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08-11-2017, 09:59 PM   #1
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Failed MZ-M: Plastic Gear Issue?

Hello,

My I was using MZ-M in continuous drive and with a fresh roll film on frame 1. After firing the shutter for frame 1, the mirror returned, but the camera immediately rewinded the film. I later tried another roll, and the camera rewinded it right after it's loaded. Upon half press the shutter without film, the camera seems to make some motor noise, but I can't release the shutter. Is this the plastic gear syndrome (if it is, it can be repaired relatively cheaply here in China)?

Sincerely

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08-11-2017, 10:18 PM   #2
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Is the mirror stuck in the up position? That's usually a strong indication it's the gear, but sometimes the gear can fail and the mirror won't get stuck up. The real test is to push the shutter with the lens off. If the mirror doesn't move, it's the plastic gear.
08-11-2017, 11:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Is the mirror stuck in the up position? That's usually a strong indication it's the gear, but sometimes the gear can fail and the mirror won't get stuck up. The real test is to push the shutter with the lens off. If the mirror doesn't move, it's the plastic gear.
The mirror won't move (in the down position), and the shutter won't cock/release.

Sincerely

P.S. the shutter was closed when the film was unloaded. Does this mean that the actual exposure of the 1st frame went without problems?

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Last edited by butangmucat; 08-12-2017 at 12:28 AM.
08-12-2017, 03:13 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Sounds like the gear problem. Where the cycle gets stuck depends on in which sequence that the gear started to slip. The most common failure is with the mirror up. The motor running constantly is a good indication as the gear just slips on the shaft without doing any work.

The problem with sending it out for repairs is the availability of parts. In the US the replacement motor with metal gear is no longer available. You can buy a compatible gear and any competent camera repair shop could replace it for you.

kkpmo - Zahnrad / Trieb M0.25 / 13 Zšhne

Change the options to 1.5mm shaft opening, 2.0 mm width and material to brass. Or find some other source or someone who can machine the gear from the above specifications.

08-12-2017, 08:12 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Sounds like the gear problem. Where the cycle gets stuck depends on in which sequence that the gear started to slip. The most common failure is with the mirror up. The motor running constantly is a good indication as the gear just slips on the shaft without doing any work.

The problem with sending it out for repairs is the availability of parts. In the US the replacement motor with metal gear is no longer available. You can buy a compatible gear and any competent camera repair shop could replace it for you.

kkpmo - Zahnrad / Trieb M0.25 / 13 Zšhne

Change the options to 1.5mm shaft opening, 2.0 mm width and material to brass. Or find some other source or someone who can machine the gear from the above specifications.
For some reason there are still some shops here in China that has the right metal gear (either recycled, original, or just OEM compatible parts). I sent mine out to a guy who charged 200 RMB for the gear replacement and a clean on the viewfinder focusing screen (the previous owner didn't keep it clean), that is around 30 USD, just FYI.

P.S. They will usually keep the motor intact, but just replace the broken gear.

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11-16-2019, 06:44 AM   #6
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Iím trying to get back to film cameras after some years of never clicking with my K7 dslr.
My MZ-5 databack has had the seized mirror for some years. When I dig it out from wherever Iíve put it in the meantime Iím going to try replacing the gear. Thereís also an MZ-5n in the family so itís probably worth learning.
However as the problem has destroyed the value of these cameras I wondered about buying one with the factory-uprated gear/motor. Does anyone know from which serial no this applies?
11-22-2019, 11:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ditechspain Quote
Iím trying to get back to film cameras after some years of never clicking with my K7 dslr.
My MZ-5 databack has had the seized mirror for some years. When I dig it out from wherever Iíve put it in the meantime Iím going to try replacing the gear. Thereís also an MZ-5n in the family so itís probably worth learning.
However as the problem has destroyed the value of these cameras I wondered about buying one with the factory-uprated gear/motor. Does anyone know from which serial no this applies?
This one of those ďI heard it form someone who heard it form someoneĒ things, so take it with a huge grain of salt:

Around 2003, Anahi Pentax was bought/transformed into/was taken over by (I donít know which it is) PENTAX Corporation. Right about that time, production switched to metal gears. So supposedly if you get one that says PENTAX Corporation on the bottom you are good to go.

Again, this is just something I heard from someone, and I donít really know.

11-22-2019, 06:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ditechspain Quote
There’s also an MZ-5n in the family so it’s probably worth learning.
However as the problem has destroyed the value of these cameras I wondered about buying one with the factory-uprated gear/motor. Does anyone know from which serial no this applies?
It is unknown if the MZ-5n ever came equipped from the factory with the metal gear. The MZ-S is a different story. See the following thread beginning from the post linked below:
The real truth on the MZ-S mirror motor gear? - Page 3 - PentaxForums.com
11-23-2019, 01:38 AM   #9
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Thanks for that. I posted this elsewhere but could the metal gear be at all linked t o the move of production to the Philippines which occurred before the name change. Moving the production line would be a convenient time. But after 20 years thereís probably no way of finding out without Ricoh checking if the records still exist buried in a cellar somewhere. Iíve just picked up a mint working 5n with a serial no starting with 9. But itís hard to find any evidence itís ever been used.

Fingers crossed.

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