Camera Problems...HELP!!!

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Rulon Leman

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I've got an older (1970's) Pentax SLR. I was in the woods today trying to get pictures of a rabbit. When I pushed the shutter release it took the picture but the mirror got stuck and wouldn't go back down. I took two or three more shots of whatever and it went down, but got stuck repeatedly and I ended up wasting half of my film trying to make it work. Is there any way to fix this without having to take it in?
~Rulon
 

pierre

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I owned 4 Pentax SLRs over a 30 year period. Sounds like the sticky foam problem, where the foam the mirror flips up to deteriorates after many years. It can be replaced. I've heard of some doing themselves, but not me.
 

clogz

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I think Pierre is right about sticky foam. Most older cameras will have this problem and it starts with the light seal of the camera back. I had the foam replaced by a camera repair shop. Cost: around Euro 60.- If you camera is still in good working order have it repaired.
 

FrankB

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I've got an S1a which suffers from the same problem, mainly in cold weather at low shutter speeds. The (lousy) method I use is to fire off another frame at the fastest speed the camera will do (1/1000th in this case); the vibration usually knocks the mirror back down.

I asked Amateur Photographer about this problem and their expert said it was quite common with older Pentaxs and recommended a few places that could service it for me. I don't know of a DIY fix.
 

Ole

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There's a quick & dirty (literally!) fix I've used myself:

Run your finger over the foam a couple of times. Any dirt, grease, lint etc. on your finger will stick to the sticky foam, making it a lot less sticky. Keeps it working until you can get it properly serviced...

I said dirty, didn't I?
 
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Rulon Leman

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Oct 30, 2003
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Mesa, AZ
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I went with plan B and I'm buying a new camera. Well not new, it's a Nikon N2020 with a 35-50 mm lens and a 500 mm lens and a handfull of other stuff. I'm still going to try to get my old one fixed though, thanks for the tips everybody.
~Rulon
 
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