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DIY Repairs (Praktica)

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Zou, May 3, 2008.

  1. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I recently acquired a Praktica BX20 from my brother. It turns out that the mirror is stuck in the up position. I can't see any way of releasing a mirror up lock, or indeed find any reference to such a feature in its manual.

    Any ideas on how best to fix it?
  2. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    On some cameras this is an indication of depleted batteries. Whether the BX20 is one of these I don't know. Might be worth changing them first.
  3. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Good idea, I might try that. I hadn't thought of that, as my other film SLRs don't need batteries.
  4. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

    IIRC the BX20 is completely battery dependent.I think the Praktica bayonet is as rare as my Fuji X. ;) :D

    Cheers Dave
  5. sillyconguru

    sillyconguru Well-Known Member

    Indeed. My daughter's BC1 did exactly what the OP's has (mirror stuck up), a new battery sorted the problem.
  6. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Well it came with a 50mm f1.8 and a 55-200 zoom Prakticar, so I'm bound to be able to get some use out of it. There was also a flash unit (BD24) so I think I can call it a system. :D
  7. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The used price of lenses for these cameras seem to be quite reasonable, some of the primes are of high quality, being Zeiss designs.
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    New battery; if that doesn't fix it, try pulling the mirror down by hand - that might work (it sometimes does with Prakticas, but it can cause more damage).

    The 50mm f1.8 is an updated Meyer Oreston, and a decent enough lens. The zoom is a Sigma design, and OK. Some of the Zeiss designed lenses are fantastic.
  9. tazio35

    tazio35 Well-Known Member

    My Praktica MTL5B does that occasionally; winding on and firing it sorts it. I assume you'll have tried that, though... Obviously, the MTL5B is all mechanical, so a different beast.
  10. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Hmm, new battery made no difference. :(
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Is the mirror all the way up? Try pushing it up by hand if not. If it is, try pulling it down - gently - with your fingernail. I take it that the camera was wound on fully - this sort of issue often happens with Prakticas if the wind-on action was almost complete, but not quite, or if you try to wind on during an exposure - normally, the interlocks should prevent this, but it's not totally unkown in my experience for them to be overcome by over-enthusiasm.

    So, I would recommend you try to wind on (gently) to see if there's any further to go. Then push the mirror up. Then try pulling it down. If that doesn't work, repeat whilst holding the shutter button. And if that doesn't work, repeat whilst holding the wind-on lever under tension. And if that doesn't work, major surgery is required. On a screw-thread Praktica, the most common way of solving this is to push or pull the stop-down bar that actuates the automatic diaphragm pin on the lens, but that doesn't apply to the bayonet cameras. Oh, and also on the screw-mount ones, you can manually push the mirror up to a locking position when the camera is wound on - not the most useful feature, as you have to remove the lens to do it, but there you go.
  12. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Thanks Nick, I'll try that.
  13. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    A closer examination has revealed that the mirror has actually broken off the bit that flaps up and down (sorry for the jargon) and the shutter just won't release at all.

    Outcome: I'll take the whole thing apart and play. :)

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