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12-02-2014, 09:05 AM   #1
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Pentax KX with a dented prism

So, I found a Pentax KX with a dented prism. This would not normally put me off a camera - so long as the camera focuses and fires correctly, dented prisms seem to be a cosmetic concern only.

But on the KX, there is a strip of black plastic on which the prism housing sits (along with the aperture window.) On this KX, the plastic has cracked where the prism got dented.

Does the plastic have to be intact to ensure the camera is light tight? Or is cracked/missing plastic also purely a cosmetic concern?

I am putting a roll of film through the camera to check light tightness, but wanted your opinion on how serious this damage might be...

12-02-2014, 09:07 AM   #2
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My original photo mentor once told me that evidence of a dropped camera or lens is an automatic disqualification. A mild dent to the prism housing is one thing. An impact strong enough to break the plastic trip beneath is a deal-breaker for me.


Steve
12-02-2014, 09:56 AM   #3
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I thought the Pentax K-X was a digital camera or did Pentax release a film called the KR and a digital called the K-X?
12-02-2014, 10:02 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kchamber4 Quote
I thought the Pentax K-X was a digital camera or did Pentax release a film called the KR and a digital called the K-X?
The k-x you are thinking of: Pentax K-x - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

The KX that the OP is talking about: Pentax KX - Pentax Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

The hyphen makes the difference.

12-02-2014, 10:08 AM   #5
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The KX is a really nice camera. I have four of them. I would not pay money for one with the damage you describe.
Scratches and dents in the metal are not unusual for an old camera, but that sounds like a mortal blow.
12-02-2014, 10:44 AM   #6
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It all depends what the asking price is for that KX. I recently paid $30 for a very clean K2. It will need a ~$100 CLA to
replace seals and unstick the ASA ring, at which point I will have invested 'all the money' it's probably worth.

Your KX might be a very useable camera, but it has almost no resale value. You might offer $10 if it's really clean.
Otherwise I say pass as another, un-cracked KX would not be difficult to find.
12-02-2014, 10:52 AM   #7
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It was a $5 bargain bin camera -- so I'm not stressing about the investment :-)

The KX is surprisingly uncommon. This beater is only the second one I've found in many years of used camera hunting in Toronto...
12-02-2014, 12:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
Your KX might be a very useable camera, but it has almost no resale value. You might offer $10 if it's really clean.
...parts value only.

QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
The KX is surprisingly uncommon. This beater is only the second one I've found in many years of used camera hunting in Toronto...
Monochrome (PF member) has two for sale at present.


Steve

12-02-2014, 01:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
It was a $5 bargain bin camera -- so I'm not stressing about the investment :-)
Well, there you are! For $5 I think you got a good deal. Even if it's a total loss as an ideal user camera,
it can still serve as an experimental body, (slap a pinhole lens on, tape the light leak and leave anywhere
without fear of losing a big investment), or get the screwdrivers out and tear it apart as a learning aid.
12-02-2014, 01:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Monochrome (PF member) has two for sale at present.
Thanks!! I'll actually get a Marketplace thread together tonight.

I'll be there a lot in coming weeks.
12-02-2014, 02:31 PM   #11
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The top plate may be twisted rather than simply dented.

They're surprisingly complex pressings, and you can end up chasing distortion around until you work out precisely what is bent. I have a K2 which took a few attempts to repair as the hotshoe didn't sit level, and it was hard to flatten the dents so as to bring it back up on one side.

I'd eyeball the mirror (does it look parallel to the sides and base of the mirror box?) then try putting a film through it, assuming the shutter is firing and not capping. Try some frames with the fastest lens you own to see how accurate the focusing is. If it passes that then you can take the top plate off, remove the hotshoe, and beat the dent out with a wooden drift and a block of hardwood as an anvil.

Even if it doesn't work it'll still yield useful parts to keep other KXs and KMs alive. New parts are non-existent for these cameras now so don't throw them away, even if they're a horrible corroded mess like the black KM I bought as a project ages ago and gave up on as it had already been robbed of parts.
12-02-2014, 06:27 PM   #12
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FWIW, I bought a KX cheap that had a dent in the side of the prism metal. I shot a test roll which came out fine, then sent it to Eric for a CLA. He smoothed out the dent, among other things. It's now my favorite and most-used body. Purchase $ plus CLA$ came out to probably a good, not great, price for a splendid camera.
12-03-2014, 07:02 AM   #13
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Super input, thanks all.
12-03-2014, 04:16 PM   #14
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There is a black KX for sale in Markham on Kijiji.
Pentax KX (Black) + SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2.0 | cameras, camcorders | Markham / York Region | Kijiji
12-04-2014, 08:05 AM   #15
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The KX is not especially common, but it's not especially uncommon, either. I found mine on eBay a couple years ago.

The KX is one of my favorite Pentaxes. The only one I like more is the LX. The KX is basically an advanced, K-mount Spotmatic. It reminds me of a late Nikkormat compared to the Nikon FM, where the KX compares to the MX in the same fashion. Bigger, heavier, and more robust than the camera that replaced it. An equivalent Canon comparison would be an FTb (like the KX) to the AT-1 (like the MX), although the AT-1 is battery dependent.

In light of what others have stated, I would just look for another and keep this one as a spare for a parts source. Clean examples can be found on eBay for $50 or less.
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