Centon K100 + other K1000 copies?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Toralf Lund, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. Toralf Lund

    Toralf Lund Guest

    I came across a "Centon K100" camera in a photo shop the other day, and
    nearly bought it. I ended up not doing it, but I am still tempted. So
    does anyone know anything this camera? Apparently, it's a copy of the
    Pentax K1000, but does anyone have more details? For instance, is this
    just a reverse engineered piece, or next-to-the real thing? What I'm
    driving at is that I know it's happened that when one of the serious
    camera producers discontinues a model, they have simply sold the entire
    production line to some company making "low-cost copies" (or at least,
    so I've been told.) So, could this camera be made with the actual
    production equipment for the K1000? If not, is this the case for any of
    the other K1000 clones?

    Note: I'm not considering this camera as my first or only SLR; I already
    own a Pentax Z-20, but thought it would be fun to have a fully manual,
    really basic camera as well.

    - Toralf
    Toralf Lund, Jul 19, 2004
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  2. Hmm. I don't know of any examples except the Soviet postwar production
    of various Zeiss gear, and that was certainly not voluntary on Carl
    Zeiss's part. More likely is that the original manufacturer shifts
    production to somewhere cheaper like China or Thailand; I think
    something like this happened to the K1000, but they were still

    You can see a scan of the owner's manual at
    <http://www.cybcity.com/caminfo/>. It doesn't look like an exact copy
    of the K1000 (viewable at
    <http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/bodies/K/K1000.html>). Notice that the Pentax
    has the frame number window on top of the wind lever, while the Centon
    has it on the top surface of the body itself. The lens release buttons
    are totally different. There are other differences, but I won't try to
    push the comparison between a diagram and a photograph too
    far. Perhaps most telling is the vertically-running shutter; the
    K1000, based on the Spotmatic series, had a horizontal-travel cloth

    The Centon is probably like the Ricoh Singlex TLS: a camera designed
    with features similar to those of the Pentax Spotmatic, and to use the
    same lenses, but with no commonality.

    From <http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/opinion/html/fmfe10.htm>:

    "Of late, the Nikon FM10 has seen major competition from the
    Chinese-made Centon K100, which is, as its name implies, has the
    Pentax K-mount and is essentially a modernized polycarbonate-bodied
    version of the Pentax K100."
    Stephen H. Westin, Jul 19, 2004
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  3. Toralf Lund

    Chris B Guest

    Actually, I think the K100 is made in the same factory as the K1000 was -
    it's a slightly updated and cheapened version.

    Chris B, Jul 19, 2004
  4. Toralf Lund

    Toralf Guest

    Yes. Maybe I wasn't entirely accurate in my description. I guess the
    typical situation is not that the "serious" companies actually sell or
    give away a production line in the sense that it's disassembled and
    moved to a new location after the model is discontinued, but rather that
    they set it up at another company's site when outsourcing the
    production, and then when the model is no longer produced, this company
    keeps the equipment, and (often) continues using it under their own brand.
    Toralf, Jul 19, 2004
  5. Hmm. But with a different shutter, for starters.
    Stephen H. Westin, Jul 19, 2004
  6. It strikes me that good used K-1000's are so cheap and plentiful, that it's
    not very cost effective to buy a questionable clone when you can get the
    real thing for so little.........Try KEH or eBay for the real thing.......
    William Graham, Jul 19, 2004
  7. Toralf Lund

    C.G. Guest

    I have one for taking places I wouldn't bring an expensive camera. It's small enough to fit in a
    coat pocket, works just fine and it's rugged enough that you don't need to worry about it.


    : Note: I'm not considering this camera as my first or only SLR; I already
    : own a Pentax Z-20, but thought it would be fun to have a fully manual,
    : really basic camera as well.
    : - Toralf
    C.G., Jul 19, 2004
  8. Toralf Lund

    Toralf Lund Guest

    Hmm. It actually seems to me that K-1000s are often somewhat overpriced
    compared to other used cameras (although the cost is still not that
    high.) Also, I somehow like slightly odd equipment like the Centon K100,
    perhaps especially if there is a story behind it along the lines drawn
    up earlier...
    Toralf Lund, Jul 20, 2004
  9. Toralf Lund

    Toralf Lund Guest

    Yes. Exactly. That would be the point.

    BTW, I've also seen mentioned the K200 and K400. Do you (or anyone else)
    happen to know anything about it.
    Toralf Lund, Jul 20, 2004
  10. Oh sure.....I didn't understand that you were interested as a
    collector.....I thought you were out to buy something that you could use
    that took the glass you have or would like to have......I stand corrected...
    William Graham, Jul 20, 2004
  11. Toralf Lund

    Chris B Guest

    Well, you may very well be right. I'm having difficulty finding any proof of
    the K-100/K1000 connection, just that I've definately read somewhere and
    been told that the K-100 is at least based on the K1000. I was sure it was
    built in the same factory and was basically a development of the K1000 which
    appeared after it ceased production.
    Maybe it's just that their features are so alike, as is the name, that
    people just assume that they're the same camera in a different body.

    Chris B, Jul 20, 2004
  12. Isn't it just a copy of the k1000 made in (mainland) China? Many products
    are copycated these days. The Chinese cameras have become mainstream
    items, for example the Seagull Twin Lens reflex cameras.

    It may also be made by the Cosina plant. They've done many things with
    their SLR body, having sold it in various forms as as an Olympus, two
    different Nikons (FM10, FE10) at least one other "well known" brand,
    the Voigtlander line of rangefinder cameras, in 42mm screw mount
    under their own brand, and an Epson branded digital rangefinder
    camera prototype.

    I expect that the reason they have not come out with a Canon FD (pre EOS)
    mount camera is that the AE1 and AE1-P sold so well that there are millions
    sitting on shelves and they will fill any demand for a long time.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jul 20, 2004
  13. Toralf Lund

    Toralf Lund Guest

    [ ... ]
    Actually, I wanted both... But maybe getting something that's both
    "interesting" and usable is to much to ask for... Except the K1000 *is*
    of course in a sense just that. If I just want usability and value for
    money, though, I think a different (used) Pentax model makes more sense.

    - Toralf
    Toralf Lund, Jul 21, 2004
  14. Toralf Lund

    Nick Zentena Guest

    If you wanted a non-auto focus camera to use then the value isn't in the
    Pentax line it's in the non-pentax K mounts. For the price of a K1000 you
    might get 3 Ricoh XR-Ms. Or if you wanted totally manual a similar number of
    the KR-5/10s. The XR-M certainly comes with more features then the K1000 and
    I think the KR-10 does to.

    Nick Zentena, Jul 21, 2004
  15. Toralf Lund

    Toralf Lund Guest

    It could be. But to return to my original point, in addition to copying
    a lot, the chinse are also often making the real thing for "western"
    companies. Actually, I'm not *that* familiar with the camera industry,
    but I do know that China is starting to get pretty big on consumer
    electronics, including cell-phones etc. And like I said, when the
    production for whoever-it-is stops, the product may survive under a
    different name.
    Yes. I've seen mentioned a link link between Centon and Cosina - but
    that may also be mere speculation.

    Also, I've heard from fairly reliable sources that the Centon DF-300,
    which is based on the Minolta X-300, is indeed produced with Minolta's
    orignal equipment.

    Actually, the K100 and DF-300 look rather similar on pictures at least,
    so it could be that they are essentially the same camera...
    Really? Did they make that? I've read a bit about it...
    Toralf Lund, Jul 21, 2004
  16. Well, my choice would be an MX, but that's pricey. An ME Super is a
    bit less. Other models don't appeal to me so much (e.g. P3/P30, and
    especially the auto-only ME/MV/MG series). Perhaps a KX or K2, with more
    content than the K1000, but not as prized?

    I don't have experience with the non-Pentax K-mount bodies, but kinda like
    the Fujica ST701 and siblings in the screw-mount category.
    Stephen H. Westin, Jul 21, 2004
  17. Toralf Lund

    Chris B Guest

    Odd, isn't it? I have a K2 and I can't think why I'd want to trade down to a
    K1000 - plus, K2's are rarer yet the K1000 is still more sought after.
    Actually, the MX would be my choice as well. The ME Super is always a solid
    choice (if a little down on features) and can be picked up quite cheaply
    these days. The P30 is a decent camera, really - it doesn't have the visual
    appeal of an older, metal-body camera (frankly, it looks cheap and nasty) -
    but it does have DOF preview and very easy-to-use operation. Not sure about
    the MV and MG, but the ME isn't that bad as it does provide exposure
    compensation of +/- 2 stops - which is the most your average shooter would
    need using auto on an average day.
    Of course, my top choice would be an LX...

    Chris B, Jul 21, 2004
  18. Yes....A month or so ago there was another thread about a good Pentax
    available on the used market.....A three digit number designation, like 365
    or something like that....Several people recommended it.......
    William Graham, Jul 21, 2004
  19. I found the email with the other pentax recommendation.....Here it is:

    KEH has one for sale right now in excellent-plus condition for about
    William Graham, Jul 21, 2004
  20. Toralf Lund

    Toralf Lund Guest

    Yes. Maybe I ought to get my hands on one of those. It actually has a
    sentimental value to me, as this was probably the camera I wanted the most
    when I considered buying an SLR about 15 years ago, but eventually found
    that couldn't afford one...

    - Toralf
    Toralf Lund, Jul 22, 2004
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