Oh I don't disagree with you one bit. I own at least one of each of the K's. To me they are all great cameras and I love using all of them. I even love the poor, misunderstood little MX that has always lived under the shadow of the LX. Probably a name recognition thing. LX sounds luxurious, MX sounds like a missile.
But the only one of that entire batch that people relate to on a name basis is the K1000. And they know that it is simple, tough and easy to use. Heck, the name ooozes simplicity. So they go looking for them, and buying them. They are not Pentax connoisseurs (had to go look that one up ) so they don't recognize or care about the rest.
The K1000 was my first slr so there is a nostalgia factor for me. Some of what I think are my best images I shot with the K1000. I bought my first one in 1982 only one cla, still goes strong, the other in 1988. A few years ago I bought a KX, I was so impressed with it that I got another one. I've owned an MX, LX, K2, all great. The only gripe (minor one) with the LX is I wish the body was a little taller. I don't have large hands, but I do like the larger size of the K1000 and KX. The MX is just too small for me despite its nice viewfinder, although it felt great using it with a winder. The LX for me is that last of the Pentax cameras that I really like. I was never all that impressed with their line up from the early 80's on.
My fondness for Pentax is what lead me to buy a Pentax 6X7 as my first medium format camera, still use and love it.
Last edited by Chrismat; 07-15-2012 at 07:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Me too. 1978. 15 yr old boy with his dad, using his bar mitzvah money to buy his very first "serious" camera, at a shop on Kearny in San Francisco. Lusting over the Nikons but not able to afford. Got the K1000, a 55mm Pentax and a Vivitar 200mm. That body was a tank! Lasted me for years! That shop front is still there though it's been many other types of shops since. Passed it the other day, now siting empty with a big For Lease sign in the window, but the same counter is in the same place as 1978. I looked in the dark windows and pondered nostalgically at the exact spot my dad and I stood 34 years before...
Originally Posted by Chrismat
I do enjoy these K1000 stories. Many, many people have them. Most of us have a favorite camera that we look back on with fond memories, some of us still own them today. It might be a K1000 but it could just as easily be something else entirely. Whichever camera it was, using it became second nature. I have been very fortunate to be able to use a lot of different cameras over the years, Nikon, Sony, Canon, Pentax, Minolta (still have a couple of them), some of them very complex and some of them simple. They have all been very nice cameras. But I still end up returning to my K1000. I have owned mine since 1982 (don't quote me on that, my memory is not what it used to be) and after all these years I am so familiar with it that it becomes just me and my composition when I am using it. Using it is so simple and intuitive that it just fades into the background. It is my most used 35mm camera by a fairly large margin, although the LX is right there in the hunt. I wish I could say that it has made me a great photographer, but of course that isn't so. But I do love using it anyway.
Have a great week y'all. I'll be out with the grandkids shooting film. Hope you will to...shoot film that is.
I've used quite a few K mount Pentax cameras and the MX is my favourite Pentax model, but initially I used two Chinon CE-4 cameras, everything the ME/ME Super should have been small, light and with a better Manual/Automatic control of shutter speeds.
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I have an LX and MX (and a K1000, I'll get to that.)
The LX is slightly bigger than the MX, not "much" bigger at least to my eye, though the difference can feel a bit more. It is indeed louder. I've never noticed anything about the rewind nor that it counts backwards - will have to note that. I don't have winders for either so can't really comment on that.
The LX is almost certainly the "best" camera ever made in K mount. Rugged, sealed, pro level features and metering (if only it had exposure memory lock, something Pentax has never seemed to understand.) The MX is the best manual one I have experience of. In a way I think I like shooting with it better, but the LX is more capable.
The K1000 is not anywhere near the same league. In anything but sales numbers it's far from the best. It's ok, but it has absolutely nothing going for it where the MX doesn't best it, and at typically lower sale prices. Well it might make a better weapon being much bigger and heavier for less capability. It's not a bad basic camera, but I totally fail to see that it's worth anything like the prices it commands when other, better and more capable cameras are available for less money. (Mine was a gift.) A good camera in a way, but the LX and MX are great cameras.
I DO understand the nostalgia and fond memories, certainly. But that doesn't make it a great camera, just the one many people had then. I just bought a Ricoh Singlex TLS not because it's a good camera (it's a heavy mechanical brick, stops down to meter, dim viewfiner) but because it was my first "real" camera. I took a lot of photos with it, some quite good, but that wasn't about the camera. It's just what I had learning, and I wanted another one. I think I paid $28 for it. Fond memories for me, yes! Great camera? Uh, no.
I don't have any experience with the older K series.
The first camera does bring a lot of fond memories. The first camera I ever used was a Petri 7s and it belonged to my uncle. That is why I am always fond of it although I found it's very difficult to find a good used sample of the camera. The first camera I ever owned was the Nikon F2AS bought new back in 77 while making $5 an hour. It was stolen from me and today I found it's too hard to find a good used one at reasonable price. A reasonable price??? Yes something less than what I paid for it back in 77 new.
I believe it is more than just nostalgia. And I do consider the K1000 a great camera.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
I compare it to the Volkswagen. It is not a Porsche and it is not a Ferrari and it was never intended to be. It was intended to be a very inexpensive way to get the masses into a basic motor car. And that is really all it ever was. It should never have stayed in production as long as it did, but it did. It would probably still be out there if our Government hadn't killed it with regulations. The Volkswagen is a great car even though it was not a fancy car with lots of bells and whistles. It is still popular. Not everyone wants one but enough people do that there is a thriving aftermarket for those cars. How many 1964 Ford Fairlanes do you still see driving around compared to VWs? Not many and yet the Fairlane was a far more expensive vehicle at the time.
Ditto the K1000. It was never intended to be a K2, an LX or a Nikon F. But it was designed to be a low priced way to get people using Pentax cameras. And it worked beyond Pentax's wildest dreams. It should never have stayed in production as long as it did, but it did. For all practical purposes it is still in production as the Vivitar V3800N. The only thing that could make the feature set more simple would be to eliminate the meter, and even that was a simple, tried but true, CdS cell. True, a lot of it is due to it being used as a student camera. Face it, it is the people's camera. And because of that, if for no other reason, it qualifies as a great camera. And it is also still popular. Which keeps the prices higher than other cameras from that same time period that had far more features.
There were three things that got my attention in comparing the ME Super to the K1000:
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
- The ME Super has an auto exposure mode. The K1000 doesn't.
- The ME Super has a higher top-end and lower bottom-end shutter speed
- The ME Super showed me the shutter speed in the viewfinder.
The advantage the K1000 had over the ME Super: All shutter speeds were available with no batteries. But then the ME Super used two button cells that lasted for years so that was less of an issue.
Shoot more film.
There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.