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06-27-2016, 02:04 PM   #1
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I can't change the ASA/ISO on my new Pentax k1000

So I am going to start a film photography class in a couple of weeks and I am so excited. My dad gave me his old Pentax k1000. So I was playing around with it and realized that I can't change the ASA. When I pull up on the ring it gets stuck and won't move. Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it?

06-27-2016, 04:52 PM   #2
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Surprised no one has responded to this. That's unfortunate. How long has it been since the camera has seen any use? Sure sounds like it could use a bit of freshening.
06-27-2016, 06:52 PM   #3
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Mechanical cameras do need some maintenance now and then. It may "still be working", but it will work a lot better if it's serviced.
It's likely it will also need new light seals, if they are the original ones. Maybe also the shutter won't be running at accurate shutter speeds either, so you will get half exposed shots at high shutter speeds. Found this out with my 'new' KX.
06-27-2016, 07:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JDphoto Quote
So I am going to start a film photography class in a couple of weeks and I am so excited. My dad gave me his old Pentax k1000. So I was playing around with it and realized that I can't change the ASA. When I pull up on the ring it gets stuck and won't move. Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it?
Sometimes a little bit of WD-40 might do the trick if youʻre patient, but it may be too oxidized and needs to be fixed professionally. What ASA is it stuck on? If youʻre lucky and itʻs on 400, chances are your film class will be shooting something like Kodak Tri-X or Ilford HP5+, both of which are 400 ISO films. If it is on something like 100, then you could compensate manually. Your teacher should be able to explain this, but essentially if youʻre shooting 400 with the light meter reading 100, youʻre over-exposing your film by 2 EV. Take the light meter reading and then either f/stop or shutter speed increase it by 2 numbers (e.g. change f/4 to f/8 or change 1/60" to 1/250", etc).

You could also opt to get a handheld light meter or use the "Sunny 16 Rule".

06-27-2016, 11:05 PM   #5
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Try wiping with a damp paper towel. if you get something on the towel you may have soda/juice on it. If that is what it is, keep wiping until the towel is clean and see if the dampness frees it up.
06-27-2016, 11:11 PM   #6
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The knob ring should lift up high enough that you can see a gap between the top of the silver ring inside the knob and the knob ring before it will turn to set the ASA.

A Version of service manuals are available for download from PENTAX MANUALS. You will need a spanner wrench or drafting compass to remove the screw holding the knob.

Or you can contact Eric Hendrickson from his website below to have it professionally serviced:
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06-27-2016, 11:57 PM   #7
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Unscrew the battery cover in the baseplate with a small coin that fits well.

Remove battery, clean any debris, damp Qtip.
Replace cover with coin.

Read this link

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_16_rule

Get dad to say if there is a problem with speed dial.

Ignore home maintenance people.

Fold top of film box over and push it into flash gun holder.
06-28-2016, 01:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Maybe also the shutter won't be running at accurate shutter speeds either, so you will get half exposed shots at high shutter speeds.
Wouldn't you get over exposed shots if the shutter is running slow?

06-28-2016, 02:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
Wouldn't you get over exposed shots if the shutter is running slow?
There are two roller blinds typically only one has a problem. You get over or underexposed...

But for the OP some cameras work ok without any maintenance neither of my K1000 or SP sees maintenance apart from bits of foam occasionally.

Shoot a roll of cheap c41 and mini lab.

Try and get any darkroom kit your dad has...
06-28-2016, 04:11 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JDphoto Quote
So I am going to start a film photography class in a couple of weeks and I am so excited. My dad gave me his old Pentax k1000. So I was playing around with it and realized that I can't change the ASA. When I pull up on the ring it gets stuck and won't move. Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it?
Remember that the K1000 is completely mechanical, so if the asa dial won't move it will only affect the light meter, not the camera itself. If you can't get it fixed straight away just take the battery out, ignore the light meter and shoot away!

There's a few other ways of metering (a lot of older cameras don't even have internal light meters...):
- If you're carrying a digital camera use that to measure exposure.
- Use an external light meter (if you're doing a film photography class there will probably be one you can borrow)
- Use a light meter app on your smart phone (there's lots - 'Pocket Light Meter' is good for iOS)

Keep in mind that negative film isn't as sensitive to exact exposure as digital, so it doesn't matter if you're off a little. It's also a great learning process to set exposure without an internal meter
06-28-2016, 04:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
Remember that the K1000 is completely mechanical, so if the asa dial won't move it will only affect the light meter, not the camera itself. If you can't get it fixed straight away just take the battery out, ignore the light meter and shoot away!

There's a few other ways of metering (a lot of older cameras don't even have internal light meters...):
- If you're carrying a digital camera use that to measure exposure.
- Use an external light meter (if you're doing a film photography class there will probably be one you can borrow)
- Use a light meter app on your smart phone (there's lots - 'Pocket Light Meter' is good for iOS)

Keep in mind that negative film isn't as sensitive to exact exposure as digital, so it doesn't matter if you're off a little. It's also a great learning process to set exposure without an internal meter
What does the Asa do? I've never used film before but I know on my dslr the iso relates to the sensitivity to light.
06-28-2016, 04:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JDphoto Quote
What does the Asa do? I've never used film before but I know on my dslr the iso relates to the sensitivity to light.
It's the same concept and the same units, except each roll of film has a fixed sensitivity (ISO/ASA) and the range of available ISOs is nowhere near as great as on digital.

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06-28-2016, 05:34 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JDphoto Quote
What does the Asa do? I've never used film before but I know on my dslr the iso relates to the sensitivity to light.
ASA=ISO. When we entered a global economy, what was once the default of the American Standards Association became what is now the International Standards Organization measurement for light sensitivity. Old school folks (Iʻm 57 and donʻt consider myself "old school") still refer to it as ASA, but technically it is now ISO but it doesnʻt matter; 100 ASA=100 ISO, 1600 ASA=1600 ISO.

Not to exclude the Germans, ASA 100 = DIN 21, and ASA 200 = DIN 24. I assume because ASA was a more popular and common sense unit where double the number equals twice the sensitivity to light or 1 EV, when things changed to ISO, the ASA number was adopted to ISO. But I can imagine how German engineers and photographers were rather insulted by this, so today what was ASA 100/DIN 21 is officially ISO 100/21.

PF German members: Do you call it ISO 100 or ISO 21?
06-28-2016, 06:17 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JDphoto Quote
What does the Asa do? I've never used film before but I know on my dslr the iso relates to the sensitivity to light.
Exactly the same! But because the light meter in the K1000 isn't actually connected to the setting of exposure, the meter only functions as a guide (like using 'M' in your dSLR).

Ie. you set the asa/iso, and then you manually move the aperture and shutter dials until the correct exposure is displayed by the meter. But because the camera is mechanical, you can still set the aperture and shutter speeds and shoot without the meter.
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