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Monday, January 25, 2010

My New (Old) Camera

I'm still here! Family matters have demanded my attention for the last couple months and I haven't been able to blog with any regularity. But, things are getting a little more back to normal and I just had to post this little item about my new camera.
Pictured above is what it looks like - this is the actual camera body I bought used on Ebay. It's a Pentax K1000 and it comes with the strap but no lens. I haven't gotten it yet, so the above picture is the actual one that was used on the auction's page to get people interested in it. It got me plenty interested in it! A little story behind why I bought it.
A friend of mine gave me a great little Pentax 28mm wide angle lens, but as it's a K-mount, I didn't have anything that it would fit on. I've been wanting to use it, so I did a little research to see what Pentax cameras it could mount on. I found out that pretty much every Pentax film lens will fit on just about every Pentax film camera they ever made. That's why they've been around so long and why people always remember using a Pentax. The Pentax K1000 was introduced in 1976 and they made it virtually unchanged until 1997! The reason it was so popular is because it is totally a manually-operated camera - no automatic shooting modes. This made it cheap and popular with schools who would buy up bunches of them for beginning photography students. They were easy to master and quite well laid out, even in their simplicity. Another reason I finally bought a used one, (for $20 no less!), was that in 1977 and 1978, when I was looking to make the move into a really good 35mm camera over the ones I had been using, I began to look around for something that would fit my needs. Olumpus had one called the OM, Minolta had a revolutionary camera that would shoot in all operating modes and manual, too, called the XD11. And the Pentax K1000 looked attractive to a 17 year old for it's smaller price. I ended up getting the Minolta XD11, which I have talked about before here on Photo Journey, and the Pentax and Olympus just settled into being what almost was. When I found out that a Pentax K1000 would take the lens I had, I jumped at the chance to finally get the camera I almost bought over 30 years ago! I can't wait for it to arrive so I can start to shoot some film with it. Below is the lens I have that was given to me:

This lens is an expensive and well-made wide angle lens, an SMC Pentax-A 28mm, f/2.8. Another great thing about this lens is that it came with a 2x tele-converter, which I'm sure the original owner purchased so that he could use it in tandem with this wide angle lens and bring the focal length up to the range of a normal, prime lens. 28mm times two equals 56mm, which is well within the range of normal lenses. They run from about 45mm to 58mm and make subjects appear to be normally proportioned on film. So, I'll have a lens that is equal to the normal shooting distance and it can double as a wide angle lens when I want to include more in my frame. I can't wait to try out everything when I get it all together!
Below is what my new camera will look like with the 28mm wide angle lens on it. I have digitally manipulated two different images so that it resembles what my new rig is going to look like. There's nothing quite like shooting with a film camera in the manual mode! One other thing I really like about my new K1000 - it can be used without having to put batteries in it!

April 1st, 2010 update - Here's my new camera:

2 comments:

GhostWheel said...

It's an awesome camera. I first used my buddy's K1000 when I was like 17 on the beach (1985?). As soon as I got out of Navy boot camp, I bought a new one and used it for 13 years, replacing the battery once. Still have it!

HaarFager said...

Hey, that's a great story! It's nice to know fellow Pentax lovers. If you or anyone else would like to see some pictures this camera has taken, I've got some posted online at this link:

Flickr.com - Pentax K1000 Set