Two years ago, I was hardly interested in photography. Had you asked me about film, I could’ve cared less. It wasn’t until I was introduced to a certain camera that I developed the the love for analogue aesthetic that I have today. Long before I learned about Lomography, I had my Pentax K-1000. This was my first step into film photography, and the tool that gave me a new way to see the world.
These days, I always have the LC-Wide in my jacket pocket armed and ready with a roll of film. I love that it’s automatic, but I would have never understood what that meant if I hadn’t started shooting with the Pentax K1000.
The K1000 was given to me as a gift. It originally belonged to my sister, micesc, who was an analogue shooter long before I was. As I was preparing to study abroad, I considered bringing a camera in case I wanted to shoot during my travels. I would’ve settled for a point and shoot digital camera, but after seeing my sister’s first photos, the idea of shooting film intrigued me. As sort of a going away gift, she passed on her favorite camera to me and showed me just how romantic (and, when loading for the first time, scary!) film can be.
The Pentax K1000 is a 35mm full frame SLR. It’s definitely a camera that lets you slow down and really think about what you’re shooting. Meaning everything’s pretty much manual, which is why I think it’s one of the best starter cameras for people really wanting to understand the relationships between apertures, shutter speeds and film ISO ratings.
The Pentax can handle film ISO ranges from 20-3200 (perfect for Redscale XR) with shutter speeds ranging from 1 to 1/1000 of a second. There’s even a B setting, meaning I can open the shutter as long as I need to. The lens I shot with most of the time was a flexible Tokina f/3.5 35-70mm zoom lens, but the original kit lens it usually comes with is an f/2 55mm lens. Regardless of which lens you’ve got on the camera, you’re sure to get amazing results!
The camera taught me everything that I now understand about film speeds and light sensitivity. I don’t think I would’ve appreciated automatic settings if I wasn’t forced to learn about it first. Before I had my first Lomo camera, it was the Pentax K1000 that was with me all the time. It sure was a hassle to lug around everywhere, but in the end I knew it was worth it because of the prints I was getting back. And there was something satisfying about hearing that loud click when I’m taking a photo.
Ever since I started shooting with the K1000, my love for film and my camera collection has grown quite a bit. I was able to branch out and experiment with different films and formats. I saw things differently with the Diana’s square pictures. I discovered how much fun it was to shoot with a Spinner 360. And lately, I’ve been having a glorious time with my LC-Wide. But I’ll never forget my Pentax K1000. My first analogue love and for me, the camera that started it all.
[UPDATE: Two weeks after Nicolas wrote this article, he left the camera on the subway. Hopefully, the person who found it enjoys it and loves it as much as he did, or at least sells it for a decent price!]