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03-14-2017, 12:12 PM   #1
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K1000 Light Meter Calibration - Aperture has no effect on light meter?

I was lucky enough to find a K1000, case and all, in great condition for a few dollars at a thrift store. Popped a battery in and the meter worked well. I shot most of my first roll of film - but when I took it on a hike this weekend, the meter stopped working. I thought maybe it was because it was around 25F but it's warmed up now and still nothing.

It's stuck near the + side, and I've tried just about every combo of shutter speed, aperture, and ASA to fix it. I've taken the lens off and put it back on. Moving the aperture lever doesn't have any effect, either.

Changing the shutter speed makes it move ever so slightly, and B mode makes it move all the way to the + side so I know my battery works.

Changing the ASA does nothing, either, and the film I used was 400, which is where I had it when it was working as usual.

Changing the aperture has literally no effect on the light meter, which I think is my problem. I took the lens off and adjusted the aperture on it, so I know that it still functions. It hasn't had any significant drops from the time that it was working until the time that it stopped. I havent gotten my film back yet so I dont know if the photos came out as normal (i used a light metering app on my phone) but I'll update when it's developed.

Can I re-calibrate it in some way? Or is it another issue? Anyone else have the issue of aperture having no effect on the meter?

03-14-2017, 12:19 PM   #2
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I don't know how close you are to the Knoxville area, but Eric is the best Pentax film body repair go on the planet.
03-14-2017, 01:29 PM   #3
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West Virginia - so not too far, but since it's not a critical mechanical issue (I've dabbled in DSLR for about 6 years and film for about 2, so I'm relatively well-versed in light and exposure) and the rest of the camera functions fine, I don't plan to invest a lot of $ to fix it at the moment (rock climbing guide = limited budget.) It's just handy to have for those quick shots! I was hoping to at least find out what the problem is via internet research, and hoping that it was a simple solution or one that wouldn't be too costly, but I can't find any advice on aperture change not registering on the light meter - and only 1 post anywhere that described the same problem as mine.
03-14-2017, 03:43 PM   #4
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Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Below is a simplified diagram of the K1000 meter circuit:

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The diagram is from the K1000 repair manual available for free from the Pentax Manuals Web site.

Pentax Manuals: Service Manuals

The manual has a detailed description of how the meter works, how to troubleshoot the meter, and how to disassemble the camera enough to do repairs. I do not recommend doing this yourself unless you have appropriate tools,* steady hands, and a knack for this sort of thing. Good luck.


P.S. It is quite likely that the mirror damper foam and light seal foams have turned to dust or goo. Neither is a good thing. Replacement of the seals and foam is part of a standard Clean/Lube/Adjust (CLA). Eric (comment above) will usually do a minor repair (your meter) for the price of a CLA or a few dollars more if parts are required.

* Example: The cross-point screws are not Philips head. They are JIS and may strip if removal with a Philips screwdriver is attempted.

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-14-2017 at 03:58 PM.
03-14-2017, 05:49 PM   #5

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Pull the battery out and clean the contacts in the battery compartment well, then try again.
03-14-2017, 07:08 PM   #6
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Most likely the meter needle assembly is broken.though sometimes one of the wires going from the shutter dial to the meter circuit gets broken and causes this. If nothing you do makes the needle go down then you probably need an new "galvanometer" (95% probability). When Pentax sold parts they were $40 plus shipping.

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