Question about Pentax ZX-30 QD 35mm SLR Camera

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Can't see out of viewfinder

When I look through the viewfinder, all I see is black. It looks as it would when the lens cap is on, however the power on the camera is on and the lens cap is off. When I look through the viewfinder, the only lights I see are the images that represent the different modes (example, smiley face, flower, mountain). Also, film is properly installed. I have.. -removed the lens, looked through viewfinder (still appears black) and then replace the lens. - made sure that the aperature is set to A, that the lens is in automatic mode. - Also played with putting the lens in Manual mode and setting the aperature at different settings. - Turned camera on and off. - Replaced batteries.

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Re: Can't see out of viewfinder

The mirror motor is probably the problem, you'll usually hear a whirring noise like a motor spinning. It's about a $125 repair, requiring the mirror box to be removed and the mirror driving motor replaced. Pentax originally put a plastic gear on the motor shaft - the replacements have a brass gear.

Posted on Nov 25, 2006

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Looking through viewfinder i see dirt & black specks

It depends where the dirt is. Following the light path, look at the rear surface of the lens. A dirty rear lens surface will have the most affect on picture quality or what you see in the viewfinder of any position in the light path. Like all optical cleaning procedures, hold the lens with the rear lens surface facing the ground so gravity will work with you. Start by blowing clean air on it using canned air or a blower such as a Rocket blower or ear syringe. If that is sufficient, do not continue the sequence. This holds true at the conclusion of each step because the more aggressive your cleaning becomes, the more risk there is of damage. If it is still dirty, gently brush it with a sable or camel hair brush. If that is not sufficient, gently wipe it with a dry lens photograph lens tissue (do not use coated tissues) or a microfiber cloth. Finally, as a last resort, dampen a corner of a lens tissue or microfiber cloth (do not put the wet solution directly on the lens) and gently wipe with a circular motion. Finish by wiping with a dry section of the tissue or cloth. Although the front surface of the lens is not as important, repeat the process for the front surface.
If you still see the dirt in the viewfinder, are two possible remaining locations; the bottom surface of the prism located above the mirror or the mirror.
Clean the prism first and avoid cleaning the mirror if possible, or any contact with the mirror. The prism can be cleaned following the sequence outlined above. If that doesn't work, the problem is the mirror.
CAUTION! The mirror is front surfaced and is very susceptible to scratches and other damage unlike a conventional mirror which is rear surfaced with the glass protecting the coating. Aggressive cleaning should be avoided.
Carefully follow step 1 of the lens cleaning procedure (air) and step 2 (brushing) if necessary. As far as the third and fourth steps, I would not use them myself because of the risk of mirror coating damage. It would be better to take your camera to a qualified repairman.

remove the lens and look above the mirror at the bottom of the viewfinder prism. If it is dirty, clean it as you would clean a lens surface. The next place to look is the mirror.
CAUTION! The mirror, unlike the mirror over your bathroom sink, is front surfaced and there is no glass between you and the delicate and easily damaged coating. Hold the camera with the mirror facing down so that gravity will work in your favor. If that does not work, I would stop and take it to a camera repairman because you do not want to risk scratching the surface by using lens tissue or cleaner.

Feb 05, 2013 | Nikon F100 35mm SLR Camera

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My pentax k1000 has a black splotch in viewfinder, does not show up in images.

It would depend on exactly where the splotch is. If it's on the outside of the viewfinder, you could simply clean it off with a damp cloth (and maybe some Windex or Formula 409). If the eyepiece is damaged, you can order a replacement part here.

Remove the lens and look at the mirror. If their is something on the mirror, you can carefully clean it. The mirror is very sensitive and vulnerable to scratching. If the reflective coating has been removed then you'll need a new mirror.

Look up at the bottom of the focusing screen. That's the more-or-less clear piece of glass that the mirror will reflect light from the lens onto. If there's a splotch on the outside, you can clean it off.

Those are the parts you can get to. If the splotch is on something on the inside, then you'll have to take the camera to a good camera shop to have a trained professional disassemble and clean it.

May 23, 2012 | Pentax K1000 35mm SLR Camera

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I recently bought a Nikon FG, and when i look through the viewfinder all i see is black. I made sure the lens cap it's on, and its still black! I need to replace the batteries, but will that fix the...

Take the lens off the camera and look inside. you should see a mirror angled at 45 degrees. If you do not see the mirrir, it is probably stuck in the up position and repair is necessary


Apr 22, 2011 | Nikon FG 35mm SLR Camera

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Looking through my F3HP viewfinder, the window

what lens is mounted? the lcd is lighted through the "white glass" just below the on (of Nikon). If a large (thick) lens is mounted, this might block the light from shining through this window?

Feb 20, 2010 | Nikon F3HP 35mm SLR Camera

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Image through nikon f80 dark and cloudy

I'm unfamiliar with the F80 but on models like the f65 and f75 the viewfinder screen has an lcd overlay and when the battery is exhausted or removed the viewfinder goes dark and blurry.

Looking at a picture of the f80 it looks like it's just an update on my f75 so it strongly suggests that you just need to insert a fresh battery. The lcd does draw power from the battery even with the camera turned off.

I hope that you found my answer useful, once you've tried another battery to confirm what I've suggested I'd appreciate it if you return the favour by rating my answer.

Jul 20, 2009 | Nikon F801S 35mm Film Camera

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Image through Nokia F80 viewfinder dark and cloudy

Please also ignore this answer, (see askers comment above). I've only posted it so that this question doesn't continue to appear as an unanswered one.

If anyone else has this problem please go to
for an answer.

Jul 20, 2009 | Nikon F801S 35mm Film Camera

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When i look through my lens, its blurry

Adjust the viewfinder diopter to suit your eyesight. The control is near the viewfinder; try adjusting it and see if the image clears up. Be careful not to poke yourself in the eye as you do this.

Jan 21, 2009 | Canon EOS Rebel Ti / 300V 35mm SLR Camera

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Nikon FG 35mm

If its black when you look thru the viewfinder its likely because the mirror is stuck in the up position. It will often do that if the batteries are exhausted. Try replacing the batteries.

The mirror might release back down if you turn the shutter speed dial to M90. This is a manual release of 1/90 second for when you need the shot but don't have any power.

When you look in the lens opening and adjust the aperture dial, you are seeing the aperture open and close. Not the shutter. You need to open the back of the camera (without film) and take a photo to see the shutter curtains open and close.

You should have a read thru the manual to become familiar with the camera and its operation:

Jan 03, 2009 | Nikon FG 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

Shutter sticking open

Hey jimicricket,
The mirror is what reflects what the lens is seeing up to the viewfinder, and if it is sticking in the up position that is why you can't see anything sometimes thru the viewfinder. I would have the camera looked at by an authorized service technician, and it's possible that it just needs a good cleaning.

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May 28, 2008 | Canon T70 35mm SLR Camera

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Can't see whole image thru viewfinder when len is on

Your camera either has no focusing screen or the screen is dislodged. Remove lens and look above the mirror : looks like frosty glass.

Jun 05, 2007 | Minolta Maxxum 7000 35mm SLR Camera

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