Mamiya RZ67 Darkslide Repair Guide

RZ67 Darkslide Repair Guide – Disclaimer:

Das Befolgen der dargestellten Schritte erfolgt ausschließlich auf Ihr eigenes Risiko. Ich übernehme keine Haftung für etwaige Schäden. Im Zweifelsfall sollte ein professioneller Kameratechniker zurate gezogen werden!

!!!PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS RZ67 DARKSLIDE REPAIR GUIDE IS ONLY SUITABLE FOR PROBLEMS IN LANDSCAPE ORIENTATION!!!

Also, I do not accept any liability for damages that occur during your repair attempt. If in doubt please go to a professional camera repair shop! Everything you do is on your own responsibility!

RZ67 Darkslide Repair – Error description:

„The shutter of my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II fires even though the darkslide is inserted! Also, the red warning LED doesn’t glow when I am pressing the shutter. What’s wrong and what can I do??“
–Markus Wetzlmayr (and a few other lost souls on the internet)

Ok let’s analyse some common mistakes when handling the RZ67. Is your shutter ring set to the white marker? If it is set to the orange marker the camera is in „emergency mode“ and will fire at 1/400 second no matter what. Is your Rotation Lever set to M? If so, the Rz67 will fire at any given speed/aperture no matter what. Oh and make sure that your battery is fresh/still fine!

RZ67 Darkslide Repair – Damage analysis:

As you can see on the images below, the RZ67 registers an inserted darkslide via the two marked pins and the corresponding knob on the film back. If the back with the darkslide is attached to the body, the knob will push down either the P-Pin or the L-Pin depending on the orientation of the filmback. That signals the camera that it is not ready to shoot – the red warning LED will be activated.

If this doesn’t happen, there are a few damages that can cause this error:

  1. One of the internal wires/circuit board is damaged. Get your welding kit and may the odds be ever in your favour!
  2. The contact pin is slightly loose. Rejoice, this guide may help you!
  3. Other damages we could not discover. Sorry, this is not the guide you’re looking for.

So in our case, the L-Pin had noticeably less resistance when pushed down than the P-Pin. Hence, we started unscrewing the body!

Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_13 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_26

RZ67 Darkslide Repair – Getting to the intestines:

The Back Plate:

It might be possible to get to the internal electronics without removing the back plate. However, since we had to perform an „exploratory surgery“ we started with removing the back plate.

  1. Disconnect the LENS, the VIEWFINDER, the FOCUSING SCREEN, the FILM BACK and the NECK STRAP.
  2. Put the body face down on your work surface and unscrew the 4 big screws in the corners of the back plate.
  3. Unscrew the 14 screws around the circular board where the film back is attached to the back plate. CAUTION the circle consists of 2 separate circles. CAUTION there are 3 pressure plates in the back plate beneath the outer circle that tend to fall out. Be sure to handle the circles carefully and watch those parts.
  4. Now the back plate should come off easily. Watch the Pins – they might fall out!
  5. As you can see here, the L-pin is noticeably less elevated than the P-Pin. A clear sign that the contacts beneath might be worn out.
  6. Remove the pins, the white pin columns and the spacers around the film transport screws

Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_30 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_32 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_35 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_37 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_42 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_48

The Bottom Plate:

I hope you removed all those parts because now it’s time to flip the camera over so that the bottom plate faces up.

  1. Remove all screws of the bottom plate (5 thick ones, 1 long and silm, 1 short and slim)
  2. Remove all strews on the bottom of the rubber sides (2 screws on one side, 3 on the other)
  3. Remove the screw in the tripod mount and finally remove the tripod mount by unscrewing it with e.g. a small plier.
  4. Now the bottom plate should come off with a bit of force and applied lever action. There is a small plastic piece similar to a key and slot (deutsch: Feder & Nut) on the top left side (with the camera upside down, facing away from you).

Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_55 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_46 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_55-2 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_55-3 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_58

The intestines:

Now let’s take a look beneath that beauty’s hood …

  1. On the bottom left side (camera upside down, facing away from you) you can see the brown circuit board. Left of that, the L-Pin contacts are located.
    In our case, the mounting plate of these contacts was damaged (i.e. it broke off its base)
  2. Carefully unscrew the circuit board and push it aside with e.g. a screwdriver
  3. Remove the mounting plate

Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_06 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_01 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_08 Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_07

RZ67 Darkslide Repair – Damage repair:

Ok, so now that we’ve identified the culprit we can fix that problem!

  1. Get some plastics glue and reunite the contact with its base (the top side of the contact has a small nipple on the inside. This side should face towards the front of the camera)
  2. Let it dry according to your glue’s instructions.
  3. You might have to slightly bend the contacts either further away from the back or the front of the camera. Apply common sense.
  4. Once everything’s secure and fine, place the contact with the mounting plate back where it belongs and screw them in place.
  5. Before reattaching the bottom plate, be sure to secure the tiny cables of the circuit board. They should not have any play before you attach the bottom plate. Else, the bottom plate might squeeze the wires and you can do another round of damage repair.

Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_13-2

RZ67 Darkslide Repair – Putting it back together:

Just read that guide backwards – it’s easy!

There are a few problems you might run into:

  1. Reattaching the bottom plate. This one is tricky due to the sturdiness of the plate. You might have to play around with it a bit but generally loosening the rubber sides of the body helps.
  2. Reattaching the Pins and pin columns. The LONG white column belongs to the L-Pin, the short one to the P-Pin. When inserted, both columns should have the same elevation from the body.
  3. Don’t forget the spacers of the film transport screws!

RZ67 Darkslide Repair – The end:

If you’ve put back everything together and there are no spare parts left: GOOD JOB! You can test your work without risking one frame of film. Just remove the film back and use your thumb to press down the L- or P-Pin. Press the shutter! Now the camera should flash the red and the orange warning LED.

Also, I’d like to thank my father Robert Wetzlmayr for his expertise as electrician/technician and for his willingness to fuck up a perfectly fine camera on a nice and sunny Sunday morning.

If hope this guide helped you fixing your RZ67’s darkslide issue. If you have any suggestions, please drop a comment or send an email to contact@wet-photo.at

Happy shooting!

Markus Wetzlmayr -  - WET_40