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12-10-2008, 10:09 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wombat Quote
The K1000 is virtually bomb proof, so you're unlikely to have problems with bits falling off. An important thing to watch for is the state of the foam light seals and especially the mirror pad. Take the lens off and you'll see a thin strip of foam just under the focus screen. Very gently prod it and see if it springs back more or less instantly. If it takes a dent and doesn't fill out again you'll need to get the seals replaced pronto. That's not a big deal and you'd be wise to get a clean, lube and adjust at the same time. In Australia they charge around $90; may be a lot cheaper where you live. It's really worth the extra - you'll have a camera that will probably outlast you.
Try out every shutter setting and aperture stop and make sure everything has a nice solid click to it. Make sure the light meter works. Check the advance lever works smoothly and returns properly. With the lens off, look inside while you operate the shutter and make sure the mirror returns fully. Open the lens to its widest setting and peer through it. Look for dirt, scratches, broken parts, signs of heavy-handed attempts at repair. Check the whole camera for the same. Open up the back and make sure everything is nice and clean and the spool spindle is straight.
This may sound a lot but it only takes a few moments and you'll know you've done everything you can to get a good camera for your money. You can practice the routine with your digital before you hit the shops. (And I suggest you get your first film camera from a shop so you've got some comeback if it turns out to be a dog). Just be careful not to let dust onto the sensor, though.
I'm sure others will have more to add. Best of luck. You're in for a real treat.
You're right about the K1000 being tough... I dropped mine once, from the door hatchway of a C-130 cargo plane, onto the concrete runway (drop of around 10 ft plus or minus a couple), and the only damage was to the cap of the film advance lever... And it took fine pictures for many years afterwards.

A question - we have seen many threads here about using old lenses on new bodies. What about using new lenses on an old K1000 body? I'm curious about hanging my Promaster 70-300 on there... All the talk about these fine old bodies has me thinking about getting some film and cranking off a roll or two to see. Anyone have experience trying this?

Jim

12-10-2008, 10:23 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by CycloneBandDad Quote
A question - we have seen many threads here about using old lenses on new bodies. What about using new lenses on an old K1000 body? I'm curious about hanging my Promaster 70-300 on there... All the talk about these fine old bodies has me thinking about getting some film and cranking off a roll or two to see. Anyone have experience trying this?

Jim
Any lens without an Aperture ring is not going to work on a K1000 because you'll have no way to set your Aperture.
12-10-2008, 12:25 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
Any lens without an Aperture ring is not going to work on a K1000 because you'll have no way to set your Aperture.
OK, good bit of info This particular 70-300 has one, so just use it as though it was an old M lens? Any quirks about the mount itself?

Jim
12-10-2008, 12:44 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
KM might be good, but it's not easy getting a KM compared to getting a K1000. I know its easier getting an ME Super over an MX.
. . .
The K1000 was in production from 1976-1997 (21 years) compared to 1975-77 for the KM, KX and K2. The thing I would try and avoid with the K1000 is the later Chinese made ones except maybe for spare parts.

12-10-2008, 01:04 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The K1000 was in production from 1976-1997 (21 years) compared to 1975-77 for the KM, KX and K2. The thing I would try and avoid with the K1000 is the later Chinese made ones except maybe for spare parts.
+1

There's an easy way to tell the difference between the Japanese-made (best) and "Assembled in Hong Kong" (good), and the Chinese-made (not so great) K1000s. The Japanese and Hong Kong units have "Asahi Pentax" on their prisms, and have the AOCo logo. The Chinese ones have neither.

The issue with the Chinese ones is that many parts were replaced with plastic, including the top and bottom plates. The Hong Kong ones have some plastic internals too, but they were well made and the plastic shouldn't impact reliability. My dad has a Made-in-Japan version: all metal, and a real treat to use. Everything just fits together really well and works very smoothly.

By the way, the K1000 was made in Japan from 1976 to '78, then in Hong Kong to the early '90s, and then in mainland China for the remainder of its life.
12-10-2008, 03:14 PM   #21
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You know, I noticed my new FA 50 (the one that was defective) was labelled 'Assembled in Vietnam,' ...hadn't heard of this before. Is Pentax making stuff all over these days? I was wondering if this could be some of where the quality control issues may be coming from, ....afaik Vietnam must not have a very experienced optical industry yet. Not that I've really been paying attention. As I recall, Korea had a pretty rough start in that way years ago.
12-10-2008, 04:34 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
You know, I noticed my new FA 50 (the one that was defective) was labelled 'Assembled in Vietnam,' ...hadn't heard of this before. Is Pentax making stuff all over these days? I was wondering if this could be some of where the quality control issues may be coming from, ....afaik Vietnam must not have a very experienced optical industry yet. Not that I've really been paying attention. As I recall, Korea had a pretty rough start in that way years ago.
Pentax's manufacturing operations are now in Vietnam.
12-10-2008, 10:24 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
The issue with the Chinese ones is that many parts were replaced with plastic, including the top and bottom plates. The Hong Kong ones have some plastic internals too, but they were well made and the plastic shouldn't impact reliability.
IIRC, the Chinese model switched to some plastic parts in the film transport or rewind and the had a habit of breaking or striping.

12-10-2008, 11:03 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by McLovin Quote
Hey guys,

I'm looking into getting a manual film camera just to learn with/fool around with (I grew up with digital so I want to experience a film slr).
Assuming you want to stay K-mount and traditional controls there are lots of other options you might consider. All of these have self timers and most offer DoF preview

In all mechanical bodies:

Pentax KX or KM, Ricoh XR-1, Ricoh KR-5 Super


Electronic shutters and some sort of auto settings:

Pentax P3/P30 series, Pentax ZX-M, Chinon CE-5/CG-5, Ricoh KR-10/XR-10, Ricoh XR-2, Ricoh KR-5 III

I've always liked the KX and the XR-1 myself and currently own an XR-1.
12-10-2008, 11:35 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by WJW Quote
Assuming you want to stay K-mount and traditional controls there are lots of other options you might consider. All of these have self timers and most offer DoF preview

In all mechanical bodies:

Pentax KX or KM, Ricoh XR-1, Ricoh KR-5 Super


Electronic shutters and some sort of auto settings:

Pentax P3/P30 series, Pentax ZX-M, Chinon CE-5/CG-5, Ricoh KR-10/XR-10, Ricoh XR-2, Ricoh KR-5 III

I've always liked the KX and the XR-1 myself and currently own an XR-1.
I would like to add two Ricoh's that you missed:
  • Ricoh XR2s (successor to the XR2)
  • Ricoh XR7 (successor to the XR2s)

Both are well-made electronic shutter cameras with aperture priority automation. Both also have DOF preview and self-timers and are considered fairly desirable.

Steve
12-11-2008, 03:16 AM   #26
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I'm a big fan of the Chinon CG-5.

Stepless electronic shutter and manually selectable shutter speeds, as well as aperture priority, like the ME Super. Unlike the ME Super, thank the gods, it has a dial for speeds, not those buttons. It means you don't have to be looking through the VF to see the speeds, and it's also easier to change the speeds with a simple flick of the finger, rather than repetitive shoves on the buttons. Unfortunately, the max shutter speed is 1/1000; ME Super's 1/2000, but the CG's max ISO is 3200, the ME Super's 1600.

There's a DOF preview lever on above the lens release mount. An AE lock - very handy - on the opposite side of the mount.

Will be rare, but cheap, as it's not a big-name brand. Not even medium-name, really.

Meter seems to be more dead-on than my ME Super, though. Plastic, and yes, it takes two A76 batteries - look, it's not really a problem. There's not a pharmacy in the world that doesn't have these batteries. Which last about a year.

Look, the K1000 is very good camera. It's good, strong, built like a brick dunny. But it's gained a certain cachet over the years, and you'll pay for it. Ridiculously, on occasion.

But there are plenty of more technologically advanced cams out there that sell for less and do more.

So perhaps the question is - do you want a camera, or a K1000?
12-11-2008, 01:01 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
I'm a big fan of the Chinon CG-5.
Want to buy mine?
12-11-2008, 01:09 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I would like to add two Ricoh's that you missed:
  • Ricoh XR2s (successor to the XR2)
  • Ricoh XR7 (successor to the XR2s)
I didn't list the XR-1S and -2S since they are the same as the regular model with motor drive connections. The XR-7 I've never used or seen one up close.

I have to admit I primarily use my XR-1 as my M42 body. I just leave the Pentax adapter in it and do manual stop down metering. When I shoot K-mount 35mm, I use either a Chinon CP-6 or Pentax MZ-6 and tend to use the Chinon.
12-11-2008, 04:06 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by WJW Quote
I didn't list the XR-1S and -2S since they are the same as the regular model with motor drive connections. The XR-7 I've never used or seen one up close.

I have to admit I primarily use my XR-1 as my M42 body. I just leave the Pentax adapter in it and do manual stop down metering. When I shoot K-mount 35mm, I use either a Chinon CP-6 or Pentax MZ-6 and tend to use the Chinon.
I had my CP7-m out using it today.
12-11-2008, 07:30 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by CycloneBandDad Quote
A question - we have seen many threads here about using old lenses on new bodies. What about using new lenses on an old K1000 body? I'm curious about hanging my Promaster 70-300 on there... All the talk about these fine old bodies has me thinking about getting some film and cranking off a roll or two to see. Anyone have experience trying this? Jim
I've used my Sigma 70-300 on the K1000 and it works just fine, using the lens's aperture ring. You can even use the 18-50 digital kit lens, but you'll get some vignetting from 18 up to about 25mm, which you can actually see in the viewfinder as you zoom in. The lens will shoot wide open, as you obviously can't adjust the aperture, so you'll need to compensate with shutter speeds and film speeds, but it can be done.
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