Pentax K1000
photo courtesty of Ritz Collectable Cameras
Pentax K1000

For many photographers growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, the Pentax K1000 was the "Volkswagen Beetle" of photography. Millions were made, and they were available just about everywhere. I even remember seeing them in KMart stores in the late 1980s! Complete manual operation and all metal construction make these cameras something of an Old School statement. The design was basically the same as the Spotmatic cameras from the late 1960s, but with a bayonet mount instead of the older M42 screw mount. One thing I've noticed about this camera is the very quick and responsive shutter release. Compared to today's "modern" cameras, a fully-mechanical, manual camera is a revelation to use.

Although I did not specifically look for one of these cameras, I ran across this one at a yard sale for $5. The only thing wrong was (and you can probably guess this...) was that the battery needed replacement. The only lens I have for it is the SMC "M" 50mm f/2 (pictured above), which has proven to be quite sharp at f/5.6 and smaller apertures. It's a small, light lens that peforms quite well overall, and is certainly capable of fine work. I have found it to be a bit soft at the wider apertures, but under normal shooting conditions, I rarely use wider apertures at this focal length.

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2002, 2003 Karl Winkler