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05-03-2018, 08:08 PM   #1
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Pentax K1000 vs. K1000 SE

Hello all!

Excited to be here on the forums! Many of you have provided much help with my cameras, so I'm happy to have finally joined. About 6 months ago, I got my hands on a K1000 SE that was in pretty decent condition but I eventually hit some roadblocks. I ordered an extra camera body from KEH.com to use for parts and noticed that the parts camera is a K1000, as opposed to my K1000 SE. The only differences I've noticed are that the "standard" has a plastic shutter speed knob, as opposed to aluminum/metal on the SE, as well as a cheaper feeling rewind knob. The body as a whole is a lot lighter than the SE as well. After perusing the internet for some answers as to what the real differences are, I haven't found anything. I truly love this camera for the build quality, weight, and just overall simplicity.

Any answers are welcome!

Thanks!
-Jordan

05-03-2018, 08:15 PM   #2
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According to our camera database, "The main variants are the K1000 (black leather, microprism focusing aid) and the later K1000 SE (black or brown leather and with a split image focusing screen or a combination microprism/split image screen)."

Because the K1000 was produced for such a long time, and in different factories, there are some variations outside of the SE designation. Check out the serial number database for more details:

Pentax K1000 Serial Numbers - Pentax Serial Number Database - PentaxForums.com

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05-03-2018, 09:36 PM   #3
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I would say that it's possible that your SE is an earlier version, made in either Hong Kong, or Japan, when quality was higher, with more metal, and fewer plastic parts. The Made in Japan (MIJ) bodies will generally say "Asahi Opt. Co. Japan" on the rear of the top cover, just below the wind/ cocking lever. They will also have a slight bump, sometimes called the "KX bump" just to the left of the prism. The MIJ AND the Hong Kong bodies will have the Asahi logo on the front of the prism housing. The Hong Kong bodies will have a screw in the top plate and no KX bump to the left of the prism. The made in China bodies have a lot of plastic and you can feel the difference in quality and heft. There is no screw in the top cover to the left of the prism. They also have a black plastic inset in the base plate that says "made in China."

I recently came into posession of a body that fits all of the cosmetic descriptions of a Chinese body but it says "Made in Hong Kong" on the base plate, so there are some overlapping models it seems.

My MIJ K1000 SE:




I don't know why my pics aren't showing up but you can find images of what I have described if you Google it.

Last edited by ctrout; 05-03-2018 at 10:02 PM.
05-04-2018, 03:33 PM   #4
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From what I've gathered, the SE has brown leather and a focusing screen with a split-image focussing aid of some kind. I think it was only sold in some markets as I can't remember hearing or seeing anything about the SE in the UK.

There seems to be a whole range of differences in K1000 production throughout the decades of production - the differences listed above along with whether the battery cover screws or bayonets in. Pentax made over 3 million K1000s - when you make that many, you wear out your factory tooling numerous times over (regardless of how many factories you have). There are likely to be variations from the same factory as different tools are replaced at different times with ones designed to be more efficient or last longer.

05-04-2018, 04:00 PM   #5
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"From what I've gathered", literally , I know of 5 versions of the K1000-SE.

1. black Diamond Grip, SE sticker, with KX bump & s/n on top plate
2. brown leatherette, SE sticker, with KX bump & s/n on top plate. I have the Pentax brochure for this one
3. brown leatherette, SE sticker, no KX bump & s/n on bottom plate
4. brown leatherette, SE engraved, s/n on bottom plate
5. black leatherette, SE engraved, s/n on bottom plate

Most of the K1000-SE's I have have split-image/microprism focus screen.
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Last edited by Moe49; 09-25-2018 at 05:46 AM.
05-04-2018, 04:49 PM   #6
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The sticker "SE" is an aftermarket upgrade. It's not an official factory SE...

As for the OP's lighter K1000, it's probably a late production model. They were made in China and used a lot more plastic...
05-05-2018, 06:17 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The sticker "SE" is an aftermarket upgrade. It's not an official factory SE...
As for the OP's lighter K1000, it's probably a late production model. They were made in China and used a lot more plastic...
From op's description the second SE is definitely a later China version of SE.

The 'After market upgrade' is yet another K1000 myth.
- SE sticker shown in Pentax marketing material.
- Sticker versions were sold worldwide. If retailer/camera wholesaler upgrade sales with sticker would be limited to one area & not widespread.
- If 'dealer or aftermarket upgrade' why were the sticker versions released before the engraved version? Did Pentax decide that the 'dealer' was on a good thing & decide to follow them?


While we're on myths, as far as I am aware ALL brass/chrome K1000 SE's (series I -> IV) were assembled in Hong Kong. I have never seen or been able to confirm a original K1000SE for Japan. I have seen a few where people have tried to fake it but if you know what to look for there is always evidence of it being a Frankenstein body. The inclusion of the 'bump' on top plate is not a indication of a Japan assembled body as many people believe. Both Hong Kong & Japan bodies from series I used the bump.

QuoteOriginally posted by Moe49 Quote
"From what I've gathered", literally there are 5 versions of the K1000-SE.

1. black Diamond Grip, SE sticker, with KX bump & s/n on top plate
2. brown leatherette, SE sticker, with KX bump & s/n on top plate. I have the Pentax brochure for this one
3. brown leatherette, SE sticker, s/n on bottom plate
4. brown leatherette, SE engraved, s/n on bottom plate
5. black leatherette, SE engraved, s/n ? (I do not have one of these)

The K1000-SE's I have all have split-image focus screens and some have the micro prism, too.
Hi Moe,
That's a good start to the variations but you have a few more years to cover yet. You appear to be collecting them in chronological order.
From what I can tell the 'standard' K1000SE focusing screen was split prism + micro prism + collar up to somewhere during the series IV bodies. Somewhere during series IV production Pentax dropped the collar to become the split prism + micro prism.

I have broken them down into series groups (or production runs as it is sometimes referred ) but have continued your series of numbering the variations during the full K1000 production period.

Series I
1. Black Diamond, AOCO logo, bump & s/n on top plate. SE sticker on front. ( 775XXXX -> 780XXXX confirmed range)
2. Brown leatherette, bump & s/n on top plate, SE sticker on front. (779XXXX -> 781XXXX confirmed range)

Series I transition.
I have verified a number of K1000 bodies in this category. 793#### highest s/n I have confirmed in this range in SE variants, 795##### in standard K1000 variants. S/N's from the series I range were used but, located on bottom plate of series II bodies.
3. Brown leatherette, AOCO logo, no bump on top & s/n from Series I range used on bot plate, SE sticker on front.

Series II
Engraved SE logo & black leatherette become the standard for series II bodies. A number of the early series II bodies used up the remaining brown leatherette from late series I production.
Once again there is a transition period between series II & series III where s/n ranges from both series were used on either bodies (686XXXX -> 702XXXX).
4. Brown leatherette, AOCO logo, no bump on top & s/n on bot plate, SE engraved on front, S/N range 686XXXX - 702XXXXX
5. Black standard K1000 leatherette, s/n on bot plate. All black series II engraved SE bodies use series II s/n range 600XXXXX ->


Series III
6. Black standard K1000 leatherette, AOCO logo, s/n on bot plate. All black series III SE bodies I have confirmed use series III s/n range 700XXXXX -> 83XXXXX with exceptions for blocks of numbers which were used in transition period from series II (68XXXXX - 702XXXX)

Series IV
- going from s/n's this is the smallest production run of all series
7. Black standard K1000 leatherette, no AOCO logo, s/n on bot plate. All series IV SE bodies I have confirmed use series IV s/n range 83XXXXXX -> 84XXXXXX

Series V
Production moved to china. Plastic top/bot plates.
Although the plastic top/bot plates did make a considerable difference to the weight of later bodies the biggest weight difference also come from the change in alloy used for the chassis. This change in alloy started to become evident during the series III bodies.

8. Black standard K1000 leatherette, no AOCO logo, s/n on bot plate, plastic ASA/shutter speed dial, chrome/black metal rewind knob on chrome plastic shaft. All series V SE bodies I have confirmed use series V s/n range 500XXXX ->

Series VI
9. Black standard K1000 leatherette, no AOCO logo, s/n on bot plate, plastic ASA/shutter speed dial, all black metal rewind knob on black plastic shaft. All series VI SE bodies I have confirmed use series VI s/n range 600XXXX ->

Once production moved to China bodies I have not extensively studied serial number ranges, so there may be numbers outside the ranges I have listed for these series. The 600XXXX serial number range on Chinese bodies in particular would be interesting to study closely as the 600XXXXX prefix was used in series II. From my extensive study of series II body s/n's I have not been able to pick out any large blocks of numbers missing from series, only relatively small blocks at random throughout the series. Most likely only the missing blocks of serial numbers from the series II range were used in the series VI bodies but it is a very intriguing question as to if Pentax may have reused some of the serial numbers from series II.

Last edited by Tool_Horder; 05-05-2018 at 06:53 PM.
05-05-2018, 10:45 PM   #8
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Tool_Horder, thank you for the excellent account of SE bodies. It's just the info I've been looking for but my SE doesn't seem to fit exactly.
From what I understand it is no easy task unravelling Pentax production runs.

05-07-2018, 06:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The sticker "SE" is an aftermarket upgrade. It's not an official factory SE...
QuoteOriginally posted by Tool_Horder Quote
- SE sticker shown in Pentax marketing material.
Here is a photo of the 1979 Pentax Corporation Brochure I have to go along with one of the 'Sticker' SE's I own.

2. brown leatherette, SE sticker, with KX bump & s/n on top plate.
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Last edited by Moe49; 05-07-2018 at 08:39 AM.
05-07-2018, 10:55 AM   #10
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Hi

This is a really interesting thread. It sure fuels Gba.

But what is this thing? Fake? PENTAX K1000 K-1000 PK prototype black Prototyp schwarz /17 | eBay
05-07-2018, 11:13 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Baard-Einar Quote
Hi

This is a really interesting thread. It sure fuels Gba.

But what is this thing? Fake? PENTAX K1000 K-1000 PK prototype black Prototyp schwarz /17 | eBay

That is likely a Presenta K1000, Luxon Super 1000, Mingca MC-K1000, or a ??? with it's silkscreened name & model number polished off.
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Last edited by Moe49; 05-08-2018 at 08:20 AM.
05-07-2018, 02:27 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnpentax Quote
Tool_Horder, thank you for the excellent account of SE bodies. It's just the info I've been looking for but my SE doesn't seem to fit exactly.
From what I understand it is no easy task unravelling Pentax production runs.
I would be interested in checking a few more details of the camera you have. I have sent you a PM.
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