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05-12-2012, 09:12 AM   #1
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Short question on MZ-3

Saw a local second-hand shop selling a good-looking MZ-3 with a FA 28-70 f/4 for only... $58

Prob though is, when I looked through the viewfinder I noticed something was wrong, only the bottom part was showing so I took the lens off and saw the mirror was almost in mirror-lock up mode. Is this a common problem with the MZ-3? Thanks in advance.

05-12-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
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Did you try releasing the shutter? If that doesn't help, the camera's probably busted.
05-12-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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Generally with an MZ series body if the mirror is stuck up it means that the plastic mirror motor gear is cracked and needs to be replaced. The repair will likely cost as much or more than a functioning body is worth if you are paying someone else to do it, though a properly repaired body with a replacement metal gear is more desirable than a stock body with a plastic gear that could still break.
05-12-2012, 03:05 PM   #4
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The body needs a mirror motor which will be a bxtch to replace, and the lens was too poorly built to bother. I'd say move on.

05-12-2012, 09:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
The body needs a mirror motor which will be a bxtch to replace, and the lens was too poorly built to bother. I'd say move on.
Actually, there is a metal gear available for those. Plus, that is one of the better bodies MZ bodies when working properly not to mention very compact. The MZ-3 is not that common and wasn't marketed in the U.S.A. I have it because I couldn't justify the cost of the MZ-S. However, working MZ-3 bring decent prices for the series.

Pentax MZ/ZX-Series Film Bodies

A good copy of that lens could be sold for the cost of the pair.

Edit: I just realize he is in the Philippines so I don't know how that will effect a repair person. The irony is this was one of the last Pentax bodies made in Japan. The Pentax camera factory has been in the Philippines for nearly 10 years.
05-12-2012, 10:56 PM   #6
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Actually all MZ bodies (excluding the MZ-S) are built pretty much the same with different skins and features. Quality wise the MZ-3 is no better than the cheapest MZ-10. Personally I like the overall design of the MZ series but could not stand the pitifully tiny viewfinder which is practically useless for focusing. They represent the typical Pentax way in recent history where cost cutting has gone too far. Unfortunately, the same practice can still be seen on existing products.
05-13-2012, 08:18 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Did you try releasing the shutter? If that doesn't help, the camera's probably busted.
Not yet. Store wouldn't provide batteries to test it with so I'm being cautious.

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Actually, there is a metal gear available for those. Plus, that is one of the better bodies MZ bodies when working properly not to mention very compact. The MZ-3 is not that common and wasn't marketed in the U.S.A. I have it because I couldn't justify the cost of the MZ-S. However, working MZ-3 bring decent prices for the series.
Thanks for the info on the gear. There are a lot of repair shops in the next city where I found the MZ-3. Guess I'll ask there first if they can repair broken mirror parts.
05-13-2012, 08:27 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Actually all MZ bodies (excluding the MZ-S) are built pretty much the same with different skins and features. Quality wise the MZ-3 is no better than the cheapest MZ-10. Personally I like the overall design of the MZ series but could not stand the pitifully tiny viewfinder which is practically useless for focusing. They represent the typical Pentax way in recent history where cost cutting has gone too far. Unfortunately, the same practice can still be seen on existing products.
I guess it depends on what the definition of is, is. They used different shutters and view finders in them. The MZ-3 has a 1/4000 shutter with 1/125 sync. The view finder is .80 (92%). If you compare it with other Pentax autofocus film viewfinders, you won't find many much better even in the SF or PZ series. In the MZ series only the MZ-S has a faster shutter 1/6000 and sync of 180 although its viewfinder is .75 ( 92%). It also has a metal shell. The MZ-/MZ-L has the same shutter as the MZ-3. All the other 8 models have 1/2000 shutters and most have .7 (92%) viewfinders. Like you said, they do have varying features. I always used Pentax manual focus bodies and Canon AF bodies (A2 & 10s). However, while they had great shutters and pretty good viewfinders, they were bloated and plasticy. I still have the 10s (should have kept the A2 instead) but will probably sell it. I wouldn't want to drop my MZ-3 or them either even though they were some of the top Canons.

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