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09-19-2019, 06:48 PM - 1 Like   #1
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What is this thing in my viewfinder?

Hey, everyone,

I am still shooting 35mm, using my beloved K1000 purchased in 1993. About 10 years ago, an alien thing started growing inside. It's not showing on the photos but has definitely creeped upward over the years. On the prism maybe? I know this has likely been covered here before but give it to me straight: how can I get rid of it? Please keep in mind this is my baby; if I have to, I'll deal with the alien thing rather than replace the body.

Thanks!

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09-19-2019, 06:55 PM - 3 Likes   #2
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welcome to the Forum.... and Hail Hydra?
09-19-2019, 07:08 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Filmbat Quote
Hey, everyone,

I am still shooting 35mm, using my beloved K1000 purchased in 1993. About 10 years ago, an alien thing started growing inside. It's not showing on the photos but has definitely creeped upward over the years. On the prism maybe? I know this has likely been covered here before but give it to me straight: how can I get rid of it? Please keep in mind this is my baby; if I have to, I'll deal with the alien thing rather than replace the body.

Thanks!
You're seeing this in the viewfinder? That's most likely damage to the silver coating on the prism caused by age. The good news is it won't affect your photos; the bad news is there's no real solution for it other than getting the prism replaced.

You can see a similar example towards the end of this thread.
09-19-2019, 07:11 PM   #4
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There is at least one company that will resilver a prism, but it costs at least $125...Probably cheaper to find a parts camera and have someone swap the prism.

09-19-2019, 07:18 PM   #5
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@Filmbat,

Welcome to Pentax Forums!

It's great that you attached a picture in your post -- makes it easier to assess the camera's issue.

I agree with the others: this is almost certainly a case of prism "desilvering".

I understand that the flaw is more common in the K1000 models that were Made in China than in the Japanese or Hong Kong variants. Replacing the prism is a solution, although based on my recent experience with K1000 repairs, I believe that the prism in the Chinese model cannot be swapped for one from the others -- the prism dimensions are slightly different.

Good luck with the baby!

- Craig
09-19-2019, 08:29 PM   #6
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Yep, de-silvering... Won't affect images but will steadily get worse with time.

The bad news - it's not really repairable. If you're invested in the camera, finding a donor body and swapping the prisms is probably your best option. Luckily there are lots of K1000's in the world. As others have mentioned, I would send it to Erik Hendrickson and have him do a full CLA at the same time.

The good news - it's not a Leica I had to get the rangefinder prism in my M2 re-silvered. You do not want to know how much that cost...
09-20-2019, 09:22 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Vessel TD-56 screwdriver set, a junker Spotmatic (less expensive, compatible prism) & a cellphone to take pictures of every step.

Note: I've found this blog, a while ago. The guy successfully used the prism of an Elan II.

Last edited by Helios 1984; 09-20-2019 at 09:34 PM.
09-23-2019, 09:49 AM - 3 Likes   #8
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Thanks, everyone, for the thoughtful replies. Indeed, this seems to affect [only? primarily?] the cameras built in the 1990s; there's a new-in-box 1990s model available on eBay and even it has this problem.

I think there is now enough evidence to support my just letting it be. It's taken 26 years for it to get this bad and the photos/enjoyment of this particular camera body are worth putting up with my little hydra friend (the attached taken using my recent preferred film, Fuji Velvia).

Cheers,
Elena

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09-23-2019, 03:31 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Filmbat Quote
I think there is now enough evidence to support my just letting it be. It's taken 26 years for it to get this bad and the photos/enjoyment of this particular camera body are worth putting up with my little hydra friend (the attached taken using my recent preferred film, Fuji Velvia).
Sounds like a plan!

There's a fantastic long running thread here for photos taken on film, please feel free to contribute

:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots - PentaxForums.com
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