Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-07-2016, 06:52 PM   #1
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 157
CLA tutorial?

Just getting back into film SLRs and as someone who loves to tinker, I was wondering if there are any really good DIY tutorials on how to clean and lube some of these classic Pentax SLRs from the 1970s.

08-07-2016, 07:54 PM   #2
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,867
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Service manuals are available at the Pentax Manuals Web site:


The main challenge to doing your own CLA is getting access to the instrumentation needed to calibrate shutter and meter and accumulating appropriate tools to do the job. OTOH, a CLA is not expensive. Users on this site favor the services of Eric Hendrickson for both CLA and repair.

Eric Hendrickson:

08-07-2016, 08:25 PM   #3
dcshooter's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Washington DC
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,401
The instructions vary from camera to camera. Which bodies did you have in mind, and what problems are they having? Some repairs are very easily accomplished. Others are extremely difficult.

Also, before you get started, here are the absolute essential things you will need:

1) A nice set of JIS screwdrivers. Do not attempt to use regular Philips head, or you will be in for a world of pain.
2) Some very sharp mini flat headed screwdrivers as well.
3) Lens spanners, flat and needle tipped.
4) a good dust blower such as a Giottos Rocket
5) Kimwipes
6) Various solvents such as mineral spirits, pure ethanol, and lighter fluid
7) Light seal material (foam or black wool thread)
8) General cleanser/shine product such as Armor All
9) Good tweezers
10) Light machine oil and grease
11) contact cement
12) Rubber tool
13) Soldering pen

Other things that are helpful to have on hand:
- aluminum gun blacking
- flat black paint
- shutter curtain material
- shutter speed tester (you can build one yourself, and there are phone apps that can test shutter speed now as wel)
- retaining ring wrenches
- plastic spudge sticks
- ultrasonic cleaner
- engraving fill-in paint

I just recently did a Mamiyaflex interchangeable lens TLR CLA (along with leatherette replacement), and I used every single one of the items listed above except for the JIS drivers, since the camera predates JIS screws.

If you are serious about doing several CLAs, you can probably get everything listed above for under $200 total. It's a pretty rewarding hobby, and while you are at it, you can pick up lens CLAing as well, which is useful for both film and digital photography.
08-07-2016, 11:14 PM   #4
Veteran Member

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Marina CA
Posts: 331
To do the job properly on a camera body you also need a calibrated light source to check exposure/calibrate meter. You also need a shutter tester that can measure shutter curtain travel time and shutter speed. Stevebrot was right about this. Without the instrumentation, lubricating a shutter barrel randomly may actually make your shutter worse. CLA stands for clean, lubricate and adjust. You can't do much adjusting without instruments. Eric is a good choice to get the job done right. If your goal is to clean up something so that it looks better or clean diaphragm blades, then instrumentation is not needed.

08-07-2016, 11:50 PM   #5
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 157
Original Poster
Well, I did put CL and A in the title because I figured if I just put CL, people might not know what I was talking about. If you noticed though, I did only mention cleaning and lube in the text of the message. I realize that adjustment would require very specialized and probably expensive equipment. If I find that any camera I acquire is not producing properly exposed images and needed adjustment, I would just bite the bullet and spend the $65 plus shipping to have Eric fix it for me. He will be getting my MX soon because I'm not ready to tackle this yet. I just know myself and realize that I will be wanting to put a screwdriver to a camera pretty soon because I can't not tinker on my hobby equipment. I just want some guidance before I start breaking stuff.

I am a ham radio operator and buying broke radios from eBay and melting on them with a soldering iron is pretty fun so I just know that now that I have been bitten by the 35mm film slr bug, I'm going to want to be taking this gear apart too. I see an MX on eBay for cheap that needs the shutter button fixed and a few other old classics that just need some cleaning. I'm not trying to make camera repair a full-time job or anything but if I can get a broke Pentax for $50, fix it, and sell it for $65 while enjoying a new hobby, that would be great. I might even be able to finance a nice collection of classic gear in the process.
08-08-2016, 04:27 AM   #6
ChrisPlatt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Queens NYC
Posts: 4,740
Make money? My advice is don't get your hopes up.
I'm thrilled just to break even, which happens only rarely...

08-08-2016, 05:26 PM   #7
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,867
QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Make money? My advice is don't get your hopes up.
I'm thrilled just to break even, which happens only rarely...

What he said ^^^

I have rehabilitated several cameras and except for all of them looking real pretty, none would sell for much more than what I paid...a crying shame, really


  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Focus Stacking Tutorial r0ckstarr Macro Photography 31 07-26-2016 05:25 AM
Tony Northrup K-1 Tutorial eddaytona Pentax K-1 3 07-15-2016 02:29 PM
Tony Northrup K-S2 Tutorial AndyB Pentax K-S1 & K-S2 3 07-26-2015 07:30 PM
tutorial? treeman Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 6 09-26-2014 06:24 AM
For Sale - Sold: FS: Pentax Super Program (CLA), Vivatar -Komine- 28mm f/2 PK - (CLA), Pe (Worl arbib Sold Items 4 03-30-2011 04:35 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:30 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]