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08-01-2011, 07:38 PM   #1
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Sensor Flop?

I searched but didn't find anything quite like this... I don't think it's a mirror flop problem.

I have a problem that has occurred twice. When I do either a Live View (which raises the mirror) or a a "Mirror Up" for sensor cleaning the K5 sensor starts to flop... shaking approximately 5 times a second. I can hear it, I can see it (by removing the lens), and I can see in live-view that the image is shaking back and forth. It's not a minor vibration. It's thumping back and forth.

As I said, it has happened twice. When it happened the first time, I had the camera on a tripod, turned sideways, shooting in portrait mode. I was using live-view. When it happened the second time, one week later, the camera was on it's back, pointed skyward, mirror up, about to have the sensor cleaned.

The only way to stop it seems to be to turn the camera off and let it rest awhile (several minutes). Changing batteries to a fresh one makes no difference.

I probably have taken 15,000 pictures with the K5 since purchasing it in November. This has not happened before.... it started last week.

What the heck?

(I like the camera, BTW. This is the first real problem I've had with it.)


Last edited by bats; 08-02-2011 at 12:07 AM.
08-01-2011, 10:28 PM   #2
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It almost sounds like your camera is using the sensor shake dust removal feature when it shouldn't be. I've never heard of it either though, so you'll probably have to get it serviced if it persists.
08-01-2011, 11:18 PM   #3
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I've seen something similar happen a couple of times with my K10D (many years ago). I had it on an unstable tripod, and the SR started going crazy on it (felt/sounded like the old dust cleaning shake, but it ramped up from a small movement to a large one). I think what was happening in my case was the camera was just unstable enough for the sensor movement to feed back into the shake detection, I think I turned off the camera to stop the shaking, but I don't think I needed to leave it off for a few minutes. I started turning off SR with the tripod after that, and now use more stable tripods. I haven't had that happen since then.

Hopefully your case is something similar and not something broken.
08-01-2011, 11:45 PM   #4
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I could be wrong but...

QuoteOriginally posted by walter Quote
I've seen something similar happen a couple of times with my K10D (many years ago). I had it on an unstable tripod, and the SR started going crazy on it (felt/sounded like the old dust cleaning shake, but it ramped up from a small movement to a large one). I think what was happening in my case was the camera was just unstable enough for the sensor movement to feed back into the shake detection, I think I turned off the camera to stop the shaking, but I don't think I needed to leave it off for a few minutes. I started turning off SR with the tripod after that, and now use more stable tripods. I haven't had that happen since then.

Hopefully your case is something similar and not something broken.
...I believe that it is recommended to turn SR off when using a tripod. I suppose that having it on could be the cause of what you are experiencing.

08-02-2011, 12:03 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the help... but

- I don't think dust removal is causing the problem. I'm familiar with the dust-removal shake from my old K10D... this isn't like that, it's a drumming or slapping that I can hear and see, 5 times a second. And the K5 uses a different approach to remove dust, not a shake.
- I don't think SR is causing the problem. I always keep SR off when shooting with the tripod. In fact, SR turns off automatically when I shoot with 2 second delay or mirror lockup, which I do whenever I'm using the tripod for long exposures.

I wish I could reproduce this on demand. I'm afraid that if I send the camera in, I'll get a "sorry, nothing appears to be wrong" answer.
08-04-2011, 12:36 AM   #6
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on a mobile device atm, but I posted a similar problem with my first k5 I bought and then returned cause of this problem. Do a search for posts I've made in the past few months. I even had a YouTube video of it. It always twitched on one particular side as if the shake stabalization was having troubles holding up the sensor on one side. I'll try and find it when I get home.
08-04-2011, 02:58 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lammie200 Quote
...I believe that it is recommended to turn SR off when using a tripod. I suppose that having it on could be the cause of what you are experiencing.
I don't think so that this is the reason. It does not happen with my k-x and I keep SR ON all the time, even when on tripod.
08-04-2011, 11:25 AM   #8
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Here's the link to my original post. When I showed the video to pentax they said it was defiantly something wrong with the SR. I had just purchased it within a week of the problem so I exchanged it in store. Of course now I had to send my current one in for a mirror flop issue sigh.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/141621-got-my-new-k5-but...ded-video.html

08-04-2011, 12:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bats Quote
I don't think SR is causing the problem. I always keep SR off when shooting with the tripod. In fact, SR turns off automatically when I shoot with 2 second delay or mirror lockup, which I do whenever I'm using the tripod for long exposures.
As far as I know, the SR mechanism is active even when SR is turned off. The sensor floats loosely when the power is off, so when you take a shot -- even with SR "off" -- the electromagnets energize to hold the sensor in the proper, level, centered position. With SR off, it doesn't try to track and compensate for movement, but it does activate and move the sensor to the center position.

So it sounds to me like there's an intermittent electrical problem with the SR mechanism. Possibly a loose connection or cold solder joint.

I'm just speculating, but in any case, it sounds like a repair trip is in order.
08-05-2011, 08:03 AM   #10
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Dr_who, that is EXACTLY the problem I saw! The shake and slapping noise in your video is identical to what I encountered on those two occasions. And having taken the lens off while it was happening, I can visually confirm it is the sensor that is rocking back and forth at what I estimate to be 4 or 5 slaps per second, not the mirror.


Thank you!

Damn. I hate to be without my K5 for many weeks while it is in for repair. Fortunately I have my old K10D but going backwards is going to be painful. Very painful.
09-23-2012, 04:03 PM   #11
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Did you ever sent your K-5 to Pentax Repair due to this issue? My friends K-5 is doing the same. Wondering if they repaired it and if they told you what the issue was?

I noticed this only happens when you enter Live View the first time you power up the camera after inserting the battery. Subsequent power on off does not cause this, but if you leave off for a while and then power on it does it again.

Also happens when in sensor cleaning mode. I can see the sensor shaking.
09-23-2012, 10:05 PM   #12
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I didn't send it in for repair. I use live-view infrequently and the problem occurs rarely... not enough to bother me.
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