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01-27-2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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K-x Viewfinder Problems

Apparently Pentax decided to save a buck or so and used a plastic viewfinder lens in the K-x. since I have to clean the viewfinder 3x as often as my lenses, I now find it's been scratched by tiny dust particles until it has become hazy and almost unusable.

I find myself wondering why would they make a $500 camera and use a cheap plastic viewfinder...my 30 year old film cameras (all Pentax except for a Minolta SRT 101) still have perfectly usable viewfinders, but this K-x, less than a year old, is ready for a replacement.

Anyone else have this problem? I can't afford it right now, so I have to live with it for a while, but soon as possible I'm going to have to replace the thing, and I suppose be much more careful about cleaning with the replacement...

As far as I'm concerned, this is a rip off, you buy a camera that costs that much and you expect QUALITY...not cheap plastic in a location that will obviously need a lot of cleaning, the part you look through.

So, any suggestions for a replacement will be appreciated and considered, but it won't be possible for a while, right now work is very slow, I often have to scrape up change to get necessities.


01-27-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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Yikes! That sucks! I wonder if it's just the entry bodies that have plastic VF lenses.
01-27-2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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Yeah, sorry to hear that. What are you using to clean the view finder? Most of the time I've used a Lenspen or makeup brush.
01-27-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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What are you using--Ajax?

01-27-2011, 10:12 PM   #5
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err hm. i've never had this problem. i think all modern DSLR's except the really high-end ones use molded plastic VF lenses.

my solution... use an eyepiece magnifier (i've got one permanently on my K20D). this improves the VF, makes it easier to manual focus, costs $20, and if you scratch it, you can replace it.
01-28-2011, 04:50 PM   #6
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I use the same lens cleaning cloths and microfiber cloths I use to clean my lenses. Some of which I've cleaned for 30 years and still have no scratches anywhere, ditto for every 35mm camera I have.

The problem is that dust is abrasive and I didn't know the viewfinder was plastic, until it started to look hazy. The same cleaning cloths clean my glasses daily too, no scratches there either...and they get a lot of abuse, I do remodeling work. Loads of dust, fiberglass, sheet rock you name it.

Now that I know, I guess I have no choice but to replace the viewfinder and use a make up brush from then on, I have one that I use on camera lenses, and a couple for computers and guitars. (I repair those too)
01-28-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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Check with Pentax parts. Maybe you can buy just that one little piece of plastic, shouldn't be that expensive.
01-28-2011, 07:47 PM   #8
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or... polishing compound and a dremel polishing tip? might take off that haze.

01-29-2011, 07:39 AM   #9
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I'm thinking about 2500 grit wet or dry sandpaper, that's what I use on bottles to play slide guitar. I pick up antique medicine bottles and some have large seams that have to go. A dremel and craytex wheel takes off the seams, 1000, then 1500 then 2500 grit (for hours) polishes the glass until you can't tell it's been touched. Should work for plastic too and won't take as long on softer material than glass.

I also want to check on parts though, and maybe the magnifier. Found very little yesterday, no Pentax parts at all, but the magnifier sounds like a possibility. does it replace the viewfinder or fit over it? A replacement might be good, but if it fits over it that would do me no good at all...
01-29-2011, 07:59 AM   #10
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The magnifier fits over the existing viewfinder. I think the suggestion was more about to prevent problems in the future, not to fix the one you already have.
01-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #11
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I have not had that problem but I also have not cleaned my VF that many times. I suggest not cleaning it so much. The dust you see on there will not be on your photos so no need to clean all the time. Most of the time I just use a blower and that is enough but I have cleaned mine 2 times with the micro cloth and have no scratches.

**You can get a stock replacement screen on ebay for <$20.
01-30-2011, 04:36 PM   #12
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I'll have to check fleabay then, didn't find a thing anywhere else...Good to know about the magnifier, I thought from the pictures it looked like it fit over the original, which would make no difference.

One of our rare (these days) jobs is coming up, might have to see if I can get a replacement and figure out a way to clean the thing that won't harm it. I know it makes no difference in the pictures, but I can't get very good pictures if I can't see through the thing, and in some of the environments I shoot, it gets really dirty in a few days. Hot and dry here and Texas this summer, very dusty, so either walking or driving it picks up a lot of dust and debris. Some days I had to clean it 2 or 3 times, it was that dusty.

That's why it irritates me that they made it with plastic, I never had the first scratch on any of 6 or 7 film cameras, in the exact same dusty locations as well as Austin and San Antonio, which are even worse. 10 years with one camera and not a scratch, less than a year with this one and it's unusable. Just as bad as Takamine putting a cheap plastic nut on my $800+ acoustic guitar. A bone replacement when it broke cost me $6 retail. I'm sure most guitar players wouldn't mind paying 5 bucks more for quality parts...Takamine can probably get bone blanks for $2 each or less by the gazillion...

For those of you who are not guitar players, the nut is the [usually] white piece at the base of the tuning head, it sets the string height and spacing at that end of the neck. A set of strings costs more in most places...
01-31-2011, 08:16 AM   #13
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Did some searching last night and this morning, nothing comes up on fleabay or google but the aforementioned magnifier and viewfinder eye cups. I can't find a replacement viewfinder anywhere...and I'm usually pretty good at searching out info.

Anyone have links to somewhere that might actually have one????
01-31-2011, 12:31 PM   #14
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I think KxBlaze was confusing the VF lens with the focusing screen, which are available on eBay.
01-31-2011, 03:23 PM   #15
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All I've ever had to do with VF is blow dust off.

I don't obsess with cleaning that or the LCD at all, because it doesn't affect the image.

However, I can understand how some people are more susceptible to dirt re focusing.
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