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12-13-2008, 09:32 PM   #1
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LX sticky mirror fix

I recently acquired an LX with a sticky mirror, and I fixed it in about 5 minutes. I filed some #2 pencil lead with a nail file to get a small amount of powdered graphite, then used a wood stylus from a seal repair kit to gently press the power onto the sticky pad. This created a new non-stick surface on the pad without changing the thickness. So far (2 rolls of film) the mirror is working flawlessly, though only time will tell if the fix is permanent.

01-30-2016, 05:17 PM   #2
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Rather brilliant 'quick fix' solution to the perennial Pentax LX 'sticky mirror' problem. Worked perfectly to resolve my own LX's sticky mirror pad frustrations, and no less than 8 years since the original post was put up (2008 to 2016)! It emphasises the value of forums whereby accumulated knowledge may be stored to help others!
01-31-2016, 06:46 AM   #3
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However, the "sticky pad" that sets the mirror angle would often soften and compress, causing the mirror angle to change, so focus in the VF would not match focus on the film plane. If the lens infinity focus in the VF looks off, the mirror angle needs to be adjusted also.
02-01-2016, 09:27 AM   #4
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Ah! Thanks for that additional information on mirror angle. I have another question, perhaps you have an answer to it as well:

I have noted occasional brief commentary (here and there) on 'generations' of the LX, meaning, I presume, that early iterations of the LX were somehow slightly different from subsequent ones throughout the production run. One such matter would concern this set of mirror pads (i reference), which I assume were upgraded to a less stick-susceptible material (Neoprene) in later serial numbered LX bodies? Another question relates to the shape of the shutter button switch, which I notice looks slightly different between early and late issues of the LX. Assuming these two observations to be correct, were there any other significant upgrades/improvements/differences between the early iterations and the last ones produced in the LX line?

A word of explanation here: I began my 'serious' photographic interests back in 1968 with Pentax Spotmatics (I) and loved the simple but sturdy little beasts. Much later I started collecting 35mm SLRs and now have quite a substantial collection of Nikons, Canons, Olympus', Minoltas, Ricohs, Fujicas, Rolleis, Leicas and so forth. However only recently did I return to the start of my SLR journey with the addition of two LX bodies, both with serial nrs in the 52XXXXX range. Consequently, the wonderful Pentax LX has been a recent and wonderful discovery for me! It also means I have absolutely no experience with or understanding of the model (hence these posts). Somewhat ironic that I have now turned full circle, returning to the Pentax camera line I started off with!

I now take my 'serious' images with digital cameras, but as a neo-Luddite technogeek, I have a profound regard for the 35mm fil format SLRs or yore.

02-01-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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There's some overview information HERE.
Note: click the links for early version and late version on the left for descriptive text.
And a ridiculously complete series of pages HERE.

Also read the descriptions and reviews in the PF Review section.
02-02-2016, 10:44 AM   #6
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Differences in early & late LX bodies...

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
There's some overview information HERE.
Note: click the links for early version and late version on the left for descriptive text.
Excellent! That is very helpful and thanks very much. The details provided on the 'later iteration' bodies contains the information I was seeking (late models have three visible differences from early models: 1. Shutter-lock switch is redesigned; 2. Viewfinder release button turns on the metering; 3. Three dots missing on the first shutter screen.). I note that although available information on changes relative to serial numbers is too sparse to permit a specific & precise table of which serial numbered bodies are which (early or late), it's probably safe to presume that most 52XXXXX serial numbered bodies are early and most 53XXXXX serial numbered bodies fall into the latter category. It's also interesting to note that one reviewer stated that even late model bodies have been noted to suffer from the sticky-mirror syndrome (with resulting 'infinity-focus difficulties on WA applications).

In a word (or two), the quickest & easiest 'at a glance' indication of a 'late issue LX body' seems to be the shutter-lock switch.
06-06-2016, 07:23 AM   #7
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Which Material did you use to replace the gum?

QuoteOriginally posted by Kalikiano Quote
Rather brilliant 'quick fix' solution to the perennial Pentax LX 'sticky mirror' problem. Worked perfectly to resolve my own LX's sticky mirror pad frustrations, and no less than 8 years since the original post was put up (2008 to 2016)! It emphasises the value of forums whereby accumulated knowledge may be stored to help others!

Dear Kalikiano, which Material did you apply for the replacement of the aged rubber gums? Did you go with pencil powder? - Thanks and regards, Uncle Pete

Last edited by Uncle Pete; 06-06-2016 at 07:24 AM. Reason: higher precision
06-07-2016, 08:45 AM   #8
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Infamous 'sticky mirror' glitch...

Yes, I did resort to the graphite powder solution, taking the minute shavings from a Nr. 2 pencil and applying them with a cotton-tipped swab to the pads. This worked perfectly and I have not had any subsequent problems with them sticking-up. I was surprised at how effective such a simple solution could be...another example of the 'Occam's Razor' principle, I guess!

---------- Post added 06-07-16 at 08:51 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Uncle Pete Quote
Dear Kalikiano, which Material did you apply for the replacement of the aged rubber gums? Did you go with pencil powder? - Thanks and regards, Uncle Pete
By the way, Uncle Pete, I note you're indicated as being 70 klicks SE of Munchen! How lovely! Aside from the fact that there are a great many photo-opportunities to be found in that part of Swabia, Munchen has all of my most favored biers! Although SPATENBRAU is at the top of my list, the Klosterbrau Andechs brew is absolutely heavenly! On a beautiful summer day, suitably equipped with my trusty PENTAX and a nearby Masskrug of Andechs' finest, there is no closer site to Heaven, IMO! Prosit!

06-07-2016, 01:28 PM   #9
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Hey Kalikiano, looks like you are gourmet in the field of our local beers and a friend of Bavarian landscapes! Where did you go and what did you see in the region? - I´ll try the nifty Graphite Approach as you successfully did before undertaking the Neoprene Try ie. cutting and glueing small Neoprene pieces. This would hopefully overcome the issue of infinity focussing by lifting the mirror a tiny bit again.
06-08-2016, 09:06 AM   #10
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I seem to recall that I used a razor bladed to produce the graphite powder from that Nr. 2 pencil and also that my camera body's pads had not totally turned into gummi-goo (as some apparently have, according to others' stories of their own experiences). Assuming that the original pads are still largely intact (with only a slightly gooey mirror-contacting surface), that trick should work well enough. I hesitate to undertake a total pad replacement (as described by some others) simply because my digital dexterity is probably insufficient to do the job properly (I speak as a person born with 10 thumbs, LoL).

As for gemutlichkeit and the Southern German region, I supposedly have family in the Rosenheim area (whom I have never contacted) and have traveled & climbed quite a bit in many German-speaking parts of Europe. I'd love to be living in Bayern (or the Austrian Salzkammergut), but alas here I am in an Amerika about to be smothered by that Clinton woman! Tut mir leid!
06-10-2016, 03:22 PM   #11
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Repair of Sticky Mirror and Infinity Focus Issue of Pentax LX

Today I successfully did a sticky mirror repair of my new companion: Pentax LX.
after thoroughly removing the sticky pad with a pincette mechanically and than by means of a soft tissue containing Iso 70% (evaporates quickly) I cut a tiny piece of neoprene and applied a mini (!) amount of rather normal glue (did not use the neoprene glue!) on the textile side of the neoprene. This allows the rubber side to be in contact with the mirror and a better adhesion of the textile side to its post.
The materials and set-up are displayed on the picture.

It is not a miracle. Do not be afraid of damaging your beloved camera body.

It even appears that the infinity focus issue disappeared as well. - Need to check at daylight tomorrow with a telezoom lens. At the moment it looks promising!
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06-11-2016, 03:01 AM   #12
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The "infinity focus" is just a known point where you can see that the focus in the viewfinder is different than the focus on film, due to an improper mirror angle. Test with an angled focus chart, focusing on a line in the middle at wide aperture, and take a series of pictures on fine grain film. Then zoom in on the processed images and see how close the actual sharpest focus is to the line you focused on in the viewfinder.
A camera tech would use a ground glass plate on the film rails with a magnifier to check "real time" comparing the group with film plane.
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