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01-13-2013, 12:55 AM   #1
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LX purchase opinion please

I'm a noob when it comes to K-mount cameras. I currently own a number of Spotmatic bodies and a dozen M42 Takumar prime lenses and luv'em. That said, I have always lusted for a LX. (Who hasn't?)

There is a 3200 ISO LX with SMC 50 1.7, locally to me (well actually a few hundred kms away,) for $500 (CDN). (If I drive out to inspect it, I'm looking at another $50 in fuel.) I inquired about the camera and whether it had been CLA'd and here is his response.

"I havenít used the camera in 10 years but it was working perfectly at that time. I still take it out occasionally and run through the shutters. Itís never been cleaned or serviced as itís never been needed. It has a cosmetic scratch on the outside of the finder which doesnít affect anything and could easily be replaced as itís removable. The only other thing is the leather trim pulled away from the body just in one spot so I put glued it back on."

What do you guys think? Seem like a reasonable deal>

If I decide to pursue, outside of visually checking for deteriorating foam, and corroded battery enclosure, is there anything else I should look for in an inspection? Any easy way I can tell if there are electronic issues?

Thanks,

01-13-2013, 01:09 AM   #2
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That is a rather steep price for, yes, a great camera. Such a camera should be serviced by now, and it sounds like that was never done. Better to do that sooner than later, as who knows how long there will be people around who can service the LX. So, figure that into the deal as well. Then, the scratch on the prism: indeed it won't affect working with this camera, but it will affect what you will get for it, should you ever want to sell it.

As for checking it out: find the manual online (Butkus), it is not difficult to understand how this camera works . . .
01-13-2013, 02:01 AM   #3
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I see a local store has an LX for sale at $200 - body only.

That's a nicer lens than the f2, but I still think the deal is overpriced, IMHO. And if its sold at a store there's an easier conduit for returning the item if it's not all it's reported to be...

Last edited by Reliant K1000; 01-13-2013 at 07:37 PM.
01-13-2013, 05:30 AM   #4
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That's way too much. You shouldn't be going much over USD300 unless it has been recently serviced. If there is not much history, start at USD250 if it is working and USD200 if it needs repairs.

01-13-2013, 05:56 AM   #5
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The price does seem high, but they are also getting harder to find. I bought mine new - and eventually it sat for some time in storage, and when I tried to use it again needed service for the mirror sticking DOWN on the first shot of a series. It also wouldn't focus properly because the mirror stop had softened and allowed the mirror to change angle at rest. Very common problem. I'd plan on a trip to Eric for any LX by now. At the very least check the focus at infinity. If it's off it will need service.
01-13-2013, 09:21 AM   #6
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$500 would be an OK price for a freshly serviced LX from a store with a good warranty. I agree with others that in your circumstances $250-$300 is more reasonable, as it will almost certainly need service.
01-13-2013, 09:39 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hilo Quote
That is a rather steep price for, yes, a great camera. Such a camera should be serviced by now, and it sounds like that was never done. Better to do that sooner than later, as who knows how long there will be people around who can service the LX. So, figure that into the deal as well. Then, the scratch on the prism: indeed it won't affect working with this camera, but it will affect what you will get for it, should you ever want to sell it.

As for checking it out: find the manual online (Butkus), it is not difficult to understand how this camera works . . .
Fortunately the finder is replaceable but finding replacements is not easy nor cheap.

The LX is "simple" but not "easy" to check. Mechanically, Pentax threw everything into the design, parts selection and manufacturing of the LX so confidence is high it's great but not hard to verify self timer, DOF, MLU, film advance, motor coupling, focusing and accuracy of the mechanically controlled shutter speeds. Testing TTL flash requires an AF280T - or compatible flash, and external meter to test in a controlled environment. Aperture priority auto exposure requires controlled testing with film and external meter - or known working LX and/or Olympus OM4, to 125 seconds.
01-13-2013, 09:47 AM   #8
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I agree with Tom that the LX - and it's accessories, are not readily available or inexpensive when they are. Been looking everywhere myself for a third option this past recent months. Actual working condition - and included bits and pieces, will determine whether your find is a good price or not.

01-13-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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BTW, I have bought cameras that had "known issues" but were in great cosmetic shape knowing that I could send it to Eric (Home) . . .
01-13-2013, 12:32 PM   #10
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If you do get a chance to handle an LX before purchase I'd suggest you take two brand new, unused batteries to check the shutter speeds, both automatic and manual, as well as how the mirror handles when pressing the shutter release button.
01-13-2013, 02:54 PM   #11
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Another thing to check if you intend to mount the winder, a worthwhile aspiration, is to check to see if the meter switch, the button concentric with the finder release lever, does function to turn on the meter. Baring this you may find that it is virtually impossible to meter by partially depressing the shutter release without firing the shutter. Took me far too long to scope this out!

Keep a watch on the reputable dealers in used gear: B & H, Adorama, and especially KEH. You can ask a KEH rep to alert you when a promising item comes up; "my guy" at KEH alerted me to a "Bargain" LX for about $170.00, about three months ago. I bought it, it looks well used but not abused, i e, minor brassing, a few minor scratches on the base plate, no dents. A little dust in the finder which I blew/brushed out. Works perfectly! I later scored the winder, also "Bargain" for about $60.00 At this price I can well afford to have "St Eric" give it a CLA, along with the oldest of my 3 LXs. "...Must resist the call of the LX...."

Don't consider a purchase unless at a true give-away price without a return possible within a reasonable time to check the camera out. I'd define a reasonable time as one month after you sign for the shipment, especially if from another country.

It'd be a good idea to be sure to buy K A mount lenses, those with an "A" position just past the minimum aperture; these work nicely on digital gear. Without the "A" you're into stopdown metering, no real fun. Also from what I understand while Ricoh K mount lenses work fine on the LX and earlier, they may jam on the Pentax digital K mount. Not a fun idea!

All said and done the LX is a marvel. The TTL flash has never let me down, the metering is excellent. Imagine shooting a moonlit scene at f 4 at ASA 400 and an automatic exposure of perhaps 5 minutes, perfectly exposed.
01-13-2013, 07:31 PM   #12
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Davep,

If you're willing to drive to Hamilton, there's an LX on consignment that I lust after each time I develop my film at Bell Arte (Bell Arte Camera Foto Source, Hamilton: Contact Us) for $250 (maybe $200 I can't really remember). I would hate to see it gone, but it would be nice to know that it went to a good home.

Elliot
01-14-2013, 08:56 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Simian Summit Quote
Davep,

If you're willing to drive to Hamilton, there's an LX on consignment that I lust after each time I develop my film at Bell Arte (Bell Arte Camera Foto Source, Hamilton: Contact Us) for $250 (maybe $200 I can't really remember). I would hate to see it gone, but it would be nice to know that it went to a good home.

Elliot
Thanks everyone for your comments and help. And Elliot, your Hamilton suggestion really makes sense. I may run over and check that one out. I could send to Eric for a $250 CLA and still keep the budget acceptable

Last edited by Davep; 01-14-2013 at 09:08 AM.
01-15-2013, 03:36 PM   #14
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I just paid $400 in the Marketplace for a late-model LX, perfect cosmetic (literally, perfect) just CLA'ed by Eric (Invoice included) with an FA-1 Finder. I also have purchased locally the FB-1 / FC-1 and FE-1 Finders and some bits that were in the original boxes (velvet bag, tripod spacer, dioter adjustment tool) all-in for $200. I thought I paid fair prices - neither a steal nor overpaid (well, the finders in thier original boxes were a pretty good deal).

Consequently (given USD/CDN parity) IMHO your other offer seems high to me.
01-15-2013, 05:07 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I just paid . . .
Wait a minute, I seem to recall you posting several times you were getting rid of and not acquiring . . .
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