Life goes on, even after the discontinuation of the Pentax K-1000

PentaxK1000.GIF (12527 bytes)For more than two decades, photo instructors in high schools and colleges across the United States told their students that they must own a manually controlled single lens reflex as a prerequisite to taking the class. I've seen the course requirement sheets. Often they specify Pentax K-1000 - sometimes even suggesting that no other camera will do.

It's understandable that instructors recommended the Pentax K-1000, because it was an ideal camera for students to learn the essentials of film-based photography.

It will probably be several years before the word filters out to the farthest corner that Pentax discontinued the K-1000 in 1997 and there are no more to be had. For now, specialty dealers must do two things:

  • Advise students (and instructors) that the K-1000 no longer exists - without being regarded as liars or bait-and-switch specialists.
  • Stock, suggest and sell at least one reasonable alternative.

For the first part, take the portion of your Pentax catalog - or a trade paper announcement - which announced the discontinuation and put it in a small plastic frame near your SLR display.

Then make a check list of the features found (and not found) in the K-1000:

  • shutter speeds from 1 to 1/1000th second
  • manual focus
  • match needle exposure system
  • manual wind and rewind
  • interchangeable lenses using the most common bayonet lens mount
  • no self-timer
  • accepts cable release
  • price under $250

At this time, the appropriate replacement is the Promaster 2500PX.

At this point, all the K-1000s out there are at least 10 years old. Used ones still bring a relatively high price because they are so versatile.

Pentax K-1000 Promaster 2500PX
PentaxK1000.GIF (12527 bytes)
shutter speeds from 1 to 1/1,000th second, B 1 to 1/2,000th second, B
manual focus yes
match needle exposure system diode
manual wind and rewind yes
interchangeable lenses with K mount yes
hot shoe connection for electronic flash hot shoe connection, also has PC connection for studio-type flash
double-exposure possible but not easy double-exposure prevention can be overridden for creative effects
no self-timer has self-timer
accepts cable release yes
street price under $250 under $160

Where to buy the Promaster 2500PX (this information is included for the non-dealers who find their way to this page. Camera dealers presumably know where to buy PRO products if they are eligible)