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04-11-2009, 03:37 PM   #1
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Pentax MX Servicing: Necessary?

Hello,

Newbie with a numpty question here... I've owned a Pentax MX since 1981, and had it serviced once, in about 1985, prompted by the loss of the plastic widget at the end of the shutter lock safety catch.

Thing is, is it worth another service or should I wait until it goes wrong, if ever? I haven't used it as much of late, and, when I have, I've only used colour-negative film so any discrepancy in exposure caused by sluggish shutter, etc... might not be as evident as it might be with slide film (which I last shot on ten years ago). I'm now enjoying a 'film renaissance', hence the query.

Do mechanical cameras go 'off the boil' with gummy lubricants, dirt, grease, etc...? I've looked after it pretty well - no sand in it, nor rain or excessive heat - and it appears to work fine.

Your thoughts, please?
--

Regds,

Russell W. B.

04-12-2009, 11:17 AM   #2
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I'd get a good CLA. It's got a quarter century's worth of gunk in it now, and cameras are alwyas happier when they're clean and well-lubed. Also it's worth it to get the seals replaced, as they're reaching the end of their useful life. And with a good CLA you won't have to worry about it again till about 2035! Go here for it: Home Eric did my KX, and now it's like new. It's honestly worth every penny.

An accurate shutter *never* hurts, especially with slide.
04-12-2009, 11:43 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
I'd get a good CLA. It's got a quarter century's worth of gunk in it now, and cameras are alwyas happier when they're clean and well-lubed. Also it's worth it to get the seals replaced, as they're reaching the end of their useful life. And with a good CLA you won't have to worry about it again till about 2035! Go here for it: Home Eric did my KX, and now it's like new. It's honestly worth every penny.

An accurate shutter *never* hurts, especially with slide.
Here's the brand new Camera Repair and Service Resources Forum. In addition to Eric's, there are a few other Links.
04-12-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, folks! I shall seek out a UK service agent, as I think the fella that did it last time is no longer in business...

04-15-2009, 12:08 AM   #5
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I would imagine that the MX, more so than the ME series, needs service after the long term.

Being all-mechanical, if one part gets a little sticky, or if another is suffering from metal fatigue, the shutter times could be off.

There're a lot of similarities between cameras and watches (and not just that Seiko make shutters.) Delicately parts, that must function precisely together to very, very tight tolerances. An MX is more like a mechanical watch, and thus more is like to be "off" with it. An ME is more like a quartz watch - long as it's got reliable current, if the shutter and mirrors move, it'll be fine.

Still, I'm hoping my $53 MX I got yesterday has OK shutter timings...
05-01-2009, 11:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell W. barnes Quote
Thanks for the advice, folks! I shall seek out a UK service agent, as I think the fella that did it last time is no longer in business...
Further to my original post, I sought the view of an ex-colleague who not only collects cameras but has written several technical articles (but not about any Pentax, unfortunately). He tells me that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', and I have no reason to doubt him.

I have noticed, however, that the foam mirror-buffer is starting to degrade and was wondering if:
  • This degradation is indicative of degradation elsewhere within the camera?
  • New foam mirror-buffers are available (not NOS, as they may have degraded over time)?
  • Would it do any harm if the foam mirror buffer disappeared entirely?
  • It is an easy job replacing it myself (I am happy to go so far into the camera, but would not open anything up that contains tiny springs or minuscule screws, levers or cams)?

Incidentally, my Seiko 5 mechanical wristwatch is working fine after nine years without any sort of servicing whatsoever...
05-01-2009, 02:39 PM   #7
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If the mirror foam is bad, it's likely the other foam, such as on the back is also bad. (try pressing on the back a bit, if it can move a lot, probably it's a good idea to change that, too.

No, it's not a particularly difficult job. There's a great site and supplier of foam, Better than new. With online instructions, and photos, ...Jon Goodman. You should be able to get an idea what's involved, there.

Favorite Classics / Jon Goodman's Seal Replacement Instructions

You likely wouldn't want that mirror not having the foam there.
05-01-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote

Favorite Classics / Jon Goodman's Seal Replacement Instructions

You likely wouldn't want that mirror not having the foam there.
Excellent; many thanks! I have access to a large bench, small tools and a big bench magnifier, and I could probably fit them myself. I've e-mailed Jon for details.

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