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08-10-2011, 07:01 PM   #1
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ZX-5 - AF stopped working all of a sudden

So I was playing with a ZX-5 this afternoon (no film, just testing it out) and everything seemed to be going well in terms of the AF. I was actually pretty impressed with the speed as it felt pretty snappy (better than I expected I suppose). Anyway, all of a sudden the AF just stopped working. I tried new batteries, a different lens, switching the AF/MF switch back and forth, but nothing seemed to help. When you half-press the shutter you don't hear anything so it's not like the motor sound like it's trying to engage, you just don't hear anything at all. It's almost like the motor (or the connection to the motor) just spontaneously stopped functioning.

Anyway, it's not a huge deal or anything, but I was just wondering if anyone had any insight or idea of what may have happened and/or if there's anything I should try that I haven't thought of.

Thanks.

08-10-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
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Try leaving the batteries out for around 24 hours.
08-10-2011, 11:29 PM   #3
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Trying to force a re-set as Steve suggest not a bad thought,could also
short neg. and pos. post to help things along.No batteries of course.
Have any indication of power-up?

Maybe talk to it like a back door thief
08-11-2011, 04:18 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Try leaving the batteries out for around 24 hours.
QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
Trying to force a re-set as Steve suggest not a bad thought,could also
short neg. and pos. post to help things along.No batteries of course.
Have any indication of power-up?

Maybe talk to it like a back door thief
Thanks for the advice. Left it without batteries overnight and also shorted the terminals this morning to help it along. Tried firing it up and again and the same issue. Everything powers up fine, and it works fine in every respect except the AF motor just stop working. Shutter, metering, display are all perfectly fine. Even the AF-confirmation hexagon works with MF, the motor just is completely unresponsive in AF mode. It's strange, but I guess it's possible the motor just died, or some electrical connection to the motor was compromised.

08-11-2011, 06:20 AM   #5
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Wish there was something else I could throw up to give you a hand Dgaies.
Have 2 ZX-L's bought used and ZX-M bought new Im getting real paranoid about.
Seems like atrophy with non-use is largest problem relative entire series.
Which pretty much runs gamut of problematic electrical/electronic scenarios
as mention...loose,broken wires, so on.Really up to you,believe pentax will
service. (as of last Dec.) Still have a "shooter" if you dont mind manual focus.
08-11-2011, 06:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
Wish there was something else I could throw up to give you a hand Dgaies.
Have 2 ZX-L's bought used and ZX-M bought new Im getting real paranoid about.
Seems like atrophy with non-use is largest problem relative entire series.
Which pretty much runs gamut of problematic electrical/electronic scenarios
as mention...loose,broken wires, so on.Really up to you,believe pentax will
service. (as of last Dec.) Still have a "shooter" if you dont mind manual focus.
It's probably not worth sending it out for service given its value vs the cost or service. I picked a few days ago for a good price ($20 shipped, including the original box, manual, body cap and neck strap). In fairness to the place that sold it to me, the AF worked fine for about 5-10 minutes when I was testing it out (before it just suddently stopped). They have a solid 30 day return policy so I can just send it back; I was just hoping the problem was something silly that I overlooked.
08-11-2011, 07:33 AM   #7
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Unlike the plastic gear on the mirror motor shaft, the motor itself (precious metal brushed) should be quite durable. I would check first the AF/MF switch; it does not only operate the screw driver, it's also an electrical switch. I would suggest that you return it to the seller. Is your ZX-L sold? I have 3 MZ-5N and 6 with new mirror motor I want to put on the market place soon.
08-11-2011, 07:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
solid 30 day return policy
That sounds good D.
Like those bodies.Not real expensive,smooth,quiet release...alot to like about them.
Was on public viewing platform several winters ago trying to catch some eagles.
Clunking away with LX, a lady says..."What is that mister? sounds like a cow-bell"
ZX-MZ series does have its benefits.

08-11-2011, 07:41 AM   #9
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I like the quiet mirror/shutter operation in MZ/ZX series. I've saved over a dozen now by putting in new mirror motor; these cameras would otherwise be destined to the landfill.
08-11-2011, 07:44 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by violini Quote
Unlike the plastic gear on the mirror motor shaft, the motor itself (precious metal brushed) should be quite durable. I would check first the AF/MF switch; it does not only operate the screw driver, it's also an electrical switch. I would suggest that you return it to the seller. Is your ZX-L sold? I have 3 MZ-5N and 6 with new mirror motor I want to put on the market place soon.
Yeah, I don't think the motor burnt out or anything like that. It's much more likely an bad connection, quite possibly in the AF/MF switch. The only reason I don't think it's in the switch itself is because the body knows when it's in MF vs AF mode as it will not release the shutter in AF mode if nothing is in focus while it will release the shutter in MF mode regardless. This suggests to me that the MF/AF switch is functioning as the body knows which mode it's in.

I'll most likely just go ahead and return it (they already sent me a pre-paid return label). It almost seems silly to go through the trouble for $20; I even thought about keeping it for the body cap and extra neck strap (I like that series with the little pocket for the remote control and VF cover).

The ZX-L package has been sold, the buyer made payment last night. I was conflicted about selling the ZX-L as it's a really nice little body. I picked up a PZ-1p to play around with and I figured packing the ZX-L was a good way to sell the two lenses that I included with it (the 28-90 and 75-300).

QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
That sounds good D.
Like those bodies.Not real expensive,smooth,quiet release...alot to like about them.
Was on public viewing platform several winters ago trying to catch some eagles.
Clunking away with LX, a lady says..."What is that mister? sounds like a cow-bell"
ZX-MZ series does have its benefits.
Hmm, I was under the impression that the LX wasn't that loud as far as shutter go. Then again, the ZX/MZ series seems pretty damn quiet.
08-11-2011, 12:12 PM   #11
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I have a ZX-5 that has exactly same AF issue. It works once for while. Most of time, it just works a short moment at power up.

I found sometimes if I change it to MF and manual focus the lens to a different range, then changing back to AF will wake up the camera's AF (for a short moment).
08-11-2011, 05:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hyyz Quote
I have a ZX-5 that has exactly same AF issue. It works once for while. Most of time, it just works a short moment at power up.

I found sometimes if I change it to MF and manual focus the lens to a different range, then changing back to AF will wake up the camera's AF (for a short moment).
Thanks for the info. Sounds like it might be a similar problem, although I tried what your described and couldn't get it to come back even momentarily. Since the AF stopped working, it hasn't come back even for a second, nor have I heard the motor activate at all. I have a feeling whatever is discounted on the inside is going to stay that way.
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