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01-10-2018, 11:53 AM   #1
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New K-5 owner, help me check this thing out.

Hi,

I just bought a used K-5 with kit 18-55WR, eBay, $200, should arrive tomorrow.
The seller was not a photog, so the camera history is unknown.
Number of shutter cycles unknown.
The listing included a Vivitar 3700 thyristor flash.

Goal: fully check out the camera and lens as soon as it arrives. I rarely return purchases, but it makes sense to start ASAP when necessary,

I'm a noob. This is my first SLR.

Things I've already learned from this forum:
1 - how to check and upgrade firmware
2 - how to check trigger voltage of a vintage flash before slapping it on a modern camera. I'll measure and report the 3700 voltage, so the hive can tell whether it is safe to test basic K-5 functions with this old flash.
3 - how to check # of shutter cycles.

I will read the manual and test everything I can think of, but it would be helpful to have experienced users suggest things to check.

If you bought this used kit, what would you check?

I have tools and knowledge of electronics, I don't have any other DSLR photog equipment.
I'm researching YN560TX + YN560iii or similar off-cam flash capabilities, so hopefully I'll have something soon that will permit testing of ttl functions.

Tips and suggestions welcome!

Thx.

01-10-2018, 11:58 AM   #2
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Apart from checking the camera physically, I would do the following:

1. Take some basic outdoor photos in auto mode / F8 and make sure they are clear and sharp
2. Take some photos at slow shutter speeds hand-held to verify the SR system works fine (i.e. 1/8-1/15s)
3. Take some photos of the sky at F16/F22 to ensure the sensor is free from the "string of pearls" defect (it will be obvious if it's there)
4. Check if the flash fires
5. Ensure that focusing and zooming with the lens is smooth

Also do note that the 18-55 is not the sharpest lens, so it is normal for photos to be soft if the lens isn't stopped down enough.

Adam
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01-13-2018, 12:14 AM   #3
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Thanks Adam!
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
1. Take some basic outdoor photos in auto mode / F8 and make sure they are clear and sharp
Seems quite good.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
2. Take some photos at slow shutter speeds hand-held to verify the SR system works fine (i.e. 1/8-1/15s)
Good with and without flash.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
3. Take some photos of the sky at F16/F22 to ensure the sensor is free from the "string of pearls" defect (it will be obvious if it's there)
I have 2 specks. See below.

Flash works, lens smooth and quick in AF.

Question: What is meant by the term "stopped down"? Does it mean smaller or larger aperture?

Stains or Pearls or Specks:
1st photo is a sky shot at f22. This was taken after I used the Dust Alert and Dust Removal functions + some air puffing.



According to the 1st photo, the sensor seemed to be dirty, so I learned how to clean the sensor.
It got dark while I was cleaning, so I switched to a white background indoors and shot it unfocused at f32 for the 2nd photo.



Nearly all of the dots "moved" in the 2nd photo, which suggests that nearly all the dots were dirt, and I need to learn how to clean better, which I did.
I cleaned the sensor again.
Then I took the 3rd photo with f29 unfocused at the white background, revealing that I have 2 persistent stains on the sensor.



The 4th photo is the same as the 3rd, except taken at f11.



At f11, the 2 stains are barely noticeable.

I checked all my outdoors shots taken at f8 during the initial tests today, and the stains simply do not show at all in normal photographs.

So I guess I'm inclined to think that my 2 specks are not a big deal and maybe I should keep this camera and start shooting things.
The 2 specks aren't a reason to consider the camera defective and send it back for a refund?

Advice and suggestions and comments welcome!

Also - there are 4 dust particles and one gerbil hair in my viewfinder, and no amount of puffing or cursing has budged them.
Should I bash the camera on a utility pole until they shake loose?
Other ideas?

Thanks!
01-13-2018, 12:17 AM   #4
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I forgot to add:

The shutter count is 3144.

The manuf date is 2010:10:22.

I haven't done the firmware flash yet.

01-13-2018, 12:06 PM   #6
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Thanks.

I was hoping for some feedback on the two specks.

These "stains" were a apparently big commotion back in 2011, not much info recently.

What was the overall outcome for a sensor like mine? - no big deal,
or bail out quick because it's dying!

My situation: decide whether to keep the camera, or send it back and shop for another.

After my testing and cleaning, I'm inclined to keep it, but would like to hear thoughts of more experienced folk.

Anyone?

Tricks for getting lint out of viewfinder?

Thx.

---------- Post added 01-13-18 at 01:06 PM ----------

Thanks.

I was hoping for some feedback on the two specks.

These "stains" were a apparently big commotion back in 2011, not much info recently.

What was the overall outcome for a sensor like mine? - no big deal,
or bail out quick because it's dying!

My situation: decide whether to keep the camera, or send it back and shop for another.

After my testing and cleaning, I'm inclined to keep it, but would like to hear thoughts of more experienced folk.

Anyone?

Tricks for getting lint out of viewfinder?

Thx.
01-13-2018, 12:34 PM   #7
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I would venture to say the "specks" you are referring to is stubborn dust and not the stain issue which was addressed at the launch of the K5. I honestly think you got a good deal on the camera and should be able to enjoy it. Of note, I recently had some stubborn dust particles on my K3 which took some considerable and careful cleaning to remove.

My K5 is an original I purchased new and have never had an issue with it after many weddings / portrait / family shooting sessions.

Enjoy!

edit: I believe the focus screens can be changed, which by removing will likely be the only means I am aware of to remove the dust/hair.
01-13-2018, 09:32 PM   #8
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Hello T,

Thanks for the reply!

My unit was manufactured Oct 2010, so it's a pretty early model.
I wet cleaned twice, pretty "considerably" on the 2nd iteration.

Having digested everything for a day, I'm not worried about those two dots.
I only wanted to ask if they were a harbinger of impending doom.

On your lead, I started reading about cut Canon ees focus screens and vintage lenses.

Whew. Photography encompasses a massive field of information!

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