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03-02-2010, 08:23 PM   #1
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SF1 trouble

so yesterday i bought an SF1 and a P3 for a grand total of $25 off ebay. P3 works great, SF1 on the other hand not so much. Yesterday when i picked up the SF1 i was able to look through the viewfinder and was able to see clearly. today i went to my local camera shop and the guy working there popped in a new battery for me (don't know why he did it himself) but now when i look through the view finder i see nothing but black. it's as if the lens cap is still on, but it is not.

When the clerk put the battery in i did hear the camera fire off a couple of shots even though there was no film in the camera. i eventually tried to load some film and it seemed to work okay. it auto loaded itself but again, looking through the viewfinder just showed black. i thought maybe i loaded the film incorrectly so i pulled it out by hand and the shop owner said that he thinks the mirror is up because the camera thinks it needs to rewind.

Any ideas on what's going on?

03-02-2010, 08:42 PM   #2
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Why would the camera put the mirror up while rewinding the film? That doesn't make much sense to me.
03-02-2010, 09:34 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Why would the camera put the mirror up while rewinding the film? That doesn't make much sense to me.
I'm about 1 week in to this whole learning to shoot film process...so I'm not the guy to ask.

is there ever a function of a camera where a mirror goes up and stays up? playing around with it, i see that i can make it so the front end swings down but it just jumps right back up when i let go of it.
03-02-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
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Sticky Mirror

What you have is sticky mirror syndrome. Quite common with older cameras especially Pentax models.

The light sealing and impact dampening foam that stops the mirror from smashing into the focusing screen when you take a photo oxidises and gets sticky with age. When the mirror goes up it sticks there.

To fix it temporarily bang the base of the camera lightly against a table top. Take 20 - 30 exposures without any film in and if the mirror isn't sticking you can run a test roll of film through. You might need to tap it again a couple times though.

If your test roll doesn't find any other probs get the foam replaced or do it yourself. If the exposures are wildly out, take it for a full clean and service.

To prevent recurance use your cameras regularly.

03-02-2010, 09:58 PM   #5
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now i think i've come across the answer.

Pentax SF1 wont advance film - The Photo Forum - Photography Discussion Forum

QuoteQuote:
HERE'S THE PROBLEM: look into the mirror cage of the SF1 on the left side there is a tab that moves up and down in a slot. Try moving the tab up and down if it moves very freely with no resistance rather than having resistance to it moving up and then springing back down by itself it means that a spring connected to the lever has broken. The spring is located on the underside of the mirror box near the back hooked to a lever and a stationary fixture of the box. You will propbably find the spring borken in half with one end glued. The solution is simple replacing the spring the rest is not. The original spring is too weak and flimsey it breaks almost in all Pentax SF1 cameras jamming the camera. You will need a like-spring but a bit more robust because it operates every time the shutter triggers. The mirror box needs to be pulled out. The original Pentax service manual only has dissasembly and assembly instructions no trouble shooting section! Get it anyway from butkus.org as pdf file. It's do-able but time consuming and requiers desoldering of some wires and carefull systematic dissasembly a lot of tiny screws! The real issue is finding a like-spring it's very finely wound and small, you might have to improvise a spring from another. A good way to get tiny camera springs is to buy cheap broken mechanical cameras on Ebay and take them apart for parts, springs are often very similar in shape and size or near enough for use. That's what I do for generic spare parts. I replaced this spring in an SF1 that would not advance film and it works as good as new. A pro can do it but will charge about $125-50 to do that's a lot for an old camera. It's the time involved to do the work. I hope this helps.
03-17-2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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irishwhite thanks for the info. Very useful. I have no encounter this problem, but it is good to keep it in mind.
03-17-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by irishwhite Quote
is there ever a function of a camera where a mirror goes up and stays up?
Well, apart from cameras that do have mirror lockup as an advertised feature if that's what you mean, you can get a Pentax K1000 to do mirror lockup by (with practice) tapping the shutter release with out firing the camera. Then you can take the shot as normal. Of course you have better focused and composed the scene first
03-22-2010, 07:37 AM   #8
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I'm not sure about your mirror problem. The SF1 does NOT have a mirror lockup function. As someone else mentioned, it may be stuck to deteriorated foam mirror bumper material.

I can tell you that it is normal for the camera to fire several times when you close the back. The camera assumes that you have just loaded film and it is advancing to the first frame.

If you can get it to work, the SF1 is a nice camera. I enjoy mine. Unfortunately, I don't use it much, since I got my K10D.

03-23-2010, 06:38 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
I'm not sure about your mirror problem. The SF1 does NOT have a mirror lockup function. As someone else mentioned, it may be stuck to deteriorated foam mirror bumper material.

I can tell you that it is normal for the camera to fire several times when you close the back. The camera assumes that you have just loaded film and it is advancing to the first frame.

If you can get it to work, the SF1 is a nice camera. I enjoy mine. Unfortunately, I don't use it much, since I got my K10D.
Although it may not have a mirror lock up function, it still uses gears to flip the mirror up, no? From what I've read, it's the gear that's used to move the mirror that breaks/gets stuck. I can manually move the mirror down to it's usual position, but it just flips back up as soon as I let go. I don't think it has anything to do with the foam because I'd assume once i've released the mirror from it's sticky grasp it wouldn't just flip back up automatically.
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