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04-09-2014, 05:40 AM   #1
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Pentax Kx & DA40 XS - A Word Of Caution

I have been using a Pentax Kx with DA40 XS lens as a walk around camera (the Kx is the smallest Pentax DSLR body). I have been carrying this in a Lowepro Adventura 100 case (intended for a long zoom compact). When I pulled the camera out last night, I found the plastic body below the flash (where it says PENTAX) was cracked. I was not aware of dropping or hitting anything with the bag but it looks like it took a knock somewhere. Unfortunately, the plastic body extends beyond the short DA40 XS lens and looks like it was the first point of contact.

I have not had any issues with my K100D Super (6 years of ownership) but I did not use such a short lens on it. The plastic also looks a little heavier gauge on the older camera. I don't know if its an easy thing to change the front plastic cover (the camera has only taken <300 shots), or if this is a good reason to upgrade to the magnesium body of a K5. I just wanted other users to be careful with the short pancake lens, to avoid a similar unpleasant surprise.

04-09-2014, 06:30 AM   #2
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Anyway, If the impact was so strong to damage the polycarbonate of the body, Iīd rather that over a larger lens taking such impact... Look the brighter side: You are lucky you didnīt have a longer lens mounted, it would have broken and much more expensive to repair (or replace depending on damage) than the body of your camera!

Regard upgrading, See how expensive it is to replace the front cover. I think itīs not an easy task as there are a lot of things attached to it and is is difficult dissasemble and reassemble without damaging anything. Second option is to use some liquid plastic (the kind that dries when in contact with air) to fill the gap left by the impact and continue shooting.

A picture of the damage might help suggestions. Best of luck
04-09-2014, 07:03 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by reduno Quote
When I pulled the camera out last night, I found the plastic body below the flash (where it says PENTAX) was cracked.
You must have dropped it, Reduno.

And not onto carpet either!
04-09-2014, 08:10 AM   #4
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Ouch! Is it possible that someone was playing with your camera without your knowledge? It would have to be quite an impact to crack the body. And true, at least only the body got damaged and not both. So its actually good that the 40XS is so tiny It is a very tiny lens, though. On a DSLR it takes some getting used to.

Regarding an upgrade, a K-5 makes sense, because they go for a low price these days, and its still a great camera. Or maybe a K-30, if you prefer its style (or if you want focus peaking)

04-09-2014, 09:29 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Anyway, If the impact was so strong to damage the polycarbonate of the body, Iīd rather that over a larger lens taking such impact... Look the brighter side: You are lucky you didnīt have a longer lens mounted, it would have broken and much more expensive to repair (or replace depending on damage) than the body of your camera!
I have to agree w/ carrlangas' comments here. I once dropped my K-5 with a large Sigma superzoom mounted on it. It was in a padded bag and I only dropped the bag about 1 foot, maybe even less. But it landed just right to bend the lens mount on the body. There was no visible damage to the body or lens whatsoever; just the mount was slightly bent. My point is, that the lens mount is the most vulnerable part on the DSLR, because it is the only part that has to be critically and optically aligned, which is also vulnerable to damage from a minor fall. Having a magnesium alloy body or bigger lens would probably just stress the mount more.

Also, you can reap some benefits to upgrading your body to newer technology after several years, whereas a good lens is always a good lens.

Sorry for the trouble, and good luck.
04-10-2014, 06:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the comments. I have also attached a picture showing the damage to the camera body (the crack goes all the way to the lens mount). It certainly looks like replacing the cover will not be easy, as it extends all the way down under the bottom of the camera. However, it may be possible to reinforce a repair from the back side via the flash opening.

I agree that damaging the body itself is probably preferable to damaging a high end lens. Most of the lens I have, however, are used and picked up for only a few dollars in online auctions. The DA 40 XS is the only lens I purchased new, and was still far less than the cost of the Kx body. I'm still not certain quite how the damage occurred but it looks like it must have been hit 'just right' on the corner of the plastic molding. It's always possible one of the kids was playing with it (as suggested) but I suspect I swung the bag into something without realizing it. The way I have the camera in the bag, the front would have been facing outwards making it more vulnerable.

I just wanted people to be aware that the plastic appears to not be very strong in this area and to be careful. Thanks again.
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