Recent Acquisitions: Pentax K1000

If you followed the comments in response to my post about possibly getting a digital SLR then you know that some of my friends recommended against it and recommended getting a fully manual SLR instead. I took their advice and bought a Pentax K1000 on eBay today. I sort of casually bid in a couple of auctions over the last couple of days but I didn’t win those auctions. The auction today (actually, one of many ending today) was for a K1000 body and 2 lenses: a f/2 50mm and a f/2.8 135mm. Considering a body plus the stock f/2 50mm lens had been going for about $100 and I saw good 135mm lenses going for $60 or more, the ~$120 I paid for the whole package seemed like a good deal. Also, I went to a camera store downtown yesterday and they wanted $125 for just the body, so I feel pretty good about the deal I got.  I’d still like to get a 28mm lens, but that’s a little less pressing. Maybe once I get the camera and start taking some pictures, I’ll post my results online for people to take a look.

5 Responses to “Recent Acquisitions: Pentax K1000”

  1. September 4, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    Congrats on the new acquisition. I’m not familiar with the camera, but my friend Albert mentioned that it was an old school camera that many people learn on. Do you plan to do any of the developing or printing yourself?

  2. 2 Colin
    September 5, 2006 at 9:53 am

    Not initially at least. Right now, I’m just trying to capture good pictures on film. Trying to develop things myself as well could make it difficult for me to learn to photograph well because over- or under-exposed prints could be the result of mistakes in development as well as or instead of mistakes in photographing.

    I’ve been looking at development options online. I’d really like to have digital copies of my photos and it seemed like shutterfly had a good service: you pay $4 and you get a postage-paid mailer. You send them your film, they develop it and scan it and send you back the negatives but not any prints. Development plus scanning and postage for $4 seemed like a good deal. However, they only scan the images at 1534×1024 or something, which is not even as high resolution as my little 3MP digital camera. I want at least 6MP resolution otherwise I might was well take my pictures with a crappy digital camera.

    I was at Costco the other day and they offer development plus prints plus a Picture CD but I wasn’t able to figure out the scanning resolution while I was there. I just looked online and I found that Picture CDs provide basically the same resolution as the Shutterfly service. Not cool. Kodak also offers the similarly named Photo CD, which is not the same. These CDs provide pictures in 5 different resolutions, the highest of which is 3072×2048 or, basically, 6MP. That sounds good, but apparently, these CDs cost like $25. So, for the same price as getting 8 rolls of film on a Photo CD, I could buy a decent flat-bed scanner or a cheap film scanner.

    Film scanners used to be priced such that only professionals or “prosumers” would consider them. However, I found a 7200 DPI optical resolution negative/slide scanner for less than $200. It’s the Plustek OpticFilm 7200 Film Scanner. It’s gotten mixed reviews. It seems like a lot of people like it because it’s cheap and apparently works well, but it doesn’t sound like it’s great quality and at least one person said it broke a few months after they got it. You can get a 2-year replacement warranty on it for $30, which seems like a pretty good deal. Even with the warranty, it’s still only like a third of the price of the next cheapest film scanner.

    Anyway, right now I’m not sure what I’ll do. I may just get prints at Costco and worry about digitizing later. I know of a scanner capable of scanning negatives and such at MIT that I can probably use in the short term. As a longer-term solution, I like the idea of a film scanner because they have great resolution and they don’t take up a ton of space on my desk. We’ll have to see if I wind up thinking it makes sense to buy one or ask for one for my birthday or Christmas.

  3. September 5, 2006 at 4:21 pm

    I’d definitely shy away from having a photo finishing place do the scanning for you – its convienent, but there’s definitely a price. And when it comes down to it, it’s just like prints. You’re really only going to have 5-6 shots on a roll that are even worth taking a second look at, so why bother scanning them all?

    I did the “find a film scanner on campus” thing for a year or so, and it worked out really nicely. I then bought an okay (for 2 years ago) flatbed with a transparency adaptor, and that worked out fairly well. It has some problems with slides, but that’s another story.

    Again, I’d have to reccomend the Craigslist. I’ve seen (in the last two weeks) two Nikon Coolscan IVs. The first was priced at $60 – a total steal for a scanner that retailed at 10x that. Keep your eyes open and you’ll be able to find a deal, but don’t be afraid to wait it out. And unless you’re planning on following in my footsteps and shooting some weird film sizes, a dedicated film scanner should be great.

  4. 4 Colin
    September 5, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Andy. I’ll keep my eyes on Craigslist and see what pops up.

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