The Pentax K1000 35mm Film SLR Camera

The Pentax K1000 was manufactured from 1976 to 1997. With more than 3 million sold, K1000’s are still affordable and easy to find.

Due to being a durable camera, the K1000 was a popular model for photography students.

The K1000 is a manual focus 35mm film SLR camera that has completely manual controls. There is a built-in cadmium sulfide (CdS) light meter. The shutter will fire without the need of a battery.

For my thoughts on the camera you can see this Pentax K1000 review.

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Pentax K-mount on a K1000

There is an abundance of K-mount lenses available for the K1000. There are many affordable primes in good condition available. Here is a page dedicated to the discussion of the best Pentax K1000 lenses.

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Pentax K1000 Battery Compartment cover door

The Pentax K1000 needs a SR44, AG13, LR44 or equivalent battery to power the light meter. The shutter is mechanical, so no power is required for it to operate. Exposure can be estimated by using the sunny 16 rule.

No battery grip or power winder was made for the K1000.

The Pentax K1000 was manufactured in 3 different countries. This shows how popular the camera was for such a long period of time.

The first cameras were Made in Japan from 1975 - 1978.

Second type were Assembled in Hong Kong from 6/1978 - 1990.

The third type switch from metal to plastic housings. They were Assembled in China from 11/1990 - 1997.

Asahi Optical Historical Club

The K1000 often comes up in discussions about film cameras for beginners. The most common comparison will be the Canon AE-1 vs Pentax K1000. This is because both cameras sold well and have similar price points on the used market.

The K1000 uses a horizontal focal plane shutter. Shutter speeds range from 1 second to 1/1000 of a second. There is a bulb mode.

The flash sync speed (X-sync) is 1/60 of a second. The accessory shoe has a hot shoe that is compatible with flashes that use a center fire pin to trigger.

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35mm Film for the Pentax K1000

The K1000 uses 35mm film. Both color or black and white film will work. Rolls of film can be purchased with 12, 24, or 36 exposures.

Exact film emulsions are difficult to recommend because what is locally available varies so much. I would recommend Kodak Tri-X 400, Ilford HP5+, or Kodak Portra 400.

Here are instructions on how to load film into the Pentax K1000 and how to rewind and remove film from the Pentax K1000.

The K1000 uses a pentaprism with a 0.88x magnification. Neither the viewfinder or focusing screen can be changed. There is no diopter correction or depth-of-field preview.

TTL center-weighted light meter using a CdS diode. Metering range of 3 - 18 EV. No exposure compensation.

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