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.
Since it's a film camera, there are a couple of things to check:
1. You have left the lens cap on.
2. If this is a single lens reflex camera, take the lens off and make sure that the mirror isn't stuck in the "up" position. If it is, GENTLY pull it down until it stays down. At this point, your shutter may be open. Try cocking the shutter again, fire off a test shot, and see if the mirror sticks in the up position. If it does, you probably need to replace the mirror bumper foam - age can make foam deteriorate into a gooey, tar-like substance that can make the mirror stick in the up position.
3. Does the camera have a T (for Time) setting on the shutter speed dial? If so, turn it off the Time setting and set it to a manual shutter speed such as 1/60 - or whatever your 'X' synch speed is.
4. Your batteries died in mid-exposure. Replace the batteries. You may have enough juice in them to show the viewfinder display, but not enough to finish the exposure and close the shutter.
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.
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.
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.