The Pentax K1000: A Cult Classic

 The Pentax K1000 was my first real camera. It was given to me by my parents when I was around 11 or 12 years old. This was before Google, YouTube, and the internet. The camera came with a few expired rolls of 12-exposure film. I quickly learned what not to do as I figured out how aperture and shutter speeds worked.


The K1000 is a stunningly simple and clean design. It is one of the most popular film cameras out there and was produced from 1976 until 1997. The K1000 is often recommended to students in film classes because it's simple and reliable. There are no unnecessary features to complicate photography. The camera is mechanical and only uses a battery for the light meter. I find I focus (no pun intended, or was it?) on composition more with the K1000 because I'm not worrying about settings, switches, and dials.

I sold my K1000 as a teenager to put gas in my car, but years later tracked it down and purchased it back. It's the camera on the right in the photo above. The K1000 SE came from the factory with a brown leatherette; a nice touch for a special edition. I still have and use my original K1000. Although it is in perfect working condition, I sent it in to be serviced last year just because it's getting harder to find good people to service these old film cameras. Now it should last me at least another 40 years. Here's a video review of my K1000:


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