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02-02-2019, 12:55 PM   #1
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K-50 buying - please help

Hi everybody.
In a few weeks time I'm going to make my dream come true and finally visit Japan. On that occasion I deciced to upgrade my Z612 from Kodak and buy a used DSLR - the K-50 which will be my first DSLR . I've read a couple of guides on how to buy a used camera, found one interesting online and received a couple of pictures from the seller. Unfortunately I'm not an expert and I'm having trouble evaluating them. Could You please help me, look at the pictures and advice me if it is ok to buy that camera.

Basic info:
K-50 + SMC Pentax-DA 1:3,5-5,6 18-135 mm ED AL (IF) DC WR
Bought: June 2015
Shutter count: 6224 (checked)
Included: Accesories + receipt

I've uploaded the pictures on zippy share:Zippyshare.com - Pentax K-50.zip
1. pyt11a-3 - pictures with different settings
2. pyt11b-3 - pictures of a ceiling, f/16
3. pyt11c-3 - pictures with the cap closed with long exposure
4. pyt11d1-5 - pictures of a fence, f/3.5, f/5.6
5. pyt11e-3 - pictures of a white paper (or sort of...)
6. pyt11f - picture of a text in a paper made at a 45-degree angle, focusing on the circled element.


The things I noticed in the pictures:
1. Black spots in the upper left corner - dust?
2. One pink dot in the middle of the pyt11c3.jpeg picture - dead pixel?conversion problem? Other black pictures are clean. Should I ask for another one?

Any help would be much appreciated, especially concerning my observations and any other things, why I should or shouldn't buy that specific piece.

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02-02-2019, 01:27 PM   #2
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Dust on the front of the lens is to be expected, and will not affect your photos. The larger spots look like reflections, so IMO you should be good to go with the lens.

There is some dust on the camera's sensor, so I would ask the seller to perform a cleaning for you prior to the sale (or, if it's a private sale, just take it to any camera store). Again, this is normal in a used camera.

The one thing to bear in mind is that the K-50 is prone to failure of the aperture actuator over time. Based on what I've seen, I'd estimate it happens in 10-20% of cameras. So, I would factor the risk of this into your budget. The good thing is that the problem is DIY fixable, but if you want a repair shop to do it, it'll run you $100-200. Some places carry out the repair for free on a case-by-case basis.

Congrats in advance on what otherwise looks like fantastic combo!

Adam
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02-02-2019, 01:41 PM   #3
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If you can manage the K-70 I reckon you'll be happier
02-02-2019, 02:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Dust on the front of the lens is to be expected, and will not affect your photos. The larger spots look like reflections, so IMO you should be good to go with the lens.

There is some dust on the camera's sensor, so I would ask the seller to perform a cleaning for you prior to the sale (or, if it's a private sale, just take it to any camera store). Again, this is normal in a used camera.

The one thing to bear in mind is that the K-50 is prone to failure of the aperture actuator over time. Based on what I've seen, I'd estimate it happens in 10-20% of cameras. So, I would factor the risk of this into your budget. The good thing is that the problem is DIY fixable, but if you want a repair shop to do it, it'll run you $100-200. Some places carry out the repair for free on a case-by-case basis.

Congrats in advance on what otherwise looks like fantastic combo!
Thanx for the info Adam.
Did You notice the pink dot in the black pyt11c3 picture? Is it also dust or something worse?

beachgardener - sure, the K-70 is an upgrade from the K-50 and better posiibly in every way (maybe except the AA battery adapter in the K-50) but in Poland the prices are off the roof so the K-50 is still a big expense. Maybe someday, if I dive deeper into more pro camera usage...

02-02-2019, 03:51 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowca Quote
The things I noticed in the pictures:1. Black spots in the upper left corner - dust?
Yes, dust on the sensor. This is very common. As Adam suggested, ask the seller to clean it. The way to check that it is clean is to get a photo of the sky or a white wall at f22. Any dust or scratches will show up then.

It's prudent to get a rocket blower (like this: Giottos Rocket Air Blower Cleaner Air Jet Cleaning for Camera PC Devices Black | eBay) so you can blow off any dust as soon as you discover it, before it sticks. Once it sticks you will need either a gel stick (like this: amazon.com : Neewer Optical Sensor Cleaning Kit for Nikon Canon Sony Pentax Olympus and Other DSLR Cameras, Includes(1) Dust-Sticking Bar+(1) Viscous Cleaning Paper : Camera & Photo?tag=pentaxforums-20&) and if that doesn't work swabs and fluid (like this: amazon.com : APS-C Frame (CCD/CMOS) Digital Camera Sensor Cleaning Swab Type 2 Cleaning Kit (Box of 12 X 16mm Swab + 15ml Sensor Cleaner) : Camera & Photo?tag=pentaxforums-20&). You may be able to get them all in a kit. A loupe is handy too.

Even if you are only using one lens you can still get dust on the sensor. Remember that there is already dust in the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowca Quote
2. One pink dot in the middle of the pyt11c3.jpeg picture - dead pixel?conversion problem? Other black pictures are clean. Should I ask for another one?
I downloaded the file and looked at each image, including this one, but I can't see it. It's probably a single dead pixel. That's common too. The K-50 has a pixel mapping feature (accessed through the Setup menu 2) - run that and it will map and correct for defective pixels on the sensor.

From looking at the images I can't see any significant issues. The lens seems OK - typical for this lens. (The corners are soft with the aperture open, but that's how it is with this lens. Stop down and it improves at the wide end.) As others have said, dust in the lens is normal and doesn't affect images. The shutter count is quite low too.

The only real issue is the one others have mentioned - the risk of aperture block failure. You need to factor that in. But I had two K-30 cameras (the twin of the K-50) and had no problem with either. It's a nice camera - well featured, but easy to use. A good cheap intro to DSLRs.

When you are in Japan, you might find other lenses (and maybe a camera) at good prices too.
02-02-2019, 04:49 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowca Quote
in Poland the prices are off the roof
I hear you on that one, prices in Australia are big too.
02-03-2019, 01:22 AM   #7
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Hi,
So as it has been mentioned, K-50 is prone to aperture mechanism failure but apart from that, it's a great camera. I've owned my K-50 for 3 years now, the shutter count is 15 000 and it's fine. Based on online tutorials, fixing the aperture mechanism is feasible as long as you have some basic DIY skills. As an amateur, I'm very satisfied with the camera and I don't think it will be a limitation to my photography anytime soon. Thus, I believe you should be absolutely fine with it. The lens seems to have a very useful range of focal lengths. Little dust is not a problem.
Yes, in Poland we pay through the nose for photo equipment, but what can you do... You can try to by abroad
02-03-2019, 06:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chris_K Quote
Hi,
So as it has been mentioned, K-50 is prone to aperture mechanism failure but apart from that, it's a great camera. I've owned my K-50 for 3 years now, the shutter count is 15 000 and it's fine. Based on online tutorials, fixing the aperture mechanism is feasible as long as you have some basic DIY skills. As an amateur, I'm very satisfied with the camera and I don't think it will be a limitation to my photography anytime soon. Thus, I believe you should be absolutely fine with it. The lens seems to have a very useful range of focal lengths. Little dust is not a problem.
Yes, in Poland we pay through the nose for photo equipment, but what can you do... You can try to by abroad
Aperture Failure seems to be more a matter of calendar age than of shutter count. My K-30 started having issues before 5000 shots - but it took 3 years to get there; failure often seems to be triggered by periods of not being used at all, but I'm guessing your camera doesn't vegetate much.

02-03-2019, 06:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Aperture Failure seems to be more a matter of calendar age than of shutter count. My K-30 started having issues before 5000 shots - but it took 3 years to get there; failure often seems to be triggered by periods of not being used at all, but I'm guessing your camera doesn't vegetate much.
Good point - sounds reasonable. I've just reached 'dangerous' camera age - we will see
Indeed, my camera doesn't collect much dust on the shelf - I hope that helps to avoid the problem.
02-04-2019, 02:05 AM   #10
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This seems like a good deal. I've had my K-50 for a bit under three years now, and no sign of the aperture actuator issue. I've had a few problems with the on/off switch, but that was addressed under warranty. For the rest, its a great little camera that just keeps going on and on, even in damp Norwegian and Scottish conditions. Cleaning the dust shouldn't be a problem at all, so good luck with this and welcome to the club.
02-04-2019, 01:58 PM   #11
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So, yeah, I bought it
Thanks for all the help and replies.
No off, to learn how to spot the aperture mechanism failure, and how to use the camer itself... so many buttons and dials...
02-04-2019, 02:20 PM   #12
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Enjoy the K-50 - I've been using mine for 5+ years... It survived DIY surgery re aperture failure mechanism, and it is great - tip, use it every day or at least every other day - I think the aperture failure mechanism occurs when the camera is not used a lot and stored away.

I'll someday upgrade to a better model (particualry one with better high ISO performance), but until then, more than happy with my K-50.
02-04-2019, 02:52 PM   #13
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I think it is the same sensor as the K-5, it is a good one
02-06-2019, 02:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowca Quote
No off, to learn how to spot the aperture mechanism failure, and how to use the camer itself... so many buttons and dials...
The later ones are more complicated!

The PF review is a helpful introduction to the features of the camera: Pentax K-50 Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews It includes recommended settings.

One more thing. Check that the camera is running the latest firmware, v.1.10. Update it if it isn't: Latest K-50 Firmware Update : Software Downloads | RICOH IMAGING
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