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10-02-2016, 07:27 PM   #1
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K1000 Light Meter acting up

I recently purchased a secondhand Pentax K1000 with a 28mm f/2.8 Magnicon lens. Up until recently, it's been working just fine.

A few days ago, the light meter started behaving strangely. It only works when it's in direct sunlight or pointed at a bright light source, and it responds to changing the exposure. In any other light conditions, it drifts back to the middle of the meter, and does not respond to changing aperture, shutter or ASA.

I've already cleaned the battery contacts and replaced the battery. Not sure what to do from here. Taking it to a repair shop is an option but it's a last resort.

10-02-2016, 10:14 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome dragovi.
I can't think of much else after what you have tried without major work. Sounds like it is all working once the light-activated on-off switch gets going. Are you sure that the replacement battery is good, because the K1000 with do exactly that when the battery gets low.
10-04-2016, 03:02 AM   #3
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Hi Dragovi,

Just a few days ago my K1000 light meter stopped right in the middle of the gap and wouldn't move at all no matter what I tried. A mate of mine checked the battery and it was flat. It was about two years old and got a fair amount of use so maybe that's about their lifespan.
10-04-2016, 08:11 PM   #4
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There are a lot of crap batteries for sale out there. Try another one just to be sure.

10-05-2016, 11:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dragovi Quote
I recently purchased a secondhand Pentax K1000 with a 28mm f/2.8 Magnicon lens. Up until recently, it's been working just fine.

A few days ago, the light meter started behaving strangely. It only works when it's in direct sunlight or pointed at a bright light source, and it responds to changing the exposure. In any other light conditions, it drifts back to the middle of the meter, and does not respond to changing aperture, shutter or ASA.

I've already cleaned the battery contacts and replaced the battery. Not sure what to do from here. Taking it to a repair shop is an option but it's a last resort.
You need to keep it in the dark otherwise the light meter does not turn off...
10-05-2016, 12:12 PM   #6
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You can actually drain the K1000 meters battery pretty quickly if you do not keep a lens cap on the lens while not using the camera. Since there is no on or off switch for the meter it will keep metering forever. The only way to stop that is, as Xmas points out, to keep it in the dark.
10-07-2016, 02:25 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pioneer Quote
You can actually drain the K1000 meters battery pretty quickly if you do not keep a lens cap on the lens while not using the camera. Since there is no on or off switch for the meter it will keep metering forever. The only way to stop that is, as Xmas points out, to keep it in the dark.
The K1000 and most of the Pentax meters are sophisticated from memory two metering cells for even coverage and a third cell acting as a on off switch if the light level is below the two cells range the third cell (and transistor) switches off the metering circuit and waits for the light level to increase, with a very low standby current drain. A cap or ERC or dark gbag is normally ok, a cap might be risky for light leaking in via view finder. The meter circuit works ok unless the battery has high internal resistance, mercury, silver, alkaline or zinc hearing aid same reading 1/3 stop on mine, high and low light.
10-07-2016, 12:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xmas Quote
The K1000 and most of the Pentax meters are sophisticated from memory two metering cells for even coverage and a third cell acting as a on off switch if the light level is below the two cells range the third cell (and transistor) switches off the metering circuit and waits for the light level to increase, with a very low standby current drain. A cap or ERC or dark gbag is normally ok, a cap might be risky for light leaking in via view finder. The meter circuit works ok unless the battery has high internal resistance, mercury, silver, alkaline or zinc hearing aid same reading 1/3 stop on mine, high and low light.
While the electronic switch will turn the metering circuit off at or below EV2 I don't think enough light comes through the viewfinder to trigger the electronic switch unless it is already right on the tipping point, or you shine a strong light into the viewfinder itself. In my experience a lens cap is all that is necessary. Unless I am using it my camera just sits on my desk with lens capped and that is enough to keep the battery fresh.

From the OP's perspective, if he is draining the battery even while the lens cap is on then he most likely needs someone to open up the camera and figure out where in the circuit the current is going to ground. Since the meter works when he installs a new battery then he is either not shutting the circuit down by darkening with a lens cap or bag or something else, or the shutoff circuit isn't working.

One he can take care of himself, the other requires someone to open up the camera.

10-07-2016, 11:15 PM   #9
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Hi everyone, thanks for the help. I've tried replacing the battery 3 times now, it's still been the same issue, and yes I am keeping the lens cap on when not in use.
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