The mirror on my Pentax MX is stuck in the up position, so that when I look though the viewfinder I see nothing. I have changed batteries, and it flips down correctly about 1/30 of the time after a shot. Is this a electrical connection problem, and what can I do to fix it? How much would a fix for this cost at a camera repair shop?
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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.
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.
First remove the battery. wipe off the battery contacts. reinstall the battery. Battery may be weak, replace. If that fails, remove the lens. See the mirror in there? If its stuck in the up position, you can return it by hand. But I recommend a toothpick. It won't leave fingerprints.
Slr mirror is stuck. remove the lens and try to slightly move the mirror up and down ( but not forcing it to move!)and pushing the shutter switch. Try also applying lighter fluid in the mechanism while operating or shooting, fluid will help loosen the stucked mechanism.
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.