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11-27-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
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Stained sensor and other issues K-5

I am very interested in getting a Pentax K-5 camera body. Price is very good right now up here in Canada.

Some questions though .

Sensor stain- I recall reading that some sensors were stained on the K-5. I have also heard that this was only a problem with earlier production units. Apparently after a certain K-5 serial number this problem is not an issue.

My question is this an issue with the K-5, should I be looking at making sure I purchase a K-5 body after a certain serial # and what would that serial number be ?

Also how would I determine if there is a sensor stain ? I was wondering if I took a picture of a blemish free white card, would reveal any sensor stain issues ?

Are there any other issues I should check out or be aware of , when purchasing a K-5 ?

Thank you.

Les

11-27-2011, 04:51 PM   #2
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New k5's won't have stains, and generally, higher serial numbers mean newer bodies (see the serial database).

The best way to detect stains is to shoot the sky using a small aperture.

Also, remember that the k-5 is only $995 tomorrow- see our homepage!
11-27-2011, 05:08 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam, for the info.
11-28-2011, 01:25 AM   #4
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IN any case, you get a wonderful policy on K5s (or other camera really) which allows you to return it for replacement if you find a stain. I had a relatively new (Mar2011) K5 that I took on holiday. Only after seeing all my landscapes "marred" by a small stain (repairable with LR cloning) did I revert to my dealer. After several trips (of the camera) back and forth for cleaning, Pentax decided to send me a new body, which I received last Saturday. No issues on that one as far as I can see.

11-28-2011, 07:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Francis Quote
IN any case, you get a wonderful policy on K5s (or other camera really) which allows you to return it for replacement if you find a stain. I had a relatively new (Mar2011) K5 that I took on holiday. Only after seeing all my landscapes "marred" by a small stain (repairable with LR cloning) did I revert to my dealer. After several trips (of the camera) back and forth for cleaning, Pentax decided to send me a new body, which I received last Saturday. No issues on that one as far as I can see.
What you are saying sounds like a very compelling reason not to buy a k-5 at any price.
11-28-2011, 09:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
What you are saying sounds like a very compelling reason not to buy a k-5 at any price.
Yes it does. But the $995 price makes a very compelling reason to buy one. And since sensor stains are warranted with a replacement guarantee I am confused by your logic.
11-28-2011, 11:17 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Yes it does. But the $995 price makes a very compelling reason to buy one. And since sensor stains are warranted with a replacement guarantee I am confused by your logic.
My logic says that if I am to shell out a grand for a "new" camera, it is highly preferable that I do not have to run back and forth to my local dealer, or that I do not have to send it in for repairs that can take weeks while not having a camera for the duration, only to find out that they will send you a "new" one that can develop stains later (as reported).

Reliability is nearly everything to me. It may well be more important than IQ. This is not just about the sensor stains. There are myriad of issues this model has experienced. Let's just say that your k-5 works without a hitch, as advertised. Is that a "great" thing? To me, no, because I think it is extremely sad that we have to label working as it should, "great." In fact, I find it pathetic, really. This sector of business is cut throat. Accepting mediocrity, if I can call it that even, will get you no where, thus explaining pentax's position in the market.
11-28-2011, 11:35 AM   #8
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Hi Les- Fellow western Canadian here. FYI I've had the K5 from the beginning, have had issues, but still love it. It's had the sensor replaced, and more recently, the main circuit board. BUT, Don's Photo from Winnipeg (I bought online) has a phenomenal extended warranty that for an extra 25/35$, you get a loaner camera. So I have a 3 year warranty with a loaner for if the camera has to get sent in. The whole 2 year extended with loaner was $238. They have been more than helpful. Just something to keep in mind.
Enjoy the K5. It is an amazing camera!

11-28-2011, 11:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
My logic says that if I am to shell out a grand for a "new" camera, it is highly preferable that I do not have to run back and forth to my local dealer, or that I do not have to send it in for repairs that can take weeks while not having a camera for the duration, only to find out that they will send you a "new" one that can develop stains later
Gosh, it sounds like you had a really bad experience with Pentax. I assume you now have a more reliable camera? Did you get a Leica or something really nice? You are correct it is sad that not everything works perfectly out of the box 100% of the time. Unfortunately that is the nature of human designed things. We have aircraft that cost millions that fail and spacecraft that cost billions that fail. Sad, but true.

I am interested, though if reliability is the main priority for you what camera do you recommend?
11-28-2011, 01:07 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Gosh, it sounds like you had a really bad experience with Pentax. I assume you now have a more reliable camera? Did you get a Leica or something really nice? You are correct it is sad that not everything works perfectly out of the box 100% of the time. Unfortunately that is the nature of human designed things. We have aircraft that cost millions that fail and spacecraft that cost billions that fail. Sad, but true.

I am interested, though if reliability is the main priority for you what camera do you recommend?

More reliable camera?

Yes: I have K-7, 645D, and Leica M8. Not a single issue with any of them, except rather excessive sensor dusts that I have to attend to often with M8. Nothing that i cannot deal with myself. They all work flawlessly, as they should. I also understand that each of the camera mentioned above had its share of their own quirkiness, but the difference from K-5 is the lack of variety. K-5 goes goofy in multiple aspects at different shutter counts.

I did not say that everything ought to work perfect right out of the box 100%. To a certain degree, things will go wrong, and I understand that and can accept that (as in sensor dust and IR issue with M8, for example), but what K-5 has experienced over all is out of the norm, excessive, grossly disproportionate, and not in line with the quality of other Japanese products. K-5 to me is a lemon.

Every time one steps on a plane, he or she understands instinctively that there is a finite chance of this plane they are about to board mercilessly falling off the sky, no matter how remote. After all fighting gravity has always been a dicey business. I don't care who you are; you have to think about that, even for a very very brief moment, as you board that gigantic aircraft, that things can go terribly wrong. On the other hand, there have been hundreds of millions of cameras with digital sensors sold world wide to this date. Sure, a very small number of them in the history of digital camera have experienced "sensor stain" issues, and Pentax is not the only brand. But, it is still rare enough occurrence that digital camera buyers in general do not associate stains and sensors together in one context. But, with K-5, occurrence was frequent and disproportionate enough that sensor stains are now strongly associated with K-5 even amongst non Pentax shooters. It is fundamentally different. This to me is a mediocrity you should not accept.

The only solution to K-5 is that Pentax offer, for one year after purchase date, an immediate exchange policy, no questions asked. The turn around time for this has to be less than one week. Hoya was not going to do this - they knew they were disposing Pentax.

When working as advertised, K-5 is a camera capable enough for professionals. But if you are a professional, you have to be insane to invest in one. If you are an amateur shooter, and don't mind dealing with these non sense, then by all means you should go for it. As Adam says, much of the problems have been addressed. But, for me personally, it has been truly disappointing, and it was enough so that I decided to ditch K mount all together. Now all I had now is two FA limiteds, and Tak 17 fisheye, and DA 35 that I hardly ever use.
11-28-2011, 02:20 PM   #11
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My K-5 has been absolutely perfect from day 1, its now aproaching 10k shutter actuations. Luck of the draw I guess.
11-28-2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
More reliable camera?

Yes: I have K-7, 645D, and Leica M8. Not a single issue with any of them, except rather excessive sensor dusts that I have to attend to often with M8. Nothing that i cannot deal with myself. They all work flawlessly, as they should. I also understand that each of the camera mentioned above had its share of their own quirkiness, but the difference from K-5 is the lack of variety. K-5 goes goofy in multiple aspects at different shutter counts.

I did not say that everything ought to work perfect right out of the box 100%. To a certain degree, things will go wrong, and I understand that and can accept that (as in sensor dust and IR issue with M8, for example), but what K-5 has experienced over all is out of the norm, excessive, grossly disproportionate, and not in line with the quality of other Japanese products. K-5 to me is a lemon.

Every time one steps on a plane, he or she understands instinctively that there is a finite chance of this plane they are about to board mercilessly falling off the sky, no matter how remote. After all fighting gravity has always been a dicey business. I don't care who you are; you have to think about that, even for a very very brief moment, as you board that gigantic aircraft, that things can go terribly wrong. On the other hand, there have been hundreds of millions of cameras with digital sensors sold world wide to this date. Sure, a very small number of them in the history of digital camera have experienced "sensor stain" issues, and Pentax is not the only brand. But, it is still rare enough occurrence that digital camera buyers in general do not associate stains and sensors together in one context. But, with K-5, occurrence was frequent and disproportionate enough that sensor stains are now strongly associated with K-5 even amongst non Pentax shooters. It is fundamentally different. This to me is a mediocrity you should not accept.

The only solution to K-5 is that Pentax offer, for one year after purchase date, an immediate exchange policy, no questions asked. The turn around time for this has to be less than one week. Hoya was not going to do this - they knew they were disposing Pentax.

When working as advertised, K-5 is a camera capable enough for professionals. But if you are a professional, you have to be insane to invest in one. If you are an amateur shooter, and don't mind dealing with these non sense, then by all means you should go for it. As Adam says, much of the problems have been addressed. But, for me personally, it has been truly disappointing, and it was enough so that I decided to ditch K mount all together. Now all I had now is two FA limiteds, and Tak 17 fisheye, and DA 35 that I hardly ever use.
Did you own a k-5 at some point and had a very bad experience? then, you are certainly entitled to you opinion... so, every k-5 is a lemon to you.. If you are a professional, I respect that opinion. but??
11-28-2011, 04:09 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mokey Quote
Hi Les- Fellow western Canadian here. FYI I've had the K5 from the beginning, have had issues, but still love it. It's had the sensor replaced, and more recently, the main circuit board. BUT, Don's Photo from Winnipeg (I bought online) has a phenomenal extended warranty that for an extra 25/35$, you get a loaner camera. So I have a 3 year warranty with a loaner for if the camera has to get sent in. The whole 2 year extended with loaner was $238. They have been more than helpful. Just something to keep in mind.
Enjoy the K5. It is an amazing camera!
I just bought a K5 .

As you say Don's is a great dealer. Winnipeg has a number of excellent camera shops...three Don's, two Henry's, one Photo Central and one London Drugs...all of who carry Pentax, along with the other 'lesser; brands like C/N.
11-28-2011, 04:11 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fontan Quote
More reliable camera?

Yes: I have K-7, 645D, and Leica M8. Not a single issue with any of them, except rather excessive sensor dusts that I have to attend to often with M8. Nothing that i cannot deal with myself. They all work flawlessly, as they should. I also understand that each of the camera mentioned above had its share of their own quirkiness, but the difference from K-5 is the lack of variety. K-5 goes goofy in multiple aspects at different shutter counts.

I did not say that everything ought to work perfect right out of the box 100%. To a certain degree, things will go wrong, and I understand that and can accept that (as in sensor dust and IR issue with M8, for example), but what K-5 has experienced over all is out of the norm, excessive, grossly disproportionate, and not in line with the quality of other Japanese products. K-5 to me is a lemon.

Every time one steps on a plane, he or she understands instinctively that there is a finite chance of this plane they are about to board mercilessly falling off the sky, no matter how remote. After all fighting gravity has always been a dicey business. I don't care who you are; you have to think about that, even for a very very brief moment, as you board that gigantic aircraft, that things can go terribly wrong. On the other hand, there have been hundreds of millions of cameras with digital sensors sold world wide to this date. Sure, a very small number of them in the history of digital camera have experienced "sensor stain" issues, and Pentax is not the only brand. But, it is still rare enough occurrence that digital camera buyers in general do not associate stains and sensors together in one context. But, with K-5, occurrence was frequent and disproportionate enough that sensor stains are now strongly associated with K-5 even amongst non Pentax shooters. It is fundamentally different. This to me is a mediocrity you should not accept.

The only solution to K-5 is that Pentax offer, for one year after purchase date, an immediate exchange policy, no questions asked. The turn around time for this has to be less than one week. Hoya was not going to do this - they knew they were disposing Pentax.

When working as advertised, K-5 is a camera capable enough for professionals. But if you are a professional, you have to be insane to invest in one. If you are an amateur shooter, and don't mind dealing with these non sense, then by all means you should go for it. As Adam says, much of the problems have been addressed. But, for me personally, it has been truly disappointing, and it was enough so that I decided to ditch K mount all together. Now all I had now is two FA limiteds, and Tak 17 fisheye, and DA 35 that I hardly ever use.
Thank you. I have noted your same opinion in other threads. I have read your posts.

But as this is my thread I would ask you to please move on. I note that your posts have taken over my thread.

Thank you.

Les
11-28-2011, 04:36 PM   #15
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I tend to read the nay-sayer posts as opinions only of the few. If I acted on them for everything I planned to buy, I would not buy anything. I owned a Ferrari for 10 yrs, anything that might be unreliable is on those cars. The K5 on the other hand has great support so on the off chance that something might go wrong, I know I can get it dealt with.

Like Les I bought from a local shop, with whom I have a history. I am not expecting issues, just like all my other purchases. In my experience negative thoughts attract negative occurances.

Gerrit, enjoying the heck out of his K5
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