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01-30-2014, 05:02 PM   #1
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Pentax KX Questions?

Hi All,

The recent discussions about K v M bodies has prompted me to acquire a KX for comparison against my K1000 and MX. It wasn't easy to find one and I ended up paying enough to expect a reasonable example. Instead, it falls short of that expectation, but I'm wondering whether the metering issues are typical of the type:

The metering seems to work inconsistently. The battery check button has to be held down for a few seconds before the needle starts to drop. Likewise when metering, the meter has to be on (wind crank at stand-off and shutter release half-pressed) for a few seconds before it starts to meter. Apart from occasional wild fluctuations, the metered value seems to settle at an 'about right' reading. Once it's up and running, switching it off, then on again usually drives the needle smoothly to the 'about right' reading. It feels like a capacitor is taking longer to charge than it should.

There also seems to be a slight perceptible delay between hitting the shutter and it firing.

Obviously it's an old camera, it needs a CLA (the higher shutter speeds may also need attention), but I'm trying to decide whether it's worth percivering with and whether I can find one in better condition (or am I likely to find similar problems in another one)? In comparison, both my K1000's simply worked 'out of the box'.

John.

01-30-2014, 05:20 PM   #2
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If you are using new batteries, then it looks like a CLA is in order to adjust/fix the meter. The KX meter is turned on by moving the film wind lever and half pressing the shutter. That will leave it on all the time, otherwise just do a half press of the shutter button for a quick meter check.


http://www.cameramanuals.org/pentax_pdf/pentax_kx.pdf


Phil.
01-30-2014, 06:13 PM   #3
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Hi johnha. Are you using Alkaline (A76) or Silver (S76) batteries in the Pentax KX? I have both the KX and the Pentax LX and I noticed that alkaline batteries tended to supply erratic power to the LX. Power was more consistent with silver batteries on the LX. By the way, I used to have the MX too, but liked the KX a bit more because it had a shutter speed dial that was easier to shift shutter speeds on it.
01-30-2014, 07:28 PM   #4
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Battery check, advance lever and shutter release meter switches may all be dirty or out of adjustment.
The delay before the shutter releases indicates transport/shutter service is required.

The KX is my favorite Pentax. Two of three I bought used required service for similar issues. I had Eric Hendrickson CLA all.

If it meters accurately and camera appears to be in good shape otherwise I'd say it's a good candidate for CLA.
Enjoy that wonderful camera!

Chris

01-30-2014, 07:46 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Enjoy that wonderful camera!
For twenty years or so after Eric does his thing. I now have two.
01-31-2014, 07:33 AM   #6
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It may just be bad battery contact. Clean the contacts of the battery chamber, a rubber eraser at the end of a pencil does a great job

Else, try the SR battery reccomendation, if none works a good CLA maybe needed
01-31-2014, 11:16 AM   #7
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As pointed out by titrisol, it could just be cleaning so clean the battery cover too. I believe the KX & MX share the same cover which helped me figure out the issue I had with an MX.

As with all used gear, operational condition is unpredictable. Fortunately, we have a Pentax expert to restore our precious! So if it's cosmetically & mechanically sound, I'd send it to Eric.
01-31-2014, 03:06 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into them. I'm using alkaline battereries, but not sure if I'll be able to find silver ones?

I'm in the UK and will get in touch with Harrow Technical about a CLA.

John.

01-31-2014, 03:31 PM   #9
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You can get SR44 batteries on eBay or Amazon.
01-31-2014, 06:19 PM   #10
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SR44 used to be easy to buy, even at Boots
01-31-2014, 06:32 PM   #11
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Though silver cells are recommended for longer life and more stable output the meter should work properly with fresh alkaline cells.
If the alkalines you're using are good I doubt silver cells will solve your meter problems, and definitely won't affect the shutter lag.

Chris
01-31-2014, 07:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Though silver cells are recommended for longer life and more stable output the meter should work properly with fresh alkaline cells.
If the alkalines you're using are good I doubt silver cells will solve your meter problems, and definitely won't affect the shutter lag.
Thanks Chris,

I'll try some silver cells, see if it helps at all, at least it might narrow down the problems. I appreciate it won't help the shutter problem, it looks like it needs a CLA and cosmetically it's good enough to warrant one.

John.
02-01-2014, 09:18 PM   #13
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BTW, since the KX - as well as others, uses two of the 1.5V batteries, you can also use a single lithium CR 1/3N or 2L76 or DL 1/3N or equivalent. The advantage of lithium cels over others is their extremely wide temperature tolerance as well as long shelf life. They are more expensive than the SR44 or equivalent cels though.
02-02-2014, 08:09 PM   #14
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The KX is absolutely worth a CLA. I really like mine, even though the prism is slightly dented and the aperture number doesn't show in the viewfinder. It has the second smoothest draw of any camera I own.
02-02-2014, 08:28 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by K David Quote
The KX is absolutely worth a CLA. I really like mine, even though the prism is slightly dented and the aperture number doesn't show in the viewfinder. It has the second smoothest draw of any camera I own.
Sounds like a camera that should be sent to Eric.
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