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07-10-2019, 09:45 PM   #1
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Location: Michigan
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Pentax ZX-50 flashing battery icon problem

My steady and reliable Pentax ZX-50 has finally given up the ghost. After a trip to an air show I accidently left the on/off switch to the on position overnight.

Upon loading a roll of film I just experience a flashing battery icon, shutter and advance mechanism that will not respond.

I tested and changed batteries, but they are fine. What could be the problem? Any advice?


07-10-2019, 10:23 PM   #2
Not a Number's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,747
Most of the ZX series are prone to the pinion gear on the mirror motor splitting. This usually manifests itself by locking up the mirror. On mine the mirror is locked up and the film continues to try to load until I shut it off or remove the batteries. I don't recall if the battery indicator flashes or not.

The gear can be replaced with a brass gear but involves quite a bit of work.
07-12-2019, 11:53 AM   #3
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Original Poster
It was the batteries. I just bought a new pair and the ZX-50 camera works!

Strange, considering the a volt ohm meter measures the old pair at 3.02 volts and the new pair at 3.28 volts. The blister pack indicates they are 3 volt batteries. Well, how do you like that?

The batteries are also EXPENSIVE. About $16.99 a pair at Rite Aid Pharmacy. Last year I bought a pair at Walgreens for $10.00.

And for all this I wasted $42.00 for a Pentax ZX-7 from KEH. Oh well, it does seem to operate quicker.

Cheers, Stephen
07-12-2019, 12:28 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Venice, CA
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Measuring the voltage on batteries without a load doesn't tell you much. When measured on a straight ohm meter the battery might show the rated voltage or better but as soon as you add a load to the circuit the voltage drops way down.

Part of the reason I decided not to fix my ZX-50 is the cost of the batteries.


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