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11-07-2017, 01:28 PM   #1
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Options for failing aperture motor on K-30, dark/black photos

My shutter count is only at 2584 and I'm already experiencing this issue, as described in other threads. Tried the typical troubleshooting approaches to resolve/attenuate it - different lenses, factory reset, auto mode, cleaning lens contacts, rapid shooting, live view. Curiously live view does improve the issue somewhat, although I'm not sure why, it doesn't really matter since I don't want to shoot in live view, and the photos are still quite dark (otherwise they are almost completely black). I can actually hear the motor quite a bit more as well, it does not sound good, so I am certain that it has taken a crap.

What are my options? Is there any point in repairs, would they be lasting? Has Pentax acknowledged this in any official way / offered extended warranty coverage? Like I said my shutter count is quite low, I only purchased the camera in June of 2015.

Otherwise I guess I'm going to try and get whatever money I can back out of it and never buy another Pentax again. It was a great camera while it worked, but I just don't think I could be comfortable proceeding with the brand.


Last edited by otk2; 11-07-2017 at 01:55 PM.
11-07-2017, 02:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by otk2 Quote
What are my options? Is there any point in repairs, would they be lasting? Has Pentax acknowledged this in any official way / offered extended warranty coverage? Like I said my shutter count is quite low, I only purchased the camera in June of 2015.
Contact them and you may get lucky. Per a recent survey we did, they've offered service for free outside of warranty to some customers. The low shutter count here may work in your favor. Worldwide repair info can be found here:
Pentax Repair Facilities (Wordwide listing) - PentaxForums.com

Or, alternatively, there is a fairly simple DIY fix if you are good at tinkering:
K-50 / K-500 Aperture Solenoid fix (DIY with pics) - PentaxForums.com

QuoteOriginally posted by otk2 Quote
Otherwise I guess I'm going to try and get whatever money I can back out of it and never buy another Pentax again. It was a great camera while it worked, but I just don't think I could be comfortable proceeding with the brand.
While it sure is unfortunate that the K-30/K-50 are affected by this issue, every brand has QC problems now and then, so that's not a good way of approaching it. If you want better durability, look at higher-end models, or get peace of mind with an extended warranty.

Hopefully Pentax can get your camera fixed for free as that would be the most painless here. Let us know!

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11-07-2017, 02:23 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam, I'll contact Pentax. It's not that I feel a particular outrage over the failure itself, I know these things happen. I'd just be disappointed in the brand if Pentax were unwilling to acknowledge the prematurity of such a failure and extend olive branches to their customers. From other threads I got the impression that customers were on their own, but hopefully that isn't truly the case. I suppose I will find out

I consider myself fairly handy, but the DIY fix goes beyond my comfort level when it comes to tinkering with electronics. I appreciate the information nonetheless
11-07-2017, 02:26 PM   #4
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Take a look here : my fix of the K-30 aperture problem without disassembly: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

11-07-2017, 02:42 PM   #5
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^ Try that fix & see if it works for now.

I feel your pain. It's very annoying when a camera works perfectly fine one day & then it's uselesss the next day.

It doesn't seem to matter what fix is employed, though. All the simple fixes of firing shutters, playing with the aperture, using different batteries, & so forth & so on eventually lead to a failed aperture motor. There is another one where you have to disassemble the camera & file the plunger a bit. This one requires the most amount of effort & also seems to fail. If you do end up deciding to open the camera, do yourself a favor. Get a complete OEM replacement part & replace the failing unit. It's the only way to permanently fix the camera.

There are some other cheap $10 replacement parts out there, but they look like the exact same one that has already failed in the camera. It's a green colored one. I believe that Ricoh will use this same replacement part again which will lead to a 50/50 chance of having the same issue again.

There is an OEM replacement on eBay that goes for $39. That one is white colored. Yes. It's a little pricey & it comes out of a used camera, but it will definitely fix your camera. If you have some tiny screwdrivers & you have a soldering iron, you'll be good to go. Just need about +-3 hours & some patience to fix it. Follow the instructions in this thread & you're good to go. I had to replace that part on one of my K-50 bodies & I've already shot about 5,000 trouble free images since then. The bean counters at Hoya screwed this camera over. It seems like a chunk of K-30/50/S1/S2 cameras will eventually fail 'cause they were all screwed with the same part.
11-07-2017, 05:28 PM   #6
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There's a fellow in California that will do the repair for $100 plus shipping. He guarantees his work for one year. He's gotten good reviews by other members who have had the repair done but there are a few instances of failure and subsequent re-work. You're still responsible for shipping for re-work.

Note no other repair work or CLA will be done.

Pentax Camera Repair - Aperture Control Repair

Again, contact Ricoh US first. Ricoh has been willing to cover this repair out of warranty in the recent past. They will require you to send the camera to Precision for evaluation before approving the work. You have nothing to lose by contacting Ricoh. The worst outcome is they can say flat out "No". Of course you could send it in for evaluation and Ricoh could say sorry. In which case you could refuse the repair and you'd be out the cost of shipping.
11-07-2017, 05:36 PM   #7
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My k-50 still in Repair Service 2 months and waiting. They say Backorder.
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