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01-31-2010, 01:11 PM   #1
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Pentax reliability

I've had an urge to try film again, and I pulled out a few film bodies. First was my wife's Contax RTS and two Zeiss lenses. Built like a tank and heavy as lead. Then I pulled out my LX and my MX bodies, which are featherweights in comparison. Neither camera has been used in well over a decade. None of the batteries (in the package and never used) for the Contax worked. When I did get a fresh battery that worked, I found the shutter would not fire, and the mirror stayed locked up indefinitely when a lens was attached. No setting would change this.

Not only did the LX work flawlessly, but it did so on a 15+ year old used battery that I found in the bottom of the bag. The same is true for the MX. (I did get some new ones, anyway)

Now, per another thread, maybe I can modify those Zeiss lenses....

01-31-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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They certainly knew how to build cameras back then. I recently bought an older gentleman's Spotmatic setup, which he got brand new in 1969. He took countless thousands of pictures with it (evidenced by the countless thousands of slides he has at home), but stopped using the camera over 15 years ago because the light meter stopped functioning. The rest of the camera works fine though, and I've been able to play around with it. The shutter speed is perfectly within spec, the shutter and mirror work flawlessly, even the auto-aperture mechanism is working great, it's practically a brand new camera. The M42 lenses I got with it are flawless, they look like they just came out of their original packaging.

40+ years, and this camera can still take perfect pictures. I can only hope my K-7 lasts 1/10 that long.

(edit: the Vivitar electronic flash from the same era works flawlessly too!)
01-31-2010, 04:39 PM   #3
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I've bought 2 Spotmatics on Ebay and a local auction, a pair of ME Supers and a Super Program and all of them have been functional with working light meters. I'm impressed.
01-31-2010, 05:56 PM   #4
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I spoke too soon. After running a few test rolls, it appears my LX has the gummy light seals referred to in another thread. This may be what the Contax has as well, since the mirror sticks. It looks like my 25 year old LX does in fact need a tune-up.

01-31-2010, 11:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I spoke too soon. After running a few test rolls, it appears my LX has the gummy light seals referred to in another thread. This may be what the Contax has as well, since the mirror sticks. It looks like my 25 year old LX does in fact need a tune-up.
You might want to check with Eric Hendricks, he seems to be the go-to guy for maintenance and repair on old Pentax's. He's on the forum as EricTN.
02-01-2010, 01:14 AM   #6
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That is aminor and normal nuissance
get a kit from JonGoodman (interslice) and replace them yourself... easy as pie
QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I spoke too soon. After running a few test rolls, it appears my LX has the gummy light seals referred to in another thread. This may be what the Contax has as well, since the mirror sticks. It looks like my 25 year old LX does in fact need a tune-up.
02-01-2010, 07:15 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Portland Pete Quote
You might want to check with Eric Hendricks, he seems to be the go-to guy for maintenance and repair on old Pentax's. He's on the forum as EricTN.
I have already done so. After 25 years, it is probably a good idea to have it checked out anyway.
02-01-2010, 02:17 PM   #8
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Ah, when I was a young photographer with a cooler haircut, Contax RTSes were my 'If I make it big, I'll sling this' camera. Loved em, but I guess they didn't survive well As someone who'd be pretty darn happy with a couple of nice Zeisses and, well, the rest, whatever comes in a bag with an old Yashica, I looked at the option when it was time to rebuild my film system.

I guess the bodies just didn't hold up over time, though. :/

The lenses, though, can be adapted to Pentax, though, is my understanding.

02-01-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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For the C/Y to K-mount conversion:
Zeiss Contax lens for Pentax cameras
Steve
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