Is the Pentax K1000 Really the Best Student Digital camera?

Pentax K1000 overview

The Pentax K1000 was introduced in 1976 and remained in production right until 1997. An believed 3 million (additionally) units were bought. Creation moved from Japan to Hong Kong in 1978, and then to China in 1990. To maintain labour expenditures small, the Chinese cameras have been made employing a selection of much less expensive elements. Chinese K1000s can be recognised by the absence of the “Asahi” identify and logo on the pentaprism address. The non-Asahi cameras are finest prevented.

What you get with a K1000 is a fully handbook camera with a micro-prism place focusing help. Publicity management is determined by means of a battery-driven integral mild meter that employs an open up aperture, centre-the-needle process. Shutter speeds assortment from 1 to 1/1000th seconds, along with Bulb and a flash X-sync at 1/60th second.

The K1000 accepts all handbook concentrate lenses with the Pentax K bayonet mount (released in 1975), and K-A mount (released in 1983), and vital any subsequent K lenses with a individual aperture ring. In addition, there are a massive selection of independently created Pentax-compatible lenses readily available.

The pursuing is a listing of other manufacturers’ guide 35mm SLR cameras with equivalent specifications, which are normally readily available, and normally less costly. In other phrases, these cameras are wholly manual, with open aperture metering, and a shutter speed selection from 1 to 1/000th seconds. In many circumstances, the substitute cameras have further capabilities, and a larger specification. This list is not exhaustive.


The FTb has pretty much equivalent capabilities but for partial metering (an location corresponding to 12% of the centre of the viewfinder). In addition is has a self-timer, and mirror lock-up. The FTb-N camera extra a viewfinder shutter speed indicator. The lens mount is Canon’s FD bayonet fitting.


The ST705 and ST705w exceeded the specs of the K1000, and benefit from a more rapidly, far more sensitive silicone photo-mobile metering technique, a brighter viewfinder with the addition of a slit-graphic rangefinder, a top pace of 1/1500th sec, self-timer and depth-of-field preview. It is also lesser and lighter.

The ST801 resembles the ST705/w but in addition functions a major pace of 1/2000th sec, and viewfinder match LED variety light metering facts, fairly than a needle pointer.

The lens mount is Fujica’s variant on the M42 screw fitting, and calls for automobile-Fujinon lenses for open up aperture metering.


The SR-T101 (and it is really SR successors) is similarly specified to the K1000, but has the supplemental profit of matrix metering, which is briefly a process applying two different metering cells, positioned at distinct parts of the pentaprism, and which actions the mild slipping on distinct areas of the viewfinder monitor to give a examining that takes into account the distinction in a scene. It also capabilities a viewfinder shown shutter speed, mirror lock-up, depth of field preview, and self-timer. The Lens mount is a Minolta “MC” (meter coupled) bayonet.


The KM is the exact same as K1000 in all respects, apart from that it added benefits from the extra attributes of a self-timer and depth-of-field preview.

The Spotmatic F was the predecessor to the KM, and is related in all respects other than the lens mount is an M42 screw fitting, necessitating SMC Takumar lenses or other manufacturers’ equivalents.


Praktica generated a bewildering quantity of cameras with marginally different requirements, but I think the closest counterpart to the K1000 was the LLC. Lenses use the M42 screw mount.


The Forex-2, Fx-3/Fx-7, and Fx-3/Forex-7 super all suit the K1000 profile, with the later on types utilizing LED viewfinder shows in spot of a match-needle. Like Fujicas, metering is through a faster and more sensitive silicone photo-cell. These cameras have a popularity for dependability. Their strong metallic chassis with plastic outer shell helps make them lighter and smaller sized than the K1000. The lens mount is a Contax/Yashica bayonet.

Other Yashica solutions include things like the Contax cloned FR and Fx-1, with their electronically managed shutters, and viewfinder aperture and shutter pace displays but these versions are not incredibly frequent.


The vital charm of the K1000 lays not so a great deal in the digital camera overall body, but its lens mount procedure and consequent effortless lens availability. That is not to say that the value/availability of other lens units is problematic they can just at times just take a minimal a lot more energy to obtain.

The open up aperture metering used by the K1000 is not an vital element: it is just a wonderful to use. End-down metering cameras (I..e. the lens aperture demands to be shut while a gentle reading is created) are equally appropriate for college students, or any other customers. Certainly, most of the different cameras shown above are also able of stop-down metering.

When cease-down metering digicam bodies are also viewed as as solutions to the K1000, the record of suited candidates gets even larger. Extra than that, several cease-down metering cameras date to an before time when the use of frequent M42 screw mount lens fitting was widespread.

In terms of lens design, more mature lenses have a tendency to heavier and fewer compact. The flip side is that newer lenses can be significantly significantly less sturdy, thanks to their reliance on plastic parts.

In conclusion, I am not a massive fan of the K1000 for the reason that it is so basic, and if I were being searching for a digital camera that achieved the prerequisites of a examine class, the K1000 would be really small down my checklist of opportunities. When relative fees are taken into account, I uncover it absurd that the K1000 can provide for 2 times the selling prices of its outstanding steady-mate, the KM.

Steve Liem

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