My Pentax K1000 came to me in poor shape. I was able to revive it enough to shoot a roll of film, and then I put it aside for a long while. There was still a small issue with the lens, and the through-the-lens meter looked dead. Yesterday, I decided to take another look at the camera.
The 50mm f-2 Pentax-M lens was clean and sharp, but the rubber focus ring was loose and slipped at either end of the scale. Looking at the lens more closely I saw that the rubber focus ring could be lifted up and off with a small screwdriver. A couple drops of glue solved the slippage issue.
The light meter problem was also easily diagnosed. Removing three screws allows the camera's bottom plate to come off. Taking out three more little screws frees the battery compartment. Not unexpectedly, the wire to the battery holder was corroded and disconnected. Splicing in an extension to reconnect the wire to the bottom of the battery compartment seemed an intimidating task because of the tiny diameter of the wires. Really nothing to lose, however, so I screwed up my courage, picked up a little Weller soldering kit at ACE Hardware and tackled the job.
Stripping the tiny wires is tricky. If you try to use a knife or a wire stripper, the likely result is that the tiny wires will be destroyed. It turns out, however, that you can just use a lit match to burn off the insulation. I took a short piece of small-diameter wire from an old video card and joined it with my solder gun to the battery holder and the stub of wire from the camera body. My soldering won't win me any ribbons at the county fair, but it was good enough to bring the meter back to life.
I like the uncluttered view through the K1000 finder, and the meter seems to give me the exposure I am looking for better than some of my more sophisticated cameras. I only have a couple of normal K-mount lenses at this point as I gave away my previous K1000 kit with the wide-angle and telephoto lenses. I guess I'll see if I can find a couple more lenses. Even if I decide against keeping the K1000, I could use the lenses with the nice little Pentax ME which is just one step from being fully restored.
Through the generosity of a friend I now have a good kit for the K1000 including 28mm, 50mm and 135mm SMC Pentax lenses. I also added a 2x telextender and a +4 close-up lens.