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06-13-2014, 02:47 PM   #16
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Good news on the mirror flop problem

I just received a phone call from C.R.I.S. (the Pentax repair outfit in Chandler, AZ). They say that they now have the fix from Pentax, have installed it in several users' cameras that had the problem, and it seems to have worked so far. Since I live in the Phoenix area, I will be taking my K-3 over to them Monday morning. They say it shouldn't take long to install. They need just the camera; no lens or memory card. You will also need to bring proof of purchase. They said there is a chance they could do it while I wait.

HOORAY. Maybe we can all watch this problem disappear in our rear view mirror soon.

John


Last edited by PALADIN85020; 06-13-2014 at 03:03 PM.
06-13-2014, 02:48 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by RyanW Quote
From Ricoh
When?

IIRC Ricoh declared it was an insignificant number.

As in "a few . . . . "

Last edited by monochrome; 06-13-2014 at 03:06 PM.
06-13-2014, 05:15 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
They say it shouldn't take long to install.
Interesting. I wonder what the repair sheet will reveal about what they had to do. Sounds like they need to insert something mechanical.
06-13-2014, 09:03 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Why do you feel that the repair facility will do worse job of assembling the seals, post repair, than the factory?


Steve
Hi Steve,

I had read before here on PF that repairs can compromise the WR.

However, I spoke to Dale at the 1-800 Ricoh number earlier today.
Dale indicated that WR is NOT compromised by the service center.

He advised me that the fix is via a firmware that must be installed by Ricoh - not the consumer.
Dale also stated (as I read on this thread from another poster) that the flapping is only involving a small % of K-3s.

Regards,

06-13-2014, 09:40 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by radman Quote
the fix is via a firmware
Aha. This kind of indicates they know what element(s) of the system contribute to the problem.

I wonder what the firmware does? Improve the battery metering? Adjust the seperate motors that control the mirror and the shutter on the K-3?
06-14-2014, 09:09 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by radman Quote
He advised me that the fix is via a firmware that must be installed by Ricoh - not the consumer.

Dale also stated (as I read on this thread from another poster) that the flapping is only involving a small % of K-3s.
QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Aha. This kind of indicates they know what element(s) of the system contribute to the problem.

I wonder what the firmware does? Improve the battery metering? Adjust the seperate motors that control the mirror and the shutter on the K-3?
Perhaps CRIS needs to access a hidden debug function to install the update. Perhaps there is a hard boot routine through the card slot. Perhaps since Pentax believes only a small number of K3's is affected (Fix on Fail) they don't the fix want out in the wild.

Could be anything - are they obligated to tell us?
06-14-2014, 06:51 PM   #22
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My guess is that if it's a firmware fix that they want to install rather customers there is a higher than normal probability of ending up with a brick. The repair centers can deal with that directly if it happens.
06-15-2014, 02:44 AM   #23
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To me, a firmware fix applied on fail only, normally means one of two things :
1. They want to check how it works "in the wild" with users experiencing the issue, before including in normal release.
2. The fix has some negative consequence, e.g. limited battery life.

Suggest one of you guys affected double checks before getting the fix.

06-15-2014, 02:54 AM   #24
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At this point, all K3s should be under warranty still and will be until this fall. Assuming that this is a fault that either your camera has or it doesn't, it shouldn't be a big deal to get it fixed. I doubt it is something that suddenly will develop after two years of use.
06-16-2014, 03:08 PM   #25
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Took my K-3 in to C.R.I.S. today!

I took my K-3 in to the C.R.I.S. warranty repair station in Chandler AZ today (36 mile two-way trip from my home). They indicated it would take two to three business days to effect the repair. The girl at the desk (Natasha) was very nice, but did not know anything about the nature of the "fix." She said they had to examine and evaluate the camera before diagnosing the cause - I don't know what special characteristics they would be searching for. When they are done, I will try to talk to the technician who worked on it for some further information. I'll keep you all posted.

John
06-16-2014, 06:43 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
I'll keep you all posted.
Thank you. There is a lot of interest in this topic, so the more reliable tech info we get about it, the better.
06-17-2014, 03:36 PM   #27
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The fix for mirror flutter is at hand!

I just got a call from C.R.I.S. - my K-3 has been fixed and I'll go over tomorrow and pick it up.

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

It seems that the problem has evidently been tracked down, and the fix is to apply a targeted imbedded firmware upgrade. This unfortunately is not a user-installable upgrade, but must be performed by an authorized repair center. They can do it fairly quickly and get your camera back to you with dispatch. It's about like your seeing a doctor and having a tiny mole removed in the office.

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

Now. Officially, THERE IS NO PROBLEM. If you are one of the certain percentage who have experienced this anomaly, your K-3 is under warranty and should be returned to your authorized repair facility for correction. Any new and complex electromechanical device is subject to unforeseen hiccups, and the K-3 is not unique in this regard. We all hear about serious problems with the other DSLRs made by Nikon, Canon and others. Pentax has made an honest effort to address the problem and correct it, the same as with any other defect in the warranty period. I APPRECIATE that effort, and my faith in the Ricoh/Pentax brand has been reaffirmed. They have made what is probably the most advanced pro DLSR on the market, and it's amazing that all its features work so well, considering the complexity of the device. I personally opted for that 5-year warranty deal through B&H when I bought the camera, and if any further problems develop (unlikely now), I'll be covered for a few more years.

What I've just told you is advisedly off the record, and I don't want to get C.R.I.S. in any trouble for sharing what I've learned with you. They are a bunch of really nice people who are ready and willing to help us out. PLEASE don't screw them and their relationship with Ricoh/Pentax by broadcasting what I've learned and shared off the record. At the same time I think we need to put the crunch on further speculation, and know the means to correct the problem. I LOVE my K-3. It's a helluva camera. My one minor complaint is that on two occasions over the past 7+ months of fairly regular use, the mirror has machine-gunned on me. Big freaking deal. If you've experienced the problem, it can now be corrected under warranty, and we can all get back to using our terrific cameras without further concern. The "Party Line" is that if you have some problems, they can be corrected now. End of story.

Hope this helps, and if you need your camera corrected, this will give you the guidance you need.

Best to all,
John

Last edited by PALADIN85020; 06-17-2014 at 03:42 PM.
06-17-2014, 06:27 PM   #28
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The camera has more than one circuit board in it. Each board has it's own firmware. When we install new firmware we are probably only updating the firmware on the main board. Updating firmware on other components most likely involves directly connecting to the component in question. Often through a special port on the component At least that is my take on the issue from what I have read here and why you have to send the camera in for repair.
06-18-2014, 04:14 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
What I've just told you is advisedly off the record, and I don't want to get C.R.I.S. in any trouble for sharing what I've learned with you. They are a bunch of really nice people who are ready and willing to help us out. PLEASE don't screw them and their relationship with Ricoh/Pentax by broadcasting what I've learned and shared off the record.
Problem is, you have just made it public and available to search engine bots and free to broadcast globally any time someone performs a search for 'K-3 mirror flop fix'.
So, what you have written is firmly on record now.
06-18-2014, 06:29 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by PALADIN85020 Quote
What I've just told you is advisedly off the record, and I don't want to get C.R.I.S. in any trouble for sharing what I've learned with you. They are a bunch of really nice people who are ready and willing to help us out. PLEASE don't screw them and their relationship with Ricoh/Pentax by broadcasting what I've learned and shared off the record.
It's also already been confirmed and broadcast... it's not a unique report. Twino4u was the first (that I know of) to state an nearly identical experience in Europe (about base firmware needing to be installed to fix the problem). It was confirmed through a specialist at Ricoh USA. Several other members have already received communication from CRIS to send their cameras in for repair, that a "fix" to "resolve/reduce" the mirror-flapping problem is now available. It isn't a big secret. Even PentaxForums themselves wrote an article about it and linked to several threads in the forums, including this one.
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