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04-04-2019, 07:01 AM   #1
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ZX-5n overlapping frame issue

Iíve owned my ZX-5n for 20 years or so but have probably only shot 25-30 rolls of film with it. Iíve been using it fairly regularly lately with good results but have run into a problem with my last 3 rolls. I experienced some overlapping of frames (5 or 6) three rolls ago. I got some new batteries and the next roll I took showed no problems. But the last roll I had developed showed constant overlapping frames starting about a third of the way into the roll. Again I havenít used the camera that much that you would think would cause parts to fail. I know I could probably get it repaired but Iím disappointed in its performance right now. Are there things I can try on my own? Thanks.

04-04-2019, 01:39 PM   #2
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I would guess it is an electro-mechanical problem that needs repair, but before sending it for repairs, this is what I would do:

a) Do you have a volt or multimeter? Check the voltage on your batteries. I have a ZX-5N and it "misbehaves" when the CR2 batteries are anything but fresh. It should be over 3 volts. At anything under 3.00 volts, it may be problematic.

b) Were the problem rolls 36 exposures? If so, try 24 exposure rolls. Less torque and power needed for the motor to advance the film.

c) Were the problem rolls bulk loaded? Sometimes slight imperfection in how you rolled the film can cause more resistance for the motor to advance the film. Factory loaded films won't have that problem.

d) Some films are thinner than others and advance more easily with weaker motors found on cameras like the Canon Rebels, Nikon N55, or the Pentax ZX series. I've found Fujifilm is thinner whereas Kodak and others to be thicker.

I hope others chime in, as they may have a different opinion.

.....oh, and welcome to the Pentax Forum!!!
04-04-2019, 03:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for your thorough response.

a) I think I have a volt meter and Iíll see where the batteries are at. They have to be pretty fresh but maybe they lost a charge somehow.

b) Yes, I have only been using 36 exposure rolls. I probably will try it with a 24 exposure roll.

c) No, the film was not bulk loaded.

d) Iíve been using black and white film since I started using the camera again. This last roll that had the most problems was Ilford Delta 400. Iíd hate to think I canít use certain kinds of film because my camera canít handle them.

I will try these things, see the results and then decide what to do about it (repair it or buy a new camera). Again the camera had no problems up until the last few rolls so itís hard to figure.

Thanks for the ideas and the welcome!
04-04-2019, 04:32 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by wendigo Quote
d) Iíve been using black and white film since I started using the camera again. This last roll that had the most problems was Ilford Delta 400. Iíd hate to think I canít use certain kinds of film because my camera canít handle them.

I will try these things, see the results and then decide what to do about it (repair it or buy a new camera). Again the camera had no problems up until the last few rolls so itís hard to figure.
Factory loaded Delta 400 should not cause a problem. But it's a process of elimination with the hopes that it is just weak batteries and not an expensive repair. Good luck and let us know how things progress.

04-05-2019, 12:42 PM   #5
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Many of the ZX/MZ series is prone to the plastic gear cracking or splitting on the mirror motor. Since this motor controls the timing and actuation of a myriad of functions (mirror up/down, iris close/open, shutter release, film advance, etc.) It is conceivable that the gear is slipping to an amount to affect the timing of some operations without (yet) complete failure.
04-05-2019, 05:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Many of the ZX/MZ series is prone to the plastic gear cracking or splitting on the mirror motor.
second this notion.....have had a few ZX that have bellied up lately.....some more obvious than others....shame because they are new featured cameras
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