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04-29-2016, 01:20 PM   #1
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Pentax LX Issues

Hi everyone !

I recently bought a Pentax-LX for a very little price, but of course sometimes cheaper means problems.

The camera is in a great condition, but needed some cleaning and a batteries change. After doing that, I immediately understood there were some issues with the shutter button and the mirror, I would need your help to know the cause and eventually be able to repair it myself (or bringing it to a professionnal).

So, even if the red light is on in the viewfinder, the camera does not trigger, whatever the mode. The trigger lever (i'm French so i don't really know the english name of this piece, the big black lever near the shutter) is blocked, it only runs half of where it should go.

The mirror is always in position "high" and only descend if you pull it down manually.

Other concerns, I bought a Winder in mint condition who works perfectly alone, but when I connect it to the LX, nothing works (no more red light, and the metal thing doesn't rotate anymore).

So, what did I miss ? Do you think the problem is from the engine ? I opened the bottom plate but I saw no dust, no broken cables, everything seems in a very good condition.

What do you think ?


Thanks for your help guys !

04-29-2016, 02:14 PM   #2
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The LX has 'sticky mirror' syndrome. It causes slow mirror movements. Perhaps I would start with this problem. Best send away for a CLA (Eric in the USA?).

Other than that, try moving the shutter speed dial to see if you can get the mirror to drop. If so, it might indicate the batteries are low on juice.

Lastly, it might be a circuit board, but that would be the last diagnosis.

Best of luck.
04-29-2016, 03:39 PM   #3
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Hi Mark !

Well, I put brand new batteries in the camera the day I received it, so I don't think the problem comes from there (the red led in the viewfinder is on).

The mirror stay in "up" position wathever the speed dial mode, even the curtain is stuck and don't move.

I posted the same questions on an another forum, and somebody told me theres a problem with the wind lever, so I checked the wheels in the camera bottom and they don't move at all when I pull the lever, they seems stuck by something but it's impossible to know what (I don't want to open everything caus' i'm afraid to doing something stupid )

Apparently the main problem is from around the shutter (who doesn't trigger) and the wind lever.

I took some pictures of the bottom




Last edited by Mukkinn; 04-29-2016 at 03:59 PM.
04-29-2016, 04:37 PM   #4
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OK. Then it sounds like a mechanical problem that may have eventuated from a bump event (dropped or the like). This can happen. I would never attempt to fix such a problem myself and would send it to Eric Hendrickson for repair without question. Perhaps another PF member has insight I don't have.

04-29-2016, 04:48 PM   #5
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Since you are in France and Eric Hendrickson is in the USA, may I suggest you look into whether Robin at Harrow Tech in UK can help? Robin is the EU version of Eric here. He is reputed to be very good. Also, Pentax has a strong presence in France. I believe the EU Headquarters is in Peris. Perhaps someone there can recommend a competent LX repair tech.

I would never open an LX myself. There is a large number of dust and moisture seals that must ALL be restored every time the camera is opened with a new seals kit. They are actually getting somewhat scarce globally, so if you are going to have a full CLA / restore (which I have had done to my LX) you should consider doing it now. You should get 10 - 20 years use out of your LX before it would need another service.
04-29-2016, 05:05 PM   #6
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Thank you very much for your quick answers !

I think I will follow your advices and bringing my LX to a professionnal for a complete CLA.

Actually i'm living in Lyon, which is a big city, so I'm pretty sure to find somebody who can help me on this. If not, I'll send an email to the guys you advised me.

This LX has been through alot of things apparently, the last owner was a journalist who've been in different countries, so it's not so surprising that it's slightly damaged.

Take care
04-29-2016, 05:10 PM   #7
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Good luck with the LX - awesome camera and very nice to use.
04-29-2016, 10:15 PM   #8
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Couple of resources for you - LX Manual and French site for LX

Also, Jean Poitiers is an active film user - and general nice guy, who lives in France and may know repair resource in the area if one is available.


Last edited by LesDMess; 04-29-2016 at 10:23 PM.
04-30-2016, 03:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Couple of resources for you - LX Manual and French site for LX

Also, Jean Poitiers is an active film user - and general nice guy, who lives in France and may know repair resource in the area if one is available.
Merci for the compliment Les ... and I will send a PM in French to the OP soon.

Just for the record, I have not really found someone in France where that I would have a Pentax repaired. One "maybe" in Paris, but far too expensive for me ... IMHO cheaper to send to Eric with postage costs included. Go figure.

I sent Eric my silver Spot F and MX a few years back. Perfect. I may send him soon a K2 and a black Spot F ... although I may wait until he gets "caught up" with his work load over the hospital stay.

Maybe I will give Robin at Harrow a try just to see ... on verra.

Salut, J
04-30-2016, 05:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
I may wait until he gets "caught up" with his work load over the hospital stay.
He is caught up.
04-30-2016, 06:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
He is caught up.
OK ... merci, M.
05-01-2016, 06:41 AM   #12
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So, just for info if theres some people on the forum who encounter the same problem with the Pentax LX.

I had the chance to talk to a LX specialist (but who don't repair cameras anymore ) and he taught me a lot about this camera hardware.

The foams in the very inside of the LX tends to break up, which means that little foam residues fly inside the device and block some mechanism.
The blocking of the wind mechanism is one of the most common failures of the LX.

The only way to repair that is to totally dismantle the camera, unblock the mechanism, wipe the dust and replace the foams.

But apparently mine is more than blocked, he's completely broken, that don't smell good at all, because spare parts are getting more and more complicated to find.

I'll send the device to Erik in monday morning, hope he will find a way to repair it.
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