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10-30-2017, 10:37 AM   #1
Larry Cooper
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Repair of my Pentax k 50 camera

Recently my K50 stopped working so I researched the problem and found out that there was a major problem with the part that works the aperture causing all pictures to be dark. I saw that. I found that there was several videos on how to repair it, so I attempted to do the repair and I was able to fix it. When I started to close it back up, the ribbon cable that goes from one side of the camera to the other side broke due to a kink in the cable. So I looked on line for a certified repair and the info on your web site said that there was a certified repair center near the town I live in. I took my camera to Bedford Camera store to get an estimate to repair and hoped to be able to it fixed.
When I took it in the store, they said that they don't repair cameras but would send it off for $30.00. This store did not even sell Pentax cameras only Canon and Nikon. A few weeks later I got a call from them saying my camera was in. When I picked it up they told me nothing was done to my camera, it had been tampered with and sent it back.

My question is there a place I could send it for an evaluation and estimate of repairs. I thought you had people who could repair this problem. I have never dealt with a company that was not interested in resolving a problem even when it was my fault. I always loved Pentax cameras for many years, but this has changed my mind about ever getting another one.

I hope to here your reply soon.
Respectfully,
Larry Cooper

10-30-2017, 12:52 PM   #2
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That really sucks. I also had to repair one of my K-50 bodies. Fortunately I didn't have any issues outside of the repair.

Precision Camera is the best place to get a repair. However, it's seems like a hit or miss. You'll have people saying they're the greatest ever & you'll have people saying that it sucks. I personally haven't dealt with them. The issue you are describing sounds like it's going to cost more to fix than what the camera is worth.

I know that feeling of doubt that you have with Pentax. It's pretty lame for this issue to have appeared in a lot of K-30 & K-50 cameras & even in some K-S1 & K-S2 cameras. I don't know how that aperture solenoid quality control slipped through a few camera generations. It seems like it has finally been sorted out with the K-70, but only time will tell. Their upper end cameras like the K-5/5II/5IIs & K-3/3II have been pretty solid. Very few issues by very few users have been reported with those cameras, but they don't come anywhere near to the amount of issues that have been reported with the K-30/50.

I'm waiting for that K-3II replacement. If it's anything like the previous APS-C flagship models, it should be trouble free for the most part.

Hopefully you can sort out the issue you're having soon.
10-30-2017, 02:50 PM   #3
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Ask the store WHERE they sent the camera. You were not asking for warranty work just a cable replacement. Tampered is not relevant. My guess is that they sent it to Precision. Precision is a 3rd party company and they do work for several brands. The grass isn't greener anywhere it appears. All the major brands consumer level camera bodies are becoming throw away if you have a problem.

The real issue is that you cannot get parts for the camera without being a certified repair center... and there aren't many of those.

Good luck. Perhaps the easy answer is to grab a broken K-50 off ebay and fish out the cable and try again.
07-16-2018, 01:20 AM   #4
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I was looking at my K500 which started doing this (taking VERY dark pictures). I put it in manual mode and took pictures with the smallest aperture (like f32) and it worked. OK. This must be the aperture setting mechanism when the picture is being taken I thought (the lens is wide open when composing to make it brighter for the user). I put a tiny touch of grease on the shaft in the camera that operates the aperture lever in the lens. Then put the camera on continuous shooting in AUTO expose mode. After about 50 shots IT started working again. I thought I had fixed it. I left it half an hour and came back. Dark pictures again. OK ---- probably --- something to do with the stepper motor driving this aperture control I thought. Stepper motors don't have much torque anyway and easily stall and that kind of fitted the symptoms (not being able to drive the aperture lever in the lens up).

My 22 yr old son said look on you tube. Found this:
Going to try it sometime this week.
Also, drove from Brighton to Burgess Hill and nearly bought a K70 to replace it on the week end but the bloke in the shop was a) negative about fixing the K500... b) had no K70 in stock .... glad he did'nt have one now. I am still holding out for a reasonably priced full frame. . Will report on how this fix goes.


Last edited by robin48gx; 07-16-2018 at 01:27 AM.
07-16-2018, 01:37 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Check the K-30/K-50 specific area on PF as well: Pentax K-30 & K-50 - PentaxForums.com
07-16-2018, 01:47 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Larry Cooper Quote

My question is there a place I could send it for an evaluation and estimate of repairs. I thought you had people who could repair this problem. I have never dealt with a company that was not interested in resolving a problem even when it was my fault. I always loved Pentax cameras for many years, but this has changed my mind about ever getting another one.

I hope to here your reply soon.
Respectfully,
Larry Cooper

Um, Larry, this site is privately owned, not affiliated with Pentax, and we are not Pentax employees, we are fellow owners like yourself. Your post reads like a complaint to the manager or something!

Anyway the official repairer in the United States is Precision. They have the contract for Sony, too. https://www.precisioncamera.com/pentax-camera-repair.html

Last edited by clackers; 07-16-2018 at 02:24 AM.
07-16-2018, 06:09 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by DrawsACircle Quote
Check the K-30/K-50 specific area on PF as well: Pentax K-30 & K-50 - PentaxForums.com
Yes, I counted at least five threads there for dealing with the aperture-control issue. The failing part is actually a solenoid. People there act as though this is a simple fix, and only an incompetent wuss would have issues, but my personal opinion is that this work is more difficult than it seems. My K-30 is starting to show that it has what I'm calling "Dark Image Syndrome" .... the mechanism in the body which allows the body to control th aperture fails. My personal solution will be to use lenses which have aperture control ring - so body doesn't have to control aperture - until I purchase a KP.
07-16-2018, 06:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Yes, I counted at least five threads there for dealing with the aperture-control issue. The failing part is actually a solenoid. People there act as though this is a simple fix, and only an incompetent wuss would have issues, but my personal opinion is that this work is more difficult than it seems. My K-30 is starting to show that it has what I'm calling "Dark Image Syndrome" .... the mechanism in the body which allows the body to control th aperture fails. My personal solution will be to use lenses which have aperture control ring - so body doesn't have to control aperture - until I purchase a KP.
I guess going aperture priory will make you think about the exposure times and depth of focus and all the stuff we used to have to do in the old film days. Kind of takes the fun out of it not having to think a bit! Good solution. I am going to try what they said in the video...

07-16-2018, 04:51 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by robin48gx Quote
I guess going aperture priory will make you think about the exposure times and depth of focus and all the stuff we used to have to do in the old film days. Kind of takes the fun out of it not having to think a bit! Good solution. I am going to try what they said in the video...
You've got options, Robin. Setting aperture manually is one on pre-DA or DFA lenses is one, as you say.

$20 off eBay apparently gets the right kind of solenoid for you to replace the one that's below spec in your camera, if you have the soldering skills

There's a guy in the States who fixes 'em for a flat fee, $100 or similar.

Other than that, if you send it to Precision or KEH or whatever, they'll probably replace the entire aperture block, and price accordingly. At $300 or more that's possibly money better spent towards a newer body.
07-16-2018, 05:39 PM   #10
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The California repair will not do any other repairs other than the aperture problem. He will not replace the broken cables.
07-16-2018, 09:56 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
The California repair will not do any other repairs other than the aperture problem. He will not replace the broken cables.
Yep, Robin's situation is different from Larry's, though.
07-17-2018, 06:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You've got options, Robin. Setting aperture manually is one on pre-DA or DFA lenses is one, as you say.

$20 off eBay apparently gets the right kind of solenoid for you to replace the one that's below spec in your camera, if you have the soldering skills
Larry's experience that started off this thread dramatizes the fact that more than soldering skill is required.
07-17-2018, 09:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You've got options, Robin. Setting aperture manually is one on pre-DA or DFA lenses is one, as you say.

$20 off eBay apparently gets the right kind of solenoid for you to replace the one that's below spec in your camera, if you have the soldering skills

There's a guy in the States who fixes 'em for a flat fee, $100 or similar.

Other than that, if you send it to Precision or KEH or whatever, they'll probably replace the entire aperture block, and price accordingly. At $300 or more that's possibly money better spent towards a newer body.
I have not found the white "Made in Japan Solenoid" for $20 on ebay?

when I search I find this selection

I find only one which is "MIJ". All the others are green and are made in China

Of course one can use it but why save this relativly little money when one can get the real thing?
07-18-2018, 11:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Larry's experience that started off this thread dramatizes the fact that more than soldering skill is required.
Either you've got 'em or you haven't, Reh, you've said in the past you haven't.

Larry did fix it, but made an error with an unrelated ribbon, the guy in the other thread also felt it was routine work but slipped and discharged the flash capacitor.

You'd never do any DIY or even a camera firmware upgrade if you counted on a procedure going wrong.

You haven't spent a cent on the problem or any time attempting either the filing or replacing the solenoid, you've said you would rather just do aperture manually on lenses that have the ring, but there are others who are willing to try to get a better outcome than that.

I'd just pay to have it repaired, but again, that's simply my viewpoint.
07-18-2018, 11:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
I have not found the white "Made in Japan Solenoid" for $20 on ebay?

when I search I find this selection

I find only one which is "MIJ". All the others are green and are made in China

Of course one can use it but why save this relativly little money when one can get the real thing?
True, the $20 gets you the green solenoids, which are considered good enough by Ricoh to put back in a camera for repair, but I like your solution better, Photogem, because I'm persuaded by your white solenoid argument and of course it will cost some more.

I think you even had a supplier in German or similar?
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