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09-09-2015, 05:04 AM   #1
Naomi P
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another K-30 dilemma

Dear Pentaxians,

I would like to get your thoughts on my K-30 dilemma. I have encountered the by now infamous aperture-arm problem that causes under-lit photos. In the beginning it was manageable, but it has steadily gotten worse. Unfortunately, this happened outside of the warranty. Apart from screwing it open myself to see if I can clean anything (yeah right), or paying hundreds of euros to get it fixed, I am stuck.

I was considering taking a gamble on a secondhand K-30 body, but here (in The Netherlands), prices for a used body are, strangely enough, quite steep. Having a camera sent from overseas is risky (rough handling; customs might add a big fee).

I was also considering buying a (new) K-50, but am hesitant as it appears to have the same trouble-causing parts.

Another option would be to wait for a new model, and pray they have started using different parts.

Yet another option would be to get a wholly different camera, of course. I have browsed through the forum quite a bit and I can't make up my mind, Maybe you guys could help out.

Until it started malfunctioning, I was very happy with the K-30. It is my first foray into digital photography after hanging on to film for as long as I could (don't laugh). I am a 'static' photographer, that is to say I like to photograph portraits, still life, landscapes, buildings. I shoot everything in raw and do some light colour/light/contrast adaptation in Lightzone, but that's it. I might take a picture of an animal in movement every now and then, but I would say one of the most important qualities in this camera for me is its low light performance. I bought my K-30 with a Pentax 70mm portrait lens to go with it for the same reason. I was not disappointed. Price-quality-wise, too. That is, until the body broke down.

Are there any photographers out there with related habits, with advice for a next step? Would be much appreciated.

09-09-2015, 06:26 AM   #2
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just out of curiosity, how many shots/shutter actuations do you have on your K-30?

Last edited by pepperberry farm; 09-09-2015 at 06:54 AM. Reason: error correction
09-09-2015, 06:48 AM   #3
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I believe you could by an m42 lens and bypass using the aperture control unit since there is no aperture lever linkage with an m42 lens. You would have to buy an adapter, but by using its aperture ring to stop it down it should meter properly and can be used in aperture priority mode. That's what I plan to do if my K30 ever dies on me. You should try the Super Takumar 50mm 1.4, it's a great lens! If you don't want to go manual focus, I believe the K5 and K3 series cameras have a more robust mechanism, though I can't prove it.
09-09-2015, 07:45 AM   #4
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did you read through this thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/229294-k...problem-4.html

09-10-2015, 05:10 AM   #5
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Thanks for your quick replies! To answer your questions:

Pepperberry, I had around 9000 clicks on the camera when the problem started.

I have no problems using manual focus, so your suggestion, Stillshot, might actually be an excellent option for me. To circumvent the problem, is the lens or the adapter the crucial factor (sorry, my technical grasp of this issue is far from complete)? I ask this because I tried an old manual lens on my K-30, without adapter. This gave me more good shots than the automatic lenses, but the underexposure problem did pop up.

Marcus, thanks for pointing out that thread. It was indeed the first that I stumbled on in my search for the cause of all this trouble, and it was very helpful indeed, if also disheartening...

Thanks for thinking along with me here, much appreciated.
09-10-2015, 08:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naomi P Quote
I have no problems using manual focus, so your suggestion, Stillshot, might actually be an excellent option for me. To circumvent the problem, is the lens or the adapter the crucial factor (sorry, my technical grasp of this issue is far from complete)? I ask this because I tried an old manual lens on my K-30, without adapter. This gave me more good shots than the automatic lenses, but the underexposure problem did pop up.
An m42 lens has a different aperture coupler system, which does not link up with the more modern K mount design. If you are brave, and many people suggest not doing this as it might depreciate old K mount lenses, you can remove or cut off the aperture lever from a K mount lens that has an aperture ring and still be able to stop down manually but still lose that aperture linkage that is broken anyways. Your old K mount lens probably underexposed because you stopped down and it still needs the aperture coupler to work. If the lens is always exposed correctly when wide open, then the aperture coupler probably is indeed broken.
09-10-2015, 08:46 AM   #7
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Suggest you can consult with Luton camera repairs:

Camera Shop, Olympus Camera Repairs, Servicing and Spare Parts, Luton, Bedfordshire

I sent two K-r's to them, one was just a cracked casing, the other was a cracked mirror, repair was to replace the entire mirror box ( I had acquired a non-functioning k-r off ebay for spare parts). I was very satisfied with the service, they seem to know what they are doing, and the price charged. If the repair is in principle cleaning the magnetic actuators as mentioned in one of the posts in the thread I referred to, that is something they can probably do.
09-14-2015, 08:11 AM   #8
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I just remembered something you could do to further test your camera. Mount a K mount lens just enough so it stays on but does not click into place. Use the aperture ring to stop it down and see if it still meters and works properly in Aperture priority. Some people have drilled a new mount hole so the lens can stay mounted securely, but mounts before the aperture lever is engaged. This could be another low cost solution if you are willing to lose auto focus and are handy with a drill.

09-16-2015, 08:26 AM   #9
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Thanks again for all these very constructive suggestions. I am going to explore different routes: see what it costs to get the camera cleaned; and see if I can get in touch with a handy Pentaxian through the Dutch Pentax forums – drilling is outside of my comfort zone
If anything wonderful or unexpected happens, I will let you guys know in this thread.
To be continued... (hopefully).
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