This Stunning Burgundy Pentax K1000 Has a Story Behind It

The Vintage series involves us scouring eBay in search of lusty, rare, and unique photography gear.

I don’t know how a true Pentax fan could resist this gorgeous Pentax K1000 camera. The Pentax K1000 was the standard for educational institutions for many years. Lots of photographers learned on them. And they’re all over eBay pretty cheaply. But it’s rare to find a precious gem like this Burgundy Pentax K1000. And best of all, it’s still at an affordable price. It begs the question as to why Pentax hasn’t made custom, cool colors for the Pentax K-1 Mk II. Years ago, the company used to produce its cameras in so many different colors. It helped make them really cool. Limited editions always get lots of praise and often get bought up quickly. Of course, this isn’t really a limited edition per se. Instead, it was restored and reskinned.

According to the listing, there is minor wear on this camera. While it’s not unused, there are lots of cool things about it. A school’s name is engraved on it. Specifically, we’re talking about Georges P. Vanier Secondary School in Canada. That probably means that some student-owned it at one point. I can imagine a student photographer shooting an assignment with it. Then staying after school to use the darkroom. Lots of photographers fell in love with the art form when they saw their images come alive before them. It’s nice to know that it served a student and didn’t get thrown in the trash after some time. Instead, this camera evolved into something gorgeous. We hope that the pupil who trained with it accomplished something similar. Further, the camera works fine. A battery is needed for the light meter to work. And that’s apparently working just fine. Being a mostly mechanical camera, though, the K1000 won’t have an issue if the battery dies. However, it could use some new light seals. That’s easy enough to do.

But again, the main draw here is the beautiful burgundy leather.

If you’ve been considering a Pentax K1000 for a while, this is an extra reason to buy one. These cameras are super reliable and super simple to use. Students trained with them. They were used, abused, and always kept coming. More importantly, they were cheap. And unlike the Canon AE-1, which was also popular, it was properly made of metal. That’s right, the AE-1 was actually made of a type of plastic.

These cameras use the Pentax K mount. And a lot of lenses are available for it. It’s not an autofocus camera, so it’s better to reach for lots of older Pentax lenses. The 43mm immediately comes to mind. That thing is all sorts of beautiful. It’s on our list of every camera a Pentaxian should have. Specifically, we state:

“Among the most recommended Pentax film cameras for analog photography beginners, the low cost, ruggedness, and simplicity of the K1000 has earned it extraordinary longevity. It now also enjoys the status of being a historically significant camera, popular as a basic yet sturdy workhorse. Introduced in 1976, the K1000 is the simplest of the K-series 35mm SLR cameras, being an almost all metal camera with manual focus, manual exposure control, and mechanical controls. It has a horizontal travel, a rubberized silk cloth focal-plane shutter with a top shutter speed of 1/1000 sec. It only needs a battery for the built-in full scene averaging light meter.”

Personally speaking, I considered buying it. But Lords knows I’ve gone down every camera brand route at least twice.

All images from the listing are from the seller, nevermore101 

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.