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08-12-2020, 06:19 AM   #1
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ZX-50 with mirror-block issue - worth fixing?

I have a Pentax ZX-50 body which I haven't used in ages since going all digital. I recently pulled it out to test, as I was thinking of selling it. I put in fresh batteries and when I turned it on, it made this interesting whirring sound and the mirror does not move. I did a bit of research and believe this has the mirror motor gear issue that appears to be common with this series.

It also has the broken flip-up flash issue...


I am very handy electrically and mechanically (Electrical Engineering by profession and electronics hobbyest at home) and am not afraid to fix things myself. So do you think this is worth fixing relative to what I could sell it for?

I don't ever anticipate getting back into film, but if I do, I still have a K1000 body and a P3n body.

As another point of discussion, I found a full teardown photo of the ZX-30 and it appears to have the Japanese-sourced shutter solenoid, that could be used to fix my K-70, should it ever develop the shutter solenoid issue. Therefore, the other option is to just harvest the ZX-50 for parts.

Discussion welcome!
Chris

08-12-2020, 07:28 AM   #2
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It is basically worthless in it's current condition, so tearing it down in an attempt to repair would not be a loss. The worst case is you could salvage the solenoid and scrap the rest. Best case you fix it.


Jim
08-12-2020, 08:13 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimfellows Quote
It is basically worthless in it's current condition, so tearing it down in an attempt to repair would not be a loss. The worst case is you could salvage the solenoid and scrap the rest. Best case you fix it.


Jim
Except for the cost of the replacement motor/gear. I see you are also from NH. I just updated my profile to list my location.
08-12-2020, 09:38 AM   #4
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There are over 200 ZX-50s on ebay. Asking price is $10 to $100 but average sell price is under $20. Unless there is a valuable lens included, then it goes up some. If you are thinking of fixing and reselling I don't see how it would be worth your time much less the parts.

I'm not sure about the solenoid. I do not remember for sure but I thought @Photogem states that film era solenoids do not work. But I'm going by memory on that so I could be wrong.

08-12-2020, 09:54 AM   #5
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It's worth it if you are willing to put in the time and effort and the cost of buying a replacement gear. The other weak spot is the pivot on the pup-up flash usually breaks to the flash won't pop-up but that is a separate issue and a different fix.

Otherwise it's not a very remarkable camera but will still give good results.

You can get some information on the gear replacement and where to order in this thread:
Replacement gear for ZX/MZ cameras... - PentaxForums.com

The solenoid is not compatible with DSLRs.
08-12-2020, 11:06 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
It's worth it if you are willing to put in the time and effort and the cost of buying a replacement gear. The other weak spot is the pivot on the pup-up flash usually breaks to the flash won't pop-up but that is a separate issue and a different fix.

Otherwise it's not a very remarkable camera but will still give good results.

You can get some information on the gear replacement and where to order in this thread:
Replacement gear for ZX/MZ cameras... - PentaxForums.com

The solenoid is not compatible with DSLRs.
Thanks for the link. It looks like a new gear would cost about $12 USD to get shipped from Poland. The camera also has the pop-up flash issue, so would need to fix that as well.
08-12-2020, 12:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cdw2000 Quote
Thanks for the link. It looks like a new gear would cost about $12 USD to get shipped from Poland. The camera also has the pop-up flash issue, so would need to fix that as well.
If USCamera.com still has the part for the flash in stock you can get a replacement from them. Once they're gone though, that's it. You can search the board for various solutions that others have tried. The OEM replacement part is made out of the same plastic so is likely to break again in time. There is constant pressure/torsion/tension on the part from the spring and an plastic eventually splits.
08-14-2020, 06:39 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I chose to disassemble the ZX-50 and harvest it for the shutter solenoid, which is the better one with the white PEFL coil form and well-machined and polished actuator. This has been placed in a container for safe keeping should the solenoid in my K-70 ever fail. Disassembling the ZX-50 was certainly an education in how complex these cameras really are.

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