My MZ-7 has had a thrombi


Link Posted 16/01/2015 - 14:45
This seems to be very common. I have two MZ-5Ns which are fine and an MZ-30 which seems fine but has not been film tested by me. I've recently acquired an MZ-6 which I haven't tried yet.

So far I've been lucky with my MZs. Fingers crossed it stays that way.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses


Link Posted 16/01/2015 - 21:41
It is a common problem, the cog breaking. My MZ-50 did it as you described. So I bought an MZ-7 to replace it. So far so good. But I am wary of the cog going.
I was given an SFX and it has done the same thing.
Fingers very crossed, my MZ-5n, which I have had since new, will last a bit longer.
I have heard about someone who will replace the offending cog with a metal one, but at a cost.
Whether it is worth it, is up to you.
For me, I won't repair the MZ-50, it is not worth it, as it only have a plastic lens mount. MZ-7? Possibly it was cheap but clean and a great camera. The MZ-5n. Certainly. It was my last newly bought Film SLR and cost a fortune at the time (£300 in 2000) and it is a great camera. So I don't care about cost, if it gives me a reliable film body.
Some Cameras


Link Posted 16/01/2015 - 22:23
Hi Offertonhatter. An interesting forum ID. Is it connected to a past occupation and perhaps locally in Denton?
It would appear that most of the MZ series suffered with the cost cutting/lighting in weight tactics of using plastic for internal gears and other components.
The saving grace with the MZ-7 that I have is that it has metal Face to Face for the lens mounts and not the plastic one that I here spoken of.
I bought the MZ-7 as a smaller & lighter alternative to carrying my Yashica 230AF outfit around in the car.
My first impressions of it were favourable and then !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would certainly be interested in knowing who it is and what cost is involved in having the camera repaired and that is assuming that it is a damaged plastic gear wheel that is the culprit and not faulty electrics as well.


Link Posted 18/01/2015 - 01:17
The motor that drives everything on most MZ/ZX cameras has a nylon gear that cracks, leaving you dead in the water.

The improved replacement motor incorporates a brass gear. Once replaced these cameras are far more reliable,
however I'm not sure the part is still available. Further the cost of repair might be prohibitive for one of these rather mediocre bodies.

That said an MZ-3 is my only AF body. Eric Hendrickson upgraded mine to the improved motor and installed an MZ-M (manual) focusing screen.
In future my aging eyes may need autofocus/focus confirmation capability...

Bring back the latent image!
Last Edited by ChrisPlatt on 18/01/2015 - 01:25


Link Posted 18/01/2015 - 13:23
Hi Chris. Thank you for your input. I don't know what sort of money, albeit you are dealing in the USA $ and not £ sterling, that an MZ-7 is fetching with either a 28-80 or a 35-80 lens over there where you are based BUT here in the UK they are going for between £20.00 and as high as £100.00 and selling (on E'bay).
All are allegedly "fully functional" and often come with additional lenses including a variety of telephoto options.
I guess that with a camera of some 12-14yrs old and a cost on E'bay of £21.00 I really have no case to grumble and it was probably nothing less than bad luck/hard luck albeit the camera had allegedly had little use and was a "back-up" camera.
I assume that Eric Hendrickson is very close to you in New York.
I actually do have a Yashica 230AF with 35-70 Macro and a 70-210 lenses both bought new in 1988 and also a recently purchased - absolutely mint and all boxed 2nd 230AF body with a 75-300 Macro lens purchased through a photographic equipment dealer in Pudsey,West Yorkshire,England.
I have since located a further MZ-7 but with a 35-80 lens that seems a great-deal more like "very little use" than the first one.
Time will tell and hopefully later than sooner!!!!


Link Posted 18/01/2015 - 18:27
Even a lightly used MZ/ZX body may fail. Age is a contributing factor, and these cameras are all teenagers now.
I'm sure there are a few out there that were repaired using the more reliable replacement motor,
but short of a complete dissection (as in a repair) unfortunately there's no way to tell.

Bring back the latent image!


Link Posted 18/01/2015 - 22:51
When it comes to film cameras and the cost of repair or service ('CLA') it really depends on your criteria. If
cost / value for money / getting your investment back is your main concern, then you are out of luck with all but rare or expensive models. If having a working, reliable body is your main concern, then you just have to suck up the cost. As I intend to use most of my film bodies, I just bite the bullet and get them serviced. In fact, Eric Hendrickson does such a good job for relatively little cost, I have bought several "spares of repair" bodies and had them fixed which has bought the combined purchase + repair cost down considerably. My ESII and black Spotmatic were of that ilk, and I'm about to send off my K2DMD.

My only foray into the MZ series resulted in my having a desk ornament, and as I prefer M series or earlier bodies, I haven't bothered trying to get a repair. If I see an MZ-S for a reasonable price once day, I might bite but usually they go for much more than I am willing to pay for one. I'd rather put the money towards a Asahi Pentax K... The main problem with the K is finding one as searching for "Pentax K" is a bit of a dead end!

Cheers, K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website


Link Posted 18/01/2015 - 23:58
Hi Kris. Would I be correct in assuming that Eric Hendrickson is in the USA or have I got it completely wrong and he is actually here in the UK?


Link Posted 21/01/2015 - 22:47
Eric Hendrickson is located in Knoxville Tennessee USA.
I send him all my Pentax items for service by post from New York, 700 miles away.
Yes, he's that good.

Eric has many UK and foreign customers as well.
His rates are very reasonable so even with international postage he may be a good option for a cost effective repair.

Bring back the latent image!
Last Edited by ChrisPlatt on 21/01/2015 - 22:49


Link Posted 21/01/2015 - 23:52
Hi again Chris. I will send an E'mail to Eric and seek an estimate based upon the fact that this is such a known issue.
I will weigh the camera +lens and check out the international postage rates at my local post office.


Link Posted 25/01/2015 - 13:48
It's as we have all said, sadly it's a basket case.
As to your comments, its like only repairing the rear of your car exhaust, only to find that the front section blows, because the weakest point has now changed to the front section.
One always replaces the complete muffler!

Kindest regards,


Link Posted 25/01/2015 - 14:25
Hi Peter. I have always been a 'Glass half full' man but yes, I had fully realised that the end was a forgone conclusion.
It is a bin job come Tuesday and I have already prepared a eulogy for a "Technological short-term product made shorter by manufacturers cost-cutting tactics.
RIPL ( Rest In Pentax Land) albeit without your eyes (lens).
Last Edited by ARoosterdoingtheshooting on 25/01/2015 - 14:26


Link Posted 29/01/2015 - 00:27
Eric derisively refers to the MZ/ZX line as the "Plastic Pentaxes"...

Bring back the latent image!


Link Posted 29/01/2015 - 00:45
My MZ-M suffered a similar problem when I fired it with very flat AA batteries. The mirror locked up and the film advance stopped mid-wind (the shutter was obviously in mid-cycle when I opened the back). Pulling the mirror down resulted in it springing back up. With fresh batteries I could get it to 'inch' down a few degrees at a time by firing it multiple times, when it got to the bottom the next shot resulted in it being stuck back up.

Taking the batteries out for a few hours and trying one last time resulted in quite a bit whirring and clunking before it came back to life and seemed to work perfectly normally (I haven't had any results back from it yet though).

PPG Flickr


Link Posted 29/01/2015 - 11:17
Hi John. I have already carried out those exercises albeit my MZ-7 uses two CR2 Photo Power batteries.
I left the depleted batteries out for 28hrs and then installed two completely fresh ones - but nothing.
When I very very gently pulled down the mirror it was totally free and then returned to the up position again.
I have even used two batteries from a second MZ-7 that functions perfectly well - but nothing.
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