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03-03-2011, 02:30 AM   #1
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Pentax KX Shutter starting to stuck at slow shutter speed.

Hello all,

I am new here. Nice to meet you all. I have a problem with my Pentax KX shutter hoping I can get some help from experts here.

I am a beginner level photographer, and I just got a 1975 Pentax KX from my father as a starter. The camera seems to work perfectly at shutter speed 1/8 sec. or higher. However, the mirror sometimes stuck at shutter speed 1/4, 1/2, and 1 sec. and will not come down for awhile (at least 5 sec each time). I tried to search online for more information, but I can't seem to find any information about my camera. I can't even find an on-line service manual for my camera. I am wondering if any expert here knows what causes this problem. Thanks!

03-03-2011, 03:45 AM   #2
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I had a similar problem on my ME Super. It was a build up of grime over the years. A standard service sorted this out.
A camera that is 36 years old will develop little problems like this but they can usually be sorted out. The KX is a top end camera and if it is in good condition in general it may be worth spending a little money on a professorial service.
03-03-2011, 03:51 AM   #3
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probably the mechanical stuck at low shutter speed..i have the same problem with my pentax ME too..but mine is more worst..it stick and never go down..i need to operate inside the camera to let it down..
03-03-2011, 07:57 AM   #4
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The ME and ME Super both have very different shutters than your KX, but the advice regarding service is a good one. A likely cause of your sticky mirror is a degraded foam bumper at the top of the mirror box. The bumper is designed to dampen the mirror slap at the end of its travel, but over time the foam degrades into a sticky goo. This can result in the mirror sticking at the top of its travel. It can also result in the black goo being flung onto the mirror itself and on to the focus screen. Testing the condition of the bumper is easy. Just touch it is a toothpick. If it is sticky, it must be replaced and probably should be before any further use of the shutter.

If the mirror bumper is bad, the foam light seals for the film door are also probably degraded. Replacement of the foam can be done by anyone with the materials, a set of tweezers, good eyesight and a steady hand. The materials can be purchased as an inexpensive pre-cut kit from Jon Goodman (interslice on eBay).

If there is goo on the mirror or focus screen, I would caution against attempting to clean it off yourself. The mirror and focus screen surfaces are very fragile and easy to damage/scratch. There is also the issue of using appropriate solvents to remove the goo. (The focus screens are often made from plastic.) If you want the camera to be in the best possible condition for use, I would suggest contacting Eric Hendrickson for a full Clean/Lube/Adjust (CLA). He is reasonably priced and is the goto repair person for users of this Web site. See:
Pentax Camera Services
Have fun with your KX. It is a desirable camera and is considered by many on this site to be one of the best fully mechanical cameras ever made by Pentax.


Steve

(Have had my KX for a couple of years now and will probably never sell it.)

03-03-2011, 08:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spirit722 Quote
Hello all,

I am new here. Nice to meet you all. I have a problem with my Pentax KX shutter hoping I can get some help from experts here.

I am a beginner level photographer, and I just got a 1975 Pentax KX from my father as a starter. The camera seems to work perfectly at shutter speed 1/8 sec. or higher. However, the mirror sometimes stuck at shutter speed 1/4, 1/2, and 1 sec. and will not come down for awhile (at least 5 sec each time). I tried to search online for more information, but I can't seem to find any information about my camera. I can't even find an on-line service manual for my camera. I am wondering if any expert here knows what causes this problem. Thanks!
Yes take Steve's advice and have Eric CLA your KX. It's worth the effort and you will then have a great camera that will last another 35 years!

Phil.
03-03-2011, 06:09 PM   #6
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Another vote to send it to Eric. You'll be glad you did.

Chris
03-03-2011, 08:22 PM   #7
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Just received my KX back from Eric for CLA, highly recommend it!

David
03-03-2011, 09:49 PM   #8
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Original Poster
Thanks for all of your help and recommendations! I will contact Eric and see if he can help.

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