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09-20-2011, 03:53 AM   #1
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just bought an LX!

okay, so i have been into film for a little bit, have been using a Minolta rangefinder for a few months, and wanted to be able to use my old Pentax lenses, so i bought an LX with Winder.
great camera, easy to use, good feel.
now the problems..
the mirror does get stuck on occasion, its not really a big deal. i can live with it, but probably will get it serviced.
i just put 2 rolls of film through it, and when getting them developed, they were blank.
surely i couldnt have loaded both rolls wrong?
most shots were taken on Automatic, with a 50 f1.2, and i took a variety of shots at different apertures and shutter speeds did i did use it manually as well.
the counter was working, and when at the end of the roll i couldnt wind any more.
while looking at it today, i had the back open, and fired the shutter at different speeds, and the shutter was working fine, so im quite confused as to what could have gone wrong..
any suggestions?
is there any reputable service people in Australia? or anyone worldwide?
thanks.

09-20-2011, 04:16 AM   #2
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I'm sorry to say that you have not just "sticky-mirror-syndrome" going on. It does sound as if the magnet that fires the shutter is not doing things right and at auto is not knowing it is in auto.

Try to dry fire at all speeds from B to 2000 in both manual and automatic and observe the curtain from the film side. In auto and pointed as a steady lighted subject, you might adjust the ASA speeds to coax it to each speed.

I hope the seller didn't claim it was in proper working order as its value is half with the magnet issue.

Bad foam and the decay of the rubber bumper in the mirror box adds to the problems.

If it fails, I hope you can get your money back.

Here in the US we have Eric Hendrickson at www.pentaxs.com... a super Pentax repair guy!

Last edited by MysteryOnion; 09-20-2011 at 04:36 AM.
09-20-2011, 05:55 AM   #3
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thanks MO.
i have done a few tests at all speeds a few times, i think part of the problem might have been a power issue, i just put some card paper behind battery and all speeds seem fine, whereas before, lower speeds were firing too fast.

the seller was a shop i think, they said it was in good order, and it has new seals, also offer a 90day warranty. but i think i might still get it serviced at some time for peace of mind. i got it for a good price, US$450 for LX Body and caps, LX Winder, and a Tamrac strap, and overall its in good condition.

i guess ill have to try another roll and hope for the best.
my biggest problem is that the nearest lab is 2 hrs drive away.
09-20-2011, 07:19 AM   #4
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Odd to need to shim the batteries... if it works...
Good luck with the next roll.

09-20-2011, 09:44 AM   #5
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I would get someone involved who knows about developing film. Sounds to me as if that is where something went wrong!
09-20-2011, 09:56 AM   #6
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Oh boy, you got the sticky mirror syndrome! This is due to the deteriorating mirror cushions and damper. In the early 80's, Pentax was experimenting with new synthetic materials, by aging somme got sticky, that's what happens to your LX now.
If you go on shooting like that, the mirror/shutter mechanics might suffer.

Get that wonderful machine CLAed, it's worth it!
But be aware to consult an genuine Pentax repairman, the LX is a sealed camera and that sealing is some really special Pentax stuff!
09-20-2011, 12:28 PM   #7
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The LX shutter is electronically timed in auto, but mechanically in manual; so even with battery problems the manual mode shots should have been OK - unless there is a curtain capping problem from a dragging front curtain.
If the mirror sticks DOWN after sitting unused for a while (so the shutter fires after some delay) - that's the LX mirror-rest problem. New foam seals and bumper won't help that, because they only replace the bumper at the top. If the mirror sticks UP, it could be sticking to the top bumper, or the closing shutter may not be releasing the mirror. (Could be a curtain drag or brake problem.)
Last I knew Pentax still repaired the LX.
09-20-2011, 10:51 PM   #8
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An other issue with that mirror problem is that due to the deteriorating mirror cushions, the focusing is off. The angel of the mirror, when at rest, is important, so fixing that includes calibrating the mirror angle for correct focussing.
I have 3 of them, all 3 had that syndrome and needed to be fixed at 200 per body (full CLA included), but it was worth it! To my humble opinion, the LX auto exposure system is the best, particularly for low light (very-) long exposures.
Have it fixed by Pentax and enjoy!

09-22-2011, 12:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by philippe Quote
An other issue with that mirror problem is that due to the deteriorating mirror cushions, the focusing is off. The angel of the mirror, when at rest, is important, so fixing that includes calibrating the mirror angle for correct focussing.
I have 3 of them, all 3 had that syndrome and needed to be fixed at 200 per body (full CLA included), but it was worth it! To my humble opinion, the LX auto exposure system is the best, particularly for low light (very-) long exposures.
Have it fixed by Pentax and enjoy!
thanks for the replies.
i have noticed that the split focus screen doesn't focus at infinity.
i loaded another roll of film, so just going to try to scale focus if i can.
i'll probably send it off to this Eric Hendrickson fellow soon.
09-22-2011, 11:34 AM   #10
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Sorry to say, but that would be a waste of (scarce) film and development! And unnecessary stressing the camera's mechanics...
Get a CLA and you will be happy ever after! You can always use that film to test the camera when it will be back, just a suggestion...
09-29-2011, 02:19 AM   #11
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While I'm certainly no LX expert, I'd like to point out some detail that may not have been well understood:

QuoteOriginally posted by JamesR Quote
the seller was a shop i think, they said it was in good order, and it has new seals
QuoteOriginally posted by philippe Quote
Oh boy, you got the sticky mirror syndrome!
And everything that followed after that just seemed some sort of misunderstanding, in my opinion.
10-01-2011, 01:30 PM   #12
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As far as repairs, here in the US Eric Henderson seems to be the Man! Home I need to send my LX and my MX to him.

Well, I just noticed that MysteryOnion had mentioned Eric Henderson. I've never seen any complaints about his work, you'll note from his website that he's a former "official Pentax repair person."

In Australia, I don't know. Check with the good folks at Pentax Forums - Pentax User Photography Forums I seem to recall a recommendation for LX service there, whether it was in Great Britain or not I don't know, but they'll be glad to help.

But do get it fixed. The LX is a wondrous device.

BTW, OrphanCameras.com is a great source of manuals for Pentax and other gear. Free downloads, good quality. He does ask for a donation and he deserves it.
10-01-2011, 04:58 PM   #13
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Hendrickson.
10-02-2011, 03:58 AM   #14
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just a quick update, i sent it of to Eric few days ago. cant bloody wait to get it back!
10-05-2011, 08:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
As far as repairs, here in the US Eric Henderson seems to be the Man! Home I need to send my LX and my MX to him.

Well, I just noticed that MysteryOnion had mentioned Eric Henderson. I've never seen any complaints about his work, you'll note from his website that he's a former "official Pentax repair person."

In Australia, I don't know. ....
Ben Vang at Camera Checkpoint is good (he's serviced a couple of Pentaxes for me with good results).



Check this: www.cameracheckpoint.com.au

Last edited by Banjo; 10-05-2011 at 08:48 PM.
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