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06-02-2014, 01:44 AM   #301
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Oy!

I've been following DRabbit's thread about the defective K3's for a while but haven't commented because the registration process was daunting for me. I *did* post on the comments in the article she (Amy) posted on Steve Huff's well read photo blog. I've been having the same problem as Amy, perhaps more so. I haven't shot nearly as many shutter actuation pictures as she has. (between 4k to 5k) Yet the mirror flutter problem has bit me more times than not when I go out for a day's shoot. Amy has been very helpful in emphasizing this manufacturer's defect. It's MORE than annoying. It is destroying the K3...mine! I have debris on the sensor as a result, though I didn't connect it to the mirror stutter until I read of others reporting similar problems after experiencing the issue. And, Amy mentioned her memory card (it's a 2-slot unit) getting hosed. Bingo! Now that I think of it, mine also hosed the card in slot #1. Fortunately, I'd set up the parameters to where the card in slot #2 saved them when the camera hosed the one in slot #1. The card works fine in all my other digital cameras, including Pentax bodies.

At first, after reading so many reports of the problem, I thought the issue might be caused by a mechanical problem with the 'mirror' (prism, actually), but the SD card in slot #1 belies that hunch. It is almost certainly an electrical problem deep in the circuitry, perhaps one of the CPU's. This will be no easy fix for Ricoh and problem goes back to a design flaw dating to the K5. It sounds very much, in computer geek language, like a 'race' condition. If so, Ricoh won't be able to guarantee a fix by merely replacing a consumer's unit with another one because they likely ALL have the potential under uncertain conditions to fail in this manner including corrupting the SD memory card. Why not the SD card in slot #2? I dunno. But this problem sounds like a BIG one whether all purchasers have experienced it or not. To guarantee it won't happen again to its customers, Ricoh may have to replace the circuit board and CPU in ALL of it's K3 line or give customers their purchase price back. Machine gun chattering mirrors/prisms in a camera body are tearing apart the internals as they are NOT designed for such abuse. The failed memory card (which I also experienced in my K3, but not ever in any other Pentax camera body I own--7) seems to suggest it is NOT 'merely' a mechanical actuation problem, but electrical/logical as that's what writing image files on the SD memory card is about. I'm going to guess it's Pentax's new PRIME III engine. I'm also going to guess that the circuitry is inadequately grounded, which could introduce transient unintended current flows in the circuitry triggering some of the transistor gates into misbehaving. This is all speculation, of course. Ricoh's problem is the 'fix' is going to be expensive...a total recall or return of purchase price. They may be hoping that so long as they don't acknowledge the seriousness of the design/manufacturing flaw, with time consumers will forget and they won't have to bite the bullet. It may be only a class action law suit will shake loose responsible corporate behavior.

Customer: "I have a problem with this K3 and mirror flutter/stutter. It's still under the manufactuer's 'warranty'."
Ricoh: "Yeah? Well you can't prove it, and we can't duplicate the problem."
Customer: "But, all these other consumers on the internet (including Amy) have posted complaints about the same thing!"
Ricoh: "We don't operate/manage our company based on internet posts/blogs. Sorry, we can't help you."

I purchased my K3 in the U.S. from B&H. I preordered the K3 Silver unlimited edition. I noticed the problem within the 1st week after I actually received it. But, I've gone through this loop before. Sure, the retailer says its guaranteed for 30 days through them, 1 year through Pentax after that. But, if they can't duplicate the problem (it is an erratic unpredictable one), they'll simply return the unit to the purchaser. You'll have spent two or three months waiting for exactly the same unit in exactly the same condition it was in when you asked for it to be fixed. Under these conditions, the retailer's/manufacturer's/purchased warranty MEAN NOTHING! It's the perfect scam--defective/shoddy electronics merchandise with no remedy for the consumer multiplied by how many sold K3's? Yeah, your camera may not experience a catastrophic failure...at least right away. Would you accept a newly purchased new car under the same conditions?

Consider: Nearly 100 reported incidents of this defect in just over a month when not even 1% of consumers who get bitten by it are going to post, if that. Amy gets two defective K3's in a row. Steve Huff's unit received for review locked up before he could even evaluate it, thus no review. MY K3 sucks too--mirror flutter/stutter the majority of the time it's used for a day, debris falling on the sensor, failure to write to the SD memory card in slot #1. The K3 is a ticking time bomb and a lemon. The K5-iis is very good without these problems. It also has a different circuitry, processing engine, CPU, and sensor. I truly want what a paid for: A reliable properly functioning K3!
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06-02-2014, 02:03 AM   #302
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QuoteOriginally posted by unearthimages Quote
After more tests and time lapse shooting the camera didn't flop again, but who's to say it won't happen in the future. The problem is how many K3 owners use or care about time lapse shooting, burst shoot or haven't tried it yet. The poll needs to be fine tuned to get any answers and the overall trend.
I have never used time lapse on my K3, yet I'm plagued with the mirror stutter/flutter problem which is tearing up the guts of the unit. My SD memory card periodically fails to be written to in slot #1 as well. I like the K3. I paid for one. I'd like one that functions properly and reliabily.
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---------- Post added 06-02-14 at 02:10 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Chris Mak Quote
I am sure that Pentax is aware of this by now. Even if all the service centers around the world fail to communicate this issue to Pentax HQ, they will get the message.
They won't give notice however, just like always, this will be fixed in silence.
A thread like this will mainly be useful to us Pentax shooters, preparing us for when it happens. It will have little to no use at all in getting the issue acknowledged or fixed: that will happen anyway, and in silence, as always...

Chris
Chris Mak, silence? What's with that? Is that some Japanese tradition? How about transparency and owning up to a problem or manufacturing defect? Nah, that'd be too candid and at odds with the kind of character we saw surrounding the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The K3 has a problem. Those who purchased it are at risk of being affected by it. Pentax/Ricoh should indemnify them by offering a non-defective unit or their $ back ASAP.
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---------- Post added 06-02-14 at 02:46 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
I don't think it has anything to do with being a "drama queen". It has effected reliability for some people, has caused other problems for a couple of people, and is clearly an issue in a wide range of serial numbers of K3 bodies out there. As I've said from the very beginning, if you don't have to DEPEND on the camera, it's probably not an issue you need to be all that concerned with. For someone like me it wasn't reliable at all (and the K5-II and IIs are). If I was shooting weddings, I would NOT buy this camera, because even if it only happened once in six months, that one time could be disastrous.

And, as it's been addressed a hundred times already... warranty doesn't help when the company issuing the warranty has been clear that they have no idea what causes the problem or how to fix it. Hence the reason it's important for them to figure out.
Amy, I'm going to try to return my K3 to get one that works properly or my purchase price back. Without your efforts, I doubt this would be possible. It might not be in any event.
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---------- Post added 06-02-14 at 02:51 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
I don't have a K3, but probably should. I'm still well pleased with my K5 original, but the extra MP of the K3 are enticing.

Not fully understanding all this flapping...and it probably would not be a problem for me, since any wedding I might shoot would be a squirrel wedding ...and for a few peanuts, they would pose the wedding kiss as many times as I wanted.

However, I am wondering how this flapping action, if frequent enough, would affect the mechanics of the camera? Could it harm the long life of the mirror mechanism? This would be a concern for me, since I tend to keep a camera a long time.

Regards!
Rupert, many have found debris on their K3 sensor after the mirror stutter/flutter. That seems like it's tearing up the internals. It can NOT be good for the K3's longevity as it isn't designed to be a machine gun.
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06-02-2014, 05:08 AM   #303
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinbalwyz Quote
[/COLOR]
Amy, I'm going to try to return my K3 to get one that works properly or my purchase price back. Without your efforts, I doubt this would be possible. It might not be in any event.
-amicuscuria.com/wordpress-[COLOR="Silver"]
I wouldn't worry too much: I had my K-5 repaired, both for mirror-flop and when the lens repair button fell off. There was never any issue.

So, I have some bad experiences of production flaws, but only good experiences with service!

My biggest problem is that I only have the one camera body now (I broke my K-5), and I can't face four weeks without it. So for the moment I am hoping for this problem to occur very infrequently - or be fixed by firmware (not likely though, I think. With the k-5 they replaced some hardware to fix the flopping).
06-03-2014, 12:49 PM   #304
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Hi.
You can add me to the list, so far an isolated incident.

I have also contacted Ricoh, which to me is an obvious first to do, i assume all above have done so too!

Please see below the response from Ricoh, which implies people are not informing Ricoh of the problem?

And yes I did also point Ricoh to this forum........


From: photo_eng@ricoh-imaging.eu
Sent: Tue 6/03/14 12:12 PM
To: paulr........@....................


Dear Mr. R..............,

Thank you for contacting Ricoh Imaging

This is not a common problem, and we do not have any update avaliable for this particular issue.
If it happens again we would strongly reccomento to have the camera returned to be checked.

If you are in need of further assistance, please respond to this email or call our technical support center.


Last edited by PaulR100; 06-04-2014 at 12:42 PM.
06-03-2014, 01:18 PM   #305
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Paul - when I contacted support they did acknowledge reports coming in about it (my post is somewhere in this thread). But that's all.

Happened to me again yesterday during perfect 70 degree weather shooting a soccer match. One of the coaches threw me a disapproving look when it went ballistic.

So over the course of the last 5 weeks that's 2x for the flap, 2x for the camera lockup with no back display.
06-03-2014, 01:46 PM   #306
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
Let's start a list so we can get a sense of how many people are having the problem, and details that might be helpful.


Crazy-Ass Mirror Sickness (CAMS) looks like this (second half of video):

Pentax K3 Locking Up... Crazy Mirror Flap Issue - YouTube
QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
So far, the issue seems to have been reported in serial numbers ranging anywhere from 482XXXX to 491XXXX.
I'm not exactly sure how serial numbers are assigned for different countries. The ones above seem to apply to USA and Canada.
Serial Numbers effected outside North America, seem to fall in the range of 2573XXX-2574XXX
Hmmmmmm, Amy, I find this QUITE odd. I certainly live in North America: South Carolina to be precise. And I ordered from B&H, placing my pre-order around Oct. 9 or 10, and receiving my K-3 SE a few days before Thanksgiving. But, I just checked my serial number, and it's 2574XXX (I didn't list the entire serial number because I'm not entirely sure if anyone can use serial number fraud the way folks can use other numbers for fraud). Based on your post, this would imply mine was part of a shipment that usually went outside North America, or maybe not. Could be that the SEs just had a different version of serial numbers. At any rate, I haven't gotten around to testing the time-lapse feature on mine, yet. All other things being equal, I'm not sure what I'll do if it DOESN'T work right, as I'm way too far out to make a return, and it would have had to be a SHIPPING return if I had (NO Pentax dealers anywhere within hundreds of miles of me, any more -- I think Pentax burned some SERIOUS BRIDGES -- pulled "a General Sherman," so to speak -- sometime in the mid-to-late 90s).

I'll test time-lapse soon and let you know.
Jeff

Last edited by JeffAHayes; 06-03-2014 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Cut out lots of extra material from Amy's original post (like names of folks with the issue) not needed for my reply
06-04-2014, 01:49 AM   #307
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Crazy mirror sickness and now dead

Serial 4828... November 8th 2013

Happened once last week (remoeved battery to resolve the problem) - this week the K3 died.
06-04-2014, 12:18 PM   #308
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It's just getting worse...for Canadians

For those of you that don't know, what used to be Pentax Canada has now broken camp and pulled up stakes. The camera division no longer has a service facility or an office location in Canada. All service will now go through Sun Camera in Vaughn. Stephen Ho, who used to be their service director has now transferred over to the medical optics division. The remaining people in the camera division all work from home.

Folks I've spoken to lately are:

Dan Savoie - marketing/sales (705) 598-2056, he works from home out of Sudbury, ON.
Dan told me today that Ricoh Japan has identified the problem and has a base firmware up-grade to fix this. Apparently this cannot be user installed and has to be done at a service facility. He told me to arrange to send it / bring it in to Sun Camera and gave me their phone number.
Sun Camera - new Ricoh service (905) 669-6409. 2150 Steels Av. W., Unit 5, Vaughn, ON L4K 2Y7
Sun camera are not yet set-up to do anything with Ricoh or Pentax cameras. According to them "A bunch of stuff has started arriving this week", but they will not be set up to do any service for another 3 weeks or more. The person that I spoke to knew nothing about the base level firmware update. He suggested I contact them again in 3 weeks to see how far along they were. He seemed indifferent at best.
I have lost all confidence in Ricoh/Penatx over this. I feel that have abandoned the Canadian market and have left us with a huge hole in being able to get any service at all. They obviously don't give a tinker's damn. This K3 is my last Pentax/Ricoh. Time to bite the bullet and begin the change to a going concern.

06-04-2014, 03:16 PM   #309
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Since I started dealing with the repair facility almost 22 years ago, that's a real kick in the pants. Did anyone see their Booth at Henry's Exposure? I didn't go this year, so I wonder how the changes have affected the booth and who the personal present were.

So um BillO. where you been hiding out?
06-04-2014, 05:11 PM   #310
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Since I started dealing with the repair facility almost 22 years ago, that's a real kick in the pants. Did anyone see their Booth at Henry's Exposure? I didn't go this year, so I wonder how the changes have affected the booth and who the personal present were.

So um BillO. where you been hiding out?
I've not been well Norm, but I am getting better.
06-05-2014, 12:56 AM   #311
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
For those of you that don't know, what used to be Pentax Canada has now broken camp and pulled up stakes. The camera division no longer has a service facility or an office location in Canada. All service will now go through Sun Camera in Vaughn. Stephen Ho, who used to be their service director has now transferred over to the medical optics division. The remaining people in the camera division all work from home.

Folks I've spoken to lately are:

Dan Savoie - marketing/sales (705) 598-2056, he works from home out of Sudbury, ON.
Dan told me today that Ricoh Japan has identified the problem and has a base firmware up-grade to fix this. Apparently this cannot be user installed and has to be done at a service facility. He told me to arrange to send it / bring it in to Sun Camera and gave me their phone number.
Sun Camera - new Ricoh service (905) 669-6409. 2150 Steels Av. W., Unit 5, Vaughn, ON L4K 2Y7
Sun camera are not yet set-up to do anything with Ricoh or Pentax cameras. According to them "A bunch of stuff has started arriving this week", but they will not be set up to do any service for another 3 weeks or more. The person that I spoke to knew nothing about the base level firmware update. He suggested I contact them again in 3 weeks to see how far along they were. He seemed indifferent at best.
I have lost all confidence in Ricoh/Penatx over this. I feel that have abandoned the Canadian market and have left us with a huge hole in being able to get any service at all. They obviously don't give a tinker's damn. This K3 is my last Pentax/Ricoh. Time to bite the bullet and begin the change to a going concern.
Strong rumors of a Nikon D300 replacement and Canon 7D mk II floating around at the photorumors website. Also, Fujifilm has some serious glass on the roadmap in addition to what is already available. I don't care for Fuji's camera software UI and I am not at all pleased with the button design or layout on their camera bodies; still, excellent cameras otherwise.
06-05-2014, 04:17 AM   #312
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
I have lost all confidence in Ricoh/Penatx over this. I feel that have abandoned the Canadian market and have left us with a huge hole in being able to get any service at all. They obviously don't give a tinker's damn. This K3 is my last Pentax/Ricoh. Time to bite the bullet and begin the change to a going concern.
Do other manufacturers support in-house repairs in Canada? My guess would be they all contract out. In todays' market, camera companies either need to get leaner and meaner or fold. At least Ricoh brought Dan back after Hoya terminated his position and others.
06-05-2014, 04:54 AM   #313
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Do other manufacturers support in-house repairs in Canada? My guess would be they all contract out. In todays' market, camera companies either need to get leaner and meaner or fold. At least Ricoh brought Dan back after Hoya terminated his position and others.
Dan, I would not have been nearly so upset if the new service facility was up and running before the old one was torn down. That would have demonstrated a genuine commitment to customer care. As is it stands, leaving us without anything for a month just emphasizes the exact opposite. Add to that the attitude of the person I spoke to at Sun. His "Yeah, well, I'm too busy to bother with his right now" approach left me with no comfort at all. Ricoh obviously put no effort or thought into this change-over. Just some last minute decision as they picked up and ran. Disgraceful!

Mind you, I am no fan of Hoya either. This is just the last nail though.

The only good thing about the experience was Dan Savoie (you?). He at least seemed eager to help out and has a real sense of customer support, and that is something I appreciate. He can only do so much though if the company behind is not committed to the same goal.

Just so you know where I am coming from. I was the Canadian VP of customer support for CA Technologies for the 5 years leading up to my retirement. I do have a little experience in this area.
06-05-2014, 05:05 AM   #314
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Ricoh offers fix for Mirror Flapping

Hi,

my K3 had twice the mirror flopping issue in the last 6 month. Just have been contacted 2 hours ago by my camera dealer, that Ricoh is offering an fix for the mirror flopping at some of their authorized service partners here in Germany. They don't specified whether it will be an software or hardware fix, but they mentioned that it is only offered to users of affected cameras. Need to send in my camera right now.

twino4u


QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
For those of you that don't know, what used to be Pentax Canada has now broken camp and pulled up stakes. The camera division no longer has a service facility or an office location in Canada. All service will now go through Sun Camera in Vaughn. Stephen Ho, who used to be their service director has now transferred over to the medical optics division. The remaining people in the camera division all work from home.

Folks I've spoken to lately are:

Dan Savoie - marketing/sales (705) 598-2056, he works from home out of Sudbury, ON.
Dan told me today that Ricoh Japan has identified the problem and has a base firmware up-grade to fix this. Apparently this cannot be user installed and has to be done at a service facility. He told me to arrange to send it / bring it in to Sun Camera and gave me their phone number.
Sun Camera - new Ricoh service (905) 669-6409. 2150 Steels Av. W., Unit 5, Vaughn, ON L4K 2Y7
Sun camera are not yet set-up to do anything with Ricoh or Pentax cameras. According to them "A bunch of stuff has started arriving this week", but they will not be set up to do any service for another 3 weeks or more. The person that I spoke to knew nothing about the base level firmware update. He suggested I contact them again in 3 weeks to see how far along they were. He seemed indifferent at best.
I have lost all confidence in Ricoh/Penatx over this. I feel that have abandoned the Canadian market and have left us with a huge hole in being able to get any service at all. They obviously don't give a tinker's damn. This K3 is my last Pentax/Ricoh. Time to bite the bullet and begin the change to a going concern.
06-05-2014, 07:47 AM   #315
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
The only good thing about the experience was Dan Savoie (you?). He at least seemed eager to help out and has a real sense of customer support, and that is something I appreciate. He can only do so much though if the company behind is not committed to the same goal.
I am not Dan Savoie. I know him because he worked in sales at the local Henry's in between Hoya Pentax and Ricoh Pentax. I haven't spoken with him since he left Henry's, but I bet he likes Ricoh a LOT better than Hoya.
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