Pentax LX shutter curtain replacement/repair: Worth it? Possible?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Ricus.stormfire, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Hello all

    So the happiness of the LX was short lived, as I've discovered that there is a tear in the shutter curtain. Is it worth it to replace (or repair, which I doubt is possible) this part?

    I'm so sad (the tears are welling up as I type this), as this camera fits like a glove.

    Ebay is not an option, before someone even thinks of telling me of looking there for another.

    I've emailed a place that repairs cameras (the one guy specializes in LX body repairs and services) still waiting for a reply.

    Is there hope?

    thank you in advance

    Ricus :sad:
     
  2. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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  3. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Thank you for your reply.

    I'll e-mail him to find out if it's possible. I doubt if I would be able to send it to him as this would involve to and thro international shipping.

    The one local (South African) repair tech. replied to my e-mail, he doesn't seem keen at all to attempt a repair (too hard, too time consuming, too expensive, plus he says he hated working on LXs)

    I've spoken to another repair tech, who seems a bit more positive, but I need to courier the body to him so that he can have a closer look.

    I really want to save this camera (or I've wasted money on a (near) dead LX body and a few LX accessories)
    In a whole this looked like a really good deal (all items still have their boxes, all the papers are there, the softcase is unused, etc.) I am willing to spend a bit more money, but even I have my limit.

    I'll wait for Eric's reply. But I have this sinking feeling I bought a lemon, and now I'm screwed.

    Incidentally I checked on Ebay, there where only two LXs there, that says alot.
     
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I'm sorry to hear of this disappointment. Is there any way you could return it, given that the seller did not inform you (and maybe did not know) of the defect?

    Sometimes there are several LX's up on ebay; other times only a couple.

    I think it would probably be simpler to replace the shutter as an assembly than to replace just the curtain, but I'm no expert on repairs. If a repairman has a donor camera with dead electronics or some other fault, it's possible parts could be used from it, or maybe yours would be the parts camera to get that one going.
     
  5. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Hi

    I hoped you would reply (must be your name)

    I can't return the camera, seller didn't know either (I don't blame them) so that won't work.

    Yes I agree, I reckon replacing the whole shutter assembly would be easier than replacing only the curtain. The problem is the "rarity" of these bodies in South Africa, the one technician doesn't seem keen to do this, even resorting to fibbing about things (and hinting that I should go d******, and that makes me take my business elseware)

    Checked Ebay again, 8 in total available, but that's not the route I wish to go down with.

    IF push comes to shove, this camera will have to go the UK (Harrow Technical) or the USA (Eric). This would depend on the total amount incl. shipping to & from.

    I'm still waiting for another repair shop to give a quote (though he seems te reckon that he will be able to "patch" the shutter, though I have my doubts), at least he isn't snotty about me using film.

    Ricus
     
  6. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Both are quite good.

    Does he know the curtain is titanium?
    I suppose a patch is possible, depending on the severity of the tear. Maybe it would be as simple as attaching cloth shutter material to the curtain.
     
  7. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    PentaxForums has a fellow selling a brand new LX superkit FYI.
     
  8. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    All tears (whether liquid or physical cuts) are not created equal.

    Some physical tears can be manually mended. If this is just a random hole in the curtain you could do this: (please do not accuse me if things go wrong as this must be done with surgical precision): With the camera on Bulb and no lens in the mount, fire at bulb. HOLD the mirror up and release the shutter. TAPE SECURELY the mirror where it is to the top part of the mount. Now you have ready access to the curtain from both sides. NOTE: If the tear is on the second curtain, the released shutter will reveal it. If it is on the first curtain advance the shutter again and it will be then in the film aperture. With the mirror taped up to the top, place the tiniest bit of Gorilla glue on each side of the curtain, careful not to get any elsewhere! Spread it so that all of the glue is meshed into the cloth from both sides. Let dry with the mirror still taped upward.

    This might work, depending on the extent of the tear. I would also apply a tiny bit of acrylic black opaque paint to the tear area, again smearing completely on both sides, to preclude light access causing fog. If this does not work do what I did to my Russian FED when it developed pinholes in the first curtain: I cut a precise rectangle of black, opaque gaffer tape (NOT duct tape) to the exact size of the film aperture (about 24 X 36 mm), smeared the tape with the tiniest amount of Gorilla glue, then carefully and precisely placed the tape onto the front side of the camera's entire first curtain and, using my fingers to steady the curtain from the back side, carefully made sure that there were NO spots where the tape was uneven. This has to be done so that the tape looks like the actual curtain so that when retracted, the curtain will roll up onto its spindle perfectly.

    Assuredly, these are rather drastic measures and taken only if you can stand defeat. But my FED now works like new. The smeared Gorilla glue (very, very thin coat so NONE bleeds over) makes sure the tape (especially the edges) stays put. Again, do these things ONLY if you have perseverance, patience, and little to lose doing this. - David Lyga.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2011
  9. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    I will have to weigh in ALL my options. Buy another OR send it overseas to have the shutter assemble replaced OR look for another dead body with a whole shutter but dead otherwise (like lxdude suggested) and hope I can find a local technician willing to do a transplant, according to the one tech. there are(were in his words) only two technicians who can work on these in South Africa, him and another guy. He is not willing, and I have yet to contact the other.

    Patching the Titanium foil shutter seems impossible to me (if it were rubberised silk...), but I wouldn't know, I'm not a repair tech.

    Thank you all for your replies.
     
  10. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    What a shame, this is a very understated and elegant 35mm camera. I just saw one recently at my favorite camera store (here in Canada).

    Fingers crossed that a repair is possible, I say it's worth it. FWIW I've heard pentaxs.com mentioned a few times in a positive light...best of luck to you.
     
  11. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    Ricus, would you like me to check around Canada on your behalf" Might be cheaper to get a whole new camera. Bare
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The shutter is not a module in this camera. The curtain would be replaced.The patch solution will work but gaffer tape is too thick.
    If you can get a piece of shutter curtain online that's going to be the best material.
    I also wouldn't use Gorilla glue it's polyurethane and one surface has to be moistened and the glue expands while it cures.
    Pliobond is what I;ve used here but any contact cement should work. Apply it using a toothpick not a paint roller!
    Someone here may even have a torn shutter to send you.
     
  13. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    OK, I have emailed both Eric at Pentaxs and Harrow Technical. I'll wait for their replies.
    IF it's too expensive I'll have a nice doorstop/paperweight, and I'll look around for another body.
    All in all it's been a crappy week for me...

    Maybe I could sell it for parts, the rest of the camera (except the sticky mirror) seems fault free and in good nick.
     
  14. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Is that flicker of hope...

    Ok, Harrow Technical has replied. They say it might be patchable (depending on the tear's size) but not replaceble as Pentax doesn't make replacemant curtains anymore.
    (and at a good price too, incl a full service.)

    Now just to wait for Eric's reply, than I'll know what's what.

    Looks like the LX is not out of the woods yet, but I'm one step closer to knowing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2011
  15. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    OK. I am now the owner of a doorstop/paperweight with OTF metering. There is nothing that can be done to save this LX. Thank you all for your replies/suggestions, much appreciated.

    Ricus
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    How large is the tear anyway? It's a shame to let something like that just be a decoration.
     
  17. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Good news

    After talking to the seller, he has agreed to refund me.
    I will look for another lx, maybe save a bit and get one that was recently serviced.

    Thank you all
     
  18. datfly

    datfly Member

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    Shame about the LX - good that you're getting a refund. I used to have one and loved it. I had to sell it (reluctantly) in the end - wish I'd kept it.

    Keh.com has a few for sale - starting from about US$400 - what's your budget?
     
  19. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Good luck finding a replacement. I got mine last year from KEH at a much better price than they are asking now, and really like it. It's a great camera.
     
  20. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    I've decided to throw my search for a LX on the backburner. I think I'll use the my budget to CLA my MX, my own & my wife's K1000s.

    One thing I really liked of the LX, is it's size, it fits in (size wise) between the other two cameras, so it fits like a glove, this is a major selling (or should that be buying) point (along with OTF metering, dust/moisture seals, interchangable focussing screens, it's black etc. etc.)