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04-18-2018, 12:28 PM   #1
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Silly prices.

OK, this is a record. Off eBay I've just acquired a 'spares and repairs' z-1 for 99p. I wanted it because it had the unusual hot shoe cover that fits it and the Z-1p (which I picked up some months ago as one of 6 cameras in a job lot for 26)

Put battery and film in, works just fine. Has two problems - is missing the usual chunk of plastic by the battery chamber, and the viewfinder LCD is a bit faint but readable even in strong sunlight. So it can keep its hot shoe cover.

Am I alone in thinking this is just plain silly? If these were digital cameras they'd be great, but it really isn't terribly expensive to use film and get it returned to you in digital format - they make a great backup to my K200D, and can do a few things the K200D can't.

And it amazes me that people will pay quite a lot more for other cameras - example non-Japanese K1000 - which can't do a tenth of what the Z's can do. Of course I understand that if you want a Spotmatic and Takumar lenses you are in a different market - I have an ES myself - but it does seem crazy.


Last edited by redbirdpete; 04-18-2018 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Spelling
04-18-2018, 12:35 PM   #2
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K1000 is still a standard for photography students. It's just a light tight box (assuming the seals are good) with a lens mount, shutter, and light meter...

That being said, Cosina made a number of fully manual cameras that were sold under different brand names, and several different lens mounts, that are clearly superior to the K1000 as a student camera. But they aren't built like tanks like the K1000...
04-18-2018, 01:09 PM   #3
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Have two PZ-1ps and love them. Excellent backup to my K-1 as long as they make film.
04-18-2018, 01:12 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I understand that, but the later made K1000's aren't all that great either, and they sell for a lot more than, for example, the Chinon range which are equally durable and some at least have little bonuses like a window to see what aperture is set. I had a Chinon CE4s before my first Pentax and it is still good.

And of course you can use the Z's as fully manual if you so wish - just you can go on to do a lot more.

The funny story about the Chinon is that my ma bought it for my 21st birthday to replace my Zenit-B and she thought she was getting me a Canon! Because at the time I thought shutter priority of a Canon AE-1 would be better for my kind of photography - fortunately I was wrong.

04-18-2018, 01:48 PM   #5
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Most of the film processing / digitizing services I have seen offer fairly low resolution scans cheaply but high resolution can get very expensive.
04-18-2018, 02:04 PM - 1 Like   #6
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thedarkroom.com charges $15 for developing and their middle resolution 6mp scan. ($11 for their base scan). They have a high resolution scan for $20 that is something like 30mp with 35mm negatives. So the cost can definitely add up. But I think biggest factor for 99% of people out there is instant gratification. Thats part of why the smartphone camera has become so popular. Take the picture, post it on Facebook--20 seconds tops. For "photographers", i.e. the people that populates sites like this and that own a DSLR or mirrorless camera the instant gratification argument is less strong, but I still think that it influences. A lot of photographers I know, even pretty good ones (better than me) usually photograph in the "shoot, examine, adjust, shoot again" approach to photography. Shooting with film kind of requires you to trust that you got the shot.
04-18-2018, 02:13 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I have two PZ1ps and I absolutely love them. Pentax's hyper programming was a brilliant idea that makes these cameras about the fastest film cameras I own. I have had the electronics die in a couple of them at which point they are pretty useless, much like all other cameras that depend on electronics to do their thing.

I would definitely sell both of the PZ1ps, and a whole lot of other cameras as well, before I ever considered selling my K1000. It makes the PZ1p look like a plastic piece of...well you get the idea.

To be completely honest here, after the film is shot I couldn't tell if it were exposed in a PZ1p or a K1000. Not everyone likes them but they have to be about the toughest cameras ever made.

Further, to tout the plastic Cosina-built cameras as being better cameras is just silly. I'll have to log that statement into my list of internet camera myths.

---------- Post added 04-18-2018 at 02:19 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by abruzzi Quote
thedarkroom.com charges $15 for developing and their middle resolution 6mp scan. ($11 for their base scan). They have a high resolution scan for $20 that is something like 30mp with 35mm negatives. So the cost can definitely add up. But I think biggest factor for 99% of people out there is instant gratification. Thats part of why the smartphone camera has become so popular. Take the picture, post it on Facebook--20 seconds tops. For "photographers", i.e. the people that populates sites like this and that own a DSLR or mirrorless camera the instant gratification argument is less strong, but I still think that it influences. A lot of photographers I know, even pretty good ones (better than me) usually photograph in the "shoot, examine, adjust, shoot again" approach to photography. Shooting with film kind of requires you to trust that you got the shot.
Coming from a Pentax ist DL2 shooter it is kind of gratifying to hear someone touting 6 megapickels as "mid-resolution."
04-18-2018, 02:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pioneer Quote
Further, to tout the plastic Cosina-built cameras as being better cameras is just silly. I'll have to log that statement into my list of internet camera myths.[COLOR="Silver"]
For a student using a camera for a school year, yes the Cosina (i.e. Vivitar 3800N) is a better choice. 1/2000s max shutter, 1/125 flash sync. DoF preview & multi-exposure button. And no need for new light seals...

04-18-2018, 02:33 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
For a student using a camera for a school year, yes the Cosina (i.e. Vivitar 3800N) is a better choice. 1/2000s max shutter, 1/125 flash sync. DoF preview & multi-exposure button. And no need for new light seals...
`I think my point is being missed. You can't buy a K1000 or any of the other cameras mentioned for 99p ($2? ) . If you could get one anywhere near that cheap it would likely need seals at least.

So one can buy a light tight Z-1(p) top of the range camera for less than say 15 by being canny. And it may not last another 20 years but despite being a plastic fantastic its already lasted best part of 30. Who's to say at least some of them won't last another 20?
04-18-2018, 02:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by redbirdpete Quote
`I think my point is being missed. You can't buy a K1000 or any of the other cameras mentioned for 99p ($2? ) . If you could get one anywhere near that cheap it would likely need seals at least.

So one can buy a light tight Z-1(p) top of the range camera for less than say 15 by being canny. And it may not last another 20 years but despite being a plastic fantastic its already lasted best part of 30. Who's to say at least some of them won't last another 20?
Do you typically buy parts only cameras of any kind off of e-bay expecting the result you got here? It happens but it is unusual to say the least. I just did a search on e-bay and found a parts camera for $23.47 USD (with shipping) and the door was missing. Not too much chance the camera will work without the door. Though it did have the flash socket cover you were interested in.

The ones that were supposed to work started out at $73 and change (including shipping again) (which I may bid on btw) but that is hardly in the price levels that you are mentioning.

K1000 cameras are commonly listed at very low prices but if they work they tend to get bid on which usually (not always) brings the prices up much higher. They are just more popular and they have a justifiably good reputation.
04-18-2018, 02:52 PM   #11
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ebay is an auction site. What sells for 99 pence today may sell for 20 next week.
04-18-2018, 03:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
For a student using a camera for a school year, yes the Cosina (i.e. Vivitar 3800N) is a better choice. 1/2000s max shutter, 1/125 flash sync. DoF preview & multi-exposure button. And no need for new light seals...
I think I have to disagree with you on this one Ben. I own three V3800n cameras that were purchased for my grandchildren to use. Although you are right about the shutter speed and the flash synch (and it also includes a timer that lifts the mirror 10 seconds before the shutter fires.) The light diodes for the metering is also a bit easier to see then the needle at night. But there is more to consider in a student camera than just features, nice as they seem.

Two of the cameras have broken strap lugs which happens to be a common fault with this camera (and a few others that Cosina built.) One of the cameras fell from my granddaughter's shoulder and hit the ground lens down. The UV filter was smashed and though the lens did survive, it has a very stiff focus now since I suspect the helical is slightly jammed. For me this is not really terrific performance for the money spent.

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.

Personally I would have been further ahead buying a couple of K1000s, replacing the seals, and letting them use them. At least I would have something to sell once they moved on. Even broken K1000 cameras have some resale value. V3800ns...not so much. But, you spend your money and you take your chances.
04-18-2018, 03:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pioneer Quote
Do you typically buy parts only cameras of any kind off of e-bay expecting the result you got here? It happens but it is unusual to say the least. I just did a search on e-bay and found a parts camera for $23.47 USD (with shipping) and the door was missing. Not too much chance the camera will work without the door. Though it did have the flash socket cover you were interested in.

The ones that were supposed to work started out at $73 and change (including shipping again) (which I may bid on btw) but that is hardly in the price levels that you are mentioning.

K1000 cameras are commonly listed at very low prices but if they work they tend to get bid on which usually (not always) brings the prices up much higher. They are just more popular and they have a justifiably good reputation.
I only buy Pentaxes or job lots that include several Pentaxes. The job lots are invariably M series or later because people understand the older cameras will sell for a bit more. The ZX/MZ series should be avoided because invariably if they say 'spares or repair'the pinion has failed. I don't just search on 'Pentax' I search on specific models and also misspellings although neither of the Z-1's were on misspellings.

Included with the Pentaxes I have picked up some nice Minoltas because the AF Minoltas seem as unloved as the AF Pentaxes. Anything labelled Canon or Nikon, no matter how awful, will push the price up too much.
04-18-2018, 03:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by redbirdpete Quote
`I think my point is being missed. You can't buy a K1000 or any of the other cameras mentioned for 99p ($2? ) . If you could get one anywhere near that cheap it would likely need seals at least.

So one can buy a light tight Z-1(p) top of the range camera for less than say 15 by being canny. And it may not last another 20 years but despite being a plastic fantastic its already lasted best part of 30. Who's to say at least some of them won't last another 20?
I've bought K1000s that I consider to have been basically free because I was buying it for the lens attached...None of those cameras were usable as is though.

At the moment I see a PZ-1P with no battery door for $15 plus shipping, and a Z-1P with no back door for $11.80 plus shipping from Japan...
04-18-2018, 03:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I've bought K1000s that I consider to have been basically free because I was buying it for the lens attached...None of those cameras were usable as is though.

At the moment I see a PZ-1P with no battery door for $15 plus shipping, and a Z-1P with no back door for $11.80 plus shipping from Japan...
I have a spare PZ-1p back door if you want it.
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