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05-19-2017, 08:47 AM   #1
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K-50 Aperture Fix Feedback

Firstly - hello! New guy in the forums - for better or worse

After 3 years and only 7,400 shots, my K-50 has joined the pool of pentax dslr's with broken aperture motors, right before my vacation to the desert Southwest

I attempted all of the bandage fixes I was able to find on the forums - shoot in sport mode, rapid fire mode, use the AA battery adapter, etc - and none of them worked. Seems like my only option now is to send it in and get it fixed by Pentax which, since it's out of warranty, it's going to cost me. Frankly, I'm not too happy about that...

So my question is for those who got it fixed, is it worth it? Has it broken again? And how many actuations in are you after the fix? I'm also considering either buying a new Pentax body or, since I'm a bit salty about it all and very concerned about Pentax's long-term customer service, maybe moving over to Canon where my $200 might go further in the long-term...

Thanks for any feedback!

(My apologies if someone has already made a thread like this. I combed through the forums to find feedback and data about the aperture fix from Pentax, but didn't find anything bonafide.)

05-19-2017, 08:57 AM   #2
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sorry to hear that.When I had mine, I sent it in after a year of purchase with around 4k clicks, which was under warranty thankfully and got it fixed. Of course it happened a second time when warranty had expired. Traded it in for a k3ii. k-30,k-50,k-500 all have the same problem unfortunately. Now looking back, I regret trading it in. I shouldve kept it for my older lenses and M42 collection. It works perfectly fine with lenses that have an aperture ring as long as you set the desired aperture on the lens
05-19-2017, 10:52 AM   #3
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Sending it to Pentax usually isn't economically worth it. Although there's nothing wrong in contacting your local Pentax division to tell them about the problem and if something can be done about it. Some people reported that Pentax agreed to repair their camera outside of warranty coverage. But it's on a case by case basis and don't take it for granted, far from it.

If you're in North America, there's a shop in California doing the repair for a 100$ flat fee + shipping . This might be a more reasonable option.

If you have the soul of a tinkerer, have some screwdrivers, and know how to use a soldering iron, you can attempt the repair yourself. This involved either filing a part or replacing it if you can get your hand on a replacement part. It's the cheapest repair option, but obviously not for everyone. But the feedback have been quite good so far.

Last edited by CarlJF; 05-19-2017 at 11:00 AM.
05-19-2017, 11:50 AM   #4
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One member recently sent in his K-50 for unrelated warranty work and along with the problem he sent it in for Precision replaced the diaphragm control block assembly (Precision's terminology). Another member recently contacted Ricoh when his K-50 with the aperture failure out of warranty and Ricoh covered the repair under warranty. He had to send it into Precision first to have the problem assessed before Ricoh made their decision.

This is not the first time Ricoh has covered this repair out of warranty but given the fact that Ricoh may have issued a service advisory and is replacing the block assembly as a matter of course in the same way the mode dial on the K-1 is replaced. Thus Ricoh appears to be more amenable to covering this repair considering the camera has been out of production and replaced by newer models. It wouldn't hurt to contact Ricoh customer service and politely ask if the repair might be covered even out of warranty. Remember the old saying about catching more flies with honey than vinegar when contacting Ricoh.

If Ricoh does not decide to cover the repair you can always decline Precision's offer. You'd be out the cost of postage in that case. Note if you DIY repair or send it to an unauthorized repair center Ricoh will not cover any subsequent repairs. The fellow in California, by his own admission and one PF member who used him, has had his share of repair failures.


Last edited by Not a Number; 05-19-2017 at 11:55 AM.
05-19-2017, 02:39 PM   #5
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It's sad to hear that Pentax's "fix" may fail too - sounds like they're just replacing the broken aperture with the same faulty part??? Frustrating! I only have the kit lenses (18-55mm & 50-200mm) that don't have manual aperture, otherwise I'd just go manual and find a way around it.

I did read a thread about the Cali shop's repair, but Not a Number, you're right - it seemed that a few people had to send their pentax back to Cali a few times, paying some of the shipping cost too. Reeaaally don't want to deal with that back-and-forth.

I guess it can't hurt trying to sweet talk Pentax into repairing the K-50 for free, but even so, I'll be really weary for some time buying new Pentax lenses & equipment. I'm also becoming more interested in video and the K-50 can't autofocus or accept a mic input. Maybe ask for a trade-in instead? schnitzer how did your trade-in work?
05-19-2017, 02:46 PM   #6
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Quick PSA, the new 55-300mm PLM lens bypasses the aperture actuator completely and will work perfectly fine (not to mention faster AF than any other Pentax lens) as long as you update your firmware to the latest version. So, for those considering writing off their K-50's, this might be an interesting alternative use for a second body without having to reset to screwmount lenses

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05-19-2017, 06:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
One member recently sent in his K-50 for unrelated warranty work and along with the problem he sent it in for Precision replaced the diaphragm control block assembly (Precision's terminology). .
That was my K-50, it had no signs of failure at 18,600 clicks. It would be nice to know why they replaced it, Did they examine it and predict failure? Is it a new policy? Was it a mistake? Hopefully we'll hear from some other people that get K-50's back for other repairs. But then I really haven't heard much but aperture block problems.

Interestingly I bought the K-50 in 2014 at a bargain price when my K-30 was gone for aperture block repair. The K-30 failed at about 24,700 clicks., it now has 37,887 clicks,
05-19-2017, 07:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Interestingly I bought the K-50 in 2014 at a bargain price when my K-30 was gone for aperture block repair. The K-30 failed at about 24,700 clicks., it now has 37,887 clicks,
So your factory repaired K-30 is still going strong after 2-3 years?

QuoteOriginally posted by MLweather Quote
It's sad to hear that Pentax's "fix" may fail too - sounds like they're just replacing the broken aperture with the same faulty part???
There are very few reports of failure again after factory repair. See ramseybuckeye's post above about his K-30 for example. And if you get another 3 years out of your camera it will probably past the end-of-life as far as support is concerned.

05-20-2017, 04:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
So your factory repaired K-30 is still going strong after 2-3 years?



There are very few reports of failure again after factory repair. See ramseybuckeye's post above about his K-30 for example. And if you get another 3 years out of your camera it will probably past the end-of-life as far as support is concerned.
I had the aperture block problem on my K50 a couple of months ago and sent it to the guy in California for repair. I informed him that I was off to Japan on vacation in a week or so and that I would like it to be repaired before I went. He did an immediate repair job and I got the camera back in days. He said he normally keeps the cameras around for a few days to make sure the repair is OK. I took the camera to Japan and shot about 3000 pics without problem. I think it was worth the $100 he charged. I can only hope that the problem was completely solved.
05-20-2017, 11:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
That was my K-50, it had no signs of failure at 18,600 clicks. It would be nice to know why they replaced it, Did they examine it and predict failure? Is it a new policy? Was it a mistake? Hopefully we'll hear from some other people that get K-50's back for other repairs. But then I really haven't heard much but aperture block problems.

Interestingly I bought the K-50 in 2014 at a bargain price when my K-30 was gone for aperture block repair. The K-30 failed at about 24,700 clicks., it now has 37,887 clicks,
Good to hear that both your K-30 and K-50 are still running strong after the fix. Did they include a warranty for after the repair in case the motor broke again?

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
There are very few reports of failure again after factory repair. See ramseybuckeye's post above about his K-30 for example. And if you get another 3 years out of your camera it will probably past the end-of-life as far as support is concerned.
How long is the typical lifespan/shutter life for a K-50 anyway? I heard somewhere a typical consumer-grade DSLR should last 100,000 actuations.
05-20-2017, 09:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
So your factory repaired K-30 is still going strong after 2-3 years?
Yep, they completed the repair in early October of 2014.

QuoteOriginally posted by MLweather Quote
Good to hear that both your K-30 and K-50 are still running strong after the fix. Did they include a warranty for after the repair in case the motor broke again?
.
I just got the K-50 back early this month, but it was never "broken". There was no warranty on the repair since they were repaired under warranty, I think that's typically done on paid repairs.
6 Days Ago   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Another member recently contacted Ricoh when his K-50 with the aperture failure out of warranty and Ricoh covered the repair under warranty. He had to send it into Precision first to have the problem assessed before Ricoh made their decision.
This was me. I wasn't given any guarantees they'd fix the camera and had to wait a little while after sending in the camera and a copy of my original purchase receipt, but in the end they fixed it free of charge. I'm happy to help if you have any questions.
6 Days Ago   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Will in Seattle Quote
This was me. I wasn't given any guarantees they'd fix the camera and had to wait a little while after sending in the camera and a copy of my original purchase receipt, but in the end they fixed it free of charge. I'm happy to help if you have any questions.
So you contacted Ricoh and they had you send it to Precision for assessment before having work done? And how far out of warranty were you?

Also, what magic words did you use on Ricoh to sweet talk them into a free repair?
6 Days Ago   #14
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My camera was 2.5 years old when it failed. I reached out to Ricoh via their web contact form (I didn't see a better way) and told them that my camera had the aperture block failure, that I was very happy with the camera otherwise, and asked if they had a recall planned or any repair assistance available since this appeared to be a common defect. In an emailed response they told me the first step would need to be an inspection at Precision Camera (as I'm in the USA), after which it is a case-by-case basis. I sent the camera in, and Precision inspected it and called me to ask how I would like to pay the ~$170 for the repair. I told them I was discussing the repair payment with Ricoh, and they put the repair on hold. I gave Ricoh my repair tag number, at which point they asked for a copy of my original receipt and "escalated my issue to upper management." After a week or so I got a phone call from the guy who handles their email, letting me know that management had agreed to repair the camera as if it were under warranty. The repair lasted another week, and the camera is in the mail on its way here now.

I was told the issue is caused by "a newly-designed part that is installed," which is no help for you DIYers out there, but at least you know Ricoh is aware of the problem and is showing at a degree of willingness to make it right.
6 Days Ago   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Will in Seattle Quote
I was told the issue is caused by "a newly-designed part that is installed," which is no help for you DIYers out there, but at least you know Ricoh is aware of the problem and is showing at a degree of willingness to make it right.
What you have said, sir, might ignite a small scale war



Then we can assume that maybe all K bodies with this newly designed part will eventually fail. Surveys tossed to the fire..
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