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03-30-2017, 11:58 AM   #1
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The real truth on the MZ-S mirror motor gear?

I almost ordered one of these from Japan recently. I decided to go with the PZ-1P instead because I fear the mirror motor gear syndrome. I was set on the MZ-S until I saw the reviews on this site. The first two user review entries mention their MZ-S gear failing or being made of plastic. I can't believe that Pentax would have went with plastic on a pro body like that. Does anyone know for sure?

03-30-2017, 01:05 PM   #2
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I read on here somewhere that Pentax switched the motor gear on the MZ-S to metal, due to issues with the other MZ-series and the plastic gear.
03-30-2017, 02:10 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I haven't used my MZ-S in years, but I never had any problems with it. It still is one of my all time favourite cameras. Just a joy to use.
03-30-2017, 04:48 PM   #4
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Perhaps @K_David will drop in. He is the reviewer that made the plastic gear statement.


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03-30-2017, 05:38 PM   #5
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Yeah, one reviewer stated the gear was plastic and another reviewer stated his had actually failed. Too bad there isn't a real definitive answer. I can't justify the price of them with the chance of that kind of failure. If this is true then they are WAY overpriced on the market. I kind of want one because I took up photography when they were sold new and used to dream of it over the lowly ZX50 I started on. But I have seen far too many ZX series dead cameras to take the chance.
03-30-2017, 10:15 PM   #6
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Every replacement gear I ever got was brass ( four or five ). My guess is that once Pentax saw the problem they only sold brass.
03-31-2017, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gutter rock Quote
Yeah, one reviewer stated the gear was plastic and another reviewer stated his had actually failed. Too bad there isn't a real definitive answer. I can't justify the price of them with the chance of that kind of failure. If this is true then they are WAY overpriced on the market. I kind of want one because I took up photography when they were sold new and used to dream of it over the lowly ZX50 I started on. But I have seen far too many ZX series dead cameras to take the chance.
Is it safe to assume that your question regarding the "real truth" is rhetorical? You are absolutely correct that the MZ-S is often overpriced.* Short of finding someone who has done a tear down on a broad sampling of MZ-S bodies, you are not likely to get a definitive answer as to whether they were ever made with plastic gears.

BTW...Welcome to the Pentax Forums!


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03-31-2017, 09:01 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by leekil Quote
I read on here somewhere that Pentax switched the motor gear on the MZ-S to metal, due to issues with the other MZ-series and the plastic gear.
That is my memory as well, though finding the post may be difficult and even if found, might be hearsay. That being said, there are numerous places on the Web where it is asserted that the MZ-S used a metal gear on the sequencing motor.

Edit: I found several posts on this site where the claim is made that the MZ-S is unique in the MZ line in having a metal gear. This is not surprising since the MZ-S was a late addition to the MZ-series. The usual claim, both here and on the Web, is that it was fitted with the metal gear due to reported issues with its older siblings.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 03-31-2017 at 09:08 AM.
03-31-2017, 03:57 PM   #9
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Insufficient data

Has anyone here ever sent Eric Hendrickson a Pentax MZ-S body that required this service, or any service for that matter?
If I owned one I'd send it to him for routine maintenance (as I do all cameras I purchase) and inquire about this at that time.
Speculation, innuendo and aspersions aside IMO this model must be too new, too rare or too reliable to draw any conclusions.

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03-31-2017, 06:19 PM   #10
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I believe I will wait longer to pick one up until a reliability history maybe becomes more known. They aren't going anywhere and I can't see the prices rising much. Plus I picked up an MX today so that will appease me for a bit!!
03-31-2017, 06:38 PM   #11
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Everything I've read indicates that the MZ-S has a metal mirror motor gear. At least I hope so. My ZX-5N recently died (mirror went up, never came down), so to avoid the mirror gear problem I just bought a PZ-1P and an MZ-S, the latter shipped from Japan. I'm shooting a test roll in the MZ-S now.
03-31-2017, 06:49 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
Everything I've read indicates that the MZ-S has a metal mirror motor gear. At least I hope so. My ZX-5N recently died (mirror went up, never came down), so to avoid the mirror gear problem I just bought a PZ-1P and an MZ-S, the latter shipped from Japan. I'm shooting a test roll in the MZ-S now.
I have 2 MZ-S. One I bought cheap because the trim around the EV Comp dial is gone; one near mint in all ways. Anybody wants to try the ugly but working copy for way below market PM.
03-31-2017, 10:09 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
IMO this model must be too new, too rare or too reliable to draw any conclusions.
All of the above.


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03-31-2017, 10:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I have 2 MZ-S. One I bought cheap because the trim around the EV Comp dial is gone; one near mint in all ways. Anybody wants to try the ugly but working copy for way below market PM.
Pm sent
03-31-2017, 11:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Speculation, innuendo and aspersions aside IMO this model must be too new, too rare or too reliable to draw any conclusions.
It isn't known for having a gear problem, as certain other MZ cameras are. I don't think there's any reason to believe it would have such an issue, though I guess it's possible that given it was a pretty late-model film Pentax, they might not have gotten used as heavily as earlier cameras did.

I've got two of them, one I got new, one used, and haven't had a problem; though I maybe have only put 70-100 rolls of film through them.

Edit:

Checking the film leaders, it looks like the two bodies have had 162 and 118 rolls of film through them.

Last edited by leekil; 03-31-2017 at 11:20 PM.
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