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04-18-2018, 03:29 PM   #16
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I've seen various prices over the years. my first K1000 cost me about 26 - quite beaten up but works fine, another cost me quite a bit more but nothing silly. Since then, prices have seemed to rocket for some listings - I've seen over 200. At the end of the day you have to be aware of the value of a camera and how badly you want it. Mechanical cameras seem to be priced highest, then manual advance cameras, then motorised, then AF - probably because of reliability/fix-ability and also because a budget AF SLR has little hipster value.

The K1000 when new was a very reasonably priced and very well made camera (all production versions) - many of my electronic 35mm cameras have rougher shutters and film transport. Mechanical self-timers are very intricate & complicated mechanisms, on a 30+ year old camera I'd rather not have one as it's something else to go wrong or jam the normal shutter release. Of course a KX is a better camera (I've just had mine repaired at a not insignificant cost) but MX's go for so much less than a K1000 - but the hipsters haven't discovered the MX yet. Spotmatics go for nothing unless they have a desirable lens on the front.

04-18-2018, 04:01 PM - 2 Likes   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pioneer Quote
Say what you will, the K1000 is quite a bit tougher than this, it had to be to put up with students over its very long production run. If the K1000 had been this fragile it certainly would not have lasted in production as long as it did, and it would not have built up the reputation it enjoys.
The K1000 is indeed a tough camera, but no more so than its contemporaries, KM, KX and K2, or the subsequent MX. These last four cameras were equal in toughness to the K1000 but superior in features, yet on ebay today the K1000s fetch the highest prices, which takes some explaining.

The K1000 was recommended by colleges to students because it was originally the cheapest reliable manual camera on the market at one time (c1976-80), but later it ceased the be the cheapest etc* but the colleges never noticed (or never bothered to change their course paper handouts) and I believe Pentax exploited this situation in raising the K1000 price out of proportion later.

* I have an old Jessops' (big UK dealer) price list that shows the K1000 priced more than the MX.
04-18-2018, 04:08 PM   #18
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I've never had a Chinon that worked. I've never paid more than 50 bucks for a K1000. I had one CLA'd because the take up spool clutch was too stiff.
04-18-2018, 04:23 PM   #19
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On google trends, the k1000 is the only camera that rivals the k1 in popularity. Any other camera I've tried (LX, K3ii, KP, spotmatic, etc) doesn't even come close.
This is the link to the plots I'm referring to Pentax K-1, Pentax K1000 - Google Trends

04-18-2018, 04:41 PM - 1 Like   #20
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Interesting discussion. I’ve never had a Z1 series camera - nothing between the SF1n and the MZ-S. I had also never had a K1000 before last month (only K2’s, many KX’es, K2DMD and KM). I imagine bidders in the know are aware of the flash spring issues, the cracking base near the battery door and the gear/pinion issue, and no one else has any idea whatsoever what a PZ-1 is.

I say before last month about the K1000 because I now own an original Japan-issue body that works in all ways and has a service sticker inside the door from a CLA in 2012. I paid $65 BIN, but the seller had left the pristine K55/1.8 on the body, included all the caps and strap and ER case and a fresh battery. The listing apologized for the tripod scuffs and a tiny ding on the baseplate.

I think that was a more than fair transaction.
04-19-2018, 01:33 AM   #21
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The K1000 was simply prolific and it was intentionally so. That translates now to recognition for many, many people that don't necessarily care or think of Pentax necessarily, or if they do it is quite literally them thinking of Pentax K1000. I've lots of other film shooter friends across all medias and in person, from casual to professional, young to retired.... Few are Pentax shooters but MANY of them at some point post something with, about or taken using a K1000. The only other that comes close (and it doesn't come close, not really) is the P67 but that's an entirely different crowd and camera in many cases.
Even if there are better or worse cameras out there, none have the same notoriety and translates to demand. And what's crazy is how MANY K1000s are actually out there in the world in circulation. Certainly far, far more than any Z, and every year that goes by that gap gets wider.
04-19-2018, 02:41 AM   #22
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I do have a K1000, I was given it for nothing. I don't really see the attraction, for nostalgia and the lovely lenses I prefer the Spotmatics - and they are what I remember gazing at in shop windows from my youth. So I guess age and youthful experiences have a lot to do with it.

Edit - I suppose now having had some dozens of cameras through my hands - all sold as speared repairs or untested except where noted - I could say that durability has a lot to do with it. To summarize:

ZX/MZ I've handled about two dozen of these of which only 3 actually worked. A couple more worked when they arrived but didn't survive a roll of film before the pinion broke - probably had been standing for years.

Z/PZ Had 10, only 1 broken( a Z-1), a couple with dim readouts in the viewfinder

SFX Had 5, 3 working, one broken completely, one with a defunct AF drive.

P30's Had 8 or 9, only 2 working properly, others all needed treatment and a couple were beyond repair (by my methods)

M series. A bit of a conundrum here , all the ME Supers have been a mess, many with damaged shutters and other serious problems, though I have managed to get some with just the sticky winder problem working again. All the other M series I've handled (ME, MV-1, several ME-F's ) have responded to treatment. The relative unreliability of the P30's and the ME Supers may explain the popularity of the K series, as well as the student factor.

Just the one K, the aforementioned K1000, which works though badly in need of a professional CLA. I used to have a KX years ago but it disappeared in a house move.

Spotmatics - 6, 3 SP1000's, two Electro-Spotmatics, and one ES. All work except that the ES and one of the SP1000's (cosmetically the nicest) have dodgy metering. Surprisingly both the Electros work perfectly, although both have some minor silvering problems. All could do with a CLA, of course - I will probably get one of the SP's and the ES done.

I've not had any MX's or A series since I stared fooling about like this. I did have an MX years ago but gave it to a friend's son who was learning photography.

By 'working' I mean I had to do no more than stick a battery in and maybe do some cleaning. They may have cosmetic issues like dents or scratches that don't affect the functionality. I've sold on some of the working ones but I've kept the ones I like :-)

Edit again - because I've bought job lots I've had some other cameras through my hands, so I guess a quick summary - Quite a lot of Minoltas, mostly terminally broke, though I have salvaged a couple by swapping parts around. They don't seem to like sitting with dead batteries. I've actually bough a couple of working ones because they are cheap as chips and I have accumulated quite a number of lenses.

Both the Nikons I've had worked and had noticeably good viewfinders compared to the average AF Pentax., despite being bottom of the range ones. None of the Canons worked (too small a sample to draw any conclusion, should any Canoniste be reading!). Chinon I've had 5, only one was broken and that had clearly been out in the rain. Other makes have only been one-offs but I have a nice Moscow Olympics Zenit-TTL I'm keeping as a reminder of my old Zenit-B

Last edited by redbirdpete; 04-19-2018 at 03:42 AM. Reason: Added more info
04-19-2018, 09:28 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by redbirdpete Quote
I do have a K1000, I was given it for nothing. I don't really see the attraction, for nostalgia and the lovely lenses I prefer the Spotmatics - and they are what I remember gazing at in shop windows from my youth. So I guess age and youthful experiences have a lot to do with it.

Edit - I suppose now having had some dozens of cameras through my hands - all sold as speared repairs or untested except where noted - I could say that durability has a lot to do with it. To summarize:

ZX/MZ I've handled about two dozen of these of which only 3 actually worked. A couple more worked when they arrived but didn't survive a roll of film before the pinion broke - probably had been standing for years.

Z/PZ Had 10, only 1 broken( a Z-1), a couple with dim readouts in the viewfinder

SFX Had 5, 3 working, one broken completely, one with a defunct AF drive.

P30's Had 8 or 9, only 2 working properly, others all needed treatment and a couple were beyond repair (by my methods)

M series. A bit of a conundrum here , all the ME Supers have been a mess, many with damaged shutters and other serious problems, though I have managed to get some with just the sticky winder problem working again. All the other M series I've handled (ME, MV-1, several ME-F's ) have responded to treatment. The relative unreliability of the P30's and the ME Supers may explain the popularity of the K series, as well as the student factor.

Just the one K, the aforementioned K1000, which works though badly in need of a professional CLA. I used to have a KX years ago but it disappeared in a house move.

Spotmatics - 6, 3 SP1000's, two Electro-Spotmatics, and one ES. All work except that the ES and one of the SP1000's (cosmetically the nicest) have dodgy metering. Surprisingly both the Electros work perfectly, although both have some minor silvering problems. All could do with a CLA, of course - I will probably get one of the SP's and the ES done.

I've not had any MX's or A series since I stared fooling about like this. I did have an MX years ago but gave it to a friend's son who was learning photography.

By 'working' I mean I had to do no more than stick a battery in and maybe do some cleaning. They may have cosmetic issues like dents or scratches that don't affect the functionality. I've sold on some of the working ones but I've kept the ones I like :-)

Edit again - because I've bought job lots I've had some other cameras through my hands, so I guess a quick summary - Quite a lot of Minoltas, mostly terminally broke, though I have salvaged a couple by swapping parts around. They don't seem to like sitting with dead batteries. I've actually bough a couple of working ones because they are cheap as chips and I have accumulated quite a number of lenses.

Both the Nikons I've had worked and had noticeably good viewfinders compared to the average AF Pentax., despite being bottom of the range ones. None of the Canons worked (too small a sample to draw any conclusion, should any Canoniste be reading!). Chinon I've had 5, only one was broken and that had clearly been out in the rain. Other makes have only been one-offs but I have a nice Moscow Olympics Zenit-TTL I'm keeping as a reminder of my old Zenit-B
I think you've answered your own OP.



04-19-2018, 12:55 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
I think you've answered your own OP.
I think my point was that the Z/PZ series had a good reliability record, and were so dirt cheap you could buy half a dozen for the price of one K1000 :-)
04-19-2018, 12:58 PM - 2 Likes   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by redbirdpete Quote
I think my point was that the Z/PZ series had a good reliability record, and were so dirt cheap you could buy half a dozen for the price of one K1000 :-)
Well don't go spreading it around too much... or that'll change.
04-19-2018, 01:47 PM - 1 Like   #26
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If you compare the reliability of the K1000 against its replacement model, the ZX-M/MZ-M, I don't think its too mysterious why the K1000 is so liked.

Granted, there are several Pentax models that match it in reliability, and outclass it in features.

Part of the cult of the K1000 seems to be that its simplicity is its biggest feature.
04-19-2018, 01:58 PM - 2 Likes   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by timw4mail Quote
If you compare the reliability of the K1000 against its replacement model, the ZX-M/MZ-M, I don't think its too mysterious why the K1000 is so liked.

Granted, there are several Pentax models that match it in reliability, and outclass it in features.

Part of the cult of the K1000 seems to be that its simplicity is its biggest feature.
I just frankly find its simplicity at odds with its (to me) rather boring (bordering on a bit ugly if I'm honest) utilitarian looks. I always preferred the original S series in terms of design sensibilities (though I only recently finally bought one) and there the simplicity can't be beat.

But I do understand the appeal... it's as simple as possible, classic (if, again, boring) looking, rugged and with just enough modernity (namely bayonet-mount capability and a basic meter) to enable easy shooting. I just don't like them much (and I've owned two in the past, one for many years). Likely will never have one again.

I remember when I sold my last one, it was a late 20s gal that was looking for one specifically to replace a banged up one she'd gotten free years before, and she was looking *specifically* for it. I was selling one of my extra MX bodies at the time and brought it along with me though she said she wasn't interested at all when we emailed. She asked me about it (sitting on the table) after she'd taken a cursory look at the K1000 and agreed to buy, so I talked about the MX for a couple minutes and handed it over to her. She went silent... stared at it for a while, kept looking through the finder and looking at the couple "extras" you get and... she bought both.
+1 convert.
04-19-2018, 06:42 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pioneer Quote
K1000 cameras are commonly listed at very low prices...
Funny you mention that. In Australia anyway, prices for the K1000 have gone silly in the last few years. Currently on Gumtree (like Craigslist) there's a handful in various states of repair, most with the mediocre M50/f2, all advertised for around or above $250aud. Interestingly, this is considerably more than models like the KX and KM, and comparable to what's being asked for MX's.

I suspect that years of people recommending the K1000 as a great entry level 35mm body, and the current film resergence amongst younger shooters, has skewed the K1000's reputation somewhat...
04-19-2018, 08:23 PM   #29
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My first Pentax purchase was listed as a "Bagful off Pentax" on a local craigslist for cheap - maybe $40.



It contained some manual lenses including the Pentax M Macro 50mm f4 lens that I will soon discover as an outstandingly super sharp lens after some use and testing.



The bag also included a K1000 SE and MX.



The outstanding package and gigantic viewfinder of the MX probably pushed me down the rabbit hole that would be my total immersion into the history of film cameras.
04-19-2018, 10:05 PM   #30
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Love that K1000 LesDMess. It looks exactly like the SE that I have been shooting for years.

And you are certainly right about the MX viewfinder. I let my MX go awhile back but my LX viewfinder is at least as beautiful as the one on the MX. It is a fact that the viewfinder in the K1000, nice as it is, cannot compete in this league. Of course there was a tiny difference in the prices between the K1000 and the MX back in the day.

Of all the SLR cameras I have used I like the viewfinders in the LX, the MX and the Olympus OM 1 the best. They made focusing and composing a real joy.
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