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02-18-2014, 04:51 PM   #1
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Pentax MZ3 and MZ50


Hello, I am new to this forum. I have a question.

I have 2 film bodies an MZ3 and an MZ50.

The MZ3 does not meter correctly at times, shutter time flashes from say 60 to 0.7" pointing the camera in the same direction, as if the meter is blocked or has a loose wire (if that is at all possible). If it is just dirty, where can I find it so I can clean it?

Right now I am pointing it at my computer screen holding the shutter button half way down on auto and when I zoom the FA 35-80mm between 50-75mm shutter time drops from 20 to 8" (or 30 to 6") and goes back up when I go to 80mm or below 50mm. Same with the DA 18-55mm at around 40mm. A 50mm A-lens seems to work fine. At ISO 100 the faster times should be about right.

The MZ50 works normally but has partly overlapping frames sometimes, taking 39 pictures on a 36 roll. I read somewhere the spocket sensor can be cleaned, but I cannot find it, there is no LED next to the shutter curtain like in the Canon EOS series.

Can I repair the MZ3 with parts from the MZ50 if I need to? Are there any service manuals online that might help?

02-18-2014, 06:19 PM   #2
Ole's Avatar

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The MZ-3 and MZ-50 are different beasts. The MZ-3 has classic controls whereas the MZ-50 is of the P Av Tv M dial type (stripped down, though). They may share some internal parts, of course.

The MZ-3 would be the one to keep IMHO. You could disassemble it and look for a bad soldering. Or send it to Eric, who is a genius when it comes to fixing old Pentax cameras. The MZ-3, however, could be too recent to be repairable... it might belong to the "throw away and buy new" generation.
02-18-2014, 07:31 PM   #3
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The MZ-3 is an upgraded version of the MZ-5N/ZX-5N.

My MZ-3 suffered the plastic gear failure common to all Pentax MZ/ZX cameras.
This rendered the camera completely inoperable.

Eric Hendrickson ( repaired it, installing the replacement motor with metal gear.

02-18-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
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I'll definetely keep the MZ3 and explore the possibility of common parts between it and the MZ50. Remember, even if you choose to go all digital, any lens that fits the MZ fits the Pentax digital line too. Just one more thing: check exposure again, mounting the camera to a firm support, point it to a gray card in a sunny day or to just plain blue sky, change apertures or shutter speeds to verify function.

Last edited by j0n4hpk; 02-18-2014 at 08:26 PM. Reason: added comment
02-19-2014, 09:59 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

@ChrisPlatt Did it have "made in Japan" on the bottom?

@j0n4hpk Tried it, same thing, but the problem goes away when I select spot metering.

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