I Have had this camera for years in a state of disuse. I recently tried it and discovered that the mirrors stays in the up position and film backing plate stays open when the shutter is depressed.Thios of course also leads to the problem of not being able to see anything through the viewfinder. Is this a DIY problem or is it at all fixable? Please advise if possible.
Try setting the shutter speed to 125 and firing the camera many times. If it is going to break itself loose and start working, it should do it at 125. Then exercise it through all the shutter speeds to see if it improves. It is a long shot, but it might work!
The lubrication has probably dried out and solidified and would need to be cleaned and lubed which would probably cost between $70 and $80 so you might look around for a used body if that one won't loosen up.
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Re: pentax sp 500 mirror return
Buying a used body without this is going to cost more that a repair.
They are very few and far between, and the only reason they don't have problems is that they have aready been serviced. So you will be expected to pay for that out of the price!
Do not purchase a replacement from anyone who does not give a guarantee, that the camera will not have a problem. Preferably from somone who also offers a repair service in house. Such a person will know exactly what they are talking about, and be able to back up their guarantees. (They will also be able to offer a repair for your camera!)
These cameras have been arounf for more than thirty years now, and most (Almost all!) are in dire need of a service. Once done though there is no reason why the camera will work without problems for another 30 years. (Or at least until the shutter fabric finally perishes. And even that can be replaced.)
£50-£60 will get a full service, but to buy one of these with the service already done will cost more.
You could do this yourself but it is best done by a pro, however....
To see how to open the camera up for repair and how to do this properly there is a camera repair site which deal with this and other cameras in detail. alternatively you can contact the author who can offer a very competitivecamera repair service for these models.
a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
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The image is directed by the lens to a mirror then to a prism then to the viewfinder. The mirror flips up when you take a picture so the image can reach the film behind it. If the lens is ok it is possible that the mirror is very dirty or not returning completely to the proper position after a picture is taken. If the mirror is dirty you should have it professionally cleaned because it is a very light weight metal mirror and VERY EASILY SCRATCHED. If you have another lens then mount it and see if it is also blurry and cannot be focused.
A few cameras like certain Olympus models have a mirror lock up option which you use after focusing the image while the camera is on a tripod. This gets rid of the slight vibration caused by the mirror swinging up out of the way while taking. a picture.
If all else fails you might consider taking it to a good camera shop if you can find one.
Digital cameras are getting better and better but there are still things film cameras can do that most digitals cannot. Long exposures in "Bulb" mode and multiple exposures are among these. Also each brand of film has it's own Artistic color expression such as Afgachrome vs. Kodachrome.
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.
Remove the lens and look into the throat of the camera. The mirror should be resting at a 45 degree angle, but if it's fully or partially stuck upwards then the mirror has locked up.
There were a number of Spotmatic models made between 1964 and 1976, all were fully manual and mechanically operated so the battery was used only to power the light meter. This is important, as on later models the battery also powered the shutter and a flat battery would cause mirror lock up. On your model (either an SP500 or an SP1000), the lock up is either due to an internal breakage or simply due to dried out lubricants which may have been in there for around 40 years now. Fixing your camera requires professional attention; if you're lucky then the camera just needs a CLA service (Clean Lubricate Adjust), new light seals and possibly a battery recalibration (original mercury batteries are no longer available, modern "equivalents" have a different voltage). If this is done your camera can give many more years of service, but the costs will far outweigh the value of the camera. Millions of Spotmatics were made, and the only ones of value to collectors must be immaculate and fully complete and functional. If your camera needs spare parts then they simply aren't available except by cannibalising parts from others. Given that there are plenty of more recent, fully functional 35mm SLR camera outfits available for free on FreeCycle and Freegle you really need to appraise whether to sell your near-worthless camera for spares or to make an investment in repairing it. One benefit of your model is that it accepts the older M42 screw mount lenses and there are millions of them going for between zilch and peanuts.
Does the film advance lever lock in place when the lever is returned ? if not, the lock spring broke. This is a common weak point in the ME Super. the camera must be partially disassembled to be repaired. get a cost estimate first. there are no new parts for this model Pentax.
mirror locked up? if so, the shutter curtain may not have traveled fully. gently push the curtain to the left until the mirror returns.
or the locking mechanism in the mirror box is not working. if so the camera must be disassembled to remove the mirror box for repair.
in either case the camera should be repaired and adjusted by a camera repair person. there are no new parts for this model Pentax so the repair could be expensive. get an estimate first.
i am assuming the lens cap is off.
it could be the rubber bumper next to the fresnel lens has become sticky. very gently ( after removing lens ) try to bring mirror down without forcing it. it should release easily.
if not, rotate the select knob off auto. open film door and check that the shutter is fully deployed, shutters should not be overlapping.
remove screws from bottom cover and remove cover, keep camera up side down so that re-wind button stays put. there is a locking lever under the take up spool ( gray ) . with a pin move lever toward film door and bring advance lever fully to the right , then let it go so it returns quickly.
the shutter should have fired. if not the camera will need to be repaired. get an estimate first as there are no new parts available.