How to Take Apart a Pentax K1000

Updated February 21, 2017

The Pentax K1000, produced by Asahi Pentax from 1976 to 1997, was a fully mechanical single lens reflex camera. Using only one LR44 battery to power its light meter, the camera was operated manually with no automatic exposure features. An ideal student camera, the K1000 has achieved cult status over the years for its rugged simplicity and intuitive design. Camera overhaul and internal repairs are to be expected for a camera as old as the K1000.

Insert a small coin into the slotted battery cover on the underside of the camera body and turn counterclockwise. Remove the battery. Set the battery and cover in a small dish off to the side.

Remove the three screws on the underside of the camera body by turning counterclockwise with a micro screwdriver. Place the screws in the small dish. The middle screw, located near the tripod socket, will have a slightly smaller head than the other two side screws.

Pull the bottom plate away from the camera body.

Lift out the small plastic dust seal, located around the small metal film rewind button at the bottom of the camera, and set it in the small dish.

Locate the frame counter at the centre of the film advance lever. Loosen and remove the three slotted screws holding the frame counter cover in place. Lift the cover off and set it in a second small dish along with the three screws. Loosen the left-hand screw at the centre of the counter dial by rotating it clockwise. Set this screw and the counter dial in the second small dish.

Remove the outer retaining ring, also with a left-hand thread, by turning it clockwise with a micro spanner. Lift off the circular bushing, called the counter housing, and set it in the second dish with the retaining ring. Loosen and remove the three screws holding the bayonet retaining spring. Lift off the spring along with the film advance lever and set both pieces in the second dish.

Loosen the screw on the outside of the shutter speed/film speed selector knob. Lift off the knob's top plate, underlying film speed dial and compression spring and set these pieces in the second dish.

Pull up on the film rewind lever to open the camera back. Push the rewind lever back down and wedge the blade of a butter knife into the lever's fork. Hold the fork firmly in place as you rotate the lever counterclockwise. Remove the rewind lever assembly and place it in the second dish.

Unscrew the retaining ring, located just under the rewind lever assembly, using your micro spanner. Lift out the retaining ring, along with the loose spacer on top of the rewind shaft, and place them in the second dish.

Remove the three screws that secure the top plate. One is near the shutter release button, another near the wind lever and the last near the rewind shaft.

Lift off the top plate gently. Take care not to lose the cable release pin located underneath the shutter release button. It is a loose part, so place it in the second dish with the other pieces.

Remove the plastic decorator strip, located at the front of the camera's prism, and set it in the second dish.

Proceed with all necessary repairs or adjustments.


Perform the above steps in reverse order to reassemble your K1000. When replacing the parts of the speed knob, refer to the service manual in the References section for important reassembly details. Work in a brightly lit area to preserve your eyesight and make disassembly simpler. You will be removing very small parts, which can be easily lost in shadow.


Do not attempt to disassemble or perform extensive maintenance on your K1000 if you are inexperienced with camera mechanics.

Things You'll Need

  • Small coin
  • Two small dishes
  • Micro screwdriver set (slotted and Phillips)
  • Micro spanner (designated for camera repair)
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About the Author

Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.