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12-18-2010, 09:02 AM   #1
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When will it be safe to buy a K5?

I recently returned my K5 to AMAZON because of stain issues. My serial # was 3890279. I want to replace the camera as soon as I can, but I don't want to be saddled with another stained sensor. Will someone make a global statement when the stock has been refreshed with clean units? I bought the 18-135MM and the DA35mm MACRO to use with the camera. I was amazed at the nice results. I've been shooting with a CANON 5D Mark2, but it is simply too heavy for trips. The K5 will be my new travel camera....when I can find one.



12-18-2010, 09:14 AM   #2
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I don't think even Pentax know

Pentax know for sure that they had a problem in a certain batch of cameras, but its quite likely that they don't know exactly what number or which batch were affected.

However, reports from many new buyers suggest that no new problem cameras have shown up in the past week or so. It's also pretty certain that major distributors will avoid selling suspect ones and only ship new stock that appears to be problem free. Older stock may still be lurking on dusty shelves in some stores, though.

I am waiting till early next year for mine - as some have noted, there should be a nice supply of refurbs when the "stained" sensors are replaced.

12-18-2010, 10:16 AM   #3
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To add to the information being provided on the board - I ordered my K-5 from B&H last weekend (12/10), received it yesterday (12/17), tested it this morning at f8 and f22 on white paper on a white wall outside in morning light. Scanned the results carefully in LR at high magnification. No stains evident at all. Serial # 3909135. Now looking to shoot some real photos. Chris
12-18-2010, 10:47 AM   #4
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When the refurbished units hit the retailers.....

It's interesting that about 55% of the K5 owners that answered the survey (~250 when I saw it) indicated that their unit had a problem with stains. So the question is how many serial number batches and how large was the average normal batch, built over what set of time periods.

Looking at how Pentax is handling the problem, if you return your body to the retailer, it may be a candidate for a refurbished unit. If you keep the unit and return it to Pentax for a warranty repair, then obviously its not a refurbished candidate. So the question is - are folks returning the unit to their retailers or doing the warranty repair?

I wonder if Pentax will toss in an extended warranty on any refurbished units to help with keeping the K5's reputation as stellar as possible. Its too bad that this occurred, since it looks like with the K5, Pentax had hit a grand slam home run with the model.

I also wonder if Hoya supplied the stained glass. That would be a double hit.....

12-18-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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Just bought mine from and all was fine

Just received my K-5 from Amazon over the past week (last of their current batch) and as soon as I received it I used the camera facility to identify any sensor dust or stains and it was all ok. No problems detected at all.

Managed to get a great deal from them too (but watch out for their prices changing every couple of days!) I ordered mine with the 18-55WR lens for 1069 to find a day later it had dropped to 1018-00. A simple phone call and they gladly refunded the difference! (Together with the current Pentax cashback offer I managed to save 25% off the RRP (my deal cot me 890 - fantastic offer!)

hope this helps
12-18-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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Chris and Dave,

Sorry to say I don't think you can be sure you have a good K-5 just yet.

Knowing about the issue I thoroughly tested mine at the store and again once I got it home. It is only now after about 250 shots and a week later that the dreaded line of spots have appeared.
12-18-2010, 02:36 PM   #7
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I returned a K-5 series 38xxxxx to B&H. They readied my replacement K-5 package for UPS pickup on Dec 11. It arrived this past week and is a 39xxxxx series camera. It tested sensor spots.

As far as B&H goes, I think that they're now shipping clean stock out the door.
12-18-2010, 02:45 PM   #8
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I doubt Pentax will fix it this fast.

They might do some extra QA on the stock in the pipeline; that's what I would do once I established the problem is not something which just pops up after 250 shots... Even if the pass rate is only 50%, that will relieve the pressure and will give me time to fix it back at the factory.

My shop (SE UK) reckons some time after xmas, to be sure. I am happy with that; I need a new one anyway because the exposure wheel has a fault. They told me they will give me a new one even if I come back after a few months.

The service (dealer support from Pentax UK) appears to be very good otherwise the shop would not be doing this; they would fob me off like most online shops do (Amazon being one exception).

S/N 3822002.

Last edited by peterh337; 12-18-2010 at 02:53 PM.
12-18-2010, 03:20 PM   #9
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I'd say late next month will be your best bet. The holiday stocks will be sold out (or at least sold down) and the new shipments will come in. After that, it will just be a matter of them slowly weeding out the bad apples.
12-18-2010, 04:28 PM   #10
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Safe now..

I bought from BH late last week and no problems..came with updated firmware as well
12-18-2010, 05:20 PM   #11
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My replacement in the 39 series's serial number is also clean and had the paper notice of the firmware update...considering the stain issue came up with some Asian users upwards of a month ago I wonder if the firmware notice corresponds with some other factory testing.
12-21-2010, 06:55 AM   #12
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never, if you cannot rely on warranty. i would not buy such a product for that kind of money knowing i'm "on my own". sorry, but you're better off buying from a reputable local retailer, honestly (regardless of how perfect the camera might be). just my humble opinion
12-21-2010, 09:22 PM   #13
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The batch hitting tomorrow will probably be safe... I know singapore's distro refused to sell the last of the first batch when they were made aware of the problem.
12-21-2010, 09:42 PM   #14
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I got my replacement yesterday from B&H- batch 39. Sensor is clean and firmware v1.01 installed.
12-22-2010, 02:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aybee Quote
Chris and Dave,

Sorry to say I don't think you can be sure you have a good K-5 just yet.

Knowing about the issue I thoroughly tested mine at the store and again once I got it home. It is only now after about 250 shots and a week later that the dreaded line of spots have appeared.
So, has anyone else had this experience of a clean K-5 that eventually developed the stains?

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