How Fragile/Delicate/Temperamental is the LX?


Link Posted 21/07/2015 - 23:13
Classic Pentax K series bodies are very reliable. I recommend the KX and KM, my favorites.
Get yourself a clean working copy and invest in a "standard service" at a reputable repairer.
This consists of CLA (clean, lubricate, adjust) plus new door seals and mirror bumper foam.
Eric Hendrickson in USA is excellent and cheap. In UK Harrow Technical does good work.

Bring back the latent image!


Link Posted 26/07/2015 - 22:34
CKDexterHaven wrote:
Well, here's the update on my LX experience:

It ended.
To recap I bought an LX which the owner said did NOT have the sticky mirror problem. It did. I returned it. I found another LX on eBay from Japan. It arrived, and everything seemed fantastic. I quickly got to really appreciate the camera, but the first test roll was just BAD. I didn't know if it was a problem with the lens or the camera, so i had to buy another lens to eliminate the first one as a variable. Turns out it was not the lenses. Somehow, the viewfinder showed a perfectly beautiful, in-focus image, but the camera was back focusing by several centimeters at a distance of 2' from the chart.

I didn't get any manner of professional communication from the recommended repairperson, so i opted for a return. The seller was phenomenally accommodating (yay, Japan), and so that was that.

I was about to consider my Pentax Experiment concluded, but had a flash thought/realization: the only reason i was buying the LX was because i wanted to use the 50/1.4. So, i decided to compromise on the body and just get an ME Super as a cheap platform. I quickly found a black one, and for a fantastic price, it came with (another) 50/1.4 lens this time, an M- version.

Received the Super. Tested it with both lenses. The lenses performed fantastically. But, there was another problem with the body! Three for three! This time, the rewind pin was stuck in the body. I considered returning the whole shebang, but for the price (less than the value of the A-50/1.4 alone) i decided to try to repair it myself. Not something i'd ever done before. I'll happily deal with many kinds of tech issues, like installing components in my computers, etc., but taking a camera apart was a bit over the line for me. But, what the hell it seemed to be a simple thing. Popped the bottom off, moved some things around, and figured out that someone had put the pin sleeve on upside down. Fixed....

....And, finally i'm happy. I had never considered the ME Super because i thought the top plastic plate and shutter speed buttons were ridiculous. But, in-person, in the hand, it's not so bad at all, and the button scheme (almost) makes sense. I'd still prefer a dial, but it makes sense to be able to adjust speeds by sight while still composing/viewing. And, the viewfinder is spectacular on the same level as the LX's, which is to say, better than anything else i've used. I also bought a Nikon F3-HP, which is well-regarded for its viewfinder, but the LX/Super are head and shoulders above it.

So, yeah, i stick with my "scary" comment, regarding Pentax bodies. I won't expect reliability. Three for Three with issues, while i've owned a metric sh!t ton of over (old-ish) SLRs without ever having a problem or needing a repair [Contax 159, Aria, RX, Nikon F6, F100(x2), F80, F4, F3(x2), FE2, Canon EOS1n, EOS3, plus Leicas(x2), Contax G2(x3) and Zeiss Ikon]... Now that i type the list, i'm reminded of problems with a Nikon EM and FG, but those are the two cheapest bodies they made.... So, the comparison is lopsided, just not one-sided.

But, i have a Super now. And, two great 50/1.4 lenses. And, if the Super ever goes wonky, i'll just replace it. I prolly shoulda taken this route to begin with, but i wanted 'the best' experience.

I should prolly sell the M-50/1.4 or trade it for something else, though, right? A 35 or 28mm?

It appears you've been unlucky, of all my Pentaxes the only one that needed repair was the LX and for the sticky mirror issue, that's it.

Of course buying a professional camera just for using a common lense like the M50/4 sounds like a nonsense to me.


Link Posted 27/07/2015 - 08:42
Judging from comments about the K-3 ii ...... The LX would be absolutely useless ....
It hasn't got a built in Flash!

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff



Link Posted 29/07/2015 - 13:16
johnriley wrote:
The real problem is that you are using a camera that dates back to the 1980s, so it's quite old now. I would expect any camera of that vintage to benefit from a general service and recalibration. Different models will tend to fail in different areas, so that too is probably predictable.

The LX was the professional camera in its day and if in good condition should be fine.

You could also use your lens on the DSLR range, so that's another avenue should you wish it.

Just as an aside John, how is the old camera in the garden bearing up?



Link Posted 29/07/2015 - 14:09
Just as an aside John, how is the old camera in the garden bearing up?

The end of last month it looked like this:

Best regards, John


Link Posted 29/07/2015 - 14:33
In remarkably good condition John, I wonder what creatures call it home now

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