Friday, October 29, 2010
Asahi PENTAX K1000 vintage camera
History of K1000 Pentax Asahi
The Pentax K1000 (originally marked the Asahi Pentax K1000) is an interchangeable lens, 35 mm film, single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. It was manufactured by Asahi Optical Co., Ltd. (renamed PENTAX Corporation in 2002; acquired by Hoya Corporation in 2008) from 1976 to 1997, originally in Japan. It uses a horizontal travel, rubberized silk cloth focal plane shutter with a speed range of 1/1000 second to 1 second, along with Bulb and a flash X-sync of 1/60 second. It is 91.4 milimetres tall, 143 mm wide, and 48 mm deep, and weighs 620 grams. It was finished in black leather with chrome trim only. (Unlike most SLRs of its generation, there was no all black version.) However, the early production Pentax K1000 SE (see below) bodies had brown leather with chrome trim.
The introductory US list price for the K1000 body with SMC Pentax 55 mm f/2 lens was $299.50. In 1983, a K1000 with SMC Pentax-M 50 mm f/2 lens listed for $220; in 1988, the body only was $210, but $290 with SMC Pentax-A 50 mm f/2; in 1993, the body only was $263. The body plateaued at $315 in 1994 and remained there until discontinued. Note that SLRs usually sold for 30 to 40 percent below list price.
The K1000 is the simplest member of Asahi Optical's Pentax K-series SLRs, whose other members are the Pentax K2, KM, and KX, all introduced in 1975, and the K2 DMD (1976). All have the same basic body design, but with differing feature levels, internal electronics, and external controls and cosmetics.
The K1000's extraordinary longevity makes it a historically significant camera, despite its very ordinary design. The K1000 inexpensive simplicity was a great virtue and earned it an unrivaled popularity as a basic but sturdy workhorse, particularly suited to educating inexperienced photographers. The Pentax K1000 eventually sold over three million units.