Jessops Centon K100

This is the Jessops Centon K100, a Chinese-made SLR that uses the Pentax K-mount system of interchangeable lenses. The camera came with a Centon MC Zoom lens which met an untimely demise due to my camera desk serving dual purpose as my work-from-home desk (I am looking at you, swivel lamp). My Pentax ME Super was more than happy to donate its f2 lens and the shots at the end of this post are the result.

The Jessops logo as it would have appeared at the time the K100 was sold.

Provenance of the K100 development is hard to discern as opinions as to its origin vary. I have seen arguments that it is essentially a Pentax K1000 made in China using original manufacturing equipment, but have also read that it is based on Cosina designs. If anyone has definitive information and would like to pass it along, I will update this post.

ModelCenton K100
ShutterMetal Focal Plane
SpeedB, T, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000
LensCenton MC (Pentax interchangeable K-mount)
 f3.5-4.5 28-70mm
Focus0.5ft – ∞
Aperturef1.4 – 16
Light MeterYes (TTL)

Functionally the K100 is ok, though cameras like the ME Super or OM1 surpass it, both in a smaller form factor. Thought there is nothing exceptional about the K100, it works. As a starter camera, similar to the Pentax K1000, it is more than adequate but a “cheap” feel to the overall build quality hampers the user experience.

Sample images on Bergger Pancro400. Stand-developed HC-110, 30 minutes.


  1. I’ve just got hold of one of these, unfortunately without a battery cover.

    I’ve managed to test it briefly using some foil. That’s made the shutter speed change, but there’s no hint of any metering display.

    Could you advise what it looks like? Information seems very scarce.

    Thank you!


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