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07-10-2014, 09:02 PM   #1
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Pentax 645 Film Camera Question/Problem

A few years ago I wanted to delve into medium format photography so I bought a Pentax 645. It worked fine for a while, although I didn't use it that much until one day I went to go use it and it was broken, the mirror and focus screen were all messed up. So I went on ebay and bought another one. It's been sitting on my counter for the last 6 months and I went to go test it out as I wanted to use it tomorrow. When I received it, the lens release button was (and is) stuck…I can load lenses b/c it's stuck in the "open" position, but I guess doesn't officially lock the lens in.

I put new batteries in the grip and loaded a new roll onto a 120 back. When I turned the camera "on" and hit the shutter release, the film didn't load. When I look through the viewfinder, everything is black (yes the lens cap is off) and when I take the film back off and try to release the shutter, it doesn't fire.

It's been a long time since I used my first one and i'm trying to get to bed, which means I don't have a lot of time tonight to pour through the manual. So I had a couple quick questions maybe someone smarter than me (not hard to be) can answer.

1) When I look through the viewfinder, it shouldn't be all black, right? Is there a button I'm not hitting or doing something else wrong that isn't allowing me to see?

2) Could the film not auto load when I hit the shutter release b/c I'm doing something wrong in loading? I'm pretty sure I loaded it correctly, as the arrows on my film are lined up with the arrows.

3) Is there any reason why the shutter wouldn't release when I take the back off?

4) Is there a way to unstick the lens release and could this have anything to do with the issues I'm having?

Thank you very much for your help from a newbie.

07-16-2014, 05:35 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fargo, ND
Posts: 113
HI Hogan20a,

I personally don't have the 645 model, but reading your post I have a few initial reactions that would stand true for a variety of camera.

1. The viewfinder would be black if the mirror was locked in the up position which is where it flips up to expose the film, once the exposure happens the mirror flips down to allow you to view through the lens again. The original 645 does not have mirror lock up lever so my suspicion would be that its stuck in the up position because of dead batteries.

2. You should be able to use the shutter button to advance film, or even fire the shutter without the film holder in the camera if the camera has power. Based on my thoughts on #1 I would ask if the camera powered up when the batteries were inserted. When the camera is turned on do you have anything showing up in the LCD?

3. If the camera is on and has battery power the shutter should fire.

4. When you are mounting the lens do you turn it until it clicks? The lens should click when it locks into place. If it isn't locked into place on the body you will not have resistance in the button.

Based on 1,2, and 3 I would question if the camera has power. I know you said you put new batteries so maybe the battery pack isn't making a connection or maybe the polarity of a battery is reversed?

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