King Pacer 35K (sold under Boots)

This week I went on a photo walk around Leeds with a new friend. As it was a place I could return to easily I decided to use a camera from my “to try” box. This one seemed to be the cleanest and the easiest to check if it was working. Plus it was obvious I didn’t need to change any seals.

The camera was produced around 1972 and is of a very light, plastic and brushed metal construction. It doesn’t need batteries and the selenium cell grid on the front is purely for show, there is no light meter. There is another version, the LK with a light meter so my guess is that they used the same moulding for the body. When I first picked up the camera, I assumed it would say “Made in Hong Kong”, but it actually said, “Western Germany”.

The camera has very few shooting options and uses an EV system. Basically, if you want a wider aperture you have to accept a slower shutter speed. The choices on the lens barrel are:

f2.8 – 1/30 or 1/60
f4 – 1/60
f5.6 – 1/60 or 1/125
f8 – 1/125
f11 – 1/125 or 1/300
f16 – 1/300

There is also a focus dial on the front of the 40mm lens which starts at 1m. And that’s it, a basic manual point and shoot camera.

Luckily, tucked in the camera case were some pages from the manual which show that the camera was sold in the UK via Boots. Here are the pages I have.

I didn’t expect much from it, but I was wrong and I really enjoyed using it. I loaded it with a part used roll of FP4 and set a base meter reading of f8 1/125th then adjusted it for sunny or cloudy light conditions. If I was inside I set it right down to the lowest of f2.8 and 1/30th. It is easy to remember what I shot at as there are limited choices.

Here are the results from that roll.

What a cracking little camera and lens. AND the best thing is that these cameras are soooo cheap, even the LK version with an uncoupled light meter is cheap. I read that this camera was also sold as the Regula Picca C, that version is more expensive for some reason. Anyway, I say if you see one, snap it up.