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5 Days Ago   #1
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Pentax K-30 Dark photos, movies and live view

Hi, I bought Pentax K-30 camera in 2013, used it limitedly. The photos and movies were very good. After an year, photos and movies are dark. If I increase exposure and ISO, I am able to get the picture in user mode with SV option. But the photo image is not clear.

It appears only one repair center is available it and it is expensive. Every year, I tried to use it in holiday period and unable to find solution to fix the dark images. I bought this camera with high hope on Pentax. Now disappointed with product quality and service option.

Please advise solution to fix this issue or repair center near Chicago.

Thanks,
Ashok

5 Days Ago   #2
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Unfortunately a small but not insignificant proportion of K-30's suffer from the well-known aperture block failure. You can read more about it here:
Dark exposure problems on K-30 or K-50? Discussion Thread - PentaxForums.com


A list of repair shops can be found here:

Pentax Repair Facilities (Wordwide listing) - PentaxForums.com

If you'd rather do the repair yourself (the most economical option), check out this DIY guide. There are also a few tricks you can do to try to temporarily bring the camera back to lift; or, simply use a M42 lens, as such lenses bypass the aperture motor entirely.

K-50 / K-500 Aperture Solenoid fix (DIY with pics) - PentaxForums.com

I doubt it's economically viable to have a shop repair the body; you'd probably be better off buying another used unit, or upgrading to a model which does not suffer from this problem, such as the K-5, K-3, KP, and just about anything newer. Because even a broken K-30 can be used with M42 lenses, you can should be able to sell the broken body for a small but not insignificant amount here on the Marketplace, or elsewhere. Best of luck!

Adam
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5 Days Ago   #3
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You might try contacting Ricoh. In the past they have been willing to cover the repair outside of warranty for US customers. Ricoh typically requires you to send the camera to Precision for evaluation before deciding whether to cover the repair or not. Precision usually charges around $150 USD for the repair.
4 Days Ago   #4
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my K-50 has suffered the same fate.....doing a high burst of continuous shots 'woke up' the solenoid and it would function normally.....this little trick worked for several months until total block failure....which is frustrating and disappointing

however I have a host of T-mount, M42 and K-mount(with aperture ring) lenses that are used very often....so much in fact that the K-50 is my most used camera body
(BruceBanner will attest to this and it drives him nuts!)

I do not use video but have read that some folks enjoy using preset or clickless aperture rings to shoot video so it seems video could be attained with manual lenses but I have nothing to back this claim


Last edited by Aaron28; 4 Days Ago at 08:27 AM.
3 Days Ago   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sashok Quote
Hi, I bought Pentax K-30 camera in 2013, used it limitedly. The photos and movies were very good. After an year, photos and movies are dark. If I increase exposure and ISO, I am able to get the picture in user mode with SV option. But the photo image is not clear.

It appears only one repair center is available it and it is expensive. Every year, I tried to use it in holiday period and unable to find solution to fix the dark images. I bought this camera with high hope on Pentax. Now disappointed with product quality and service option.

Please advise solution to fix this issue or repair center near Chicago.

Thanks,
Ashok
You should probably do some testing
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The gold standard for diagnosing aperture block failure is to put the camera in M mode (auto ISO off, aperture ring not being used) with aperture set wide open and shutter speed at something slow (e.g. 1-2 seconds). Release the shutter while observing the aperture opening through the front of the lens.* Anything other than the aperture remaining wide open is indication of a problem with the controller. If the problem has been intermittent, it may help to do the test after a period of non-use. Even one failure is significant.

* This method was instrumental in diagnosing the initial wave of aperture block failures on the K-30 and narrowing the cause to a fault in a mechanical component rather than electronics.
2 Days Ago   #6
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Thanks everyone!

I will try suggested options.
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