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10-29-2013, 11:18 AM   #1
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Pentax MX Winder problem

So, I have a Pentax MX. When you half-press the shutter, it activates the meter. I also have the MX Winder. It used to be that the meter would activate with a half-press of the winder shutter button as well. Recently, it started activating the meter only intermittently, and now not at all. If I have press the shutter on the camera, it works fine 100% of the time. But the winder--nothing. The winder works fine otherwise--the shutter fires, the film advances. Just no meter.

Okay, this is admittedly a minor problem, since I can just move my finger an inch and a half and half-press the camera's shutter button, but it's an irksome problem that I'd like to fix. I don't see any obvious problems, the camera and winder are both (apparently) in very good condition. The contacts on the camera and winder are not corroded, or bent. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions about what might cause this?

10-29-2013, 05:51 PM   #2
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Did you check the three contact pins at the bottom of the camera body to see if they need a good cleaning as well as the three matching pins on the winder?
Over time the contact get a little oxidized and not connect up well.

The next thing is the leaf contacts with in the winder. Disassembly is required to reach them for cleaning.
10-29-2013, 06:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
Did you check the three contact pins at the bottom of the camera body to see if they need a good cleaning as well as the three matching pins on the winder?
Over time the contact get a little oxidized and not connect up well.

The next thing is the leaf contacts with in the winder. Disassembly is required to reach them for cleaning.
The contact pins look fine to me, but I'll try cleaning them just the same. Can't hurt, it's thirty years old. If that doesn't work, I'm not averse to disassembling the thing, but what is a leaf contact and where might I find them? I suppose (presuming I find them) that a little lighter fluid would do the trick?
11-01-2013, 08:31 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oppobeetle Quote
...what is a leaf contact and where might I find them?
Under the MX winder button is an assembly that has all the contact switches. I forget if it is held with two screws at either side or one more under the bumper? Look out for very short wires and make note or take pictures of the point they are attached in case of detachment.


QuoteOriginally posted by Oppobeetle Quote
...little lighter fluid would do the trick?
It is worth a try and also the De-ox-it or some sort of contact cleaner.

11-01-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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That seems to have done the trick! I managed to break the winder's battery cover in the process, but the meter works now. And I fixed the battery cover with duct tape, so I'm happy. Thanks for your help!
11-04-2013, 04:43 AM   #6
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On the subject of battery cover... if you have the situation where the threads are messed up, I've re-threaded the thing in the same manner one would re-tap a bad thread for an engine bolt. The hard parts are the cleaning and widening of the opening and to make a wire thread insert to glue in.

Last edited by MysteryOnion; 11-06-2013 at 04:38 PM.
11-04-2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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I've used an MX for many years and love just about everything about it. The battery cover is the lone exception. This has to be the worst design ever. Difficult to put on or take off it also is subject to easy breakage. That said the MX is so small it just feels wrong without the winder in place. Kind of a love/hate relationship for me.

Tom G
11-05-2013, 08:51 AM   #8
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I love that I can put the 40mm pancake on my MX and stick it in my (jacket) pocket. And I also love that I can put the winder on and it balances well with my 50mm f1.2. The 50 is not huge, but it's a very substantial piece of glass; maybe a bit heavier than the MX itself. I knew that battery door was going to give me problems sooner or later. It's the only part of this kit that doesn't feel solid.

So, the part that broke is not strictly speaking the battery door, but rather the annoying little screw that holds the door in place. Half of the screw is attached to the little knob, and the other half is in the battery door. My duct tape solution was effective for a while (as duct tape solutions often are), but the pressure from the springy battery contacts keeps forcing it partially open. Any ideas, short of gluing the damn thing shut?

11-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
I've used an MX for many years and love just about everything about it. The battery cover is the lone exception. This has to be the worst design ever. Difficult to put on or take off it also is subject to easy breakage. That said the MX is so small it just feels wrong without the winder in place. Kind of a love/hate relationship for me.

Tom G
The battery cover is an abomination! Pentax got it right on the ME Super winder, but every time I open or close the MX cover I wonder it this will be the time I strip out the threads. Pentax is usually so attentive to the user experience, but they really dropped the ball on this!
11-07-2013, 05:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
The battery cover is an abomination! Pentax got it right on the ME Super winder, but every time I open or close the MX cover I wonder it this will be the time I strip out the threads. Pentax is usually so attentive to the user experience, but they really dropped the ball on this!
Well put.

This being said I never use the MX without the winder in place.


I just feels wrong without it.


Tom G
11-07-2013, 09:59 AM   #11
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I found another kludgy solution. I've just wrapped a very large (1" wide) rubber band that goes from the battery door up between the rewind knob and the pentaprism. It's black, too, so it barely even looks out of place. Of course if you want to take the winder off, or open the film door, everything falls apart, but otherwise, it seems to work very nicely.
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