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A DIY fix for mirror stuck in "Up" position (K1000)?

Sarah MacWright , Oct 28, 2008; 03:43 p.m.

Hello all,

I have a Pentax K1000 film camera that is in happy working order - except that the mirror is stuck in the "up" position.

Though it can still take photos, when I look through the viewfinder... I see nothing and I cannot focus my image. If I take the lens off I can move the mirror down by simultaneously pulling the Diaphragm-Control Lever down. But, sadly, after I take a photo the mirror goes up and stays up - no more viewfinder preview.

Any help would be very much appreciated. I would very much like use a bit of elbow grease to solve this one and avoid sending the camera away to be fixed.

Thanks!!

Sarah


Mirror Stuck in "Up" Position

Responses


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Norman Valentine , Oct 28, 2008; 04:57 p.m.

I used to have a K1000 with a similar problem and used to free it by banging it as hard as I could onto the "heel" of my hand. This did not do the bottom plate much good (it still has the impression of the insides on it) but enventually I realised the problem was caused by the release button being bent over from contact with a wall on a drunken trip down the stairs! I straightened it with a can opener. Nothing technical but it does say a lot for the strength of this camera. I hope your cure will be as simple.

Katherine Michael , Oct 28, 2008; 05:23 p.m.

My K1000 did the same thing years ago after being dropped. I got it loose by doing what Norman did, smacking it firmly with my hand. Not that I recommend hitting or dropping your camera, but that's what worked. It never happened again after that fortunately. The K1000 is a very durable camera. Good luck!

Katherine

Miserere Mei , Oct 28, 2008; 06:06 p.m.

Sarah, is it sticking to the foam just inside the mount, which the mirror hits with its bottom part?

Matthew McManamey , Oct 28, 2008; 08:05 p.m.

Yeah, Spotmatics do the same thing, usually after sitting a while. I flip mine over and smack the prism in the heel of my palm.

The track Mis is going down seems to be fairly common, but I've never had the problem myself, where the foam bumper degrades leaving a strip of sticky goo for the mirror to get stuck on. You can buy replacement kits for the foam strip if that is your issue.

The proper thing to do would be to send the camera to a good shop for a CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust) which should take care of it either way, but the 1st two options are obviously cheaper.

Miserere Mei , Oct 29, 2008; 12:22 p.m.

Matt, where you been, dude? Good to see you back.

Yeah, the sticky foam was the road I was going down. Had two cameras like that already.

Bob Rapp , Oct 29, 2008; 03:04 p.m.

If the shutter can re-cocked and fired again, the problem is that the second curtain is not completing its cycle. When the second curtain complete its cycle, it trips the mirror return lever. A simple CLA will fix the problem. This applies to any mechanical Pentax body from the Spotmatic through the MX. They all use the same shutter design.

Bob Rapp

Joseph C. Ohlsen , Oct 29, 2008; 07:33 p.m.

Now that we are on the subject of shutters, does anyone else get a kick out of setting the shutter to 1/30th and hearing that ball bearing bounce up and down after you shoot it? Precision, huh? The Fujica does it also.

Now that you mention it most all of the Pentaxes I have come across are messed up. The only Pentax I have that works is the ZX-50. The rest of my K-mount cameras are, believe it or not, Ricoh and Sears (Ricoh) bodies. The only things that still work when I find them out there.

Jemal Yarbrough , Oct 30, 2008; 01:15 a.m.

I got to zx-50s that don't work. One won't focus, and the others pop up flash is broken. I got a box of older pentax bodies sitting by me on the couch. Guess its time to do some spring cleaning and stop with the LBA and CBA.

Brendon Meyer , Oct 30, 2008; 01:39 a.m.

Hey Sarah, not sure if this will help, but if you're really not opposed to elbow grease it's a fairly easy place to start. From what Bob says it sounds like the same parts are the culprit, and the symptoms are almost identical. Only I couldn't re-fire mine, I suppose mine was stuck a smidge earlier in the cycle, but the mirror was up and I think that second curtain was stuck like Bob says. Just barely poking that rod freed everything up.

Again, that rod...well "attaches" isn't the right word, but works in conjunction with the shutter and mirror releases, obviously. Push the shutter button, rod moves down tripping shutter and mirror releases (ideally), then you wind it back up and rinse, lather, repeat. So it may not actually be the rod that's stuck but the parts underneath that it triggers, just gently poke around in there and see what gives.


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