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10-01-2011, 02:42 PM   #1
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New K-5 problem?

I haven't heard this one yet, at least.

I've had my K-5 since March and I haven't had any problems other than dealing with the usual stuff (tungsten focus issues, etc) but overall I've been pretty happy with it. Today I went out to do a paid shoot and the autofocus just didn't work. The camera would run the lens all the way out and back and then give me the blinking hexagon. I tried switching lenses and it did the same thing. Fortunately, it still focuses fine in liveview so I just used that. So has this one happened to anybody else here?

I'm pretty bummed about it, but at least it's under warranty.

10-01-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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Clean the lens mount contacts on both the body and the lens with a pencil eraser before giving up. Remember to hold the body above your head pointing downward when you are doing this.
10-01-2011, 03:07 PM   #3
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Well it was worth a try, but it didn't help. Thanks for the suggestion though.
10-01-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
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Your AF-sensor could be dirty as wel.

10-01-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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I don't know if there is anything to do with the focus point select or not... I experience something similar to this (but with my k-7), my DA 12-24mm all of sudden can not lock on the focus; however, after I changed from auto-focus point select to center-focus, the problem seems to go away. I seldom use 'auto' focus-point and the only time I use it is when I ask someone to take a picture for me with my camera.
10-02-2011, 05:37 PM   #6
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Sounds like the contacts on the lens and the body aren't meshing properly. On the advice of some on this forum, I once tried "easing" a lens into the body by pressing the release button as I did so, presumably to avoid minute metal shavings. After doing this, the camera gave me really squirrely attempts at auto focus. I thought the K-5 had gone bad on me and really freaked out. After returning to the "let it click into place" method, everything worked properly. Clean your contacts with a soft dry cloth and click the lens home without pressing the release button as you do so. Might work.

John
10-02-2011, 07:06 PM   #7
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I don't want to over simplify it but if the camera was in a standard camera bag, check the focus switch on the front. I've noticed with mine that it takes very little bumping around in the camera bag to move the switch from S, to C, or M or worse, someplace in between. It could cause the problem you've experienced. This never happened on my K20 but it happens frequently on the K-5
10-02-2011, 10:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Glen Quote
I don't want to over simplify it but if the camera was in a standard camera bag, check the focus switch on the front. I've noticed with mine that it takes very little bumping around in the camera bag to move the switch from S, to C, or M or worse, someplace in between. It could cause the problem you've experienced. This never happened on my K20 but it happens frequently on the K-5
Yes, I've had this problem too. I have also had several episodes of operator failure... forgetting to change the switch back to where it belongs... No matter the cause, it always leads to panic and/or frustration and/or open-mouthed catatonia... the last normally only happens during a paid, one time only shoot... No matter what the cause though, a little fiddling around has always resolved the problem.

I love my K-5 and I am busy investing in the Pentax line (lenses, etc), but my copy does have some pretty dodgy quality issues... buttons falling off, dust under the back screen, freezing, the rubber cladding falling off in slow motion...

Doesn't matter though, I LOVE this camera. I just think of it as a quirky bit of technology and forgive it every time I look at the images it produces.

10-03-2011, 07:15 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. I tried cleaning the contacts and I've switched lenses a couple of times but it's still not working. When I first noticed the problem, I immediately checked the focus switch but it was still on AF-S. I tried it in AF-C and nothing so I switched it to manual and back and still nothing. It focused fine in live-view, though.

I have noticed a problem in the past where if I would select the extreme right or left focus points, it wouldn't lock. I don't know if that was an early sign of a problem or if it was just being temperamental, but that happened on more than one occasion. It always worked fine when using the more central focus points though.
10-04-2011, 08:36 AM   #10
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I've had this happen in situations of extreme contrast, but it doesn't happen constantly like yours does. I wonder if the phase detect AF area is dirty. Live view uses contrast detect, so wouldn't be affected. I can't remember exactly where the phase detect area is located, but you might try a rocket blower with the mirror locked up.
10-04-2011, 11:42 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
I can't remember exactly where the phase detect area is located, but you might try a rocket blower with the mirror locked up.
The PDAF module is located in a well at the bottom of the light box and would be fully exposed with the mirror locked up, but could probably be blown out with a rocket blower with the mirror still down.

Scott
10-04-2011, 12:15 PM   #12
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No one has asked what the subject was, or light levels - either out of the ordinary? Something with low contrast may be giving the lens trouble finding something to lock onto - pair that with a low light scene and all you'd end up with is hunting. Also, what lens(es) were being used when this happened?
10-04-2011, 03:14 PM   #13
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I have given a blower a try, but I was just kind of doing it randomly because I didn't know where the PDAF sensor was exactly. I'll take another look at that.

So far, just testing to see if I can get any kind of different response from the camera hasn't shown any change. I've tried switching lenses, cleaning contacts, pointing camera at high contrast subjects, trying focus in low light, switching AF points, resetting camera to factory defaults, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting but it's not given any different result.
10-05-2011, 01:00 AM   #14
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It's electronics and it CAN die I guess it's time to send it in for repair (before the warranty expires )
10-06-2011, 04:35 PM   #15
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Well, I guess it must have been a dirty sensor! I tried cleaning it again and after it sat for a while it's now working! I really thought it was shot, so thanks for the suggestions.
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