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07-06-2015, 09:24 AM   #1
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K-50 Images Underexposed (Black)

Last year I bought my younger sister a K-50. While visiting her over the July 4th weekend, she told me that for the past month she was unable to take images that were properly exposed unless if she went into manual mode and forced higher ISO and/or slower shutter speeds than what the camera was calling for in any other modes. I tried the camera out and couldn't figure out what was causing it. Eventually I thought to put on one of my FA lenses with an aperture ring, just to see if aperture control was the issue. Things started to make a bit more sense - I thought that the camera for some reason - regardless of what aperture the screen said it was shooting at would shoot at f/22. I then switched to Aperture Priority mode and set the aperture at f/22 and everything was properly exposed! The larger the aperture I set, the more underexposed the picture became (if I set it at f/4., the camera was metering for f/4 but when the image was taken, it mechanically was only allowed f/22, thus an almost entirely black image).

She had told me that in Live View mode the pictures would turn out properly, so I tried it, and sure enough it worked! However I found that it was really hard to focus indoors in Live View, so I looked into the lens as I switched on and off of Live View. When the camera was set to Live View (in auto mode or any other mode) the aperture blades automatically closed down to f/22. When it went back to the OVF, the blades opened back up to wide open. Somehow the Live View mode knew that the image was going to be exposed at f/22, despite the screen displaying whatever f-stop I set, or the one that the camera decided on (say, f/5.6).

Does anyone have any ideas? Ironically when this started happening (June 7th or so) the camera was still under warranty, but she didn't tell me about it until now (probably didn't want to bother me, as my wife and I are expecting a baby any day). So, I'm pretty sure we won't get any warranty help from Adorama or Pentax, as we're just out of the 1-year window.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this thread - wish I could have made it more concise!

07-06-2015, 09:28 AM   #2
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Sounds like a defective aperture actuator to me. The camera most likely needs servicing- hopefully it's been less than 12 months since you bought it, unless you also got the extended warranty.

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07-06-2015, 09:30 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by aikilink Quote
Last year I bought my younger sister a K-50. While visiting her over the July 4th weekend, she told me that for the past month she was unable to take images that were properly exposed unless if she went into manual mode and forced higher ISO and/or slower shutter speeds than what the camera was calling for in any other modes. I tried the camera out and couldn't figure out what was causing it. Eventually I thought to put on one of my FA lenses with an aperture ring, just to see if aperture control was the issue. Things started to make a bit more sense - I thought that the camera for some reason - regardless of what aperture the screen said it was shooting at would shoot at f/22. I then switched to Aperture Priority mode and set the aperture at f/22 and everything was properly exposed! The larger the aperture I set, the more underexposed the picture became (if I set it at f/4., the camera was metering for f/4 but when the image was taken, it mechanically was only allowed f/22, thus an almost entirely black image).

She had told me that in Live View mode the pictures would turn out properly, so I tried it, and sure enough it worked! However I found that it was really hard to focus indoors in Live View, so I looked into the lens as I switched on and off of Live View. When the camera was set to Live View (in auto mode or any other mode) the aperture blades automatically closed down to f/22. When it went back to the OVF, the blades opened back up to wide open. Somehow the Live View mode knew that the image was going to be exposed at f/22, despite the screen displaying whatever f-stop I set, or the one that the camera decided on (say, f/5.6).

Does anyone have any ideas? Ironically when this started happening (June 7th or so) the camera was still under warranty, but she didn't tell me about it until now (probably didn't want to bother me, as my wife and I are expecting a baby any day). So, I'm pretty sure we won't get any warranty help from Adorama or Pentax, as we're just out of the 1-year window.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this thread - wish I could have made it more concise!
So, the aperture stays mechanically stuck at f/22 with both lenses you tried? Sounds like a body issue. You could try cleaning the contacts and doing a factory reset, but if those don't work, you'll probably have to send the body in for servicing. Or pick up a new one for less than $300.
07-06-2015, 09:40 AM   #4
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Yes, I just found the receipt in my inbox - we purchased it June 26th 2014. She said it started happening June 7th 2015. I wish she would have told me about it then...

We did try the factory reset with no luck there - I feel pretty bad after recommending Pentax to her as strongly as I did... Do you think I should try to contact the warranty service anyways, or since it's more than a year, just forget it? I'm not sure what it might cost to fix, but with new ones around $270, that might be the way to go...

Thank you all - I was just hoping maybe there was something I was missing.

07-06-2015, 11:11 AM   #5
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you could just call and find out -- never hurts to just ask...
07-06-2015, 11:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aikilink Quote
Yes, I just found the receipt in my inbox - we purchased it June 26th 2014. She said it started happening June 7th 2015. I wish she would have told me about it then...
Contact Ricoh/Pentax Support. This is a known problem with the K-50 and it is very likely they will honor the original warranty. Carefully document your call and/or e-mail communications so there is less possibility of confusion when you sent the camera in.


Steve
07-06-2015, 01:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Contact Ricoh/Pentax Support. This is a known problem with the K-50 and it is very likely they will honor the original warranty. Carefully document your call and/or e-mail communications so there is less possibility of confusion when you sent the camera in.


Steve

Thanks! I called and they said that they usually don't mind if the warranty is only a few weeks expired - said it's likely that they'll fix it as if under warranty!

Thank you for your suggestions everyone! Happy to be here! I wasn't aware that it was a known problem with the K-50 though... don't think I've heard of a similar case before...

Quintin
07-07-2015, 06:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by aikilink Quote
Thanks! I called and they said that they usually don't mind if the warranty is only a few weeks expired - said it's likely that they'll fix it as if under warranty!

Thank you for your suggestions everyone! Happy to be here! I wasn't aware that it was a known problem with the K-50 though... don't think I've heard of a similar case before...

Quintin
Wow, this is my issue too...and I am only 5 days away from my one year warranty expiration on my k-50. My camera is off for repair today.


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/298897-k-50-sensor-dead.html

07-07-2015, 07:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyC Quote
Wow, this is my issue too...and I am only 5 days away from my one year warranty expiration on my k-50. My camera is off for repair today.


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/298897-k-50-sensor-dead.html
Yep! That sounds like the same issue! Rather odd that both of these occurred just within the last month of warranty coverage... Did you send it to Adorama, or did you have to go through Precision Camera? When I called Ricoh, they told me to go through Precision... It seems like I have to fill out forms and create an account and such, so I'll be getting on that today. Hope they get yours up and running quickly!
07-07-2015, 08:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aikilink Quote
Yep! That sounds like the same issue! Rather odd that both of these occurred just within the last month of warranty coverage... Did you send it to Adorama, or did you have to go through Precision Camera? When I called Ricoh, they told me to go through Precision... It seems like I have to fill out forms and create an account and such, so I'll be getting on that today. Hope they get yours up and running quickly!
Precision camera. They are the authorized warranty repair center for Pentax. I learned this during the call to Ricoh.
07-07-2015, 03:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyC Quote
Wow, this is my issue too...and I am only 5 days away from my one year warranty expiration on my k-50. My camera is off for repair today.
QuoteOriginally posted by aikilink Quote
Rather odd that both of these occurred just within the last month of warranty coverage...
This last January, my friend's K-50 suffered from a similar failure just a few days out of warranty. I don't know if the problem is related to age or number of cycles, though I suspect age.


Steve
07-08-2015, 05:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This last January, my friend's K-50 suffered from a similar failure just a few days out of warranty. I don't know if the problem is related to age or number of cycles, though I suspect age.


Steve
My k-50 has around 2,200 pictures taken in a year...which is probably considered very light volume but I have used it regularly though out the year. I am usually the guy that is 5 days past a deadline,etc. and usually not "lucky" enough to be 5 days prior to an expiration. Glad my k-50 was still under warranty.
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