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08-16-2010, 10:48 PM   #1
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Pentax LX mirror stuck up in AUTO only

I just had CLA’ed my Pentax LX with a repairman in WA, Australia.

The LX arrived without batteries, so all the capacitors would have been discharged. Upon inserting the Energizer 357 batteries taken from a ME Super, the following occurred:

- AUTOMATIC mode causes mirror to stick in the up position. Mirror does not return in AUTO under all speeds. I can only get the mirror to return when switching from AUTOMATIC to 2000. This issue is always reproducible. I'm not able to use the camera in AUTO
- Initially, I also got the stuck mirror at 1/60 or slower speeds: mirror does not return at all speeds below X (but works fine in X). This issue occurred in the first few minutes following battery insertion. It does appear to work after a few minutes. Is this normal given it just had a full CLA?
- The meter was initially displaying red at 2000, even though I was indoor and the ASA was set to 100, which is obviously a wildly wrong result. After about a minute the meter appears to settle down and it's now looking correct.

I have since bought a brand new pair of Energizer 357 batteries with the same results - I still have no AUTO

As I'm in Sydney, sending the camera back is my last resort. Any ideas? The repairman said capacitors needed a few minutes to charge up, but it's been hours now. Your help would be much appreciated. It'll be nice to have AUTO on an LX...


Last edited by iht; 08-19-2010 at 12:42 AM.
08-16-2010, 11:51 PM   #2
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I'd say that the camera is not getting the power from the batteries to the camera that is required for it to operate correctly. The locking up on Auto is usually a symptom of low battery power. The locking up on speeds slower than 1/60 I think is also because of low battery power because these speeds are timed and not mechanical. If I remember correctly the LX can operate without batteries from 1/2000 to X as these speeds are mechanical.

Not sure if it is the batteries, check them with a volt meter, or circuitary inside the LX.

Regards

Chris Stone
08-17-2010, 12:08 AM   #3
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I am not sure this is going to help you, but a few years ago I had an almost similar problem whit one of my LX's. Then I found somewhere in the internet that gently moving a few times up and down, from + to - and back again, the exposure compensation knob would help, and it did!
Give it a try, it would not harm, I hope...
08-17-2010, 04:10 AM   #4
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Thanks guys for your replies.

QuoteQuote:
Not sure if it is the batteries, check them with a volt meter, or circuitary inside the LX.
Voltage of each battery is dead on 1.5V. They are brand new, after all.

QuoteQuote:
hen I found somewhere in the internet that gently moving a few times up and down, from + to - and back again, the exposure compensation knob would help, and it did!
I gave it a try. Something happened briefly: with ASA 800 and pointing directly at a light source, an exposure comp of 4x did trip the shutter successfully in AUTOMATIC at 1/2000. I could repeat this a couple of times. However, moving away from 4x again resulted in the mirror locking up. And now, the camera reverted back to mirror up in anything AUTOMATIC, even at the ASA800 4x combination.

And yes, all other shutter speeds do work now, just no AUTO. So overall, everything's still the same.

I don't know if this is relevant for anything, but the repairer did rebuild the mirror box to fix the sticky mirror issue. Could it be at all related to that? He said everything worked before leaving, which I'm sure it's true. Maybe something got dislodged on the way? I don't know...but it's pretty disappointing....

Appreciate your help though!

08-17-2010, 08:20 AM   #5
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Send it back to the repair guy. Insist that he pay the shipping both directions.


Steve
08-17-2010, 09:56 AM   #6
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Mine only did that when the battteries were dying OR whith the body or lens cap on (calculated long exposure in auto mode).
08-17-2010, 05:16 PM   #7
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Do you have film in the camera?
Auto on the LX only works with film in the camera.
08-17-2010, 05:28 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
Do you have film in the camera?
Auto on the LX only works with film in the camera.
No, I didn’t have film in the camera. I do actually get LED readings in AUTO, just the mirror stays up. Does AUTO really not “work” without film in your camera?

Can anyone else confirm this? I had the camera all packaged up for return freight, but I could try it tonight. I’d be surprised if this is true.


Last edited by iht; 08-17-2010 at 06:12 PM.
08-17-2010, 07:10 PM   #9
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Yes, LX doesn't work in AUTO w/o film, the meter reading won't be correct w/o film either. That's my experience. The mirror will lock in up position until the mode dial is turned out of AUTO position, when the light is not bright enough.

As to the mirror slow return at slower shutter speed, I don't think it is normal if the battery still got enough juice. One of my LXs has the same problem now, but the other one (which has been fully CLAed by Eric) doesn't have this problem. Mine appears to be okay until 15 (1/15s), and the mirror returns pretty slower than it should be if the shutter speed is set at slower than 15. If the shutter speed is to 2s or 4s, sometimes it's gonna take over 5 to 10s to bring the mirror down, even after I turn the speed dial to X or faster (when the mirror stays up) Mine doesn't have sticky mirror symptom though, and I have tried two set of brand new batteries, all the same.

Last edited by frank; 08-17-2010 at 07:53 PM.
08-17-2010, 07:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
No, I didn’t have film in the camera. I do actually get LED readings in AUTO, just the mirror stays up. Does AUTO really not “work” without film in your camera?

Can anyone else confirm this? I had the camera all packaged up for return freight, but I could try it tonight. I’d be surprised if this is true.
The manual for the LX can be downloaded from Pentax USA here:
http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/LX.pdf
According to Frank (above), film must be present.


Steve
08-17-2010, 09:47 PM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
The mirror will lock in up position until the mode dial is turned out of AUTO position,
Thanks for your responses, and thanks for the link to the manual. I had read the manual before. I can't see where this "feature" is documented.

QuoteQuote:
...when the light is not bright enough.
The mirror locked up in AUTO when pointed directly at a 100W light bulb at f1.4 in ASA 800 (meter reading is at WAY OVEREXPOSED).

I can understand that when the film is present, it'll affect the metering given it's OTF, and I can understand that it does not give the "correct" metering without film, so in that sense I can accept that AUTO doesn't "work" without film. I can't understand why it would lock the mirror though when it's powered. To me this sounds like a circuitry fault. What do you think?

In any case, I have decided to send the camera back just for peace of mind, so I didn't get around to testing the film theory. Either way, thanks very much for helping out so far.
08-17-2010, 10:16 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
Thanks for your responses, and thanks for the link to the manual. I had read the manual before. I can't see where this "feature" is documented.
It's on page 21, the IMPORTANT note.

The slower mirror return alone is a big enough problem to send it back.
08-17-2010, 10:58 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
It's on page 21, the IMPORTANT note.
Frank, I assume you're referring to the following:

"IMPORTANT: Should you accidentally press the shutter release with the lens cap on or in the dark while the shutterdial is set to "Automatic," an excessively long exposure will result. To re-set the camera, move the dial to one of themanual speed settings and return it to the "Automatic" position before resuming shooting."

As I read it, the mirror should only lock up for a long period of time "with the lens cap on or in the dark". This tells me the camera has very sensitive metering and allows for a very long period of AUTO exposure, which are both true for the LX. As far as I can see, the same thing would occur whether or not film is present. Or am I quoting the wrong section?

As mentioned, my LX's mirror locks up in AUTO when pointing at a 100W light bulb at f1.4 at ASA800, which is not quite "in the dark".
08-17-2010, 11:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
Frank, I assume you're referring to the following:

"IMPORTANT: Should you accidentally press the shutter release with the lens cap on or in the dark while the shutterdial is set to "Automatic," an excessively long exposure will result. To re-set the camera, move the dial to one of themanual speed settings and return it to the "Automatic" position before resuming shooting."

As I read it, the mirror should only lock up for a long period of time "with the lens cap on or in the dark". This tells me the camera has very sensitive metering and allows for a very long period of AUTO exposure, which are both true for the LX. As far as I can see, the same thing would occur whether or not film is present. Or am I quoting the wrong section?

As mentioned, my LX's mirror locks up in AUTO when pointing at a 100W light bulb at f1.4 at ASA800, which is not quite "in the dark".
What I say above means that LX doesn't meter well w/o film, but it should still work in AUTO mode. Yours does seem a bit strange. I guess next time when you wanna do CLA on your Pentax cameras, Eric is the one to look for
08-18-2010, 12:07 AM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
What I say above means that LX doesn't meter well w/o film, but it should still work in AUTO mode.
Agreed. Thanks again for your input.

QuoteQuote:
Eric is the one to look for
I just wanted to try out someone "local" (or at least in the same country) first. The repairman actually has a very good reputation, and I was recommended to him by another member on this forum. It's a bit of a disappointing first experience, but hopefully it can be resolved.

Last edited by iht; 08-19-2010 at 12:44 AM.
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