I’ve seen a number of forums where the foam has degraded and the mirror sticks in the up position, but I have a different problem. When the shutter button is pressed, the mirror VERY slowly starts to move upward. Gradually the speed of the mirror increases until it appears to overcome the friction (?) that is slowing it and then it snaps up, the curtain opens/closes, and the mirror returns to its down position as normal. The process of the mirror snapping upward takes from 2-5 seconds. This obviously results in extreme shutter lag!
Is there something I could lubricate to overcome what I assume is a sticky part?
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Take the lens off, is the mirror stuck up? If it is then thats why you cant see through the view finder. It should come down after you take a photo.You can try to gently push the mirror down. This is caused by the mirror box warping due to heat or being dropped. Try it a few times and if it still sticks, more expensive to get fixed than the camera is worth so look for a 'new' camera on ebay. do not spray anything like CRC or WD40 into it, makes things worse.
The mirror motor on most KX, MZ, and other late model Pentax film cameras has a small plastic gear on the shaft that cracks, so that it will not drive the mirror up or down. Pentax originally replaced it with a larger gear made with better plastic, but they had problems with those also, so the eventually went with a brass gear
I don't believe the part is available any longer, or so I was told last time I tried to order one. Which is fine with me, as they are a real pain to work on and I do not recommend you try and fix it yourself.
The ZX-50 does not have a mirror lock up feature so there are several possibilities for the problem. There could be residue on the foam padding where the mirror hits the inside of the camera frame causing it to stick. In this case the foam may need replacing and the inside frame cleaned. Checking with a camera dealer in your area will answer the question in more detail.
If the batteries are flat or missing you wont get LED's to light up and it will set itself to 125 naturally. I know as I have tried it. It could be that the shutter has got stuck on its way down and it is preventing the mirror from coming down as a result this is a mechanical issue, not battery related. The best way I found to release the mirror was to gently, really gently stroke the shutter nearest to the film down towards the groove it goes home in. Recommend a cotton budd so you don't damage the shutter leaves or get grease from your fingers on the movement. This should release the mirror. The next thing to do is try preventing the shutter getting stuck again by removing the bottom plate which will allow you access to the cogs for the shutter. it is tight in there and it is recommended by some that you remove some of the movement to see and clean them up. I did this but it is tricky and it involves winding on the camera and rocking parts out with itself. Not easy to do. The shutter cogs are brass (or look like it) and they may have old oil stuck inbetween the teeth which needs cleaning out with a tooth pick and then lubricate but not with WD40 which gets sticky with age. Use a cotton budd again with the lubricant on so you don't affect other sensitive parts around this section. Alternatively send the camera for a good service. I just had mine done, got it sorted with a warranty for 12 months to and cost me just £45. They cleaned everything up, new light seals and sorted issues common to this model of camera. The photos are instantly back to their best. Compare a good service to a series of wasted film with an inconsistent camera. Peace of mind too, it is worth it and so is the camera!
My mirror contacts a kind of foam substance on the upswing. It got sticky a while back and I had the same problem as you. I dampened a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol (91%) and rolled it back and forth many times over the foam. Let it dry and my mirror doesn't stick any more. Might work for you.
is the mirror stuck in the up position? if so the rubber bumpers have become sticky. try to ( gently ) pull the mirror down it should fall freely, then clean the mirror with alcohol. you may have to remove the foam rubber bumper to prevent the mirror from sticking again. the mirror mechanism will work without the bumper just fine.
It doesn't need batteries to shoot. You can use it on manual without batteries, but the exposure meter won't work (if you know what you're doing you can go by). But the stuck mirror should be fixed. It could be just plain dirty/rusty/bent etc. The advance lever might be gone since it won't 'click'. A professional shop can fix it, but the one you tried doesn't sound very professional...
Could be 1 of two things:
1. Mirror linkage failed.
2. Something is holding the mirror; sticky foam or the lubrication has dried out.
Remove the lens, use slow shutter speed to release the shutter. While mirror is stuck in the up position, very gently pull down on the front edge of the mirror. If it frees up immediately it was stuck on the foam. Might be able to see a mark on edge of mirror from the foam. Hope this helps.