I have several lenses for my old Pentax K1000 35 MM camera. I want to get a SLR body can I use these lenses on a Pentax DSLR? If so what model? I do not want to go to the expense of buying a new camera and lenses as I like these lenses.


2 Answers 2


Kmount lenses that could be used on a Pentax K1000 can be used on any current or recent 35mm style DSLR. [1]

Totally manual lenses (without the "A" auto-aperture setting, my require adjusting the menu settings to "allow use of aperture ring". Because recent Pentax DSLR's do not have viewfinders that enhance manual focusing, the LCD panel and live view may provide better results than the eye piece in low light. [2] Because the K1000 used the 24x36mm (35mm) film format, any lens that did not substantially vignette on your K1000 will cover all the Pentax DSLR's APS-C sensors and those with "full frame" sensors as well.

What the old lenses are unlikely to have is weather/dust sealing and because current Pentax DSLR's come with weather/dust sealing standard (even the least expensive), it may be worth considering adding one of the weather resistant ("WR") kit lenses to your bag to broaden the range of conditions in which you can shoot. Several of the "WR" lenses are inexpensive new and used.

[1]: the Pentax 645 medium format DSLR's are another matter and present substantial tradeoffs, but you probably won't be buying one of those if cost is a consideration.

[2]: On the other hand, I've achieved acceptable results manually focusing in daylight using the eye-piece.


All Pentax DSLRs can mount your lenses (Pentax Bayonet mount).

However ...

The sensor size on most Pentax DSLRs is ASP-C, which is smaller than a 35mm frame, so your lenses have an effective focal length (for field of view purposes) of 1.5x the stated focal length.

So a 50mm focal length on a crop frame (ASP-C) DSLR would give the same field of view as an 75mm focal length would on your K1000.

Also note that Pentax DSLRs (or any DSLRs as standard) do not have a split-focus-screen to aid manual focus. You can get third party split focus screens (had one on my K10D), but they're not standard.

If you particularly want to use the lenses at their "native" focal length (no crop frame effect) then you have basically three options :

  • Get the only full frame Pentax DSLR - the K-1
  • Get a mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor and use a focal length reducer adapter for Pentax K mount lenses. This has advantages and disadvantages.
  • Get a full frame Canon DSLR and use an adapter to mount the Pentax lenses to it.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, metering works but is annoying, as it is not always-on. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 20:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Advice to use Canon DSLR is downright dangerous, could damage camera - K-mount lenses (not just Pentaxes) have aperture lever, used to close the aperture. That lever protrudes quite a bit into the camera body, on K-mount camera, that is not a problem, but on Canon EF-mount full-frame cameras will sooner or later lead to a stuck mirror. In that case, the lens has to be forcedly removed from the body, and that can break the mirror actuation mechanism in the camera. There are three solutions: don't use Canon FF DSLR, shave camera mirror, or shave lens aperture lever. \$\endgroup\$
    – elkarrde
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 22:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Downvoted but then changed my mind due to effective focal length language. Using focal length multiplications factor and other such language has introduced enormous confusion where none is necessary. It is much more precise and accurate to say effective field of view, because that is really what changes with differences in sensor size, not focal length. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 1:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @elkarrde I've never heard of that issue before (with Canon DSLRs mounting Pentax lenses via adapters). I'll happily update the answer if you can explain where or how you came across this (i.e. just want to make sure it's not an urban myth). Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 7:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @StephenG that's happening only on full-frame Canon DSLRs, not on APS-C models - FF models have a bigger mirror. Tested the theory myself, got mirror stuck on aperture lever of my Pentax DA 18-55 lens. Luckily, I had no K-EF adapter, I just held the lens on the mount, so no issues with removing the lens. Also, Super-Takumar 50/1.4 rear element blocks the mirror when on infinity, I even had issues with my copy of Helios 44M - but had no issues with Helios 44-2. Take care with Mir-1 37/2.8 lens, too, due to the same problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – elkarrde
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 16:19

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