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03-12-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
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Pentax ZX-5n mirror lock a common problem?

I am sucked into the "film" crazed and is looking for a new body for my collection. Currently I am using the ZX-L as my film camera. It is a great camera but I want one with the shutter speed on the dial.

I would love to have the MZ-S but it is too expensive. Originally I wanted the MZ-3 but it is impossible to find that camera for sale. I've check ebay, keh, bhphoto and adorama, no one has it for sale. So I decided to settle for the ZX-5(n) because I can find them fairly easy for about $100.

I did a little searching and found a post where they said the zx-5n has a problem with the mirror lock being stuck.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/39450-mz5n-mir...ce-manual.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/53359-zx-5n-st...-question.html

I just want to know how common is this problem. I started a new post because I didn't want to hi-jack the other two post.

03-12-2009, 03:18 PM   #2
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The MZ series cameras (except MZ-S?) got this same problem due to the plastic part used in those cameras, including the ZX-L you are using. I can't say it's a very common problem, but seems there are plenty of those got stuck mirrors.

It shouldn't be very difficult to fix if you know how, and if you have the spare part (the mirror motor).
03-14-2009, 02:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
The MZ series cameras (except MZ-S?) got this same problem due to the plastic part used in those cameras, including the ZX-L you are using. I can't say it's a very common problem, but seems there are plenty of those got stuck mirrors.

It shouldn't be very difficult to fix if you know how, and if you have the spare part (the mirror motor).
Thanks frank. I was not aware that my ZX-L is known to have the same problem. I'll pick up that camera only if I find a really good deal on it.
05-03-2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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Hi,

I repaired my MZ-50 with that problem.
Quite heavy, but it works now.
15$ for the mirror motor : http://www.uscamera.com/27250-s250.htm
Good luck.

Here is the link where I solved the problem thanks to Alan :
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/39450-mz5n-mir...ce-manual.html


Last edited by Bob Bimon; 05-03-2009 at 10:44 PM.
05-20-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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Here you have the procedure (including pictures) I wrote to repair it.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/604647-post12.html

Enjoy !
05-26-2009, 10:43 PM   #6
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I used a ZX-5n/MZ-5n (this latter one was mine as I bought it in Canada) for eight years and never had this problem. So, it's not common in my book.
05-27-2009, 01:41 AM   #7
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I think is a common problem after several years.
It develops even faster if the camera has not seen action in a while (like most eBay or similar cameras)
06-04-2009, 11:00 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperAkuma Quote
So I decided to settle for the ZX-5(n) because I can find them fairly easy for about $100.

I did a little searching and found a post where they said the zx-5n has a problem with the mirror lock being stuck.
I just bought one from Henry's (via ebay) with a 2-year warranty for $57US:

PENTAX MZ-5N 35mm SLR CAMERA BODY/2YR WARR/USED/$1 - eBay (item 220427034745 end time Jun-02-09 22:21:38 PDT)

You might keep an eye on Henry's for another one - the warranty should alleviate any fears of the mirror lock problem...

06-08-2009, 06:55 PM   #9
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A very, very nice set of instructions for what appears to be an extremely intimidating task. I hope my ZX-5 keeps going so I don't have to use your instructions.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bob Bimon Quote
Here you have the procedure (including pictures) I wrote to repair it.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/604647-post12.html

Enjoy !
06-09-2009, 03:11 PM   #10
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I hope too !
I understood that many failures of this plastic gear are due to a large storage period without use.
So, use it !
06-09-2009, 04:27 PM   #11
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They break with or without use. Failure could ruin a good day of shooting. I'd replace it before it breaks...

Chris
06-09-2009, 05:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
They break with or without use. Failure could ruin a good day of shooting. I'd replace it before it breaks...

Chris
So after replacing, the motor becomes metal and won't break as easily?
06-09-2009, 05:58 PM   #13
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Yes. The gear on the replacement motor is metal and does not crack like the plastic gear on the original.
See the photo early in this thread: MZ5N mirror blocked, service manual?

FWIW Eric Hendrickson tells me this is the most common failure seen in the ZX/MZ series; once replaced these cameras are very reliable.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 06-09-2009 at 06:10 PM.
06-11-2009, 09:59 AM   #14
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I got a new replacement motor standby, just in case my MZ-3's mirror gets stuck someday
02-24-2016, 01:37 PM   #15
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Is there anyone who can fix these still out there? Anyone willing to tackle a ZX-5 and a ZX-M? I have both, and they each need the fix.
Thanks.
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