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05-03-2009, 06:48 PM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lacyt Quote
Not to create confusion but...

It's been said that Pentax moved its K1000 (?) operations from

manufacture/assembly Japan
manufacture Japan/assembly Hong Kong
manufacture/assembly Hong Kong

Was it just the K1000? Because my K2 has all the telltale info of a first-run Japan/Japan K1000.
QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
The production span of the K2 was quite short and I don't know of any variations. I think they were all made in Japan.
The K2, KX and KM were produced only from 1975 to 1977, assembled in Japan, by highly skilled and expensive hand-assemblers. It is doubtful assembly of these bodies was ever moved out of Japan - rather they were discontinued after their short production runs.

Some sub-assemblies, such as the shutter, were probably made by others. I know the K2DMD shutter was made by Seiko - they probably made many other shutter assemblies for Pentax.

The K2DMD (and probably the Motor versions of the KX and KM) were produced from 1976 - 1980, as line-extensions for professional photographers (according to the sales material that came with my K2DMD). I agree, Ole, the K2DMD was a different model rather than a variant of the K2.

The K1000 was introduced with the K2DMD in 1976 as another line-extension, but at the other (low) end of the price range. The K1000 apparently did not sell very well at first, but after a time caught on as a low-priced, simple camera. A low-priced, slow-selling, hand-assembled camera was not a recipe for profit!

Reviewing the database, it appears there may have been a production change in 1978/9 or 1980. To my mind, without any actual proof, that would be consistent with the introduction of the LX professional body in 1980 (replacing the K2DMD), the end of production of the other more expensive K2, KX and KM bodies, and the introduction of the smaller-format consumer MV, in 1980. The higher-end MX had been introduced in 1976.

Given that Pentax wanted to focus on the smaller cameras in response to the Olympus OM1, it would have made more sense to lower the production cost of the outdated K1000 and move its assembly out of Japan, rather then training new, more expensive Japanese workers to build the M-series cameras, when the other K-bodies were discontinued.


Last edited by monochrome; 05-03-2009 at 08:10 PM.
05-03-2009, 07:28 PM   #77
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Model: K1000
Color of faux leather: Black

Serial number: 7718611 Location of serial number: On top near the film rewind lever. Bump
Asahi Optical logo on prism housing: Yes
Asahi name above Pentax name on prism housing: Yes
Asahi Opt. Co. engraved on back side of top cover: Yes

Top plate: Metal
Bottom plate: Metal
Battery cover: Threads

Manufactured/assembled in: Hong Kong (as far as I recall)
Location of manufacturing/assembling information: Sticker on Bottom plate (lost)
Focusing screen: Microprism

Weight (without batteries and body cap) Don'tknow
Year of original purchase Don't know
05-06-2009, 11:34 AM   #78
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Model: K1000
Color of faux leather: Black

Serial number: 7476255
Location of serial number: Bottom plate stamped

Asahi Optical logo on prism housing: Yes
Asahi name above Pentax name on prism housing: Yes
Asahi Opt. Co. engraved on back side of top cover: Yes
"Bump" on top plate near revind crank: No

Top plate: Metal
Bottom plate: Metal
Battery cover: Threads

Manufactured/assembled in: Hong Kong
Location of manufacturing/assembling information: Bottom plate sticker

Focusing screen: Microprism

Weight : Unknown
Year of original purchase : EBay 4 years ago
05-07-2009, 06:59 PM   #79
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Thank you very kindly, Mono. I have a pristine K2 and will never part with it. It does have the serial number engraved on the top plate with black numbers, has the AOCO logo above the Asahi above Pentax on the prism, and is engraved "Asahi Opt. Co. Japan" on the back of the top plate.

K1000 REVISION:
(I was going by the eBay photos and the seller's responses to my questions. I have it in hand now.)

Does NOT say "Asahi Opt. Co. Japan". The "Japan" is missing.

The serial number and location of it is the same - numbers are in black.

The bottom is engraved "Body Assembled in Hong Kong". Lettering is unpainted.

All else is the same.

And in very nice condition, too, I might add, though as expected, I had to replace all the seals and mirror damper.

05-12-2009, 05:50 PM   #80
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Lacyt, thanks for the update. The focusing screen is with microprism rather than split image, right?
05-15-2009, 08:29 AM   #81
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ANother K1000

Model: K1000
Color of faux leather: Black

Serial number: 8255629
Location of serial number: Bottom plate stamped

Asahi Optical logo on prism housing: Yes
Asahi name above Pentax name on prism housing: Yes
Asahi Opt. Co. engraved on back side of top cover: Yes
"Bump" on top plate near revind crank: No

Top plate: Metal
Bottom plate: Metal
Battery cover: Threads

Manufactured/assembled in: No information
Location of manufacturing/assembling information: None

Focusing screen: Microprism

Weight (without batteries and body cap) (if you know): not known
Year of original purchase (if you know): not known
05-15-2009, 08:39 AM   #82
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Another K1000 SE

Model: K1000 SE (SE engraved on front)
Color of faux leather: Brown

Serial number:6517831
Location of serial number: Bottom plate stamped

Asahi Optical logo on prism housing: Yes
Asahi name above Pentax name on prism housing: Yes
Asahi Opt. Co. engraved on back side of top cover: Yes
"Bump" on top plate near revind crank:No

Top plate: Metal I think
Bottom plate: Metal I Think
Battery cover: Threads

Manufactured/assembled in: Hong Kong ("Body Assembled in Hong Kong")
Location of manufacturing/assembling information: Bottom plate sticker

Focusing screen: Split screen with microprism collar

Weight (without batteries and body cap) (if you know): don't know
Year of original purchase (if you know): Don't Know
05-15-2009, 09:12 AM   #83
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Compilation of information-collectors' guide?

I wonder if there is any source that compiles all this information about model features into a "collector's guide?" I collect antique firearms, and there are very nice books that outline how to go over, say, a Winchester 1873 lever-action rifle and work out the year of manufacture, standard parts, etc.

This thread is producing a nice database, and I wonder if there might be a chance to compile it into such a collector guide?

05-15-2009, 10:20 AM   #84
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How To Distinguish the Plastic and Metal

I hate to be a doofus, but I am actually wondering how to distinguish between K1000's with metal versus plastic top and bottom plates. I have 4 or 5 K1000's and I imagine at least one is the plastic version, but can't really see much difference.

Is there some other marker like location of the SN or some other stamp? Scratch and sniff? Magnetic?
05-15-2009, 05:30 PM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawsonstone Quote
I hate to be a doofus, but I am actually wondering how to distinguish between K1000's with metal versus plastic top and bottom plates. I have 4 or 5 K1000's and I imagine at least one is the plastic version, but can't really see much difference.

Is there some other marker like location of the SN or some other stamp? Scratch and sniff? Magnetic?
The easiest way to do it is by touch/feel. Metal will be noticeably cooler to the touch. Also the metal-bodied cameras are significantly heavier than the plastic ones. The most surefire way is to take off the bottom plate with a jeweler's screwdriver (careful, the screws are TINY). It will be immediately obvious when you get it off.

Also, another K1000 (my father's and the first real camera I used):

Model: K1000
Color of faux leather: Black

Serial number:6440020
Location of serial number: Bottom plate stamped

Asahi Optical logo on prism housing: Yes
Asahi name above Pentax name on prism housing: Yes
Asahi Opt. Co. engraved on back side of top cover: Yes
"Bump" on top plate near revind crank:No

Top plate: Metal
Bottom plate: Metal
Battery cover: Threaded (stamped "OPEN BATTERY", not inked)

Manufactured/assembled in: Unknown, but most likely Japan due to purchase date
Location of manufacturing/assembling information: Bottom plate sticker, long gone

Focusing screen: Microprism

Weight (without batteries and body cap) (if you know): don't know
Year of original purchase (if you know): June 1977
05-16-2009, 10:42 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawsonstone Quote
I hate to be a doofus, but I am actually wondering how to distinguish between K1000's with metal versus plastic top and bottom plates. I have 4 or 5 K1000's and I imagine at least one is the plastic version, but can't really see much difference.

Is there some other marker like location of the SN or some other stamp? Scratch and sniff? Magnetic?
Judging from the data collected so far cameras in this range have plastic top and bottom plate: 4 xxx xxx to 5 5xx xxx.

If the prism housing has Asahi engraved above the Pentax name it is definitely a metal version.
05-16-2009, 10:51 AM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawsonstone Quote
I wonder if there is any source that compiles all this information about model features into a "collector's guide?" I collect antique firearms, and there are very nice books that outline how to go over, say, a Winchester 1873 lever-action rifle and work out the year of manufacture, standard parts, etc.

This thread is producing a nice database, and I wonder if there might be a chance to compile it into such a collector guide?
I like the idea - we could supplement with photos of the variants. I don't know how to go about it, though, unless we just produce like a photo book through MPix or a similar service and sell it on-line? We can probably not make a publisher interested.
05-16-2009, 10:58 AM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
The easiest way to do it is by touch/feel. Metal will be noticeably cooler to the touch. Also the metal-bodied cameras are significantly heavier than the plastic ones. The most surefire way is to take off the bottom plate with a jeweler's screwdriver (careful, the screws are TINY). It will be immediately obvious when you get it off.

Also, another K1000 (my father's and the first real camera I used):

Model: K1000
Color of faux leather: Black

Serial number:6440020
Location of serial number: Bottom plate stamped

Asahi Optical logo on prism housing: Yes
Asahi name above Pentax name on prism housing: Yes
Asahi Opt. Co. engraved on back side of top cover: Yes
"Bump" on top plate near revind crank:No

Top plate: Metal
Bottom plate: Metal
Battery cover: Threaded (stamped "OPEN BATTERY", not inked)

Manufactured/assembled in: Unknown, but most likely Japan due to purchase date
Location of manufacturing/assembling information: Bottom plate sticker, long gone

Focusing screen: Microprism

Weight (without batteries and body cap) (if you know): don't know
Year of original purchase (if you know): June 1977
This camera is 1 and a half years earlier than we previously have seen regarding 6 xxx xxx models.
05-16-2009, 11:19 AM   #89
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I updated the database today based on the now 67 entries.

Last edited by Ole; 11-09-2009 at 08:18 PM.
05-16-2009, 02:38 PM   #90
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My K1000

Model: K1000
Color of faux leather: Black

Serial Number: 7180434
Location of Serial Number: Bottom plat stamped

Asahi Optical Logo on prism housing: Yes
Asahi name above Penax name on prism housing: Yes
Asahi Optical Co. engraved on back side of top cover: Yes

Top plate: Metal
Bottom plate: Metal
Battery Cover: Threads

Manufactured/assembled in: No Information
Location of manufacturing/assembling information: None

Focusing screen: Microprism

Weight: Unknown
Date of purchase: 2007
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