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04-22-2012, 06:08 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Pentax MX-50 not taking pictures

I am completely and utterly new to the world of film photography, and have recently been given a pentax MZ-50 by a relative. Today was my first test with film, and after loading the batteries and film in the correct way, and managing to take 3 pictures, I am no longer able to see through the viewfinder (it's pitch-black), and every time I attempt to take a photograph a strange high pitched buzzy-whirring sort of noise happens, I honestly have no idea what the problem could be, so any help would be much appreciated

04-22-2012, 07:42 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
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The mirror seems to have locked up. Unfortunately this might indicate a (known) problem with one of the plastic gears in the body.

The mirror lies inside the camera body at an angle, facing forwards. It's hinged at the top. When you take a shot the mirror flips up out of the way.

Timed exposures will hold the mirror up for the entire length of the exposure, and hold the shutter open.

Mechanical faults may cause the mirror to stay in the 'up' position, with or without the shutter remaining open.

Failure of the foam 'bumper' that acts as a stop to prevent the mirror hitting the inside of the mirror box may hold the miror up after the shutter has closed. The foam turns sticky with age.

Try switching the camera off. Does the mirror drop back into position? If it doesn't, try taking the batteries out. Does the mirror drop down into position now?

Come back and update this thread.

Let us know how you're getting on.

Last edited by JohnX; 04-22-2012 at 07:59 AM.
04-22-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Original Poster
Looking at the mirror inside the body when pressing the shutter, it doesn't appear to go into the "up" posistion, it just stays where it is, makes a sort of whirring noise, then stops. I initially turned the camera off and took the batteries out which didn't really have an effect at all, thank you for you reply!
04-22-2012, 11:10 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 893
I suspect it might be the gear problem then, but not sure how to confirm it absolutely without taking the camera apart, but the whirring noise with no other action seems to point to a failure in the gear chain somewhere.

Unfortunately the camera isn't worth repairing. These bodies are cheap on ebay if you want to replace it, but I wouldn't go for another MZ-50 as they were a rather odd design spec with some serious limitations.

If you still want to try film, I'd suggest an MZ-7 (as I have one). Nice camera, again cheap on ebay, but with both auto and full manual. Much superior to the MZ-50.

If you Google "MZ-50 mirror lock" you'll find out more about your problem.


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