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Pentax LX - Expensive to maintain?
Old 04-18-2015   #1
p.giannakis
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Pentax LX - Expensive to maintain?

Hi everyone,

I was offered a Pentax LX in a very reasonable price. It suffers the sticky mirror syndrome so a CLA is due.
I google around and there seem to be people who suggest that the LX is a high maintenance camera requiring frequent services almost every 5 to 7 years !
Are there any Pentax LX users in here? What is your experience with this camera? Does it really need frequent services?

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Old 04-18-2015   #2
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I have had one such camera, and had to get it fixed too. The repair wasn't really a success. This happened also on other cameras, and in the end after trying several shops, I gave up. You really need to have a dependable repair shop before you go for it. Having said that the LX is a superb camera.
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Old 04-18-2015   #3
Doug
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The sticky mirror is simply the foam bumper material going old and squishy, easily replaced with the same tools and materials for doing foam on other cameras.

I bought LX bodies for my wife's theatre photography years ago because she's accident prone and the cameras are tough and well-sealed. They got well and truly battered and kept on ticking with minimal maintenance. One was lost by the P.O. on the way for repair, and I got a really nice sample for myself from the big 'bay, including the unusual 1.2/50mm... I think it's a quality choice. The repair/CLA guy to talk to is Eric Hendrickson... the camera requires special expertise, and our local guy will mess it up.
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Old 04-19-2015   #4
Tompas
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I bought a well used LX about 4 or 5 years ago. No sticky mirror nor any other problem.
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Old 04-19-2015   #5
ChrisPlatt
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A proper Pentax LX overhaul should last considerably longer than that.

If you have your LX service done by Eric Hendrickson in USA or Harrow Technical in UK
they will use the correct replacement parts including the seals that make the LX weather resistant.

I'd expect that once serviced your main problem next time (many years from now)
will be finding someone still doing the work...

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Old 04-19-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
The repair/CLA guy to talk to is Eric Hendrickson...
Yes. Quality work and reasonable price.
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Old 04-19-2015   #7
FrankS
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My sense is that its not the kind of camera that just any camera technician can work on.
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Old 04-19-2015   #8
Ron (Netherlands)
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Once I got a comparable offer, a LX that didn't work anymore. Only very advanced technician can work on it, and be aware that the price of a full CLA is very expensive.
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Old 04-19-2015   #9
Harryo1962
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I've had an LX that I bought new in 1983. While it has a very advanced meter for its day, and costs more to service than a K1000, I would not label it as a high maintenance camera. Eric did an excellent CLA on it just a few months ago, and it got a new set of mirror bumpers. It is a great camera.
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Old 04-19-2015   #10
rlouzan
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The Pentax MX is probably a better choice.
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Old 04-19-2015   #11
sevo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlouzan View Post
The Pentax MX is probably a better choice.
I agree. That is the toughest and most reliable among the small 35mm SLRs, regardless of brand. But the LX is not quite as bad as often claimed. It picked up a bad reputation for sudden failures in its teething period (and Pentax attempt to pitch it against the much bigger and less complex F3 and New F1 gave it a harder competition than it deserved), but it carried on being made for another 25 years, so there obviously must have been happy customers and less problems later on.
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Old 04-19-2015   #12
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Does anyone have a price range for a CLA?
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Old 04-19-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post
If you have your LX service done by Eric Hendrickson in USA or Harrow Technical in UK
they will use the correct replacement parts including the seals that make the LX weather resistant.
Last time I asked him about the LX, back in 2010, Eric said it was becoming difficult to get the special sealing goop. You might check with him - and with Harrow, for that matter - to see whether it's available.

The camera can still be repaired even if the sealant isn't available; the only drawback is that the weather sealing of the camera won't be quite so robust as when it originally came from the factory.
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Old 04-19-2015   #14
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A Harrow Tecnical UK complete service will cost you about 120 L, had mine 2 LX:s serviced there last year with 100% satisfaction.

They claim that everything is brought back to factory standards, and in addition they provide 6 months guarantee on the whole camera.

The LX is one of the finest SLR:s ever produced. A very enjoyable and competent camera and if you have it professionally serviced now, with modern materials, it will not cause you more problems than any other comparable one, just my opinion...

http://harrowtechnical.co.uk/

Good luck, Robert
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Old 04-19-2015   #15
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I am not clear how the LX got this internet reputation but you do have to remember, these were heavily used by pros during their heyday, and some of them probably do need some serious love and attention now. Of course, as most people know, relying on the internet for your information is probably silly anyway. All I know is that my three work great.

I also have to say that if you believe everything that Nikon fanboys write, nothing with a Nikon nameplate ever fails.
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