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05-22-2014, 08:42 AM   #1
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K-3 mirror flutter - REPLY FROM RICOH

I complained about the mirror flutter problem on my K-3 (it's happened twice since Nov. of last year) by e-mail to Ricoh customer service. FYI, here is their reply.

John

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear John,

Thank you for contacting RICOH.

We have had a few customer reports of a possible issue with their K-3s. Occasionally, when shooting in either single-frame or time-lapse mode, the camera mirror will start moving rapidly up and down separate from the shutter opening and closing. Turning off the camera does not stop the "mirror flop" and the only way to restore the camera to normal operation is to turn off the camera, remove the battery, then put the battery back in and turn the camera back on. This issue can occur with a fully or partially-charged battery and with/without a battery grip attached.

A summary of these reports have already been submitted to RICOH in Japan for review and evaluation. To assist with the evaluation please provid us with a few details such as what shooting you are using when the issue occurs, the drive mode (single, continuous, time-lapse), if a battery grip is installed, and what the shooting conditions are when the malfunction occurs (indoors or out, temperature, dry or raining, etc.).

This issue is currently being tested and reviewed, with a goal of identifying a possible cause and developing a solution.

If you are in need of further assistance, please respond to this email or call our technical support center at 800-877-0155.

Sincerely,
Randall S.
RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION
PHONE: 800.234.0276 / 800.877.0155

05-22-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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That's a good reply, and they'll need the information to help with figuring out the cause. That this problem has occurred with various models of camera means something bigger, I suspect.
05-22-2014, 08:56 AM   #3
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Hey look, a response. It's almost like they actually do care.
05-22-2014, 09:02 AM   #4
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Here is the reply I made to Ricoh with the particulars of my "happenings."

John

----------------------------------------------------------

Randall,

Thank you for your prompt response. Here are the details on the instances I have had:

1. (Nov. 2013)

Temperature around 75 degrees F. Sunny and dry. Outdoors. Mode: Aperture priority. Single shot. Auto focus - S. Center-weighted metering. Pentax battery fully charged. Battery grip NOT attached. Lens: Pentax 18-135mm WR. I was taking a moderate number of pictures of flowers.

2. (April, 2014)

Temperature around 80 degrees F. Sunny and dry. Outdoors. Mode: Program. Single shot. Auto focus - C. Center-weighted metering. Pentax battery fully charged. Battery grip NOT attached. Lens: Pentax 18-135mm WR. I had taken a number of shots in rapid succession of people in street scenes just before this happened. Perhaps an internal heat problem generated here by the large number of photos??? Just a guess.

In each case, I turned the camera off, but the fluttering continued. As I moved to open the battery compartment (but had not yet done so), the fluttering stopped. The problem did not recur that day in either instance.

I hope this helps. Let me know if I can provide any additional info. This problem MUST be solved. It's a bad thing for Pentax/Ricoh's reputation and could cut into your sales as word spreads on this - believe me, it's spreading on the forums.

John

05-22-2014, 09:07 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Hey look, a response. It's almost like they actually do care.
Randall is an especially good CS employee. It hasn't so much been that Pentax doesn't care as that they were downsized and outsourced to the point that they simply couldn't interact. Ricoh and Jim Malcolm are turning that around, one step at a time. Be patient..

It's a long process and, as I've written, a process of compounding effort over time. At the beginning it doesn't feel like much is happening, but as layers of improvement are added to a larger base, 'standard of behaviors' things will seem to get better more rapidly.

There's a critical mass point out there somewhere - should be fun to see when it is achieved.

Last edited by monochrome; 05-22-2014 at 09:46 AM.
05-22-2014, 09:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
I complained about the mirror flutter problem...

____

Per RICOH...

A summary of these reports have already been submitted to RICOH in Japan for review and evaluation. To assist with the evaluation please provide us with a few details such as what shooting you are using when the issue occurs, the drive mode (single, continuous, time-lapse), if a battery grip is installed, and what the shooting conditions are when the malfunction occurs (indoors or out, temperature, dry or raining, etc.).

This issue is currently being tested and reviewed, with a goal of identifying a possible cause and developing a solution.

If you are in need of further assistance, please respond to this email or call our technical support center at 800-877-0155.

Sincerely,
Randall S.
RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION
PHONE: 800.234.0276 / 800.877.0155
Any chance you might be willing to share Randall S.'s email address. so one might follow-up directly to him (her), if need be?

Cheers... M
05-22-2014, 09:48 AM   #7
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Technical Issues reply

The way Ricoh is responding to this is soooo much better than the way Nikon responded to the problems with the D600. I believe that cost Nikon many customers.
05-22-2014, 09:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Any chance you might be willing to share Randall S.'s email address. so one might follow-up directly to him (her), if need be?

Cheers... M
Use the customer support form at Ricoh Imaging. It sends a message to Randall's desk.

Ricoh Imaging Support


Steve

05-22-2014, 09:55 AM   #9
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I've had this happen to my K-5 from time to time. Each time was an isolated incident and did not persist beyond a few exposures, perhaps because I freaked out and turned off the camera immediately when it occurred. As others have reported, I think it most often happens with a fully charged battery, but I'm not good at documenting these kind of things. I wish I was so I could help provide Ricoh with facts that could help solve this lingering mystery, and I most certainly appreciate the efforts by PALADIN85020 and others.
05-22-2014, 11:03 AM   #10
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weeeeeeelll [kyle's mom's a.. - uhm, sorry, that's for another topic], it's about time to forward the DRabbit's thread to Ricoh, if they don't have it already, there's quite some amount of info and details.
05-22-2014, 12:00 PM   #11
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Good response from Ricoh. I have been reading all the posts regarding this problem on the K3, My reasons for not getting a K3 are more financial than this problem, but I hope they get a handle on it soon. I do field service for a living. I service laser imaging devices that image aluminum printing plates. I ran into a problem where one of them was giving weird error messages and preventing the system from making plates. This is not unlike what is happening here. Something is telling the camera to move the shutter. Mine was giving false errors. It took me 20 hours of troubleshooting to finally trace the cause. It was a voltage drop in the logic circuit. There were several cable connections and the unit was 5 years old. I found that at each cable connection there was a very slight voltage drop due to corrosion between the connector pins. Finally at the board that had the most cable connections between it and the power supply the voltage dropped below the point where the logic operated properly. It then started acting up and the firmware on that particular board started sending out all sorts of error messages. The difference between good and bad was 4.70Vdc was bad. 4.75Vdc was good. The voltage should have been 5 Vdc at the board in question.

My guess is that there is a voltage drop somewhere in the logic circuit of the camera. It would not surprise me if some cameras are experiencing the same issue. The logic voltage drops just a little bit and circuits are triggered that should not be. It would be interesting to find a camera that has this problem and addjust the logic voltage circuit up a few tenths of a volt to see if the problem is resolved. I'm thinking it is an issue with the internal voltage regulation circuit.

My second guess would be noise related. Lots of buttons, motors moving etc. Has anyone has experienced the issue when using manual focus lenses?
05-22-2014, 01:18 PM   #12
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A good response, and quite different than the one I got about two weeks ago. Seems they have finally decided to acknowledge the problem, which is great. Now hopefully they can come up with a fix...
05-22-2014, 04:05 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
A good response, and quite different than the one I got about two weeks ago. Seems they have finally decided to acknowledge the problem, which is great. Now hopefully they can come up with a fix...
You said it !
Your dedication to this problem will most likely result in something positive from Ricoh.
Well done!

JP
05-22-2014, 05:06 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
Good response from Ricoh. I have been reading all the posts regarding this problem on the K3, My reasons for not getting a K3 are more financial than this problem, but I hope they get a handle on it soon. I do field service for a living. I service laser imaging devices that image aluminum printing plates. I ran into a problem where one of them was giving weird error messages and preventing the system from making plates. This is not unlike what is happening here. Something is telling the camera to move the shutter. Mine was giving false errors. It took me 20 hours of troubleshooting to finally trace the cause. It was a voltage drop in the logic circuit. There were several cable connections and the unit was 5 years old. I found that at each cable connection there was a very slight voltage drop due to corrosion between the connector pins. Finally at the board that had the most cable connections between it and the power supply the voltage dropped below the point where the logic operated properly. It then started acting up and the firmware on that particular board started sending out all sorts of error messages. The difference between good and bad was 4.70Vdc was bad. 4.75Vdc was good. The voltage should have been 5 Vdc at the board in question.

My guess is that there is a voltage drop somewhere in the logic circuit of the camera. It would not surprise me if some cameras are experiencing the same issue. The logic voltage drops just a little bit and circuits are triggered that should not be. It would be interesting to find a camera that has this problem and addjust the logic voltage circuit up a few tenths of a volt to see if the problem is resolved. I'm thinking it is an issue with the internal voltage regulation circuit.

My second guess would be noise related. Lots of buttons, motors moving etc. Has anyone has experienced the issue when using manual focus lenses?
I have often found that false chip triggering is caused by either a bad connection or component that is allowing some part of the circuit (which should normally be ground) to rise enough to falsely trigger devices.
Noise triggering is also possible and could be related to the same reasoning.
05-23-2014, 12:51 PM   #15
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I reported this issue to Ricoh today, It occurred during my trip to Yellowstone NP. I shut off the camera and the mirror stopped cycling after about 10 more seconds and hasn't happened again. I didn't remove the battery as I had the BG5 grip on and the cycling stopped before I could remove it. I had the HD 1.4x TC and DA* 300mm f/4 on at the time. This was the same combination I sent to Ricoh service for AF adjustment issues back in April.
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