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08-01-2011, 04:02 PM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesm007 Quote
But you are guessing about the k-5 gears...

Pentax says 100,000 actuations MTBF for the K-5. The D300 Nikon is rated 150,000.

100,000 is 50 photos a day, everyday, for over 5 years. Assuming you do 50 photos a day, everyday, the not yet released K-5 successor with the new Sony 24mp aps-c chip will be OLD by the time your K-5 dies a natural death.

My guess is that you don't get to 100,000 MTBF with plastic gears.

If the K10D that has a shutter rated for 100,000 actuations and a K20D that says "more than" 100,000 actuations. And given they were top dogs why would you think the K-5 does not use plastic gears? Those gears have nothing to do with the shutter, the shutter is bought from another company called Copal. Copal made the D-5 shutter (look in Falk Lumos blog) and all other Pentax shutters. The plastic gears mainly move the mirror and aperture lever. Why would Pentax change this with the K-5?
Either way it's still 100,000 actuations, or 5 years at 20,000 images a year.

And not all plastics are the same as well.

I still have some view camera lenses with copal shutters... talk about metal gearing...

08-01-2011, 04:10 PM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanic Quote
"The biggest issue happened to be the mirror box which broke down and had to be replaced as well"
I noticed that too ... however, how bad can it be compared to the K5, which seems to have a fairly widespread set of problems (which is really too bad because I really wanted to buy one).
08-01-2011, 04:28 PM   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesm007 Quote
And yes I would bet the K-5 or K-7 use plastic gears even though they are premium. The K10D and K20D were the top premium models a few years ago Now with the push to smaller and lighter...

EDIT I had to see how Nikon makes em, to my surprise the D300 is by just looking at it superior in materials. It uses metal gears. I am a 100% Pentax fanboy, believe me I am. But this is not good IMO... I have to post a link as the author is retaining rights to the pics but have a look... Believe me I know car engines use plastic in gears but in a failure that stresses the gear they are usually the first thing to break. Like timing chain upper gears that are metal and have plastic teeth...

Nikon D300 Mirror Box | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Not only does Nikon use metal in the D300 its brass or copper and stainless steel for corrosion resistance... If the D7000 is made like this its enough to make me...
We've had so many hypothetical causes of this mirror flopping, all the way from batteries, battery charges, temperature, grease, and now gear failure. The only report i personally give credibility to is someone who got his K5 repaired and the repair shop said it was "top control board". Until we get some better evidence like more reports back from repair shop, or better yet - Pentax, i think its good to remember this is guesswork.

It used to be that plastic meant cheap and metal meant good, but plastics have come a long way and anyone outside the industry probably is not capable of judging whether its good or bad for a specific application. Usually metal gears are noiser than plastic and heavier. Its best to judge by the end result: i.e. endurance, cost and noise perhaps. Also, as someone said, there are so many different plastics and even reinforced plastics.
08-01-2011, 05:41 PM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by vw_michael Quote
I noticed that too ... however, how bad can it be compared to the K5, which seems to have a fairly widespread set of problems (which is really too bad because I really wanted to buy one).
Please define this "fairly wide spread set of problems..."

You are missing out on a truly great camera and this is based on your suppositions alone.

The probability is that you could by a K-5, shoot 20,000 images a year for 5 years and not have any trouble at all. Many are doing just that.

08-01-2011, 05:52 PM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by vw_michael Quote
I think you're onto something here - one of the previous posts had an image of the gearing for the mirror box lift assembly. One of the gears has a sliding switch (encoder) which tells the camera what position (phase) the mirror is at.

I wonder if that's the culprit (due to contamination and perhaps heat), and the camera is trying to "prime" the mirror/shutter until it gets a reliable reading after a few spins.
i really dont think that is the case, simply because it happens after pressing every button or use every switch on the camera. The camera isnt constantly in standby mod eafter every action so it doesnt neet to read the status of the mirror and the shutter after every button press, there is something else wrong within the camera i think.

Next to that the discussion about the gears. good quality plastics surpass mediocre metal parts. it simply depends what type of plastic it is. some high quality plastics have less issues with heat and friction making them more durable for this type of application. Next to that the mirror is fairly light too.
08-01-2011, 06:17 PM   #141
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QuoteOriginally posted by Qwntm Quote
Please define this "fairly wide spread set of problems..."
Did I forget anything?

If it hadn't been for all these issues, leading one to think that getting a good copy is a bit of a gamble, I would have bought a K-5 already (Local prices here are so prohibitive, I cannot just walk into a shop and bring the camera back, should it be a lemon). I went for a new lens instead. I'm pretty sure I'll get a K-5 someday but the urgency level dropped with every new report of unresolved issues.

Last edited by Class A; 09-07-2011 at 08:58 PM.
08-01-2011, 06:45 PM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
The only report i personally give credibility to is someone who got his K5 repaired and the repair shop said it was "top control board". Until we get some better evidence like more reports back from repair shop, or better yet - Pentax, i think its good to remember this is guesswork.
I had the same diagnosis, but it has yet to be fixed (sent it in on 6-6-2011). As the time goes by I lose out on the results I could have had with the K-5 over my K-7/*ist D. There is a difference in many situations, which makes it frustrating...

I'll just want to make it clear that not buying a K-5 because of possible issues isn't an option. It's too useful of a camera. If I had the money, I would buy another one right now.
08-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #143
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They look metal on the pentax japan product page. There is a picture of the mirror box there.

08-01-2011, 09:17 PM   #144
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The chain is always only as strong as the weakest link. I suspect all cameras have a "weakest link" somewhere.
I just don't have time to sit and worry about it.....if it breaks I will get it fixed, or buy another one. The chances you will drop it in the lake or ocean, from a tall building, or on a concrete sidewalk, or have it stolen is much greater than a part failing, I would speculate. I have a ton of things to worry about.....I don't need one more.

Do you know of any camera maker that gives the parts order to the highest bidder? Plastic or metal.....there is no real guarantee is there? And in many applications, plastic is the better choice...it is generally self lubricating and not subject to corrosion. Just depends on the application. As a plumber, I have found internal faucet parts of plastic,as in seats an cartridges or supply lines are generally far superior to metal. Which could be comforting if you do drop your K5 in the lake......

Regards!
08-01-2011, 09:59 PM   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
  • Sensor stains (seems to be a thing of the past, but was an issue and is somewhat indicative of the quality of QC).
  • flash overexposure bug (still not fixed).
  • AF low light issue (only partially addressed).
  • Sticky shutter (requires banging hard against the camera to unstick it).
  • Mirror flopping.
  • Lens release button falling off.
  • Wheels not working (seems to be more prevalent with the K-r but also occurs with the K-5).
  • Camera sometimes just freezes.
  • Camera dies.
Did I forget anything?

If it hadn't been for all these issues, leading one to think that getting a good copy is a bit of a gamble, I would have bought a K-5 already (Local prices here are so prohibitive, I cannot just walk into a shop and bring the camera back, should it be a lemon). I went for a new lens instead. I'm pretty sure I'll get a K-5 someday but the urgency level dropped with every new report of unresolved issues.
I don't see anything in your list that would keep me from buying one right now. It's not even close to the Canon 1D III fiasco, which was a $4500 camera body.
08-01-2011, 10:11 PM   #146
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For me the decision was easy.

Scenario 1: I don't buy the K-5. The amount of time I get to use the K-5 is zero.
Scenario 2: I buy the K-5 and it has one of these problems. The amount of time I get to use it in the first year is ~10 months as it is getting repaired for 2 months.
Scenario 3: I buy the K-5 and it's trouble free I get to use it for 12 months in the first year.

As I see it even if it has problems, I still get more use out of the K-5 if I do buy one than if I don't.
08-01-2011, 10:16 PM   #147
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Here's some shutter data on my camera. Mine started flopping in June, with about 6,000 shutter actuations. Since then, I've tried a few time lapses, which have added another 12,000+ shutter actuations (currently over 18,000 total). I haven't noticed the flopping getting any worse, in fact, I don't think it's flopped for the last 4,000 images or so. Heat and battery charge do seem to affect the flopping with my camera.
08-02-2011, 03:36 AM   #148
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Believe me, I'm well aware of that I'm waiting for the bugs to be ironed out (and, the price to come down), and so far Pentax has not provided an official cause and a standard fix (parts upgrade?) for the mirror problem. I simply don't like unreliable electronics, been there, done that too many times ... the K7, K-X and *ist DS which I use now are simply the most solid digital cameras I have used so far (and I use them quite a bit).

QuoteOriginally posted by Qwntm Quote
Please define this "fairly wide spread set of problems..."

You are missing out on a truly great camera and this is based on your suppositions alone.

The probability is that you could by a K-5, shoot 20,000 images a year for 5 years and not have any trouble at all. Many are doing just that.

Last edited by photocanadian; 08-02-2011 at 03:45 AM.
08-02-2011, 05:04 AM   #149
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QuoteOriginally posted by vw_michael Quote
Believe me, I'm well aware of that I'm waiting for the bugs to be ironed out (and, the price to come down), and so far Pentax has not provided an official cause and a standard fix (parts upgrade?) for the mirror problem. I simply don't like unreliable electronics, been there, done that too many times ... the K7, K-X and *ist DS which I use now are simply the most solid digital cameras I have used so far (and I use them quite a bit).
Well so you don't stand alone I agree and am in the same boat. When the K20D came out there was a hot-pixel problem using the 2sec delay that Pentax fixed with a firmware release. During its period it had no issues, none! It was a refined K10D. Pentax gave us what we asked for e.g. AF fine tuning, pcsync, better high ISO. We now know the Samsung sensor was among the best APS sensors at time of release. The K-7 had some problems but overall was pretty good. The K200D also has no known problems but for an edial problem. But the K20D simply lacked any problems, no issues. It just worked and nicly so; and many still hold on to it.


Hoya knew it was selling Pentax. Hoya laid off much of Pentax staff in R&D, engineers (who does QC?), Hoyas QC seemed to decline after around the K20D time. They never addressed SDM (many still do not believe its real). Hoya was running lean and mean, and lacked resources. It even took Falk Lumo to help them sort out how to make the K-5 do more than 7 RAW pics before filling the buffer. It took him and GordonBGood to work with Hoya and show them what wrong and how to get more RAW pics before filling the buffer. It took Falk Lumo to bring to light the very blur issue and the K-5 has an improved shutter to lower the impact that causes blur (minor blur at some speeds). This says a lot. Canon, Nikon, Sony or Olympus would not need anyone to tell them whats wrong IMO. And yes I am a Pentax fanboy but I just call a pig a pig and horse a horse if that's how it looks IMO.

I think the K-5 is a superb camera. But - Hoya is not going to put out any money to fix issues or improve it IMO. Do you see tethering software? It took a third party to do something, but it falls well short of what Pentax software did in the K20D and K10D. So it shows it was possible to tether the K-7, K-5, 645D. But even though many owners including those who bought the very expensive 645D wanted it Hoya was not going to put money into that project. It should be very clear to all that keeping as much money as possible was the game to make Pentax look as good as possible to sell it. So that means QC, fixing issues, and other areas won't get the needed resources, because it costs money.

Fact Hoya sold Pentax to Ricoh. But Hoya still owns Pentax and will not gain anything by putting one single penny into Pentax. Best to wait until Pentax is in Ricohs hands. The K-5 can still be bought then, or someplace. But IMO best to wait just a few more months until Pentax is out of Hoyas hands.

If Ricoh does not make any more Pentax dSLRs we all lose and I will be un-happy. If Ricoh does than there will be a next model that makes the K-5 look back wards. I have been doing this long enough to see for many its the gear that dictates logic... it can blind you. There is no sound reason not to wait until Ricoh takes over. The reasons not to buy now is as Rupert said, do you think Hoya bought from the lowest cost bidders, I do. I also think they used below par components (not speaking of the gears, plastic gears are fine; Sony does as well and the K-5 may have metal?) and cut costs in QC. You can pretty much see it reading the forums.

Hey I don't mean to be negative and really enjoy Pentax and believe in thier concept of high performing enthusiasts type dSLRs with all the features of top end cameras at affordable prices. The K10D was Pentax camera that fought with the bigger boys, the semi-pros, D200, D80, D30... at half the price. I like thier lens! I do think they should make money. I just think Hoya had no interest from what I have read. And pretty much gutted Pentax down to nothing now so it takes a person (well educated) such as Falk Lumo to help point out and solve thier problems.

This is only so vw_michael does not stand alone. I agreed with his writing. The above is my IMO.

Last edited by jamesm007; 08-02-2011 at 05:21 AM.
08-02-2011, 05:58 AM   #150
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesm007 Quote
[...]But the K20D simply lacked any problems and many still hold on to it.
There was the green lines cold issue; but I otherwise agree

Hoya knew it was selling Pentax. Hoya laid off much of its R&D staff, Hoyas QC seemed to decline after around the K20D time.
Is that a supposition or a fact? Supposition, I'd say.
They never addressed SDM (many still do not believe its real).
They did it, to some extent. Still, I would like to see ring-type (or another faster and more reliable mechanism) in their top-range DA*s
Hoya was running lean and mean, and lacked resources. It even took Falk Lumo to help them sort out how to make the K-5 do more than 7 RAW pics before filling the buffer. It took him and GordonBGood to work with Hoya and show them what wrong and how to get more RAW pics before filling the buffer.
That's not true. Falk Lumo and GordonBGood only made some calculations to prove the buffer should/could be bigger.
IMO the issue was rushed firmware. And the fix exceeded everyone's expectations.

It took Falk Lumo to bring to light the very blur issue and the K-5 has an improved shutter to lower the impact that causes blur (minor blur at some speeds).
I'd say you're spot on with this one; unfortunately no one did anything similar for other brands.
This says a lot. Canon or Nikon would not need anyone to tell them whats wrong IMO.
That's not true. Remember the MkIII series AF fiasco?

I think the K-5 is a superb camera. But... Hoya is not going to put out any money to fix issues or improve it.
Like they did when they worked on the stain issue
To you see teathering software? It took a third party to do so. So it shows it was possible. But even though many owners including those who bought the very expensive 645D wanted it Hoya was not going to put money into that project. See keeping as much money as possible was the game to make Pentax look as good as possible to sell it.
Tethering software was (is?) expected for the 645D. Why it's not here, I have no clue. We can only guess.

Fact Hoya sold Pentax to Ricoh. But Hoya still owners Pentax and will not gain anything buy putting one single penny into Pentax. Best to wait until Pentax is in Ricohs hands. The K-5 can still be bought then, or someplace. But IMO best to wait just a few more months until Pentax is out of Hoyas hands.
No immediate change should be expected; so the wait could be well over one year.

If Ricoh does not make any more Pentax dSLRs we all lose and I will be un-happy. If Ricoh does than there will be a next model that makes the K-5 look back wards. I have been doing this long enough to see for many its the gear that dictates logic... it can blind you. There is no sound reason not to wait until Ricoh takes over. The reasons not to buy now is as Rupert said, do you think Hoya bought from the lowest cost bidders, I do. I also think they used below par components and cut costs in QC. You can pretty much see it reading the forums.
Ok... the next "Ricoh" DSLR will be a Hoya-Pentax project; how many years are you telling us to wait? And exactly what do you expect to change, to make that wait worthwile?
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