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07-16-2017, 02:28 PM   #1
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To Repair or Toss - That is the Question

My cousin has an old Pentax camera (don't know what model), and a collection of lenses but the camera is broken. I suggested a repair job but I don't know if he wants to spend any money on it. In the meantime, a friend gave me a Pentax ZX-50 which appears to be in mint condition save the fact that it doesn't work. It makes noises and the mirror slowly raises and lowers but the shutter won't operate. Before I knew it was bad, my thoughts were to gift it to my cousin, but now that isn't the plan.

I noted that a used (good condition) PZ1-p is available on ebay so I'm trying to decide between having the ZX-50 repaired and buying the PZ1-p for him (about $130US).

Any suggestions including a reference to a good repair service would be appreciated. Will go with the majority vote.

Thanks.

07-16-2017, 02:31 PM   #2
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07-16-2017, 02:34 PM   #3
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Toss the ZX-50 or give it to some kids for a take-apart project. They are ubiquitous and cheap. I see them at my local Goodwill with a kit lens for $10 ... and they work. If you have $130 of spending cash then get a PZ1. Those bodies are pretty tough except for the plastic around the battery compartment. Be patient and you will score one for less than $130.
07-16-2017, 02:41 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
a friend gave me a Pentax ZX-50 which appears to be in mint condition save the fact that it doesn't work
mmmm let me think about that for a moment!

Unless they are classic cameras with collector value I wouldn't bother with repair. You can usually buy a working one on ebay for less than the repair. Give the ZX-50 to your cousin anyway and he has a collection started !

The Z1/Pz1 range are great film cameras with many advanced features for their time. The Hyper Program that todays K1 has started its life in that film series over 25 years ago. $130 sound pricey to me though. They have a common fault at this age of the mirror lifter cog breaking and spares are getting harder to find. i bought a Z1 recently to replace the one I had from new and it cost me in the UK about $65 equivalent. It also had a Pentax 50mm macro lens attached !


Last edited by pschlute; 07-16-2017 at 02:58 PM.
07-16-2017, 03:06 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input folks. The PZ1-p has it.

I know they are a great camera - I have two - one with a broken battery casing that I have a replacement for but haven't put on yet (and with my new K-1, that might be a while longer). I want to keep my own PZ1-ps, but will shop on ebay for a little lower $ mark and go that route. Now I just have to check how old my cousin's camera was so I don't end up sending him a K mount camera for screw mount lenses.

Thank's again.
07-16-2017, 09:49 PM   #6
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I think those suffered from aperture motor failures. That may possibly be what is going on.
I agree that it is not an economical repair. The ZX-50 can be harvested for the solenoid to fix later DSLRs.
If you don't want to keep it I'd be interested in it for the solenoid.
07-17-2017, 10:56 AM   #7
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The early metal monsters were built very strong and are commonly repairable.

The later plastic cameras with electronics were not as tough and parts are almost impossible to find. They have really become disposable cameras.

I love my two PZ-1p cameras but I have already had to replace one of them because of electronic glitches.

EDIT - Even many of the older metal, manual cameras are getting tougher to repair. A lot of them have been pretty much used up and worn out. Unless your technician can source NOS parts like springs, etc. any repairs may not last long.

Last edited by Pioneer; 07-17-2017 at 10:59 AM. Reason: I thought I was done...but I wasn't
07-17-2017, 01:40 PM   #8
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not for not, but if you look, you should be able to find a decent digital body in that price range also. will work with all the same lenses as the zx and pz.....

07-17-2017, 04:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by link81 Quote
not for not, but if you look, you should be able to find a decent digital body in that price range also. will work with all the same lenses as the zx and pz.....
Thought about that but have to weigh it against his technical capabilities. He doesn't have internet to upload for printing, nor a printer, and isn't too computer agile so film might be the way to go. Have to feel him out when I check into his existing mount style, but if he's game, that would be a wise choice and same him the cost of film. Any recommendations for a <$100 DSLR that might show up on ebay (Pentax of course)?
07-17-2017, 08:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
Any recommendations for a <$100 DSLR that might show up on ebay (Pentax of course)?
K100d would fit the bill.
07-25-2017, 10:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by caliscouser Quote
K100d would fit the bill.
Hey thanks for that suggestion. I landed a K100D and cheapie zoom lens on ebay for under $100US. Looks like a good buy with less than 5000 shots on the shutter. Now I'm thinking about getting a second for myself and having it converted to infrared - good 6Mpix camera with the equivalent of live view should work well for that.
07-25-2017, 11:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
My cousin has an old Pentax camera (don't know what model), and a collection of lenses but the camera is broken. I suggested a repair job but I don't know if he wants to spend any money on it. In the meantime, a friend gave me a Pentax ZX-50 which appears to be in mint condition save the fact that it doesn't work. It makes noises and the mirror slowly raises and lowers but the shutter won't operate. Before I knew it was bad, my thoughts were to gift it to my cousin, but now that isn't the plan.

I noted that a used (good condition) PZ1-p is available on ebay so I'm trying to decide between having the ZX-50 repaired and buying the PZ1-p for him (about $130US).

Any suggestions including a reference to a good repair service would be appreciated. Will go with the majority vote.

Thanks.
All of the ZX/ MZ cameras of that body style are built like cheap P&S cameras. Toss it and be done with it. They are little more than a high end disposable camera.
07-26-2017, 07:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
All of the ZX/ MZ cameras of that body style are built like cheap P&S cameras. Toss it and be done with it. They are little more than a high end disposable camera.
I kind of surmised that after looking at the ZX - little bit disappointed with Pentax. I have since ordered a K100D off ebay per caliscouser's recommendation, and think it will better suit my cousin's needs if I can hook him up with a digital print lab (I use a couple myself and can suggest those). He doesn't have internet so that might be an issue

In buying the K100D, I got carried away and ordered a used K-01 for myself to be converted to infrared and paired with my K-1, so this whole exercise was fruitful as they say.
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