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02-12-2012, 04:54 PM   #1
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Pentax K-5 Mirror won't lift

I know, I know. Another thread about how the K-5 is such a buggy and god-awful camera in terms of QC right? Well, no. I think my K-5 is absolutely fantastic, and it's been nothing but a joy to use for ages, and I'll forever rave about how awesome it is. So with that out of the way, let me explain my problem.

I was shooting a performance of The ****** Monologues, and after around 600 shots, a short way into the second act, the K-5 refused to take any more pictures. The mirror will not move. Trying to turn on live view results in a black screen and a viewfinder you can still see through, same with video. Everything else works fine, but after a few failed shutter presses (where the aperture of the lens will stop down for the shot, but neither the shutter nor mirror do anything) the camera announces that it's battery is depleted and shuts down. Turning it off and on again reveals that the battery is in fact fine, as are all three batteries that I had with me. I tried this with the grip attached and detached, with all sorts of battery arrangements, and the camera still refuses to take any pictures. Not a lot of fun in the middle of a play.

Luckily I had my K-x with me, and I'll be getting the K-5 sent off for repair ASAP. It's a real shame that this happened though, and it's really knocked my confidence in the camera for my uses. I've never had any issue with my K-x, but my K-5 randomly turns itself on even when the dial is in the off position, the screen won't turn on every now and then, it's plagued with BF issues and I can't correct some lenses on it, the shutter button broke and doesn't have any springiness to it and now this. And I've had it for 5 and a half months with around 15,000 saved shots, not sure how many actuations. I've had my K-x for a year and a half with around 30,000 shots saved and that's fine. Honestly, the K-x seems like a more professional camera, but the K-5 is just so much easier to use and produces MUCH better results. It's really irritating.

Anyway, rant over. Has anyone else had this issue before? How long does it take to fix?

02-12-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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The censor thing there made me laugh. Especially considering the play.
02-12-2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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I haven't had any issues with any of my cameras...so I'd say this is just bad luck. Something must have been wrong with the mirror assembly from the get-go!

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02-12-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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Yeah it's bad luck alright It wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't tried and disliked the D7000 and 7D. I can't even happily switch systems. Curse you K-5!

It did happen once before, when I was in Whitby, and it just locked up. I warmed the battery up (it was freezing outside) and then it seemed ok. Maybe it was the heat this time? It's locked up in the past when it was accidentally left in the sun. The temperature according to PhotoMe in the last shot I took is 34 Celsius. Is that high for the cameras internals?

And it is good to hear that so many people have excellent K-5's. With any luck I'll have one too when this is sorted. Have to be without the K-5 for a while though

02-12-2012, 05:38 PM   #5
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My sympathies, I had pretty much the same experience with my K5 which had performed without any issues for about 22K activations. Sometimes the camera would act OK after sitting for several hours. Sometimes it would respond to a firm tap. Long story short it took two trips to CRIS to finally get it back in order. They replaced circuit boards, circuit cables, and the mirror box along with performing the shutter overrun modification and all the usual checks and cleaning. I wouldn't hesitate about sending it in - the problem won't get better by itself. I still love my K5, enough that I bought a second one which has been problem free so far with frequent heavy use. After the 2nd trip to CRIS my original K5 seems good as new so for now I'm happy. I have the extended warranty on both cameras and am confident I will get years of use from them.
02-12-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
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Yeah I hear the cameras tend to come back VERY well after a repair and service. My camera has now decided to start working again, but I'll definitely be sending it in for repair. On the plus side, the images I got were fantastic ^_^ Already can't wait for a newly serviced camera. The shutter button has been bugging me for months.
02-12-2012, 06:01 PM   #7
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Once it started acting up my K5 would return to normal for brief periods but the problems would always come back, And times between incidents grew shorter. It won't pay to rely on it at this point. My advice - send it in now, at least you have a reliable backup
02-12-2012, 07:03 PM   #8
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The mirror assembly could be broken... perhaps sending it for repair would be the only option. This could happen any time, better that it happens while it is still covered under warranty. I have similar experience with my k10, again still under warranty (2-yrs in Canada). I recall when that happens I was in the middle of a series of rapid shots when something didn't sound right before the last shutter clicks.

02-13-2012, 01:39 AM   #9
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I just came back from the Pentax service center in Tokyo, as I was having exactly the same problem.

The engineer on site was unable to duplicate the problem, but said he had seen it before - and that it was often caused by the lens bayonet sticking, and recommended I take the lens in for servicing. He then followed up by a list of everything else that they could tighten, refurbish or replace and said if I could give them ten days they'd have it back to me good as new, and even though I was a month out of warranty they'd cover it. He also gave my six year old a miniature model of the K-5 to take home. Best customer service experience I've ever had!

Thinking back, the three times my issue occurred were all with the same lens (Tamron 70-200/2.8), so I'll be running that over to Tamron's service center for a look as well.
02-13-2012, 03:52 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info. I was using my 50-135 both times it happened, so I'll take it in and ask if it could be anything to do with that. Everything is still under warranty so I should be fine.

It's odd, I've never heard too much about the Pentax service centres, but they sound excellent from the few threads where they've been mentioned. How would I go about finding one near me?
02-13-2012, 04:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
Thanks for the info. I was using my 50-135 both times it happened, so I'll take it in and ask if it could be anything to do with that. Everything is still under warranty so I should be fine.

It's odd, I've never heard too much about the Pentax service centres, but they sound excellent from the few threads where they've been mentioned. How would I go about finding one near me?
I assume the Cheshire in your location is in the UK - AFAIK the service there is all handled by a third party center, as per Support - PENTAX Photo
02-13-2012, 04:37 AM   #12
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Yarr a quick search and it turns out the repairs centre is fairly close to where I live. Might drive down today and sort it out in person. Apparently they aim for a 5-day turn around, so with any luck I won't go too long without my camera!
02-13-2012, 08:28 AM   #13
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@mareket:

I once had the "Mirror won't move" issue with a K10D.
It happened after 4 days of intense shooting outside in a damp summer, mostly with the 50-200mm kit lens. Approx 2000 pics taken in that time without any early warning.
Pentax service replaced the mirror unit. Camera worked fine since then.
Servicing took more nearly three weeks here in Germany.

Cheers from Berlin
02-13-2012, 04:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by EvilTwin Quote
I just came back from the Pentax service center in Tokyo, as I was having exactly the same problem.

The engineer on site was unable to duplicate the problem, but said he had seen it before - and that it was often caused by the lens bayonet sticking, and recommended I take the lens in for servicing. .
Not disputing what the engineer told you, but in my case the problem occurred with different lens and after my K5 came back from its 2nd trip to CRIS the K5 and those same lenses are performing just fine together.

I suspect the repair shop after examining the camera might be able to suggest that as part of the problem but I don't think I would consider that as the first place to look. Especially if the lens performs fine on a back up camera, or the K5 shows the same problem with different lenses. Seems like something the user could superficially check for themselves.

In any case a trip to the repair shop under warranty will at least get your K5 a good cleaning and tuneup
02-13-2012, 09:16 PM   #15
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Similar issues, but not worries

yeah, I had some similar experiences...
Sunday I had a long shooting session and some bad surprises from my K-5. With da* 50-135, FA77 and DA*16-50.
Monday morning the batteries still showed they have juice so I haven't charged them. Kept on checking my camera for what looked to me as back focusing.

After I wasn't getting anywhere, I took my camera with the FA77 and decided to shoot something outside. I took a short video (just 2 minutes long).
Then I pressed the LV button. Camera switched to LV mode, but the image was black. No mirror flick sound.
Turn off, then on. LV button. Same result.
I checked the battery indication... depleted. Pentax battery.

At this point I knew I should not try anything. Point is: Once the battery capacity to hold voltage under load is gone, must not continue.
The battery will still show a normal voltage under no load, but immediately as load appears, the voltage drops instantly, current increases proportionally and it can and will actually fry those circuits that require load.

I hope I also solved my BF issues I had with all my lenses. See my post here
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/175386-auto-focus-microadjust-k-5-a.html

Try do the same and post your results, I think I see a pattern here.

Octav
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