUT, any all-mechanical shutter can become inaccurate as the lubricant redistributes and collects dust. Most likely to throw off the highest speeds first (1/500 - 1/1000) as even a small delay will produce a large % change in such speeds. If the slow speeds (below 1/60) sound OK, they are probably reasonably accurate and within the range of most B&W film, especially a flexible film similar to Tri-X (now discontinued, I think, which is very sad - one of the best B&W films ever).

correction: Just checked, and Tri-X is still being manufactured. It was introduced in sheet film about 1940 and for 35mm and 120 in 1954, so it's been on the market for over 60 years.
The venerable film I recall being discontinued was Kodachrome: 1935-2009. One of the best chromes ever made. When I got my first 35mm camera, an Asahi Pentax S, the first roll of film I used was the original version of Kodachrome (ASA 10 - definitely a sunny day emulsion).

Last edited by WPRESTO; 06-06-2015 at 05:37 AM.
06-06-2015, 08:10 AM   #6
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This one is easy. The K1000 is the better choice over the ME. If it were the ME Super, I would consider it a toss-up. (The ME lacks manual exposure control.) Most of the late-70s to early-80s vintage electronic shutter SLRs are very durable and if in working order after all these years are likely to continue to work for a few more with reasonable care. I have four such bodies and each works as well today as when they were made. As noted above, a full mechanical camera such as the K1000 may be serviced by any competent camera technician and will be able to "live" as long as parts may be sourced and/or fabricated.

06-06-2015, 11:13 AM   #7
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Thanks for all your help! I'm definitely going to grab the K1000 it seems. The guy says, as far as he's used it there doesn't seem to be any problems, and will basically give me 2 weeks to test it out, get some film developed and see if it'll work for me. If not, he'll be fine with taking it back. Can't go wrong with a guarantee like that. I'll probably have him walk me through the camera little when I get it.
06-06-2015, 06:36 PM   #8
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The door seals and mirror bumper need to be looked at, as they turn into a sticky goo which can fling up into the mirror and focus screen. Try never to touch the focus screen.

06-06-2015, 07:03 PM   #9
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I'm looking into the MX personally. It sounds much like the K1000, but with a DoF preview and improved viewfinder (as well as a couple of extra bells that I'd rarely touch).
06-06-2015, 07:09 PM   #10

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MX is a much better beast IMHO. But, better still is the K2 (although it is a larger animal). The K2 has a titanium? shutter, not the cloth one. Also, the K2 has other nice features. Better again is the K2MD .....
06-06-2015, 07:12 PM   #11
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Picked it up today! This thing, despite what the picture looks like, is mint! works so buttery smooth! I am definitely in love. I wish it had the front to the leather case though. Among all his random items he had, it wasn't among them.

He gave me a camera bag along with it, and while we were looking through his box of camera bags for one that would suit the growing amount of equipment I had, I saw the owners manual for a Super Program. I was pretty excited seeing that, and asked if he still had one. Apparently he did have one, which he sold recently, but accidentally forgot to send the manual with it. sigh... My heart was racing for a minute there though.

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