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08-05-2011, 12:58 PM   #1
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Pentax KX SLR (original)

I just pulled out my camera after many years of being in storage. I discovered some sticky black stuff on the focus screen and have no idea how to remove it. My effort with compressed air and lens tissues has made it worse (smeary). Any suggestions on how to fix this? Or have I wrecked it? Thank you in advance for any help.

08-05-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
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OK, no replies yet so I'll take a stab. If you can't clean your focusing screen within the camera, you could remove it and give it a gentle but thorough cleaning. The Katzeye focusing screen site has excellent pdf manuals on how to safely remove/replace your screen.

Just be very careful not to scratch the screen when cleaning it.

What I would be more worried about is, what is the black gunk, and where did it come from? Did a battery leak in the camera and damage it? Is this stuff elsewhere in the camera body, or just on the screen?
08-05-2011, 07:12 PM   #3
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I believe that the OP is referring to the KX, not the K-x. The former is a film SLR, ca. 1976. The latter is a digital SLR.

I suspect that the gunk is the foam light seals or mirror damper that have deteriorated over the years. I'm not sure how to remove it.

I don't remember if the KX had a removeable focusing screen or not, so I don't know if that is possible.
08-05-2011, 08:16 PM   #4
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Use alcohol swab

Yes. Its the mirror dampner foam...turned into a black sticky goo...ou can also use alcohol pads...it works just fine

08-05-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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The screen on the KX can be replaced but I believe that the entire top of the camera has to come off - probably best left to a professional if you can't clean the screen to your satisfaction while it is in the camera. There are kits available with replacement foam for the mirror damper and body seals (possibly on Ebay); I haven't needed to find one yet.

Cleaning a focus screen generally isn't a good idea as they do mark up quite easily.

This guy repairs Pentax film SLRs professionally if you decide that you want to have someone else clean the body and/or replace the screen: Home
08-06-2011, 12:14 AM   #6
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Cleaning a focusing screen can be scary. If you scratch it or rough it up in any way it cannot be fixed. I would be wary of using an alcohol pad. Something that works well is something called Asahiklin 223. Spay it onto a Q-tip cotton swab and gently rub the black area. The only place I know of that has Asahiklin is Micro-tools.com. I know I seem to always aim people there, but they supply camera repair stuff. I have cleaned hundreds of focusing screens and found Asahiklin to be the least problematic since the demise of chlorofluorocarbon cleaners.
08-06-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
I believe that the OP is referring to the KX, not the K-x. The former is a film SLR, ca. 1976. The latter is a digital SLR.
Oops.

I'll slink back to the K-r forum now...
08-06-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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Thank you all!

Indeed, mine is an old camera and I wouldn't even consider removing the focus screen. But I like a number of the suggestions and will definitely check out some of the provided links. It does seem as if the foam has turned to black gunge and I suspect more bits of it will fall off with use. Awful! Anyway, thank you all for your thoughts. I joined this forum only because of this situation and I've been well rewarded.
Best, Charlotte

08-06-2011, 10:02 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxus Quote
Cleaning a focusing screen can be scary. If you scratch it or rough it up in any way it cannot be fixed. I would be wary of using an alcohol pad. Something that works well is something called Asahiklin 223. Spay it onto a Q-tip cotton swab and gently rub the black area. The only place I know of that has Asahiklin is Micro-tools.com. I know I seem to always aim people there, but they supply camera repair stuff. I have cleaned hundreds of focusing screens and found Asahiklin to be the least problematic since the demise of chlorofluorocarbon cleaners.
I just ordered this; seems like the best idea. Thanks so much.
08-07-2011, 08:50 PM   #10
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If the mirror damper foam has deteriorated, chances are that the film door seals have, as well.

You can buy kits on ebay, for about $10, to replace the seals and damper foam. I've never done it, but by all accounts it is a relatively easy DIY job.

If you don't wish to tackle it yourself, you can send it to Eric Hendrickson, in Tennessee. He is a former Pentax technician who now works out of his home. His website is Home. Send it to him and it will come back as good as new. His prices are reasonable, too.
08-08-2011, 05:58 AM   #11
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kit?

I've been searching ebay for the sort of kit you describe, but I think I need more details on how to search because so far all I've found is lens-cleaning kits.
Thank you so much for your suggestion. Best, Charlotte
08-10-2011, 06:20 AM   #12
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search on eaby

QuoteOriginally posted by cvaleallen Quote
I've been searching ebay for the sort of kit you describe, but I think I need more details on how to search because so far all I've found is lens-cleaning kits.
Thank you so much for your suggestion. Best, Charlotte
Search for Item 150640163689 or 'pentax kx seal kit'
08-10-2011, 06:25 AM   #13
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Done

I looked at the seal listing and decided to send the camera to the fellow with the seal kits, to let him do the resealing. Thank you for the link.
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