What Battery does the Pentax K1000 use? (Everything you need to know)

It is not always easy to find the right battery for older film cameras, some are hard to come by others are very expensive as they have very few use cases nowadays. I hope this short article will help you to find the right battery for your Pentax K1000 and answer all of the other questions you have about this topic.

The right battery for the Pentax K1000 is a 1.5-volt LR44 alkaline battery or an SR44 silver-oxide battery, equivalents are also possible. An affordable battery that I can recommend is this one here from Amazon.

If you prefer a different store you will also be able to find them on eBay or B&H. Many local retailers, gas stations, or convenience stores have such batteries in their product range so you won’t have a hard time finding one.

Does the Pentax K1000 need a battery?

No, the Pentax K1000 does not need a battery in order to work and take pictures. However, a battery is required if you want to make use of the built-in light meter. If you prefer handheld light meters anyways or no light meters at all there is no requirement for buying a battery for the Pentax K1000.

If you decide to go completely without a light meter, I recommend checking out the Sunny 16 rule. It is always handy to get familiarized with this rule, so you should definitely give it a try if you have no battery at hand.

What batteries should you use for your Pentax K1000?

In their manual Pentax states that the K1000 is “Powered with one 1.5V alkaline (LR44) or silver oxide (SG13/SR44) battery”. But as it is with these types of button cell batteries, there are many exactly identical battery types with different names. The great difference you should care about is alkaline versus silver oxide batteries.

For film cameras and especially light meters, you should always use a silver oxide battery if you can get hold of one. The reason for that is, that the voltage of alkaline batteries will slowly decline over time as the battery discharges.

The voltage of silver oxide batteries on the other hand will stay the same until they are almost completely discharged. The stability of voltage over the battery’s lifetime is extremely important to guarantee the constant accuracy that is needed in a light meter.

Where can you get a Battery for the Pentax K1000?

You can find this type of battery about everywhere, from Online Stores to local retailers or specialized photo & video dealers. To help you with the buying decision I compiled a list of both types of batteries and their most common names. Prices are pretty low and very similar, you can find the most common and recommended model in the second column. The manufacturers have different names for their models, but they usually state on their packaging whether the battery is SR44 or LR44 compatible.

Battery TypeMost Common (Recommended)Other Common Names
Silver Oxide(SR44) Duracell 303/357/76 SR44, SR44SW, 303, 357, SG13
Alkaline (LR44) Duracell 76 AA76, AG13, L1154, LR1154, 157, L1154H, LR44G, LR44GD, LR44H

How long does the Pentax K1000 Battery last?

According to most Pentax K1000 users, the battery will last between 1 to 2 years with regular use. At the current price and size of the required batteries, it should be always easy to keep a spare one at hand.

In order to maximize the lifespan of your batteries you should always remember to keep the lens cap on when not using your Pentax K1000. As the camera does not have a dedicated switch for turning the light meter off, it will constantly be in use as long as light falls into your lens which will drain the batteries more quickly. Another good tip here is to go for the silver oxide batteries, they not only provide a more stable voltage but also feature a bigger capacity.

How to replace the Pentax K1000 battery

Replacing the battery of your Pentax K1000 is pretty easy, you just need a coin, screwdriver, or something similar that will help you to unscrew the battery compartment that is located at the bottom of the camera body.

1. Step – Unscrew the battery chamber by using your tool of choice

The original photo guide from the Pentax K1000 manual

2. Step – Insert your new battery cell with the positive (indicated by a “+” sign) side facing out

3. Step – Screw on the battery compartment screw, test the battery and you’re good to go. In case you are wondering how to test it keep on reading.

How do you Check the Battery status of the Pentax K1000?

The battery check is another helpful thing to know. In order to test the Pentax K1000s battery you need to do the following:

  1. Set the shutter speed dial to B (for bulb) position
  2. Set the ASA dial of your camera to ASA 100
  3. Now look into the view finder and watch the meter needle.

If the needle is in an “up” position and is keeping steady, your battery is still good. If this is not the case you should replace the battery. It is recommended to regularly check it, so you can be sure that the light meter is correctly working. Another good sign of a worn-out battery is that the light meter does not move at all or that it moves slowly as soon as you remove the lens cap.

Why does my Pentax K1000 battery drain so fast?

Occasionally people report that their film camera battery is draining extremely fast. There are a couple of reasons for that, which we will list below.

The Cameras Battery is exposed to very cold weather

Storing your camera in the car or in a backpack while it is freezing outside will often cause this problem. The cold reduces the battery’s power output and it will not function properly anymore. Storing the batteries close to your body and inserting them just before shooting will help to avoid this problem.

Reduced power output is only a temporary problem, once the battery gets back to a normal temperature it should be fine again.

You are not covering the lens when the camera is not in use

As mentioned earlier this can cause battery drain, as the Pentax K1000 does not have a switch for turning it off, and the light meter will continuously be in use. Especially in changing light conditions, this can drain your battery very quickly.

Your battery compartment is corroded

Corrosion will cause the battery to drain quicker as a higher current is required to bring the power from the battery through to the camera. You can try cleaning the compartment with vinegar or lemon juice and see if that helps. Leaking batteries often cause this, so you should always remove them if the camera is stored for a longer period of time.