Classic Cameras: the Pentax K1000 SLR Film Camera


Our lives are marked by firsts. First love, first car, first marriage, first kid, first heartbreak, and first camera. For many photographers of my generation, earlier generations, and younger generations, there are legions who can say that their first “real camera” was the Pentax K1000. With a production run spanning more than two decades (1976-1997), more than three million of these film SLRs were sold.

Photographs © Todd Vorenkamp

For me, the K1000 was not my first camera. It was my brother’s first camera—Dad bought him one when he took photography classes in high school. I didn’t get into real picture-taking until I was in college and I launched into the photography world with the decidedly more modern Nikon N6006. My brother’s K1000 is unused on his bookshelf and he won’t share it with me, but I stumbled across a K1000 and Vivitar 80-200 f/4 lens at an estate sale, in Rhode Island, for a cool $5. I scooped it up knowing that it was going to turn into an article for B&H and, at $5, I didn’t really care if I got reimbursed. I gave the lens away and went to the B&H Used Store to grab a Pentax 50mm lens for the article.

The K1000

Because of its incredibly long production run (the same duration as the Nikon F3) and the numbers of cameras built, the Pentax K1000 has carved out its place in the history of cameras and photography. It was never pressed into service as a “pro camera,” but professional shooters undoubtedly used these over the years. The K1000 is an incredibly simple and easy-to-use SLR camera—characteristics that made it ideal for students and beginners in photography.

When it comes to SLR cameras, the K1000 is as simple as you can get. There is no On/Off button or switch. The only controls are to set your shutter speed from 1 sec to 1/1000, dial-in your film ISO/ASA from 20-3200, a lever to wind said film and cock the shutter, and a button to release the shutter. Aperture will be controlled by the attached lens. The TTL light meter is built in and is as simple as simple gets—a pointer moves up and down; a break in the black strip at the right side of the viewfinder shows where the needle should rest for “proper” exposure. Just in case you forgot which way is which, a “+” sign is at the top and a “-“ is at the bottom.

The focusing screen is almost devoid of markings. There is a microprism spot focusing aid in the center (the K1000 SE had a split-image rangefinder and microprism). There are no electronic focusing aids, movable focus indicators, histogram overlays, exposure data, or anything. A tiny LR44 battery powers the light meter, which takes average readings across the viewing field. Because you cannot turn it off, leaving the lens cap off and the K1000 on a shelf will drain the battery. All other functions of the camera are manual and mechanical, so you can shoot all day and night long without electricity or batteries (if you don’t need the meter).

The camera’s bayonet mount accepts all Pentax K-mount lenses—even their latest glass.

The first K1000s were made in Japan, then Hong Kong, and the later ones were made in mainland China.

Shooting the K1000

If you are looking to simplify your photography, but are trying to avoid disposable point-and-shoot cameras, the Pentax K1000 will give you the purest, simplest photographic SLR experience you could want. If you find the Pentax’s light meter to be a bit too much technology, you can remove the battery or pick up a Nikon F. But, let’s pretend that the light meter is something you want. Even so, with the Pentax K1000, you won’t have to worry about pixel pitch, confusing menus, autofocus modes, or high ISO noise.

Pick up the K1000 and worry about your focus, aperture, shutter speed, and composition. There is really nothing more to it. There are two sides to this coin. In one sense, the K1000 is liberating. You don’t have to worry about what you forgot in the menus, if you charged your batteries, or if you have dust on your sensor. The opposite side of this is that you constantly feel, because you have time-traveled to the olden days, that you have an anxiety feeling that you might have forgotten some piece of technology. Is the meter working? Should have I brought my Sekonic to verify? Should I just pull my DSLR out and check the exposure with that camera? Did I set the ASA correctly? Did I wind the film correctly? Does this roll of Kodak Porta 400 really only have 36 images, or can I get an extra frame or two out of it? What does that photo that I just took look like?

Also, because technology has been sidelined, there is nothing to assist your photography. There are no WYSIWYG electronic viewfinders, no depth-of-field preview, no histograms to verify exposure, and glowing LCD to show you your instantly developed image. I have been doing photography for a relatively long time, and I have shot many rolls of film, but after having spent so much time with the digital crutch, I always have some trepidation when I drop off a roll of film, especially from the innards of a camera like the Pentax K1000. “Did I get any good shots?” “Will I be able to illustrate this article with something other than crapola?” “Was the meter accurate or is everything going to be way off in exposure?” Thanks, digital photography, for making me wonder if my skills (if I have any) are owed solely to the fact that I can check my work right after I take the photo!

Regardless, I was happy with the results and I hope you enjoy the photos, as well. The Pentax K1000 is a fantastic camera that brings you back to (or to) the world where photography and making photographs was a simple pleasure—before megapixels, before blogs, before online arguments about video codex… before all of the noise that the digital photography world dumped on us and that now keeps some of us in front of our computers or staring at lens test targets instead of going out to make pictures.

If you have never shot a roll of film, or, if part of you misses those days, unearth a Pentax K1000 or buy one for $5 at an estate sale and go make 36 pictures. Develop them and hold them in your hand and show your friends. Put one on the fridge with a magnet. This is what photography is all about.

Was the Pentax K1000 your first camera? Share your K1000 story in the comments section below!

Gantry Plaza State Park

What a gorgeous spot! Sometimes, when you live in a big city, you get comfortable in the areas with which you are familiar. I know where I want to go to see Manhattan from Brooklyn­–it is two blocks from my apartment. Exploring the city is for tourists. I live and work here and have stuff to do!

A freelance photography job took me to Long Island City and I noticed, just behind where I was photographing a waterfront building, there was a beautiful state park with unmatched views of midtown Manhattan across the East River. I abandoned the freelance shoot on three occasions to run to the water and take some photos (please don’t tell my client). I knew that I wanted to return and I figured it would be a great spot for the K1000, and it is less than 10 minutes from B&H Photo via the 7 train that now terminates in Hudson Yards.

The park’s namesakes are restored waterfront gantries that were used to load and unload rail cars onto barges—industrial art that is right in my photographic wheelhouse. The famous gantries are emblazoned with the words “LONG ISLAND.” (Yes, Queens residents, you live on Long Island.) Walking north, the park meanders a bit on the shores of the river and there are ample spaces for spreading out and relaxing on the boardwalk or in grassy fields. The famous neon Pepsi Cola sign lives here, as well.

If you are visiting New York, or a local, and you want to see the sun set behind the spectacular NYC skyline, this place easily ties with Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Promenade for the view. And, by the way, as you can see in these photos taken on a summer weekday, it is way less crowded than the Brooklyn vistas.

For more information:


Nice write up!  I still have my K1000 that I bought new in 1989 or so.  It still takes great photos.  I've also loaned it to students over the years.  My niece and my son both used it to get started in photography.   I've had it serviced once, a few years ago.  The foam rubber around the mirror was starting to disintegrate.   Other than that, it's held up very well.  It's probably because it was the first SLR I ever used or owned, but it's the one I trust for "can't fail" situations.   It was the camera I had in the delivery room when my kids were born, and I once shot a cousin's wedding with it! I'm no pro, but they'd seen me taking family photos with it, and asked me to be their wedding photographer. I've taken my K1000 to Scotland and Hawaii,  shot school projects with it in college and grad school, shot theater productions in the 1990s, and used it to make binders full of b&w negativesof my kids as they've grown up. 

I've tried digital cameras over the years, and thought about selling my K1000 at one point. I never did, thankfully.  Digital just kind of leaves me cold for some reason.  I never stopped shooting film, and it's great to see the younger generations discovering it.  I use digital cameras (mostly my phone these days) for work photos and snapshots.  Having digital available for work makes it possible,  I think, to enjoy shooting film in old cameras just for fun.  The biggest threat to my K1000 is actually my Rolleiflex.  After discovering medium format, it's hard to revert to those tiny 35mm negatives!   But I still put a few rolls of film through the Pentax every year.  It just feels right, like slipping on your favorite old shoes.  Thanks again for the great review of my favorite 35mm camera! 

Hi DeWayne,

Thanks for the kind words and the awesome share of your K1000 experiences. Definitely do NOT sell it!

Great stuff! Keep on shooting!



Great article....havent shot film in over 30 years..went to one of the three camera stores left in connecticut...and snaged a mint k 1000se..very reasonable  cant wait to shoot a roll....younger guys dont know what they are missing...i believe film will make a is great but a film camera makes you think....

Hi Francis,

Thanks for the kind words! Actually, film is making a resurgence. It's pretty cool to see it happening. Those of us with cool mechanical cameras will be at the forefront of the new wave!

I think I have been to two of the three camera stores left in CT...but I shop at B&H. :)



The K1000 is missing some very important features. First it doesn't have a shutter release lock. May not sound like a big deal but you'll waste a few frames of film because of it. Second, it's multiple exposure capability is a laugh. If your want to venture into film with a manual camera, a Nikon FM2 would be a much better choice. It will provide the same experience with far greater capabilities and many more options for expansion.

Hi Glen,

Thanks for reading! I will forward your comments to the Pentax rep immediately. :)



Perhaps that has happened to you, but I can't recall ever losing a frame due to lack of a shutter lock this way, in over 30 years using my K1000.   You have to keep the cap on when the camera is in storage, so should you ever find it has misfired (which i try not to store it with the shutter cocked anyway), it will only shoot a blank frame.  You can depress the rewind release button underneath the camera and just recock the shutter, and go shoot your "missing" frame (this is also how you shoot intentional double exposures - don't understand why that is "a laugh" - not that different from other manual cameras. )  I can't recall the camera ever misfiring this way, though, even when hauling it in a handlebar bag down a bumpy road on my bike.. The lack of a self-timer is the only feature I find really limiting for the K1000.  I'm still looking for one of those add-on spring-driven self timers, but they are scarce these days!

My K1000 was a High School graduation gift from my mom in 1981 that I still have and works great (though I haven't actually loaded a roll of film in a couple of decades to prove that, but I will).  I'm still shooting and loving Pentax DSLRs (K3 & KS2) and for my photographic interests their recent commitment to stick with SLRs is just fine with me (see article link below).  Who knows... maybe their emphasis on SLRs without the "D" means they intend to bring back 35mm film bodies like the K1000 still backward/(forward?) compatible with their K mount lenses.  A few million Millenials and Gen Z kids have been buying Fujifilm Instax cameras and instant film in recent years ... might not be too crazy to make a connection with a new generation.
[Link Removed. See Petapixel "Pentax Reasserts Commitment to SLRs Over Mirrorless in New ‘Brand Vision’"]

Hey Jeff,

Very cool to still have your K1000 and remain a Pentaxian! I have always been a big fan of their digital cameras and enjoyed testing them for Explora. I love their menu systems and user interface—it always seems that the camera wants to help you figure out what its doing and what it thinks you should do! Plus, with the features they have, the Pentax cameras are fantastic values when compared to other brands.

Thanks for stopping by!



There are 2 things I no longer have that I wish I had never gotten rid of: a whole life insurance policy I bought when I was 23 but cashed in when I was 29 because I thought it wasn't growing fast enough, and my Pentax K-1000 that my parents bought for me in 1978, but I sold in 1989 to buy a Yashica that never lived up to what it should have been.  Sigh...  My dad still has his Yashica FX-3 that I can use that he bought shortly after I got my K-1000, and that's a nice camera, too, but it's not quite the same.

Hi David,

I know the feeling. Don't tell him I told you this, but my dad sold his Leica M4 (the one that had his name engraved on it at the factory!) for an M6 that he never loved. My guess is that he hasn't had a good night's sleep since!

Get out there and find a K-1000 for yourself! You never know, it might be the same camera you owned way back when!



I just picked up a K1000 it was on a pallet at an auction with various other things. I paid $5 for the entire palette. 
It looks like it came with everything for a good starter kit.  3 lenses all in their leather cases, 1 long lens and 2 short, the flash box, the camera with the protective leather snap-on case with a woven strap still attached, a bulb brush, and a release cable all neatly packed in a leather case. I don't know much about cameras but this looks old being everything is leather. I have no idea what it is worth but the shutter and winder still function..

Go shoot some film with it, Ken!

My first and only SLR is a Pentax K1000 that I bought in 1976 and it is sitting right next to me on my desk.  I have a new Nikon D7500 and I love it but I will still be carrying the Pentax in my camera bag.  It's bulletproof.

I've carried it all over the world and it has never failed me although I've failed it.  Coming back from Las Vegas through the Arizona desert I saw wild mustangs in the perfect setting.  There were sandstone castles rising behind as a backdrop, a storm was ominously approaching and the sun was just beginning to set.  I crawled on my belly a good 100 yards through cactus and sagebrush so I didn't spook them.

Just as I was about to take the shot, the lead stallion, a beautiful specimen of horseflesh, white and powerful, reared up pawing the air as the first lightning strike of the storm struck.  I depressed the shutter button and nothing.  I was at the end of the roll of film and didn't know it.  The wild horses, spooked by the lightning, disappeared like phantoms and all I have is the image burned into my memory.

Hi William,

Very cool! Thanks for sharing that moment! Honestly, sometimes there are moments that are better captured off of film or sensors...I have a handful (there is a list on my phone) of "missed photos." It is likely that the memories are better than the photos would have been! :)

Thanks so much for reading Explora!

Hey Guys, Can you recommend a good zoom lense and wide angle lense for the K1000? Thank you

Being that most of our Pentax K manual focus lenses live in our Used Department, please contact us via e-mail to so we can review your options.  

A couple things.  I'd be happy to share my K1000 with you.  And Santa (not Dad) got me the camera.  Thanks for the shout out.  Love you buddy

Hi Tyler,

Oh yeah, I forgot Santa Claus was the exclusive distributor for Pentax K1000's for our family. My mistake.

I will have the copy editor amend the text for clarity.

No need to share your K1000...get a roll of film and go take some photos!

Love you, too. Thank you for reading Explora!

Enjoyed this article on the K1000.  My first SLR was a Cosmorex SE which did not require a battery for the meter.  The meter was a CDS photocell unit.  I then had a Chinon CS-4, Pentax Spotmatic and another manual screw mount lens camera.  I still shoot film.  I have two Pentax P30's.   I donated my remaining screw mount cameras a few years ago, all in working condition.  (The Cosmorex was gone for a number of years).  

Hi J,

Thanks for the kind words, sharing your experience, and for reading Explora! See you around!

Great article -- love the comment on not caring about getting reimbursed. I wrote for years for Network World and other IT trade press and was always picking up stuff that I wanted by justifying I needed it for a review... but hardly ever filed for reimbursement if the item was under $20. Glad my wife never totaled up the books/gadgets/cables/ etc.  Just returned from a church 'trash and treasures' sale where after some hard core negotiating returned with a mint K1000, a 55mm f2 Asahi, a 28mm f3.5 Asahi and a Vivitar doubler for $20.  I've always wanted one of these cameras. Now I'll have to figure out what to do with my recently acquired OM-1 and AE-1, lol. 

Hey Robert,

Thank you for the kind words!

That is quite the take for an Andrew Jackson! Nice work! Now it is time for you to go off searching for the cult-ish radioactive Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 (8-element version).

I may or may not have sold the K1000 seen above to the B&H Used Department for a hefty profit after writing this article. :) I do hope it ended up in the hands of a student or another good home where it is seeing regular use.

I enjoyed the camera, but have a couple of other options when I want that manual photo film experience. Stand by for my Nikon FM3a article coming out soon!

Feel free to drop your OM-1 off at B&H so I can do a Classic Cameras article on it!

Great article - I found it when I was researching whether I should sell my K1000 from college.  It made me a bit nostalgic and yes, maybe I do need to go out and shoot a roll of film.

My first camera incidentally was a Kodak Mickey Matic.  My best selfie came off a 110 film cartridge.

Hey Michael,

I am glad you found the article! I might recommend holding on to that K1000 and shooting a roll of film from time to time. It is good for the soul!

Is there such thing as a good selfie? :)

Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by!

Hi, I loved this article, and if you're still reading the comments, would love feedback on some current confusion I'm experiencing. I did a lot of photography as a teenager ('60s-'70s) and young adult, then abandoned my fledgling photo business when I backed away from "client management" issues and got a so-called real job (writer-editor). Fast forward a few decades and I keep trying to get back into it, but am put off by all the (to me, boring) tech education required for mid- or higher-end digital cameras. I tried various lomography options (my vintage Brownies and trendier new ones), and some old and newer Polaroids, but want more. I still have the Minolta SRT101 I bought at 16 years old. Never have I loved a camera like that one. So easy to work with, as you describe the Pentax K1000--I have one of those as well, which I found at a Sal Val for $10, but have never used. For a short time I had a Mamiya C330, which I foolishly got rid of. I want to focus on portraits, natural light, mostly b&w. Where shall I go, what shall I  do? I want the freedom and simplicity you describe! So should I get an 85 or 100mm Rokkor lens and go with my Minolta? Try the Pentax (it has a 35-75 zoom lens, probably not best)? Figure out how to get the #$@% battery cover open on the Nikkormat I picked up along the way? Spring for another Mamiya (probably the price of the Minolta lens)? Looking to buy used. Can you advise? Thanks.

Hi Toni!

I am only reading the comments because you loved the article! :)

Several times a week, I get emails or texts asking, "What digital camera should I buy?" Your query is a welcome change from that!

So many cool options for you...and things to consider! The used camera world is your oyster!

So, if you love your Minolta, go to the B&H Used Store and start adding lenses to your quiver. There are probably several websites where passionate old-school Minolta shooters wax poetically about their favorite glass.

The Pentax zoom is probably "good enough," but you can pick up a really nice older manual focus Pentax 50mm lens for a song these days.

Cameras like the legendary Nikon FM2 and almost-modern mechanical FM3a are solid investments as well.

And, you could go back to medium format...but maybe look at other options like Pentax or Fujifilm options. Even some older Hasselblad medium format cameras are not crazy expensive. If you liked the twin-lens reflex experience, there are other options there as well from Rolleiflex and Yashica.

So many options! If you live near New York City, I would encourage you to come into the store and spend some time in the Used Department trying on different cameras for size.

I doubt this was helpful...but maybe it got you thinking in one direction or another. Let me know if you have follow-up questions!

Cheers, Toni! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words!

Thank you for this wonderful article and stunning photographs. My first film camera was the Pentax K1000 that I bought 2 days after my 19th birthday in 1981 (I actually still had the purchase record in the camera case). It came with two lenses (50mm and 135mm) along with a carrying case. I knew nothing about photography at that time, yet the K1000 made it look like I did. I recently took it out of storage as I have been wanting to dabble again in film photography (now that I have a little knowledge as to how things work) and look forward to letting her show me that she is every bit as sharp now as she was then. 


Thank you for the kind words and the compliments! I am so glad you have recovered your camera from storage and I hope you enjoy it today as much as you did back then! Go make some great photos, Michele!

I started out shooting with an old Kodak 35RF in 1976, and then onto a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash.  I knew I needed a really good camera, so started shopping around.  I looked at a Minolta XD11, an Olympus OM-1, a Konica Autoreflex TC and a Pentax K1000.  I ended up going with the Minolta XD11, which I still have and use, but always wanted that Pentax K1000.  So, about 10 years ago, I found a good deal on a K1000 in good condition and got it.  I just love shooting with it - it is a powerhouse of a camera and you couldn't ask for better photographs!  I'm glad I finally got one.  It may be considered a starter's camera, but it doesn't hold you back if you want to take professional-quality pictures.

Hey Kenneth,

Thanks for the story! I am glad you found the K1000 eventually.

Isn't that the ironic thing about film?...The fact that the camera mattered so much less than it does now. Sure, you can get "pro-quality" images from an entry level digital camera, but film was really a great equalizer in many respects.

Thanks for stopping by!

My 15 year old daughter has fallen in love with photograpy and has asked for a film camera for Christmas. Would this be an appropriate camera for an enthusiastic beginner?

Hey Rhonda,

YES! 1000%. There are a few other candidates...Canon AE-1, Nikon FM2, Olympus OM-1, etc, but the K1000 is known in many circles as the beginner's camera and will make a great gift!

Put a link to the article in the card! :)

My only other suggestion would be, if you are already shooting Nikon, to go with a Nikon SLR as you can share lenses between the film and digital cameras (with some limitations and exceptions).

Good luck!

My first camera was actually a fuji from the late 1970's, but the shutter kept on jamming and my dad replaced it with a K1000 in 1980.  I used that camera until I switched over to digital in 2005.  And I stil have it and film in the freezer.  Even kodachrome!  

I used my K1000 in photography classes in high school and in college.  It never let me down. Then after I switched over to a fully automatic point and shoots I sort of forgot about it.  It was only recently that I pulled it out of storage.  And i was shocked that even after 12 years the light meter still worked!

I recently bought a Leica X U and it sorted of reminded me of the old K1000.  A camera where i played again with the apeture and speed and focus.  Simple is good.  Patrick

Hey Patrick,

Thanks for writing in. Sorry the shutter jammed on your Fujifilm way back when!

I hope you take the K1000 out for a spin soon!

I took Photography at Tillicum Jr High in Bellevue Wa in the early 70's under the best photog/instructor ever, Bob Runyon. He would enter us in the National Scholastic Photo Contest. His students regularly took many of the awards while competing against high school students. The year I competed I won an Honorable Mention in Color Slide with my K1000. I had that camera until losing it in a hotel room theft in Zaragoza Spain. All these years later I still have the print Kodak sent me with the winners certificate. 

Congrats on the accolades, Jon! Sorry some scumbag took you K1000. Have you replaced it?

Thanks for reading!

I had a Spotmatic with screw mount in college , great camera.

Still got it, jon? Thanks for reading!

I didn't know that you could still get 35mm film developed, unless you do it yourself. Is this true?

Kevin O'Brien

Hi Kevin,

There are still a lot of developing labs around the country. Some pharmacies still process film, and several big-box stores do as well. And, you can also send your film to labs for mail-order processing.

It is far from dead! Good luck!

My first camera was indeed a Pentax K1000! I still have it along with a 50mm and a 135mm lens. It still looks like the day I purchased it (1978 I think). I now shoot a Nikon D7100 but every now and again I get the urge to shoot a roll of film! I will NEVER part with it!

Hey David,

Keep on keeping on with that K1000. Awesome that you still have it.

Thanks so much for reading!

My first two cameras were bought as a buy one get one at an old camera co-op in Denver, CO. The first one was a Nikon F3 that had the large film roll holder on the back with 50mm and 85 mm glass. The salesman said I could pick any other camera from the forgotten repair bin in the back. Not knowing much about camera brands, I walked back there and found a Leica M4 rangefinder with a 35mm Leica lens on it. The Leica saw some use as the black finish was "braising" at the edges. I paid $200 for the whole thing. But, both cameras worked flawlessly. I have been hooked ever since. I have bought and sold numerous cameras since then, but I still own both of my original cameras. Now, I just need to find some film again!

Hey GH!

Good news! B&H sells film! 

Thanks for sharing the tale of the $200 Leica and F3 that make the rest of us cry ourselves to sleep. And keep on shooting!

The First SLR of my very own, was a Praktica Nova 1B, with a 50mm F1.8 (i believe it was Meyer-Optik). I bought it second hand in Manhattan, under the Guidence of one of my teachers (Mr T.K. Moy) who brought me to the city on his own time, after School hours! (Of course he had the permission of my parents) I can't belive that a Teacher would care enough, to do that today. We looked in several Camera Shops, but with a bit of haggeling, we got it ftom "The Camera Barn" for $50.00. He saw that I was very serious, and he shopped, as if it was for his own collection!

With no way to count Shutter Actuations, we went by condition, and Mr Moy's judgement was right on, as this camera lasted for several years and many, many perfect exposures. A fuuny story followed years later; Garage & Yard Sales were very common in the early 70's, and my Father would sell anything he could get his hands on. Yes, he sold it several times, and I went looking for it each time, usually paying more than he sold it for at the sales, but I was always lucky enough to get it back. The final time, I was out on assignment, and he forgot who he sold it to, or if he even sold it!

He passed recntly, and I still have hopes of finding it with his things. I've been checking ebay, for one in excellent condiion just in case, but it's hard to find in perfect conditopn now, and when people see "Made in Germany", it automatically gets a very high price. I rarely shoot film, but it means a lot to me! I believe that every Photographer you ask, will always remember his or her very first camera, usually with very fond memories! I do wish that Mr. T.K. Moy was still here today, because I would surely like to say Thank You very, very much for his efforts, his ambition and for his insights!

Hey Joe,

Fantastic story! I had to look up that camera. Super cool.

Funny that he kept selling it and you kept tracking it down!

Thank you for sharing your story. :)

The two 35mm cameras I have retained for over 40 years have been my solid and bulletproof, Pentax K1000, and my Yashica Electro 35. The simplicity and fun of photography with those two cameras is one of the major factors which made my change from my Nikon DSLR system to the Fujifilm X  series mirrorless cameras so easy. 

Today I would not hesitate to recommend a K1000 to anybody looking for a simple, inexpensive camera for shooting 35mm with an SLR.

I have one complaint. Time has taken its toll on the pseudo-leather half-case/cover, and has fully exposed its cardboard/leather print construction.

Hey Leonard,

Good stuff! Sorry you wore the cover off of it...or just wore the cover off the cover!

Thanks for reading!

I was in the military in the early '70's and decided I needed a 35mm SLR like all my friends had.  The big four at the time were Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Minolta.  They were all about the same price ($130) with a 1.4 lens at the BX.  I eliminated Pentax for the inconvenience of the screw mount lenses.  Can't remember why my final decision was the Minolta SRT-101, but I still have it to this day even though I have fallen victim to the conveniences of digital processing, while it sits in quiet solitude.  But in the early '80's I went to a camera repair school in Denver and learned a lot about the innards of electro-mechanical SLR's.  And one camera stood out above all the rest when it came to repair simplicity - the reliable Spotmatic/K1000 series.  For that singular reason alone, whenever asked what 35mm camera I would recommend anyone from beginner to pro, it was always the Pentax.  The simplicity in design of its internal workings meant there was less to go wrong in the first place and on those occasions when one came to the shop, repairs were easy, fast and economical.  This camera should be inducted into the Smithsonian, or the Museum of Modern Art for its timeless, perfected design.

Hey Mike,

Thanks for your service!

Thanks for the repair insight. That camera certainly has simplicity on its side.

Thanks for stopping by!

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