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04-02-2024, 09:57 AM   #1
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MZ-50 problem

I recently acquired a MZ-50 which looks in OK condition, but has not been used for some years. No details appear in the viewfinder when the button is depressed half-way, but all appear momentarily when it is fully depressed. Any suggestions, please?

04-02-2024, 10:06 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by corkcityfcpoolie Quote
I recently acquired a MZ-50 which looks in OK condition, but has not been used for some years. No details appear in the viewfinder when the button is depressed half-way, but all appear momentarily when it is fully depressed. Any suggestions, please?
There is a problem with the mirror-lift mechanism. You should be able to see through the viewfinder. I would suggest returning the camera for a refund
04-05-2024, 01:02 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
There is a problem with the mirror-lift mechanism. You should be able to see through the viewfinder. I would suggest returning the camera for a refund
The so-called MZ-curse (except the MZ60!)

There are two typical symptoms possible if the mirror-lift mechanism is damaged (It is the plastic gear-wheel which either crumbled or is partly broken!):

1. Visible, the mirror is up instead of down
2. Not visible, the mirror sits in it's correct down position. But (switched on, film loaded etc) when one presses the shutter-release-button, there is no action but just a strange sound:

I both cases, quite hard work to repair but it is possible. The motor isn't available anymore but the motor of the MZ60 has a metal gear-wheel, so a used MZ60 might be the alternative. The MZ5n, the MZ7 and more so the MZ6 are better than the MZ50 but have the same problem.

The Z-series might be an option if size doesn't matter.

Repair:
https://everythingvintage.uk/vintage-camera/mirror-return-motor-pentax-mz-5n/

Last edited by photogem; 04-05-2024 at 01:08 AM.
04-05-2024, 04:11 AM   #4
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The cog in the MZ-60 is metal? AFAIK, feature-wise the MZ-60 is the worst film camera Pentax ever made and won't even work with manual focus lenses, so I've always avoided them. Not that I don't avoid MZ cameras in general due to the cog breakage, but particularly the 60.

04-05-2024, 06:49 AM   #5
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Thank you all for the info. I must have been lucky with my other camera, the MZ-M, which has not given me any trouble in 20 years. I'll probably change to the Z series.
04-05-2024, 11:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
The cog in the MZ-60 is metal? AFAIK, feature-wise the MZ-60 is the worst film camera Pentax ever made and won't even work with manual focus lenses, so I've always avoided them. Not that I don't avoid MZ cameras in general due to the cog breakage, but particularly the 60.
And because the MZ60 is so bad, one can find it cheap if in need for the mirror-up motor!
That's why I mentioned it, I did the repair once myself... it is long time ago and I don't want to repeat it though, quite some work.
So if one is willing to take on this job, one can repair the better MZ series including the MZ-S up to serialnumber 5xxxxxx when it got the the same motor as the MZ60.
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