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08-03-2009, 05:51 AM   #1
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Samsung GX10: My viewfinder is shattered. Can it be replaced by Pentax equipment?

Hi there.

A year ago I managed to lose my Samsung GX10, and the viewfinder glass shattered. I'm happy to say, there is nothing else wrong with it, and apart from the view being slightly foggy, I've been quite happy using it afterwards.

I have been into some camera stores, and they all want to send it to the same repair shop. It seems that it will cost a serious amount of money to get it fixed there. (And I'm not reassured when the repair shop claim they're not really sure how to change that.)

So, I'm hoping to do this myself. I have not succeeded in finding anywhere to get an actual Samsung viewfinder, so I'm hoping that I can use a viewfinder from the Pentax K10D, which I know where to get.

1. Does anyone know if the Pentax K10D and Samsung GX10 viewfinders are identical?
2. Does anyone have any advice on how to change the thing? I have not yet tried to open it up in order to check out how it's mounted, because I don't want to have the existing glass crumble up before I have a replacement ready.

Thanks in advance!

Sincerely, Ketil

08-03-2009, 03:03 PM   #2
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Location: Gent, Belgium
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Hi,

Are you talking about the focusing screen being shattered or the prism itself?

The focusing screen can be swapped for a Katzeye or similar, or a K10D one (I have a Focusingscreen.com one), it took me about five minutes following instructions on their site.

If it is more serious, I can't help you I'm afraid.
If you are technically inclined there is a GX10 service manual somewhere around the net where you might find necessary procedure, but that operation would be entirely at your own risk...

you could start looking in this dpreview thread, not sure it's still there
K10D - GX10 1.30 Firmware Debug menu via usb activation. [Page 1]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Good luck,
Wouter
08-04-2009, 12:33 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by wouter Quote
Are you talking about the focusing screen being shattered or the prism itself?
Thanks for your reply!
I'm not really good with the terminology, but as far as I can tell the only thing broken is the outermost glass, the one absolutely closest to my eye when I look through the viewfinder to take a photo. If I carefully touch the glass from the outside I can feel the glass edges.
It looks pretty similar to this picture: Imageshack - bimgp7094wj4.jpg

I took a look at the instructions for installing a Katz Eye focusing screen, and that's not it.

I managed to find the complete service manual for Samsung GX-10 online (more than 200 pages of it), and it looks like I need to open the cover on all sides in order to get to the glass I need to replace. See attachment.
Other than that, it looks like I'll be able to replace the piece.
Again, if someone has done this before, please advice if there is anything special I need to know.

It would be great if you could correct my terminology. That way, I'm pretty sure I order the right replacement piece.

Thanks!

Sincerely, Ketil
Attached Images
 
08-04-2009, 06:01 AM   #4
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correct terminology

Hi,

Since I'm not a native English speaker, I am not quite sure about the exact English name

Bear in mind that Pentax and Samsung are Japanese and Korean, so their name might be something other than the correct term either
Can't you find it in the exploded views with serial numbers in the service manual? p.24 I believe... they seem to call it "eyepiece"

It "should" be possible, but I wouldn't even try it if it was my camera (quite scary I find this electronics stuff)
I don't know if you will be able to find the parts separately. Make sure you have VERY high quality screwdrivers in the exact size before doing this, you don't want to break those little screws....

Good luck!!

08-04-2009, 07:38 AM   #5
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Thanks again!

I can't really tell from the exploded view what exact piece I need, but the Pentax people in Norway seemed to understand what I asked about, and stated the exact price they would charge for a complete viewfinder (ocular was the wording they and I used then).
Further, they said that they couldn't really tell me how to change it as that information was protected by Pentax, but "if you know a little, you should be able to fix it on your own".

I guess I'll compare the exploded views of both cameras carefully, and see if I can make sense of it before I order.
08-13-2009, 07:31 AM   #6
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Original Poster
Just a note, if anyone else has the same issue: I managed to replace the viewfinder, and it was not really that hard. But, I'm not sure I'd do it again. I don't feel very comfortable fixing this stuff myself, the looks of things when you open up the camera is rather overwhelming and it's apparent how much electronics is in these things. (I have built a desktop computer and replaced some RAM, etc. before, but that is my only knowledge with electronics.)

I bought the part from the local Pentax distributor. It is really a Pentax spare part, but they are identical. The bag says 76830 - OM301, which I guess is some kind of identifying number for the part.

All sides of the camera needs opening before you get two the two screws holding the viewfinder in place. The most difficult step was removing some wires so that the top and back cover could be put aside.
The service manual has some nice instructions. Find it here, together with other related service manuals: Downloads

Anyway, my viewfinder is replaced, it cost me $50, and took 20 minutes. I was told fixing it at a repair shop would cost $300-350

Hope this comes in handy for anyone else having the same problem.
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