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09-27-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
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ZX-M: Four years later & I have the same problem.

(Film loads & rewinds immediately, that problem) Any more insights into this vexing little problem? The problem seems to deepen with everything I try (mirror is now stuck in the "up" position). Somebody said to "dry fire" the shutter a few times. Unfortunately that isn't possible. The shutter seems to be electronically activated and won't fire unless the film is in and properly loaded. Is that right or is that yet another problem this camera has? I could use a technician's manual but I have had some difficulty getting any help from Pentax themselves. Is it me or do they simply not give much customer support? I have owned Pentaxs all my life and I never needed to have one fixed before! That is why I am so "lost at sea", I have never needed help before so I really don't know where to turn. Any help or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated

09-27-2015, 10:50 PM   #2
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I believe you can fool the camera into thinking that there is film in it. Look at where the latch goes into the camera body. If you push a small screw driver into where the latch goes in the lock will click down and the camera will think there is film in it. You can then fire your shutter. Remember to "open" the latch before closing the camera back.
09-27-2015, 11:11 PM   #3
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I don't think anyone has found a solution to this:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/144800-p...m-problem.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/8-pentax-film-slr-discussion/145870-mz-m-...any-ideas.html

The mirror lockup could be caused by the split pinion gear problem. If it is you are likely to hear the motor continue running but not always. No solution to that except replacing the gear and/or motor.
09-28-2015, 05:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by chris51 Quote
(Film loads & rewinds immediately, that problem) Any more insights into this vexing little problem? The problem seems to deepen with everything I try (mirror is now stuck in the "up" position). Somebody said to "dry fire" the shutter a few times. Unfortunately that isn't possible. The shutter seems to be electronically activated and won't fire unless the film is in and properly loaded. Is that right or is that yet another problem this camera has? I could use a technician's manual but I have had some difficulty getting any help from Pentax themselves. Is it me or do they simply not give much customer support? I have owned Pentaxs all my life and I never needed to have one fixed before! That is why I am so "lost at sea", I have never needed help before so I really don't know where to turn. Any help or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated
Quite honestly, there's a fair amount of failure-prone bits to these. If this particular camera means a lot to you, I would stop pulling my hair out and send it to Eric, particularly if it's been 4 years and you're *still* pulling out hair. If it *doesn't* mean that much to you, then by all means get another - the ZX-M can *easily* be found on the "Bay for $50, often less. Just my 2 cents.

10-05-2015, 10:07 PM   #5
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Thank you for your great advice. I took it & bought another Pentax, this time, however, I bought an MX, all manual SLR. I owned one many years ago & it & my original ZX-M, were stolen. I thought I could start replacing my collection. The ZX-M was a dud. The four year reference was about the origin of this thread. Someone else had the same problems with their ZX-M four years ago. I had just bought mine online, it was only 25 bucks (including the shipping!) with a nice strap and a good 50mm f1.7 lens, so I feel I got my monies worth. I got the MX today & it's in fantastic shape, I don't think it was used very much at all. I could count the the little scratch marks around the tripod receptacle, which is probably an indicator of how many times the camera was used. The MX came with a Quantaray 28-210mm Macro zoom lens. I know, not the best, but for 50 bucks (including the shipping) I think a made out ok. So now I've spent under $100 (including what I've spent on film & batteries) and I have an almost mint MX with a Pentax 50mm lens, a 28-210mm Macro zoom lens & a Pentax 85mm lens (left over from my old gear, lucky for me it wasn't in the camera bag when the bag was stolen) & an MX winder (same luck).

By the way the winder is missing the battery door (or end cap), anybody know where I could buy a replacement door?

I checked with Eric, he no longer works on Z's & he didn't know a supplier for the winder end cap. I had another tech look at the Z & he pronounced it useless, so was the tech, he gave it back to me in pieces! I offered it to Eric for parts for free, he declined Anyone else want it? I'll send it free, hate to see it go in the trash can.
10-06-2015, 01:41 AM   #6
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I'd say you made out much better than fine! Congrats. Now, when the time comes, the MX is worth the investment - a CLA will keep that guy tickin another 50 years in many cases I'd reckon.

Re: the battery door for the winder - that's tough. It's simply a piss-poor design and being plastic the screw mechanism is bound to break (they all eventually will and many, many have already as you can see). I had one for quite a while with a broken door and simply used gaff tape to hold it in place - worked fine, if not the most elegant solution. Eventually I bought another very mint one, but honestly each time I remove the batteries to recharge them I'm terrified the latch is going to snap on this one as well. Eventually it will. Your best bet for finding a door could just be scanning the 'Bay for non-working units or just replacing it altogether. You could also, I'm sure, fashion some sort of end piece to complete the connection - I am not terribly electrically inclined but I'm sure someone here could offer advice.
10-06-2015, 04:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for your kind words of advice

I appreciate the great advice all of you have given me. Things have turned out better than I could have even imagined! I have already contacted Eric about this MX & I am at loose ends about whether I should bother sending it to him right away or not. The camera is so clean & functions so well I feel a little foolish sending a perfectly fine working piece of equipment out to be "fixed" (you know: "If it ain't broke..."). I will at least wait until the battery for the meter shows up before I reconsider sending it to Eric.

Thanks also for the advice about the winder. I put a folded strip of aluminum foil across the battery contacts & held it in place with a patch & a strip of black duct tape. It doesn't look too bad, in fact my wife thought I had found a replacement door at 1st glance! I have to admit she was a few feet away at the time though. Still...
10-06-2015, 05:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by chris51 Quote
I have already contacted Eric about this MX & I am at loose ends about whether I should bother sending it to him right away or not. The camera is so clean & functions so well I feel a little foolish sending a perfectly fine working piece of equipment out to be "fixed" (you know: "If it ain't broke...").
Not worry - it's certainly a good investment, but I've had an LX that really needs to be sent to Eric for 2.5 years and have yet to send it in (I love shooting it too much). Eventually I will.

QuoteQuote:
I put a folded strip of aluminum foil across the battery contacts & held it in place with a patch & a strip of black duct tape.
There ya go!

10-06-2015, 09:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by chris51 Quote
I appreciate the great advice all of you have given me. Things have turned out better than I could have even imagined! I have already contacted Eric about this MX & I am at loose ends about whether I should bother sending it to him right away or not. The camera is so clean & functions so well I feel a little foolish sending a perfectly fine working piece of equipment out to be "fixed" (you know: "If it ain't broke..."). I will at least wait until the battery for the meter shows up before I reconsider sending it to Eric.

Thanks also for the advice about the winder. I put a folded strip of aluminum foil across the battery contacts & held it in place with a patch & a strip of black duct tape. It doesn't look too bad, in fact my wife thought I had found a replacement door at 1st glance! I have to admit she was a few feet away at the time though. Still...
If the MX is working, and you can handle the light seals and mirror bumper yourself, I would wait before sending it to Eric. The MX I bought in 1977 runs perfectly and has never been serviced; other than that I replaced the seals with strips of felt or foam myself.
10-07-2015, 09:55 AM   #10
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Thank you all!

Thanks again for your words of advice, especially you, chickentender. You've inspired some great solutions to my problems.

Any advice on lenses? I'd like to stick to Pentax brand but if there are some others that are better in their particular size range I'd like to know about them.

I also remember an adapter that allowed you to mount your lens on backwards to use it as a macro lens, anybody know anything about that? Or should I start a new thread concerning that subject?
10-07-2015, 12:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by chris51 Quote
Thanks again for your words of advice, especially you, chickentender. You've inspired some great solutions to my problems.

Any advice on lenses? I'd like to stick to Pentax brand but if there are some others that are better in their particular size range I'd like to know about them.

I also remember an adapter that allowed you to mount your lens on backwards to use it as a macro lens, anybody know anything about that? Or should I start a new thread concerning that subject?
No worries. Welcome to the Forum.
As to your other questions, that's pretty open-ended. I'd suggest perusing some lens threads. If there's a particular focal length you're interested, manual or auto-focus, m42 or K mount etc etc, there's a lot of options for your Pentax. Generally i'd say you've a good place to start already with a reasonably fast and affordable 50mm.
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