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02-04-2009, 07:14 PM   #1

Retiring my K-1000. A few shots of the war horse

I am now officially retiring my K-1000. I bought this wonderful camera at the Fort Hood main PX in 1984. This old war horse was there with me through my days as an Air Cavalry Trooper. She has been bounced around most of the the world. Dropped out of helicopters on the ground, bounced around during some pretty heavy in flight maneuvers, tossed into the back of countless types of military and civilian vehicles and etc...

That's the sand of several different deserts ingrained into her padded body. It has been scrubbed hard many times but just won't come out. Her shoulder strap was lost long ago. I still have the original box and instruction manual. The camera came with the pictured lens and a skylight filter for $325 at the PX.

I will continue to use the lens but I will not risk the body anymore. It will be vacuum sealed to preserve the patina for my son and any future grandchildren to have.

02-04-2009, 07:24 PM   #2

A few photos taken with the old war horse:

Roebling suspension bridge over the Brazos River in Waco, Texas.

My roommate "Pete" Peterson's AH-1S Cobra. "S" is for SNAKE!

My Oh-58C Kiowa

My friend's UH-1H Iroquois "Huey"

02-04-2009, 07:42 PM   #3
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Your K1000 looks amazingly good given all the abuse over the years! Interesting story, thanks for posting!
02-04-2009, 07:44 PM   #4
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great present for future generation

02-04-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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This is an excellent example of what you might get from eBay if the camera was described as "mint".

Looks like you might need a new mirror seal.
02-04-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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I love cameras with a story to tell, like yours. For example, I know my dad's K1000 traveled across the US for three months in 1977, taking hundreds of slides along the way (which I have yet to see). I know it's not much in comparison to yours, Thumper, but I still love the notion that these old bodies were well-loved and used in their day--and still are, and will be by new generations for years to come!
02-05-2009, 04:56 PM   #7

Thanks for all the kind comments. I thought you all would enjoy the story. I know that I love hearing the stories of the gear and the people behind the lens. This was my very first SLR.

I have an Army buddy from Queens, N.Y. He had a Canon, an AE-1 I think, brand new at the time, that sparked my interest in photography at that level. He told me he would help me pick out a camera to get started as he had several years of experience already.
He learned with a Spotmatic so he had this philosophy that it is better for the pupil to start with a totally manual camera to better learn the ABC's of photography. After looking at several different brands when Dan saw the K1000 with lens and proclaimed it to be the one. I have never looked back since then.

I will replace that seal too.

02-05-2009, 05:27 PM   #8
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CLA by Eric

What a great story!!

We Americans are often criticized for having so much "stuff" but when our things have stories attached to them, and are passed down to the next generation our stuff becomes history.

My wife and I have a house full of inherited furniture, photographs and artifacts. Each item has a story attached to an ancestor (some things have many stories attached to many ancestors) such as a Bachrach portrait of my great-grandmother. Although I browse estate sales for Pentax gear, it saddens me to see it cast off by heirs as just so much junk to turn into money.

You get it.

Before you put your K1000 away, may I suggest you send it to Eric Hendrickson for a complete CLA? Your camera will be fresh as new and have 30 more years of life afterward. Eric is highly regarded on this Forum as a semi-retired Pentax technician and lover of Pentax cameras. He will appreciate your story, and care for your camera as if it is his own.

Here is a link to his website Home

His estimates are free - and his work is really good. He is a gem.

02-05-2009, 06:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thumper473 Quote
A few photos taken with the old war horse:

Roebling suspension bridge over the Brazos River in Waco, Texas.
That area has changed a bit in the last 25 years. The bridge looks better and the walk goes a lot further than back then.
02-07-2009, 09:40 AM   #10
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Interesting story. I have a nice Spotmatic F I inherited from a fiend that acquired it during the tail end of Vietnam. It is in excellent condition as well. He was stationed in somewhere in central Nam at a base that had an Air Cav unit attached to it. Ironically, he is from west Texas.
02-07-2009, 05:57 PM   #11
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All my old film cameras got passed down to my kids. My youngest started playing around with my old SP 1000 last summer even though she has a couple of very nice digital cameras. She's in her third year of college now. I took pictures of her in the delivery room with that camera when she was born.

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