Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Regular Column On DMC-365: "Skeletons from the Closet" - Using and Reviewing Cameras From My Collection

Now that I've officially completed my first year running DMC-365, it's time to freshen it up a bit. I'm still working on a list of ideas, but have one or two that I want to get started right away.
This one will be called "Skeletons from the Closet," meaning that I'll pull out some old favorite cameras from my collection (which literally is stored in a closet) over the coming year. In fact, my plan is to feature a different camera each month. I will write at least two posts on each camera - one introducing the camera of the month, and a follow-up, showing some of the images that I captured, and reviewing my thoughts on using the camera. Since these are film cameras, and I like to mail my film to The Darkroom ( for processing, the follow-up will normally come out mid month, the month after I use the camera. So, you can expect the first results around February 15.
To kick it off, for the month of January, I'm going back to where it all started. The Pentax K1000. Not just any K1000, this specific one. My parents bought it for me when I was in sixth grade, which must have been 1977. The K1000 came out in 1976. This camera moved across the country with me multiple times, and finally ended up with an old friend of mine during my 20 year hiatus from serious photography.
A couple of years back, my daughter asked about my first camera. The K1000 was my first serious camera, after a Kodak 126 Instamatic. On a whim, I called up my friend to see if he still had it. Not only did he have it, he was still using it. The meter was not working, but otherwise it was fully functional. I had him send it to me, and sent him an old Ricoh to use instead.
As soon as I got it back, I sent it off to Eric Hendrickson, Pentax Guru, for a CLA. Now it works as well as new. By the way, Eric is a great guy, and if you need a Pentax SLR serviced, you should contact him at
Anyway, here's my first skeleton from the closet for 2013:
My normal lens back in the day was a 50mm f1.7 like that one shown above. I had to buy this one to replace the cheapo zoom that had made its way onto the camera over the years. The 50/1.7 is an amazingly good lens.
I may also shoot with another lens or two, most likely the 135mm f2.5 that I recently picked up for next to nothing.
So, wish me luck on this project! I have some real old beauties in store for the coming months.