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07-14-2014, 06:51 AM   #1
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Sticky mirror syndrome on a Pentax MZ-S

This weekend my MZ-S and I were shooting landscapes while on a road trip. It was quite warm out, and humid.

I noticed on one stop that the mirror failed to return quickly to position after I released the shutter. I assumed I had accidentally set a long shutter speed, so though nothing of it. Then it happened a few more times (not necessarily all in a row) and sometimes the mirror wasn't fully swung away -- only partially.

Later in the afternoon, when I pulled the MZ-S out again, I noticed the rubber plug on the base of the camera (that covers the battery grip contacts) had melted, and partly deformed. I rolled the rubber up into itself, and removed the plug. It was a complete loss, but the camera was MOSTLY clean, just a few little black smears on the contacts.

I know very well that rubber "of a certain age" turns to goo - especially if it's warm out. I've had it happen before to a few rubber viewfinders. Clearly the MZ-S is now "of a certain age...."

I've never heard of the sticky mirror syndrome before in the MZ-S. It's part of why I decided to keep my MZ-S when weeding out cameras.

Did Pentax use some of this self-destructing rubber in the mirror return mechanism? Or is there something else going on?

07-14-2014, 11:15 AM   #2
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I'm not very familiar with the MZ-S, but it could be that the mirror motor gear that actuates the mirror travel is failing. I have this on two old Z series bodies and it required an upgrade from the older plastic geared motor to the metal version.
07-15-2014, 05:55 AM   #3
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pretty sure the mz-s has metal gear in that part of the design... read it here can't find the thread. it could also be the foam at the top (take off the lens and set shutter to like 8 secs) getting sticky.
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