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12-03-2011, 11:01 AM   #1
Bill2849
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To repair or replace and how to decide

I am an amateur regarding cameras (as well as sometimes being a klutz). I have a Pentax K-x which recently met with an unfortunate accident when it fell (mounted on a tripod that was not securely positioned) about 5 feet to a linoleum covered concrete floor with the kit SMC Pentax DA L 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL lens, apparently landing lens first.

This lens has a plastic lens mount that is now in 2 pieces with some area on the bottom where it also looks like part of the plastic is partly stripped away. The camera body appears to have 2 scratches in the view finder mirror (which is in a folded down position but does retract if I turn on the camera and snap the shutter). I do not see any other problems with the camera, but I really would not know what to look for.

I am assuming that the lens is probably "totaled" but if this is incorrect, I would appreciate being set straight. My main concern is whether it would be better to try to repair the camera body or find a replacement. I do have a telephoto (55-300 mm) kit lens as well but I am reluctant to experiment with it in case there might be something in the camera that might damage the lens. So I am looking for guidance first on whether there is anything else I should look for in trying to detect any further damage to the camera body and (second) whether I would be better off trying to repair the camera body or to replace the camera.

I appreciate any input that the members of this forum might have.

12-03-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
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Forget repairing the lens as you can buy a used one here on the forum at a better price than repairing the broken one.If the broken lens came off as normal with no visible damage to the camera you might try mounting the other lens to the camera and try and see if it is still functional.
Jake
12-03-2011, 04:39 PM   #3
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I agree with Jake. Your cheap DAL18-55 is a goner. The camera probably isn't. There is no reason NOT to try the 55-300; there is nothing in the camera that can damage the lens. Good luck!
12-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #4
Bill2849
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Further problems noted

Jake and Rico-

I appreciate your time in replying to my questions and I thank you both for your input. I was able to try photos with my 55-300 lens. At least 1 photo seemed to come out ok.

However, while the viewfinder seems to work well, the rear display is completely black - can't access the menu controls, can't look at what I've shot. While I still can't see other visible damage, the autofocus seems to not work at times (although this may have been due to particular settings I was using at times) and I noted that with the memory card out, the lens on, and the power on that pressing on the info button or the menu button sometimes made a faint clicking sound. This also happens when I push the blue arrow button but there I know that the camera is retracting the mirror to give me the view through the rear viewfinder.

Is there anything I might be missing that would account for the black viewing screen or are we back to having to replace the lens and repair or replace the camera? If so, do you have any insights as to which might be preferable?

Bill

12-03-2011, 08:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bill2849 Quote
Jake and Rico-

I appreciate your time in replying to my questions and I thank you both for your input. I was able to try photos with my 55-300 lens. At least 1 photo seemed to come out ok.

However, while the viewfinder seems to work well, the rear display is completely black - can't access the menu controls, can't look at what I've shot. While I still can't see other visible damage, the autofocus seems to not work at times (although this may have been due to particular settings I was using at times) and I noted that with the memory card out, the lens on, and the power on that pressing on the info button or the menu button sometimes made a faint clicking sound. This also happens when I push the blue arrow button but there I know that the camera is retracting the mirror to give me the view through the rear viewfinder.

Is there anything I might be missing that would account for the black viewing screen or are we back to having to replace the lens and repair or replace the camera? If so, do you have any insights as to which might be preferable?

Bill
Oh, man--that's a bummer! I went through pretty much the same thing with my K20D and I know how bad you feel. It definitely sounds like the camera needs repair.
12-03-2011, 11:46 PM   #6
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Get a quote and decide based on that. It might be a connector that came loose (cheapish fix) or it might be a PCB or the display that is broken (more expensive fix).

Locally getting a quote costs about US$30 (converted currency) but that might be different where you live. To put that 30 dollars into perspective, I can still get a new K-x for US$600 so for me it's an easy decision to get the quote first and decide based on that.

Have you checked your household insurance to see if it's possibly covered.
12-04-2011, 12:20 AM   #7
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Try taking the batteries out for awhile then put them back in,may not help but worth a try.
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12-08-2011, 08:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for your observations and support. I tried removing the batteries, first briefy, then for a few hours, and finally for a few days (and trying to update the firmware as well). Rear lcd screen remains persistently black.

So I'll be sending it in to Pentax at least for an estimate.

Thanks again to each of you for your assistance.

12-09-2011, 05:32 AM   #9
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Bestaluck, mate!
12-09-2011, 09:00 AM   #10
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Ah for the good old days when cameras were built like tanks...I have an old K2 that has been dropped and heavily dinged at least 3 times with no damage to its function, that includes the lenses that happened to be on the camera at the time. It really is too bad new digital cameras aren't as tough.

You seem to have a great excuse to buy a new camera.
I wonder how good your tripod is? A heavier tripod may be another change to make. Of course, I have had a heavy view camera on a heavy tripod get blown over by a big gust of wind. After that I would put sandbags on the feet where appropriate and possible.
12-09-2011, 06:12 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear about your camera. CRIS, Pentax USA's official repair folks, do nice work. I hope its something simple but they'll get it sorted out for you.
12-09-2011, 10:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeverettfine Quote
Ah for the good old days when cameras were built like tanks...
Some still are, or were until recently. Case in point: my Olympus 770-SW, rated to 10m underwater and for a 2m drop onto concrete. Not that I've tested it... and its manometer registers from -10m to +5km, so if I'm at elevation, I have an idea whether there's enough oxygen for me to stand up without passing out.
Howe's Law:
Everybody has a scheme that will not work.
01-02-2012, 05:02 PM   #13
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If the camera doesn't work, toss it. I had CRIS fix my K-10 and it cost $400. Decided to fix it and then the K-20 came out about a month later. Grrrrr
01-06-2012, 06:49 PM   #14
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I'm very sorry to hear that...

If the repair price is too high, see if maybe someone on Ebay will buy it for repair/parts.
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