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04-11-2016, 06:47 AM   #1
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Pentax KX prism desilvering! Advice please.

Hello all,

I'm fairly new hear, but I've been shooting film my whole life and Pentax about the last 5-8 years or so. I was given a Pentax KX from a friend, a Goodwill store find of $5! It was kind of rough, but much to my delight it fired back to life. It has been my project cam. Meters comparibly to my K5ii. I was delighted to get it working then heartbroken as I discovered the prism is desilvering. I found a parts KX and took its prism out only to find the same thing. I contacted Eric H. And he told me it is a problem with the sticky glue they used to secure the prism. It damages the silver layer. He said unless you get lucky this is a problem endemic to the old KX. My question. Does anyone know of a method to resilver the prism or a service? I have researched resilvering mirrors and found what I think could be a suitable kit to do so. I have spent a lot of time and love in this cam and I'd like to save it if possible.
Many thanks in advance for your kind assistance.

Bob

04-11-2016, 07:59 AM   #2
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Plenty of online info about silvering glass. Might even be some spray on products you could use. Do you have local glass/mirror factory who could do the job? Main thing will be to keep clean the entry and exit faces of the pentaprism. What about a K1000 or KM for parts?
Good luck
04-11-2016, 08:25 AM   #3
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Clean of any damaged silvering and reassemble the camera, it may be ok.
04-11-2016, 08:46 AM   #4
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by beachboy2 Quote
Plenty of online info about silvering glass. Might even be some spray on products you could use. Do you have local glass/mirror factory who could do the job? Main thing will be to keep clean the entry and exit faces of the pentaprism. What about a K1000 or KM for parts?
Good luck
I'm looking, but havent centered on anything at present. I diassembled a junker K1000, and Spotmatic and the prisms are differnt. The KX has an unusual shape to accommodate the aperture rind viewer.

---------- Post added 04-11-16 at 10:46 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Xmas Quote
Clean of any damaged silvering and reassemble the camera, it may be ok.
I tried. :-(

---------- Post added 04-11-16 at 10:49 AM ----------

I'm looking at possible solutions with a Mini Silvering Kit from Angel Gilding. The owner (Sarah) is being super helpful, and they have had success with 3D shapes and Sextant Prisms (not quite the same thing). But I may give that a try.

04-11-2016, 08:53 AM   #5
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I'd keep an eye out for an inexpensive KX fixer body.

Chris
06-08-2016, 09:00 AM   #6
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Not wishing to hijack this thread, but I can show more detail about the de-silvering. I picked up a cheap KX recently. But found an out of focus translucent strip across the lower field of view in the viewfinder. First photo shows an in focus view of the fault. Second photo shows where foam was glued around the penta prism. You can match the internal and external pattern: glue/foam decay causing desilvering as Eric confirmed to Bob TN. Other photos are of KX with top cover removed and prism with remnant foam before I cleaned it off with Isopropanol.
I should say that camera is still usable although the OOF strip is annoying. I have cleaned up the prism but whether it halts the desilvering I have no idea.

Another problem with this camera is that the metering approx +1 EV. Now by some reckoning that may be desirable! My work around is to adjust the ISO setting from say ASA 400 to ASA 800 with 400 film. Calibrating against my spotmeter and other cameras show this works.

I thought of adjusting the film speed dial but haven't worked out so far if this can be done readily. The above fix seems to me to be the simplest??
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06-08-2016, 10:52 AM   #7
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Yup, my KX also shows desilvering, and I've seen it on many Canon's of the 60s - all with foam around the prism. IT is also common on Leicaflex bodies from the late 1960s, with similar cause. I know a couple of the Leica technicians had a source for re-silvering the Leicaflex prism, which was pricey, but then so was the camera.
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