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03-08-2011, 04:12 PM   #1
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Does Grade of LX Really Matter

Will getting a "Mint" or "Excellent" condition LX really save me from sticky mirror syndrome? The conventional wisdom seems to be that all LXs need a good going-over, so why spend the extra money on a higher-grade camera? I hope this question doesn't open a can of worms, but since I am new to the subject and couldn't find it anywhere else on the forum, I had to post it. Thanks for all input.

By the way, I'm looking at buying from KEH, whose grading system seems to pertain to issues that "affect picture quality". Is a stuck mirror included in that? Thank you.

03-08-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
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I've bought three bodies from KEH and never had a problem with foam. Usually, their "excellent" grade is quite good. I did get one "mint" looking Superprogram with an exposure node switch that became hard to move after a couple of days. They were willing to ship back and refund at their expense, but I decided to keep it.

Mint or LN usually means there are no significant scratches or dings. That has nothing to do with functionality. KEH has been good about taking the body back if there is any problem, so get the level you need from the appearance and then look it over carefully for foam issues and try it out when you receive it.
03-08-2011, 05:09 PM   #3
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It shouldn't matter, sticky mirror is caused by age, not use.
Over time, the mirror bumper turns to goo.
When was the camera last serviced is more important.
Also, sticky mirror, while the most famous of the LX faults is not the only one.
The ISO resistor and the aperture cam follower resistor are also prone to corrosion, and thence erratic exposures/metering.
03-08-2011, 05:17 PM   #4
ChrisPlatt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Queens NYC
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Any Pentax LX unless recently serviced is likely to suffer the sticky mirror syndrome.
I bought my LX from KEH in BGN condition and immediately sent it Eric Hendrickson for overhaul.


03-13-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Buying an LX

I think KEH is a good place to buy a used camera. You can return it if you are not happy. It seems to me that their rating system is more related to cosmetics, and while some buyers will gladly pay a premium for looks, others are more interested in a good working camera with a few cosmetic flaws and a lower price. There are users and collectors.
I was fortunate to buy an LX that had recently been overhauled by Eric. It also might be a good strategy to buy one cheaply that is known to have a sticky mirror and then send it to Eric. It is the ones in-between that scare me.

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