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06-28-2015, 07:39 AM   #1
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Desperately seeking advice on a SLEW of Pentax 67 issues

Hi guys,

I've been using film cameras for the past 10 years and this is by far the weirdest thing that's ever happened to me. I just bought a second-hand Pentax 67 (not the old 6x7, a relatively recent 67 model) in Japan that was in excellent condition -- the shop owner test-fired it on the spot and the exposure meter was moving, no problem. Coupling chain all intact.

Then I brought it home and loaded a new film. Did the battery check, and the light went red. Good. Advanced the film lever, hit the mirror-up switch. Clack. Tried to press the shutter button. Nothing happened. At that point I thought the shutter had already fired -- maybe I'd mistaken the sound of the mirror slap for that -- and tried to advance the lever. It will not budge at all. I do a battery check. The light is dead.

I try the usual workaround -- hitting the reset button and pressing the shutter, nothing happens. I read somewhere that it helps to have fresh batteries while doing this, so I go out today and buy some. Load the batteries in, light goes red. I check the meter. It's not moving. Hit reset and the shutter. Nothing happens.

I take the lens off, then take the prism off, then put the prism back on, and take the lens on. What I see is that the shutter curtain is closed, but the mirror is NOT down. Still no reaction from the meter. At this point, I take the film out and tried to start the dry-fire process, i.e. open the back and try to move the exposure counter manually. Nothing budges.

Here's the weird thing -- less than 10 mins had passed since I loaded the fresh battery. I hit battery check again and the light is dead. It's definitely the right battery too, a 6V PX28.

Things that I'm 150% sure of:

1. Shutter lock is NOT on.
2. Pressure plate is on 120 as it should be.
3. The film advance lever was moving very smoothly when the camera back was still open and I was feeding the roll forward. It only became noticeably stiff after I closed the back and tried to advance to 1.
4. I have tried the reset button+shutter thing a zillion times, to no avail.

What on earth is going on??? I'm so heartsick and I feel I might have wrecked the camera irrevocably only I don't even know how. Any help or kind words of advice would be so greatly appreciated.

06-28-2015, 08:30 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Looks like the same issue in this recent thread:

Here is a copy of the Pentax 67 manual, see pages 10 & 11 for procedures on "shutter release with no film":

06-28-2015, 08:50 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Welcome to the forum. Looks like the same issue in this recent thread:

Here is a copy of the Pentax 67 manual, see pages 10 & 11 for procedures on "shutter release with no film":

Hi gofour, thanks for your reply! Unfortunately I've encountered the same issue as the poster from the last thread -- I can't seem to advance the exposure counter forward at all. I've tried placing my fingertip on the counter where the numbers are written as per the instruction manual, but it won't move. Then I've tried opening the camera back to jiggle at the exposure counter from the inside, only to encounter the spring mechanism that the other forum member mentioned. Are we doing something wrong? My fingertips actually hurt from how much pressure I've been applying trying to turn the counter and I'm afraid that any more force is going to result it (more!) things being broken. . .

At this point the advance lever has jammed completely and I can't see the mirror at all. The reset button seems to have no effect on any of the mechanisms in the camera whatsoever -- not the mirror, nor the lever nor the batteries, nothing.
06-28-2015, 08:58 AM   #4
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If all else fails, then email Eric....... he has been repairing Pentax (especially film) since 1969. He is a legend here.

06-28-2015, 10:42 AM   #5
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Is your shutter speed dial set correctly?

Sounds a bit like a problem I ran into with my 67 about 6 years ago.
On my camera, there was something off in the wind/cocking mechanism. When I advanced the film, the cocking mechanism would cock the mirror, but the mechanism wouldn't go far enough to cock the shutter, so when I pressed the shutter button, the mirror would lift, but the shutter wouldn't fire. The mirror mechanism is built so that the mirror won't return unless the shutter fires.
IIRC, the issue was a gear timing problem, so the camera worked normally for 4 or 5 frames then the gearing would get slightly off.
Fortunately, Eric fixed it and it's worked perfectly ever since.
06-28-2015, 11:37 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Sounds to me like you bought a dead battery. I'd try it with a second one and see what happens. What you're describing sounds like the 67's behavior in the absence of power.

If you need some additional insight into the 6X7 (and 67 in many ways), here are some YT videos:

06-29-2015, 11:11 AM   #7
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With some kinds of lock-ups, I've found the reset button only works with the battery out. Have you tried that?
06-30-2015, 07:15 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Try the reset procedure if the mirror jams in the upright position. Insert a pointed object into the recessed hole on the mirror box side below the shutter, then fire the shutter to reset. You must have film loaded in the Pentax 67 -- it is designed only to fire the shutter when film is loaded. Yes, people will seek to bypass this using the wind on mechanism but the camera isn't that easily fooled (despite its vintage!) and repeated interference can jam the wind-on and shutter mechanisms. The other thing to check out is the battery: mirror lockup is a battery drain and as little as 4 to 5 hours of mirror lockup will deplete the battery irrespective of what is causing the jam or incorrect mirror/shutter operation.


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