Canon AE-1 OR Pentax K-1000

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by SlySniper, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. SlySniper

    SlySniper TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I am faced with a delima here. While in school, I see mostly everyone with a Pentax K-1000 for their photography class. That's why I need your help.


    (Rate 1-10, 1 being the worst, and 10 being the best)

    Rate the AE-1 against the K-1000. ( Lets say they both will have a 50mm lens on them.)

    Quality of pictures;
    Ease of use;
    Availability of parts;
    Battery life;
    Also, do both have "Internal Light Metering"?


    Any other comments?

    Also, the faster you post about this matter the more it will help me.


    Thanks a lot for your help guys. I appreciate it a lot!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :hug::
     
  2. Kent Frost

    Kent Frost TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, I'd flip a coin. I used to own each of those cameras, and the only gripe I have about either of them is that the lubricating oil in Canon AE-1's mirror assembly has a tendency to dry up after enough time, causing it to make a noise that is commonly referred to as the "duck quack". Both units are very solid and both were extremely popular back in their day. However, I would say the Pentax K1000 is quite the tank, and would probably outlast the AE-1.

    If you compare the features of both, you'll find:

    AE-1: Can be used in a "shutter priority" mode. This allows you to choose the shutter speed and the camera will match up the proper aperture setting. It's also able to use a dedicated flash, setting it up for automated use. The Pentax is full-blown manual, so it does not have either of these features.

    Pentax: Only uses a battery for the light meter, allowing you to continue shooting if the battery dies (which takes quite a long time to do; years in most cases), although you'll have to guess your exposure. The AE-1 cannot operate at all without it's battery.

    If you want to learn Photography from the ground up, without letting yourself rely on ANY automated features, the K1000 has my vote. If you're looking for something that you want to use not only in the classroom to learn, and sometimes turn on the auto features so you can concentrate more on composition and to hone your timing skills (sports photos, for example), go for the AE-1.

    You should also do some research on the AE-1 Program. it's similar to the standard AE-1, but it includes many more automated features in addition to the AE-1's auto mode, such as Aperture Priority (you set the F-Stop, it sets the shutter speed). Just be sure that if you're in the market for one, to test it out to make sure it doesn't have the "duck quack" also.
     
  3. tito_gh

    tito_gh TPF Noob!

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    yeah i would flip a coin
    in my case i would prolly go ae-1
     
  4. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Read my advice knowing that I didn't own either of the cameras.

    But I have an A-1 and 2 pentax lenses.

    Kent Frost has very good advice above.

    While the battery does last a long time, it can die. It died on me on vacation and I was left without a camera. Also, if you live in a wet climate the battery will short itself through the moisture and you'll have to replace it more often.

    IMO the pentax glass is better and gives more pleasant bokeh. If you live in europe, it's easier and cheaper to get m42 Carl Zeiss lenses and soviet borsch. I'd definitely get the K1000 if I lived in europe.

    Pentax glass can be used on pentax DLSRs. You're bound to get one sooner or later. Canon manual focus lenses (FD mount) can't be used with their digital cameras.

    If I were learining I'd go with pentax. Their glass is better - especially at the wide end, where canon doesn't have a very strong base.

    For canon FD, the third party lenses are made by vivitar, peesafpoop and coca-cola(R) companies. All of the suck - and if you want quality, you'll have to buy the original canon gear.

    For pentax - your choices are a bit varied. There's the original pentax SMC which is very good. Carl Zeiss made them under different brands. Russia still makes them with some variance in quality, but it's cheap and overall they are very good.

    Canon has motor drives for almost every camera. If you need one you can pick them up for 30-50 bucks. I don't know if pentax has them.

    Canon FD glass is somewhat rarer than pentax, even in the states. I keep looking for a barain short telephoto, but can't find one.

    You might want to look into nikon of some sort. A lot of the pros who shoot digital are selling off their manual focus stuff. I've seen way too many nikons for sale on the last camera show I've been to. (watch nikonians get upset about this) ;)

    In the end it really doesn't matter what camera you have. Put that 50 or 35mm on and don't take it off until you know your exposure, apertures, shutter speeds and depth of field.

    Good luck
     
  5. SlySniper

    SlySniper TPF Noob!

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    Thank you DocFrankenstein and Kent Frost!!:thumbup: :thumbup: Some really good advice.
     
  6. Lol999

    Lol999 TPF Noob!

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    I've owned a K1000 and used an AE-1 and my vote goes with the Pentax for the above reasons. You will learn the aperture/shutter speed relationship so well it becomes second nature. You learn to "pre-meter" a shot so you can just concentrate on focussing when the time comes. Plus, the second hand Pentax fitting lenses are going for small change compared to the Nikon and Canon stuff. Only reason i went for Nikon when I re-kitted was that I always wanted to own one!
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree....

    I own both. Very different cameras each with their advantages and disadvantages.

    The K1000 is a back to basics camera with a very simple practical design. THis is the reason why the K1000 is a very popular student camera. The AE-1 is a newer design than the K1000 which brings additional features.

    Quality of pictures;
    Very subjective... almost completely up to the photographer. Equipment wise, lens will matter more than the lightbox er. camera body.

    Ease of use;
    Both are easy to use. K1000 is simple back to basics manual. The AE-1 has shutter priority.

    Availability of parts;
    Both were very popular and parts are available. I personally wouldn't attempt to fix either one myself. If you are planning to learn camera repair, do it on a spare parts body to realize what you are getting into. The K1000 has less electronics than the AE-1.... due to its older design

    Kmount lenses are readily available for really good prices and they can graduate to present day Pentax bodies.

    Battery life;
    Both are good. Please be aware that the K1000 actually does not require a battery to operate. The battery is only used to drive the matched needle metering.

    Also, do both have "Internal Light Metering"?
    Yes... AE-1 is center weighted ( again newer design ) and the K1000 is full frame.



    Personally, I would take Pentax for the same reasons as lol999. I still shoot with my K1000 and ME.... I enjoy using them quite a bit. My AE-1 and A-1 rarely see usage.
     
  8. SlySniper

    SlySniper TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for your advice Lol999 and usayit.

    What about the ProMaster 2500PK?

    Thanks again!
     
  9. Lol999

    Lol999 TPF Noob!

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    Looks good to me. If it's a cash consideration between this and a Pentax then go for the Promaster. If the standard lens isn't up to much you can get one of the aforementioned Pentax lenses second hand. When you consider some of the cameras we older photographers cut our teeth on it's a pretty good option for a learning tool. don't let photo snobbery affect your decision. A Leica won't make you a great photographer, nor will you learn any faster.

    Lol
     
  10. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I would take the Pentax. Never used a Canon, and I've heard good things about them, but they seem real expensive. I own two K1000s and love them. Bought one used at a local camera shop when they were closing up. Knew the girl behind the counter and she told me that the Pentax was a practically indestructable camera. Bought the other on eBay when I thought I lost my first. Now I have both bodies in my camera bag, one loaded with color film and the other with b&w. They take excellent pictures and are super easy to use. And this is coming from someone that's never taken a lesson on photography. If using with a flash, BTW, make sure you remember to set the shutter speed to sync with the flash. Otherwise you get some strange looking pictures.
     
  11. Kent Frost

    Kent Frost TPF Noob!

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    Promaster lenses, by the way, are actually made by Tamron. Plus, last time I checked, they came with either a 5 or 6 year, OR lifetime warranty. Their camera bodies, however, are all plastic. I would recommend the Pentax K1000 with a K-Mount Promaster 28-80 (or 28-90 if they make those now) zoom lens if you decide to get something beyond the 50/35mm lens.
     
  12. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...175&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

    This one I beleive is a copy of the K1000 internally, maybe with minor upgrades.

    50/1.7 is good enough and for learning purposes sharpness doesn't really matter.

    You might want to pick a new body up, because when buying used you never know where it's been. It could've been a student who used it in a course and ran 20 films through it. It could've been a "family camera" and someone managed to shoot 3 christmases with it for 15 years in a row.

    Or you can be buying a perfect looking camera from a pro, who used the cam in as his workhorse in the studio. And he's been shooting 5 sessions a day with it for 2 years.
     

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