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04-12-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
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What's going on with my K-30?

Hello, everyone. Out of nowhere, my K-30 went haywire last night while I was shooting a salsa dancing social but now the AF is completely fine.

Earlier that day, I was having AF difficulties with my 50mm 1.8 lens but thought it was just a one time fluke since the only problems I've had with my K-30 since I've gotten it are it freezing up or the battery dying without warning but both of those only happened once or twice. Later that night, the AF problem showed up again except this time the AF hit or miss, unusually slow, subjects weren't sharply in focus, and brought its friends back focusing problems, mirror lock up, and freeze up with it.

I was able to fix the mirror lock up by removing my lens and putting it back on again and fixed freeze up by taking the battery out then putting it back in but the AF problems remained. I thought maybe I was accidentally telling it to focus somewhere I didn't want it to but that wasn't it. I switched back and forth between AF.S and C and played with the AF settings in the menu but that made no difference. I switched from my 50mm 1.8 to my 18-55 kit lens and still the same problem. I switched back to my 50mm 1.8 lens and played with the ring on it which helped the AF a little bit but the AF was still pretty much useless although it worked just fine in video mode. I thought maybe I was choosing the wrong settings in manual mode for fast moving subjects in low light so I tried every auto mode but the camera overexposed everything. On top of that, I remembered that I recently shot performances at a salsa dancing festival with these same lenses where there was lower lighting and faster moving subjects I was far away but I had no issues at all and the AF was lightning fast.

Does anyone have an idea what may be going on here so I'll know what to do in case this problem randomly appears again? I'm hoping I won't have to send the K-30 or lenses in for repairs.

I deleted most of the pictures where the problem is apparent but here are a few examples:




Update: Sometimes now I can't get the camera to turn on so I have to take out the battery and reinsert it then it will come on.


Last edited by amayers3; 04-12-2014 at 01:12 PM.
04-12-2014, 03:30 PM   #2
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I would suggest,, based upon my own experiences with a dud (aftermarket) battery: Try the camera with another battery first, before deciding for sure that the problem is with the camera or lens.
Obviously, while the battery is suspect, do not under any circumstances do a firmware upgrade.
I had a similar problem with my K-5 and it was simply a dud battery. Lock-up, not wanting to turn on, focus problems, etc.
04-12-2014, 03:42 PM   #3
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about the lock-up, the K-30 is known for having this issue, gladly the 1.06 firmware seems to has corrected or at least reduced this falure. Try updating your camera to the latest firmware and take a look at the lens contacts to check if they are clean. Hope that works
04-13-2014, 05:32 AM   #4
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sounds like a battery issue , replace it

04-13-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
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I had the same issue with my Pentax K-r. I linked it to the battery. I had the original battery and two aftermarket spares. All three would cause mirror lockup that was cured when I switched to AA battery using Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables.
I think it's because the stock battery can't provide enough power at times but that's my non expert opinion.
04-13-2014, 02:46 PM   #6
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I have few problems with both of my K-30's, but far from as much as you. My biggest problem is AF accuracy. I previously had a K-x and one possibility is, that while the K-x would give up much sooner than my K-30's, I've perhaps become used to K-30's ability to work under dimmer light, but I might now be witnessing the limits of the K-30 because I'm shooting under even dimmer light. But it doesn't feel that way. It doesn't feel that way because the AF inaccuracy seems to be most pronounced using wider angles. I was shooting at a birthday party last night and to me, I had amount of light and good contrast between groups of people and a bright yellow wall, when doing group shots. I mostly tried to use edges of heads to focus after because of the clear contrast but ended up with many shots, most with front focus going on.

Typically a lens like Sigma 70-200mm is the first one to get replaced once the light level becomes too dim. With longer focals, even small camera shake or subject movement have an impact on the cameras ability to lock focus. Last night I was able to use the 70-200mm without problem, which to me doesn't seem like I might have been experiencing a camera limitation thing.

Though I do not have any statistics or done any systematical tests, my impression is that I'm getting more and more AF inaccuracy over time. Mostly front focusing using wider angles.

I recall some time after I got the K-30, when I shot during the dancing (with much less light), that I was impressed by the K-30. It was able to nail the focus @ 35mm f2.8. Back then my biggest issue was to actually trust the camera. Now, I'm having a hard time doing so. I now deliberate stop down further than before, to f5.6 or 8, again at wide angles, and still end up with out of focus shots. I've also had all this going on when shooting outdoors.

I know it might sound strange that the AF might be performing differently over time. Perhaps the AF sensor is exposed to types of light it simply doesn't like - I know from K-5 and K-r, that color had a huge impact on AF accuracy.

I know impressions and gutfeelings can be wrong. My shooting style has also evolved as I do more work at wider focals now, so I'm open for the idea, that my shooting style is really pushing the camera to it's limits - but it really doesn't feel like that.
04-15-2014, 09:02 AM   #7
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Hello everyone and thank you for your replies.

Like you said, I am sure that it is one of the batteries. I thought about it and remembered that at a certain point during the night the autofocus improved when I had to change my battery. Now I just have to pinpoint which one it is and I will also give my AA battery holder a try. I've also updated my firmware to the latest version. Hopefully this will fix it and these issues won't pop up again.

Zafar Iqbal, sorry that you're having similar AF accuracy issues with your K-30's. I'm no expert, but to me it doesn't seem like you're pushing the K-30 to its limits.
04-15-2014, 11:17 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
I have few problems with both of my K-30's, but far from as much as you. My biggest problem is AF accuracy. I previously had a K-x and one possibility is, that while the K-x would give up much sooner than my K-30's, I've perhaps become used to K-30's ability to work under dimmer light, but I might now be witnessing the limits of the K-30 because I'm shooting under even dimmer light. But it doesn't feel that way. It doesn't feel that way because the AF inaccuracy seems to be most pronounced using wider angles. I was shooting at a birthday party last night and to me, I had amount of light and good contrast between groups of people and a bright yellow wall, when doing group shots. I mostly tried to use edges of heads to focus after because of the clear contrast but ended up with many shots, most with front focus going on.

Typically a lens like Sigma 70-200mm is the first one to get replaced once the light level becomes too dim. With longer focals, even small camera shake or subject movement have an impact on the cameras ability to lock focus. Last night I was able to use the 70-200mm without problem, which to me doesn't seem like I might have been experiencing a camera limitation thing.

Though I do not have any statistics or done any systematical tests, my impression is that I'm getting more and more AF inaccuracy over time. Mostly front focusing using wider angles.

I recall some time after I got the K-30, when I shot during the dancing (with much less light), that I was impressed by the K-30. It was able to nail the focus @ 35mm f2.8. Back then my biggest issue was to actually trust the camera. Now, I'm having a hard time doing so. I now deliberate stop down further than before, to f5.6 or 8, again at wide angles, and still end up with out of focus shots. I've also had all this going on when shooting outdoors.

I know it might sound strange that the AF might be performing differently over time. Perhaps the AF sensor is exposed to types of light it simply doesn't like - I know from K-5 and K-r, that color had a huge impact on AF accuracy.

I know impressions and gutfeelings can be wrong. My shooting style has also evolved as I do more work at wider focals now, so I'm open for the idea, that my shooting style is really pushing the camera to it's limits - but it really doesn't feel like that.
If the AF has deteriorated, perhaps some dust has got into the mirror box.

04-15-2014, 06:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by amayers3 Quote
Hello everyone and thank you for your replies.

Like you said, I am sure that it is one of the batteries. I thought about it and remembered that at a certain point during the night the autofocus improved when I had to change my battery. Now I just have to pinpoint which one it is and I will also give my AA battery holder a try. I've also updated my firmware to the latest version. Hopefully this will fix it and these issues won't pop up again.

Zafar Iqbal, sorry that you're having similar AF accuracy issues with your K-30's. I'm no expert, but to me it doesn't seem like you're pushing the K-30 to its limits.
Good news if it is a battery, as thought. I was doing some shooting of the moon last night, and was using LiveView for focussing. Amazing how quickly that drains a battery!
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