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Casio EX-Z850 Shutter Failure

After nine years, the shutter on my muchrepaired Casio EX-Z850 camera has failed, producing images with horizontal white lines:

Casio EX-Z850 Shutter Failure

Casio EX-Z850 Shutter Failure

That can also come from a sensor failure, but it takes perfectly good movies. That’s the differential diagnosis for shutter failure, because movies don’t use the shutter.

The shutter still functions, in that peering into the lens shows the shutter closing as it takes a picture, so I suspect it’s gotten a bit sticky and slow over the years. None of the various shutter-priority speeds have any effect, which means that the shutter isn’t responding properly.

A quick read of the service manual shows the Field Replaceable Unit for this situation is the entire lens assembly. Back in the day, a new lens assembly came with its own calibration constants on a floppy disk that you’d install with Casio’s service program (the latest version ran with Windows 98!) using a special USB communication mode triggered by a Vulcan Nerve Pinch on the camera. At this late date, none of that stuff remains available.

While I could take the camera apart and crack the lens capsule open, I doubt that would make it better and, in this case, ending up with a crappy camera doesn’t count for much. Extracting the lens assembly requires dismantling the entire thing, which, frankly, doesn’t seem worth the effort…

That image is number 7915: so it’s taken a bit over two images per day for the last nine years. I can’t swear the counter has never been reset, but that seems about right.

Sic transit gloria mundi, etc.

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  1. #1 by hexley ball on 2015-08-30 - 13:30

    ” I suspect it’s gotten a bit sticky and slow over the years.”

    Had that happen to a camera once. The family was on vacation in the Adirondacks. Black fly season, so the air was thick with us spraying insect repellent on exposed limbs. Our poor old Canon SureShot was caught in the miasma. That’s when I found out that DEET really does melt plastic. Ruined the camera’s shutter action, IIRC. Live and learn (and we learned to never visit upstate New York in black fly season!)

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-08-30 - 14:15

      never visit upstate New York in black fly season!

      Rumors from usually reliable sources say that’s true of Alaska, too, although the brochures never seem to mention that. Around here, it’s mostly ‘skeeters.

      DEET can’t possibly be good for you, but it seems much less awful than the alternatives.

      • #3 by Red County Pete on 2015-08-30 - 16:43

        The mosquitoes go on hiatus when it’s smoky, but when the air clears, they’re extra hungry. The bug-zapper light helps a little, but long pants and DEET or one of the alternatives keeps it almost under control. OTOH, I’ve been using Benadryl gel almost every day.

        I’m informed by native Minnesotans that it’s a base rumor that the mosquito is their state bird. [grin]

        • #4 by hexley ball on 2015-08-30 - 20:47

          “The mosquitoes go on hiatus when it’s smoky…”

          That must be the basic theory behind a foul concoction known as “Woodsman’s” bug dope. We were solemnly told by old timers that it was far better than DEET, so we eventually decided to try it.

          A dab of this stuff made you smell like a cross between a stale ashtray and a creosote-treated railroad tie. It was unbelievably rank — and it lasted forever. Took a lot of scrubbing before one could join polite society without raising eyebrows :-)

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