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10-20-2016, 02:24 PM   #1
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Pulled out my K-30 today for the first time in about a year... NO APERTURE CONTROL?!

I saw an awesome spider and grabbed my K-30 out of my closet, plugged in a freshly charged battery, and went to take a pic... completely dark. Switched to a different lens, also completely dark. Tried the lenses on my K-01, and they worked fine. Used the manual control and I was able to take some pics with the K-30, but the aperture is always stopped down completely. I can set it to f/2.8 and 30 seconds exposure and look at the front of the lens, and it never opens the aperture. Is this a common issue? What causes it, and how can it be repaired? This happens with three lenses I've tried so far, my 100/3.5 macro, my 18-55 kit lens, and my Tamron 28-75/2.8. This camera is basically brand new, I've hardly used it at all!

Am I boned?

Charles.

10-20-2016, 02:47 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear that. It's a known problem that has affected a number of K-30 & K-50 owners, for sure. See the following article:

Pentax Aperture Block Failure Survey Results - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com
10-20-2016, 02:48 PM   #3
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boned...

extended warranty?
10-20-2016, 02:48 PM   #4
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Uh oh! Check the threads about K-30 aperture problems. Hope the depth to which you are boned is not too deep
Check all possible warranties and stuff

10-20-2016, 02:54 PM   #5
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You are boned.

Here are the options as I know them:
  • Get a lens with fully manual aperture (M or K) and use that. The lens will only stop down as far as you set the aperture ring to. Metering may or may not work as expected but it should. (VERIFY THIS - I CAN ONLY SURMISE THIS SHOULD WORK)
  • Get a lens that doesn't use the aperture lever at all. M42 for example. In this case you use Av mode and stop down to meter at the time of the shot. The Auto/Manual or A/M switch on many Pentax M42 lenses makes this work like a preset aperture lens - focus, then stop down and meter and shoot. Many people have validated this works for them.
  • Fix it. Cost depends on how. Sending back to Precision in the USA - unknown cost, likely high. See this for other options https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/311054-fix-apert...r-failure.html
  • Buy another camera. The cost of the repairs runs close to 2/3 the cost of a replacement of similar quality. However the replacement could develop the problem if it is a K-30 or K-50. Some other models may be vulnerable too but those are the main models we hear about the most. It is likely this is a fairly low incidence issue but high enough to be a risk.
10-20-2016, 03:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Get a lens with fully manual aperture (M or K) and use that. The lens will only stop down as far as you set the aperture ring to. Metering may or may not work as expected but it should. (VERIFY THIS - I CAN ONLY SURMISE THIS SHOULD WORK)
It has to be an M42 lens (i.e. one with a manual diaphragm) for metering to always work. Otherwise the aperture may not be stopped down to the selected setting.

In any case, I would recommend selling the K-30 for parts and grabbing either a K-70 or K-S2. Both are upgrades, but the latter is a bit more affordable as it's a year older.

Adam
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10-20-2016, 03:16 PM   #7
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Why would it fail after sitting unused for a year? I probably have fewer than 3000 shutter actuations on this thing, and it worked perfectly before I stopped using it. I'm really, really upset over this. I paid full price when it came out.

Charles.
10-20-2016, 03:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
Why would it fail after sitting unused for a year? I probably have fewer than 3000 shutter actuations on this thing, and it worked perfectly before I stopped using it. I'm really, really upset over this. I paid full price when it came out.
There seems to be some correlation with camera age, not just the amount of use it has had, which suggests possible age-related breakdown of a component with quality control issues - maybe. If you paid full price, I'm guessing you've owned the camera for some time, despite not using it much?

I sympathise, Charles, and I understand why you're upset - but don't dwell on it and let it spoil your enjoyment of the hobby. Move on, whether by getting the camera repaired or upgrading to an unaffected model.

10-20-2016, 04:14 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I will suggest something a bit radical for some but for me it worked. I've acquired a Pentax k500 with the same problem. I did not need it for lenses with aperture lever so I did not care if the aperture control works or not. Anyway, for a body with under 2000 clicks, 60 EUR + shipping seemed reasonable. Two weeks later, I decided to test it with an AF lens, just to see if the AF works and to see if it's true that the aperture control is dead. Pictures came out dark. As I did not care about the thing, I decided to move the aperture control mechanism with my nail up and down a couple of times. I could clearly hear the gears turning inside when I did. It worked normally after and is working normally up to this date (it has been 2 months).

Hope this solves your issue as well. If not, you still have many options which can make your camera useful. Plenty of m42 glass out there and DIY options are limitless.
10-20-2016, 07:29 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Hi,

there is a site pentaxcamerarepair.com - in pine grove CA that offers a $100 modification that they say fixes the problem. I have never used them but it seems like a reasonable idea.

Anyone have any experience with these guys. Just for future reference as I have a K-30 and am dreading it not working one day.

Cheers
10-20-2016, 11:20 PM   #11
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Camera: PENTAX K-30
Shutter Count: 3,574
Manufacture Date: 2012/10/09
Purchase date: 2013/10/15
Purchase price: $499.95

It died 3 years after I bought it. That's not even remotely acceptable.

This was supposed to be the last camera I bought. It had all the features I wanted... I had given up my K-x and got this glorious new K-30... and now it's literally garbage. I can't use any of my lenses. Going to manual lenses is not an option, this camera looks brand new, and yet it's a totally worthless. If I didn't already have so much invested in Pentax lenses, I'd be switching to a different manufacturer now. My frustration and anger at money just thrown the hell away is overwhelming.

Charles.
10-21-2016, 12:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by freddyisaac Quote
Hi,

there is a site pentaxcamerarepair.com - in pine grove CA that offers a $100 modification that they say fixes the problem. I have never used them but it seems like a reasonable idea.

Anyone have any experience with these guys. Just for future reference as I have a K-30 and am dreading it not working one day.

Cheers
I'd really like to know what their modification is before I go dropping $100 and potentially screwing up future repairs. I'm going to try appealing to Pentax/Ricoh first. I doubt they'll help me, but it's worth a shot.

If none of this pans out... what camera would give me all the same functions of a K-30, and yet not cost me another $500 down the toilet? It must work with the GPS unit and have the same type of LED indicators in the prism as the K-30. Really would just like my K-30 fixed, but if I have to spend the dough on a new body, which one has the most features for the best price?

Oh yeah, and it must not be prone to this kind of thing ever happening again.

Charles.
10-21-2016, 12:51 AM   #13
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I deleted my previous post because I think that it was not constructive and didn't want to take attention away from you getting help.

Good luck w/ the K-30. Hopefully Ricoh will be sympathetic.
10-21-2016, 01:11 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
I'd really like to know what their modification is before I go dropping $100 and potentially screwing up future repairs. I'm going to try appealing to Pentax/Ricoh first. I doubt they'll help me, but it's worth a shot.
I think it's worth contacting Ricoh to see if they will help. My guess is that, due to the age of the camera, they won't - but it's worth a shot.

As for the repair facility that @freddyisaac mentioned, why not give them a call? They list phone numbers on their website.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
If none of this pans out... what camera would give me all the same functions of a K-30, and yet not cost me another $500 down the toilet? It must work with the GPS unit and have the same type of LED indicators in the prism as the K-30. Really would just like my K-30 fixed, but if I have to spend the dough on a new body, which one has the most features for the best price?
Your cheapest option (other than the repair) would be a well-looked-after, used K-5 or K-5II. I see very good examples selling for around $300. With the money you'd get selling your faulty K-30, that would make for a cheap and highly capable camera.

The safest option would be to buy a brand new, well-established model - such as a K-3 or K-3II - from an authorised dealer, and an extended warranty, just in case. That's a whole lot more cost, but you get what you pay for.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
Oh yeah, and it must not be prone to this kind of thing ever happening again.
No-one can give you any guarantees that any camera from any manufacturer won't fail. Even a $25k Hasselblad can develop problems. Digital cameras are complex devices with many potential points of failure, and every manufacturer has models that have, or have had, a reputation for specific problems. Most models have weak spots - some are worse than others. The best you can do is research the models you're interested in so you're aware of any known issues before-hand.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
My frustration and anger at money just thrown the hell away is overwhelming.
As I inferred earlier, don't let this consume you. The situation warrants some disappointment, for sure, but it's just a camera - and certainly not worth overwhelming frustration and anger.

Good luck and let us know what you decide?

Last edited by BigMackCam; 10-21-2016 at 01:18 AM.
10-21-2016, 01:03 PM   #15
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Yeah, I've calmed down a bit. I am still upset at the low shutter count though. I had a good half hour chat with a manager at Ricoh, who opened a case and put it through to corporate in canada. Hopefully they'll have a resolution for me that will make me feel a little better about things. I talked to Precision camera too, and they're charging a base rate of $206.50, but can't tell me if the aperture block will be included in that price, or if there will be an additional charge for that part. Again, I escalated to a manager and they're checking for me.

I'm kinda torn between the guy at Pentaxcamerarepair.com and Precision. Precision gets me a full cleaning and calibration for an extra $100. Pentaxcamerarepair.com is cheaper, but he won't disclose the modification he makes, and I haven't found anyone that has used his service for a K30... would like to hear some reviews before jumping on that.

Even $202.60 is somewhat reasonable I guess. I'm not happy about paying it, though... but it's a *lot* cheaper than a new K-S2 body. And the S2 doesn't have AA battery capability or a nice big grip like the K-30.

Charles.
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