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08-30-2010, 05:24 AM   #1

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Lifespan for the older bodies?

Hi guys, just thought I'd raise a question for some discussion.

What kind of life-span do people think we'll see for the the old, mechanical bodies? Ie. K1000, MX and so on... Assuming that the bodies have been well cared for, regularly used, CLA'd etc...

I've seen pictures posted here from bodies half a century old! How much longer do you think they'll keep on going for? Surely there must be some finite life-span before moving parts just wear out...

08-30-2010, 05:33 AM   #2
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The bodies are real workhorses- doubt there's anything in a k1000 that can't be fixed in regular service.
08-30-2010, 05:45 AM   #3

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So she'll still be working (assuming that maintenance parts can be found) in 500 years?

(that is a serious question)

Honestly, are these the kind of things that could be on Antiques Roadshow 2108?
08-30-2010, 06:17 AM   #4
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I think that is entirely possible. Lenses from 140 or more years ago for view cameras are still being used today. My SP1000 is about 45 years old. I had it CLA'd this summer. I reckon it will go another 45 before needing another CLA. My Tak 55/2 is about the same age. As far as I know, it never has been serviced and may never need one. Lots of shooters atill are using Barnacks 70 years old ...

08-30-2010, 07:07 AM   #5
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Just keep in cool, dry storage place when not in use, always remove any batteries, and when in use handle with the care and basic precautions needed (i.e. don't let it fall off your hands, don't try and force any lever or controls). As for mechanical wear, when I see antique cars with engines still happily running, I believe a camera also has moving parts but none of them will run as many RPMs as in a car engine so you should be safe on that side.
08-30-2010, 07:14 AM   #6
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In my view, the real issue with longevity of mechanical objects, (cameras, cars, clocks etc), is whether or not parts can be made or adapted from other things. I once had the shutter of a 1947 Kodak large format lens serviced, and the tech told me they re-purposed a couple of parts from a Bronica mirror assembly. As long as we have smart and inventive repair people, we'll be able to get our mechanical cameras serviced.
08-30-2010, 07:47 AM   #7
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I would agree with groundloop

for my KX (film body that is, not to be confused with the K-x DSLR) the biggest concerns are shutter curtain, as it is fabric and the metering sensor, as it may be obsolite.

everything else can be maintained and as long as it is not smashed / worn out shoud be OK.

the opther point is there may be plenty of donor bodies available
08-30-2010, 08:08 AM   #8
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The main difference between Pentax and other (lesser) brand cameras is just this availability of spares & the people willing to work on the cameras. While, e.g. a Yashica TL Electro is a fine camera and theoretically bullet proof, once the electronics go, these are not worth the expense of repair. And, if a particular model has a characteristic failure mode with the electronics for example, donor bodies become sparse.

While these aren't focal plane shuttered cameras, all of my folders from the '30s are running and taking pictures now, sometimes with a minor cleaning of the shutter blades... and if the lens is worth it, these are worth getting a CLA and/or bellows replacement.


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