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Don't buy the legend!

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Don't buy a K1000


Members' Blogs: Don't buy the legend!

Posted by: Dangermouse on Mon Feb 27, 2012 14:38   (2215 Reads)
I'm going to express an opinion here which will put me at odds with most traditionalist photography tutors:

Don't buy a K1000!
I know they're popular due to their rugged build and incredibly simple operation, but at the same time they're heavy, lack such basic things as a self timer and will now need a proper service to get the best results, especially if you buy a wardrobe find on ebay which has sat unused for a decade or longer.

Yes it's important to learn the basics, and having a fully manual mode is very helpful for serious photography (much simpler than exposure compensation buttons), but there are much better cameras out there. Go a little earlier and buy a good KX, then you get a more informative viewfinder displaying both shutter speed and aperture, self timer, DOF preview and mirror lock-up. The MX offers much the same, minus MLU but with the options to add a motor winder, databack and different focussing screens in a smaller package. An MX with the 40mm pancake lens will fit into a large pocket, which the K1000 hasn't a hope of managing.

Or if you're considering getting into film and don't want to spend much, look at a P30.

The P30, P30n and P30t are rather unloved by the classic camera brigade and as a result can be had very cheaply indeed. They do use plastic panels and need batteries to work, but they're relatively small unobtrusive cameras. The shutter is an electronic one rather than the rubberised silk of the K1000, so they don't tend to go out of adjustment as easily. Despite appearances these are tough little cameras with a metal chassis, so you can safely hang a large lens from the front without worrying about breaking anything.

Shutter speeds are shown in the viewfinder, with the correct speed flashing and the selected speed shown with a steady LED. Just point where you want to meter and turn the dial until you only have a steady LED. Because it's illuminated the camera is easier to use in uneven or low lighting than a K1000, and you're still in fully manual mode.

Buy a P30n or P30t and you get Av mode. Don't want it? Just turn the dial from the A setting. You get manual lock, DOF preview and a self timer, although earlier P30 models lack a socket for a remote shutter release.

In other words it's fully manual, lighter than a K1000, smaller and less obtrusive. Drop it in a puddle and you can probably replace it for less than a few beers. Leave the K1000s to the collectors and get more for your money!
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