I recently did a poll in a few different facebook photography groups. The average amount spent on a DSLR kit was $1500. Given, some people stated they spent $4,000 or $5,000 on their last DSLR kit while others spend $500 to $800.

Do you want to get into photography and cannot afford to spend $1500 or even $1000 on a camera and lens. Maybe you cannot even afford $800… No worries… you can get professional looking images for $400 or less. 

Introducing the Pentax K1000… 

I picked up this camera and 35mm f2.8 lens for $50. Both are in good working condition and the lens is in near mint condition. This Kentmere ISO 400 film can be had for around $3 per roll.

Yes, you’ll need some extras… if you want to keep it on the cheap still you’ll need to purchase film developer,stop bath (some do without this), and fixer as well as a tank and reel and a scanner. I picked up a Canon canoscan 9000F mark II on sale for around $150. Even when. Otherwise on sale it can be had for around $169 to $179 on Amazon.

If you don’t want to get on the developing side of things there are other options as well. There are still labs that will develop and scan your film into digital files for around $20 per roll. Some labs are less, some are more. Another option is you can scan yourself and get the labs to develop the film for around $6 per rolls.
So for under an intial $400 or less you can start to make high quality professional looking photos, given you know exposure as this is an all manual camera. But hey.. even if you don’t know exposure you’re not going to make the best images possible, even on digital. There are also older film cameras that do offer some auto settings and can be had for not much more and maybe even less than this old classic.

Yes, we are in the digital age and while many may disagree about this approach some just cannot afford to spend hundreds up front on a camera system. This way can be a great option if you just want to get out and create photos on a tight budget. This way will allow you to “pay as you go” in a sense instead of dropping  $500, $800, or even $1000 all up front.