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03-27-2017, 08:28 PM   #1
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MZ-S: stiff, hard to move "select dial" around LCD

My MZ-S body arrived today from Japan. Everything seems to be working, except that the "select" ring or wheel around the LCD on the top right (used to change shutter speed/aperture combinations or to change settings) is too hard to move with only one finger. If I grasp it with two fingers (say thumb and index finger) it is no problem to move. Sometimes I can move it with just my thumb, but I have to push hard and it is not easy to control how much I am changing it. I searched this forum and the web to see if this was a known issue, and I found only one old post here that indicated it may be, and that there was a repair that could be done. Does anyone have any comments? Am I correct to assume that the intention for the the MZ-S design was that you could spin this dial with one finger while looking through the viewfinder? It seems to me that this must be the case, as the camera also has a lock slide switch to lock the wheel in one position if you do not want to accidentally change the shutter speed. If I can repair it (by removing the top cover and cleaning under the wheel?) I'd be willing to try, I've dismantled and repaired other cameras, but I usually like to find some instructions/pictures of what I might run into first if possible. It is not clear to me how I would go about removing the top cover. I have a 30 day return period if I want to send it back to the seller, but it will cost me quite a bit for shipping back from Chicago to Japan. Look forward to your comments. Thanks!

03-27-2017, 08:41 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
My MZ-S body arrived today from Japan. Everything seems to be working, except that the "select" ring or wheel around the LCD on the top right (used to change shutter speed/aperture combinations or to change settings) is too hard to move with only one finger. If I grasp it with two fingers (say thumb and index finger) it is no problem to move. Sometimes I can move it with just my thumb, but I have to push hard and it is not easy to control how much I am changing it. I searched this forum and the web to see if this was a known issue, and I found only one old post here that indicated it may be, and that there was a repair that could be done. Does anyone have any comments? Am I correct to assume that the intention for the the MZ-S design was that you could spin this dial with one finger while looking through the viewfinder? It seems to me that this must be the case, as the camera also has a lock slide switch to lock the wheel in one position if you do not want to accidentally change the shutter speed. If I can repair it (by removing the top cover and cleaning under the wheel?) I'd be willing to try, I've dismantled and repaired other cameras, but I usually like to find some instructions/pictures of what I might run into first if possible. It is not clear to me how I would go about removing the top cover. I have a 30 day return period if I want to send it back to the seller, but it will cost me quite a bit for shipping back from Chicago to Japan. Look forward to your comments. Thanks!
I just checked my MZ-S and the selector wheel turns easily with my thumb, about the same as using thumb and finger.

I don't know if this makes any difference but I still use it on occaission so it hasn't had a chance to stiffen up with lack of use.

Good Luck
03-27-2017, 10:04 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I find it difficult to move with one finger--but easy to do grasping w/ two fingers. Hard to say but I think mine is the way yours is--and it seems to be the design--after all the left side control also needs to be grasped by two fingers.
03-27-2017, 10:50 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldPentaxFan Quote
I just checked my MZ-S and the selector wheel turns easily with my thumb, about the same as using thumb and finger.

I don't know if this makes any difference but I still use it on occaission so it hasn't had a chance to stiffen up with lack of use.

Good Luck
Thanks. When you say easily with your thumb, can you easily move it with your thumb in a controlled way to select settings while looking through the viewfinder? I can move mine with my right thumb, but with enough difficulty that it is too hard to do while looking through the viewfinder with a good degree of control to make the selection of one shutter speed over another. I can do it with two fingers while looking through the viewfinder, but it is a little uncomfortable and would be hard to do while concentrating on the scene.

03-28-2017, 06:33 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
Thanks. When you say easily with your thumb, can you easily move it with your thumb in a controlled way to select settings while looking through the viewfinder? I can move mine with my right thumb, but with enough difficulty that it is too hard to do while looking through the viewfinder with a good degree of control to make the selection of one shutter speed over another. I can do it with two fingers while looking through the viewfinder, but it is a little uncomfortable and would be hard to do while concentrating on the scene.
I would say it's a little too stiff for easy control of the position unless you routinely work with it and are used to the feel.

As I recall, and granted this is a 15+ year old memory, it took me a while to be comfortable with dial initially, but I had also been shooting with my old ME-Super for over 15 yrs so the learning curve on the new camera was pretty steep.

I am using it no more than 3 or 4 times a year now and there is a bit of an adjustment switching from my K10 and the two control wheels to the single one on the MZ-S, so that is a consideration as well. When I was using it all the time I was familiar with the 'feel' of the controls and it was very natural to change settings on the fly. Now I have to stop and think a bit before I do anything.

On a separate note, did you get the battery grip with the camera? When I was still using film only I found the ability to use AA batteries in the grip a god send so I wouldn't have to try and find the battery to fit into the body, not to mention I could use rechargeable NiCd in it.
03-28-2017, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #6
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My MZ-S wheel turns fine with my thumb. It is definitely stiffer than the wheels on Pentax DSLRs, and you might need to grip the MZ-S more firmly by bracing your index finger against the front of the camera, but it should turn without too much effort.

---------- Post added 03-28-17 at 09:09 AM ----------

The lock switch, by the way, doesn't lock the wheel, only the settings. The wheel will still turn, but the settings won't change.
03-28-2017, 12:11 PM - 1 Like   #7
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My MZ-S is wheel is quite stiff - it will certainly turn with just one thumb or finger but I wouldn't call it easy - you have to want it. I've never thought much of it - it is quite easy to turn with finger on top, thumb at bottom in a sort of "pinch" turn. Like I said I'd never really thought about it - perhaps a very small amount of contact cleaner dripped in there might loosen it up (don't quote me on that). I'd imagine they loosen over time with use, and remain or become stiffer with disuse - just a guess. At any rate I don't mind - make it difficult to accidentally move, and with the tilted orientation of the ring it's still just as easy (if not easier) to turn even with two fingers than every other Pentax shutter dial on top IMO.
03-28-2017, 03:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldPentaxFan Quote
I would say it's a little too stiff for easy control of the position unless you routinely work with it and are used to the feel.

As I recall, and granted this is a 15+ year old memory, it took me a while to be comfortable with dial initially, but I had also been shooting with my old ME-Super for over 15 yrs so the learning curve on the new camera was pretty steep.

I am using it no more than 3 or 4 times a year now and there is a bit of an adjustment switching from my K10 and the two control wheels to the single one on the MZ-S, so that is a consideration as well. When I was using it all the time I was familiar with the 'feel' of the controls and it was very natural to change settings on the fly. Now I have to stop and think a bit before I do anything.

On a separate note, did you get the battery grip with the camera? When I was still using film only I found the ability to use AA batteries in the grip a god send so I wouldn't have to try and find the battery to fit into the body, not to mention I could use rechargeable NiCd in it.
Thanks for your comments. I'll try shooting a roll and see how it goes. It is easier to adjust than many cameras (like my Spotmatic for example), just a little different than I imagined. I do like the two control wheels on my K-50 and on the PZ-1P. And no, I didn't get the BG, the units available on ebay with the grip were about $100 more than without, and it was already an expensive purchase (and shipped from Japan).

Funny thing though, the camera dealer in Japan did a great job packing and shipping, and in only 2 days after they shipped it was in Chicago already. Oddly, after clearing customs in record time in Chicago, the USPS then sent the camera 150 miles north to Madison WI, then back to Chicago, then to my local PO (about 30 miles from Chicago), then decided to deliver it in the 2 hour window when I left the house. I went the next day to pick it up, and they had it in another building, "please come back tomorrow."

---------- Post added 03-28-2017 at 06:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
My MZ-S is wheel is quite stiff - it will certainly turn with just one thumb or finger but I wouldn't call it easy - you have to want it. I've never thought much of it - it is quite easy to turn with finger on top, thumb at bottom in a sort of "pinch" turn. Like I said I'd never really thought about it - perhaps a very small amount of contact cleaner dripped in there might loosen it up (don't quote me on that). I'd imagine they loosen over time with use, and remain or become stiffer with disuse - just a guess. At any rate I don't mind - make it difficult to accidentally move, and with the tilted orientation of the ring it's still just as easy (if not easier) to turn even with two fingers than every other Pentax shutter dial on top IMO.
Thanks. You are right, it is much easier to move than the typical shutter dial, with two fingers quite easy. I might try some tuner cleaner (do people still call it that? My father used to fix radios & TVs, that's what we called it then), it probably would not hurt.

03-28-2017, 06:50 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Once you get used to the controls I think you'll find it's a very nice camera to use.

A lot of people compare it less favorably to the PZ-1p but I've always enjoyed using it. I tend to use my cameras till I wear them out so it's a good thing when I find one that I can work well with.
03-28-2017, 08:30 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldPentaxFan Quote
Once you get used to the controls I think you'll find it's a very nice camera to use.

A lot of people compare it less favorably to the PZ-1p but I've always enjoyed using it. I tend to use my cameras till I wear them out so it's a good thing when I find one that I can work well with.
I definitely wasn't all that thrilled with it for the first weeks of owning it (about 2 years ago), but over time as I grew accustomed to its controls and layout, I came to realize how well it was engineered. It really is fast and intuitive, but is very unlike other Pentax models. It's become a favorite, no doubt.
03-28-2017, 09:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldPentaxFan Quote
Once you get used to the controls I think you'll find it's a very nice camera to use.

A lot of people compare it less favorably to the PZ-1p but I've always enjoyed using it. I tend to use my cameras till I wear them out so it's a good thing when I find one that I can work well with.
Thanks, that is good to hear. I got a PZ-1P recently also, have done 1 roll in it and really liked the camera. What strikes me about the MZ-S is how much smaller and lighter it is, really similar in weight to the ZX-5N and ZX-L, which I have as well. One feature I thought was neat was the imprinting of shot data on the film, we'll see how well that works. I'm also looking forward to using my AF360FGZ flash with the MZ-S since they both will do P-TTL mode (I use the flash with my K-50 as well).

My ZX-5N mirror motor gear broke recently, which prompted my desire to pick up some AF bodies that should not have the potential for that same defect. My ZX-L is still working, so I'll keep my fingers crossed on that one.

---------- Post added 03-28-2017 at 11:02 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
I definitely wasn't all that thrilled with it for the first weeks of owning it (about 2 years ago), but over time as I grew accustomed to its controls and layout, I came to realize how well it was engineered. It really is fast and intuitive, but is very unlike other Pentax models. It's become a favorite, no doubt.
Thanks, that's great to hear. All these comments are psyching me up for the test roll.
03-28-2017, 09:26 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
Thanks, that is good to hear. I got a PZ-1P recently also, have done 1 roll in it and really liked the camera. What strikes me about the MZ-S is how much smaller and lighter it is, really similar in weight to the ZX-5N and ZX-L, which I have as well. One feature I thought was neat was the imprinting of shot data on the film, we'll see how well that works. I'm also looking forward to using my AF360FGZ flash with the MZ-S since they both will do P-TTL mode (I use the flash with my K-50 as well).

My ZX-5N mirror motor gear broke recently, which prompted my desire to pick up some AF bodies that should not have the potential for that same defect. My ZX-L is still working, so I'll keep my fingers crossed on that one.

---------- Post added 03-28-2017 at 11:02 PM ----------



Thanks, that's great to hear. All these comments are psyching me up for the test roll.
Never used any of the P models - all mine are of the older variety but for the MZ-S and MZ-3 (which I also really like). I preferred the latter for a long time but that definitely isn't true anymore - I reach for the MZ-S nearly every time when I grab an 'auto' body. It reminds me very much of Pentax DSLRs but somehow better in some ways. The ergonomics are near perfect at least for my hands.
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