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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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.
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Question edited into written English with punctuation.
The lens isn't black, the viewfinder is black. Connect it to a television or computer and see if playback and live recording is working. In that way you know the optics and the electronics are working. The viewfinder is a small LCD display screen with a magnifying glass in front of it. Take it to your local camera shop, they will know someone that still repairs these camcorders.
I was hoping to find a free PDF manual as I wondered if there is a switch or a setting to turn OFF the viewfinder?
You could have a setting for looking through the viewfinder only, which turns off the LCD display.
Of course, make sure your lens cap was not left on. Also there is usually a setting for looking at pictures you took. or looking through the lens. If you have no images saved, there will be nothing to see.
Set the camera back to view through lens.
May sound silly but, make sure the lens cap is off. If so, then look to see if the automatic iris is opening when you power on the camera, you will know it is open when you can see the glass of the lens. Fresh/fully charged battery/batteries would be something else to try.