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05-26-2015, 11:01 AM   #1
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K-3 Mirror Flap - Was It Ever Cured?

Now that the Pentax K-3 II has been announced, prices on the K-3 have grown much more attractive and may even get better for a short while. As the owner of a K-5 and K-5 IIs, I am watching this with great interest. But I have to wonder if that "mirror flap" issue with the K-3 was ever completely solved or if a person buying a K-3 built late in the camera's production run is much less likely to experience the problem. Adam did an article on the mirror flap issue shortly after the K-3 came out (I can't seem to find it now) so it is real - or at least was real. Does anyone know if this is still something to be concerned about?

05-26-2015, 11:15 AM   #2
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I've had it happen once since I bought mine (March of this year) and that was while firing off a burst with a manual 50mm. Only time it happened, and not anything close since. I can't remember the manufacture date on mine (not at home right now to check) but I know it's definitely within the past year. I also haven't seen a recent thread on it either, so I would say that's a good sign.
05-26-2015, 11:37 AM   #3
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had my K-3 for six months before it started acting up. Sent it in to Perfection for warranty repair and it was returned promptly. The camera was "better" but still occasionally the "flap" rears its ugly head. I have learned to live with it.

YMMV

Michael
05-26-2015, 11:41 AM   #4
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Had my K3 since October of 2014 and just had it's first mirror flap issue this past weekend. I'm probably just going to live with it unless it starts happening on a regular basis.

Steve

05-26-2015, 11:51 AM   #5
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Never happened to me
05-26-2015, 11:56 AM   #6
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I've had it occur twice since I bought the camera, late 2013. In both cases I had the same lens on, the DA 12-24. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. But I suspect like most such faults there has to be more than one thing happen at the same time for the issue to occur. What that is precisely I have no idea.

Anyway, 2 'issues' in 18 months means it is not an issue for me. And I believe it was mentioned at one point that a firmware update modified the behavior of the camera so that either the issue occurred less frequently or allowed the camera to exit gracefully from the situation.

From my perspective this was never anything to worry about and comes under the "mountain from mole hill" category.

I had far more lockups, freezes and weird behaviors from my k-5 than I ever had with the k-3.
05-26-2015, 12:38 PM   #7
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Okay then. Thanks for the feedback, which is pretty consistent. The problem is apparently still out there but not that a big deal. Most Pentaxians with K-3's seem to be able to live with it since it happens so infrequently - at least with the latest firmware installed.
05-26-2015, 12:45 PM   #8
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Happened to me 20,000 shutters ago. Haven't happened since. Not even on the latest firmware, just the second to latest.

05-26-2015, 01:07 PM   #9
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Never had it and mine is one of the first "silvers". Latest firmware so hoping to not get it.
05-26-2015, 01:27 PM   #10
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I've had my K-3 for seven months now and so far have never had the mirror flap. I'm not a volume shooter,
(only 2300 actuations thus far), and never use burst modes.
05-26-2015, 01:43 PM   #11
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I've had the K-3 well over a year with no flapping. Still less than 7000 actuations, though, so no time lapse shooting or any such thing.
05-26-2015, 02:10 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I would say the new firmware added some (software?) way how to solve the "flapping" situation. After only 3-4 flaps the camera somehow resets itself (no photos are saved from the flapping session).
05-28-2015, 11:25 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
The problem is apparently still out there but not that a big deal.
There is a lot of old stock that is currently being offered at deep discount and it is my impression that the recent reports from new owners is from those early cameras (some with 2013 manufacture dates). The incidence of reported problems dropped off steeply in September of last year (2014) as the permanent fix worked its way through production and into retail inventory. Yes, there is a permanent fix (different components as I understand it) and it has nothing to do with user-installable firmware. The firmware fix (v1.11) merely detects the fault state and aborts the exposure to avoid damage to the camera. The behavior results in a blank frame. This is not good, but better than a runaway mirror.

If a user has firmware above v1.11 and experiences a short flap and/or blank frame, Ricoh will provide warranty service to add a robust fix. For out-of-warranty cameras, the same fix is available, though not for free.


Steve
05-29-2015, 03:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
There is a lot of old stock that is currently being offered at deep discount and it is my impression that the recent reports from new owners is from those early cameras (some with 2013 manufacture dates). The incidence of reported problems dropped off steeply in September of last year (2014) as the permanent fix worked its way through production and into retail inventory. Yes, there is a permanent fix (different components as I understand it) and it has nothing to do with user-installable firmware. The firmware fix (v1.11) merely detects the fault state and aborts the exposure to avoid damage to the camera. The behavior results in a blank frame. This is not good, but better than a runaway mirror.

If a user has firmware above v1.11 and experiences a short flap and/or blank frame, Ricoh will provide warranty service to add a robust fix. For out-of-warranty cameras, the same fix is available, though not for free.


Steve
Steve seems to have nailed it, so to speak. Anyone considering the K-3 should consider the two extra years of warranty for $20 (including a free cleaning). For me, the FW fix on the older units would be enough knowing that the camera isn't likely to be damaged by the occasional spasm. Luckily, mine is a recent vintage unit. Happy with everything other than a tendency to overexpose even with Auto HC and TAv mode.
05-30-2015, 05:25 AM   #15
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Is there any way of knowing the manufacturing dates of these cameras? I'm also interested in getting one but this problem is holding me off. Not that I don't trust Pentax, if I didn't I wouldn't be here. It's just that we have poor service here and I don't want to go berserk in case I get one with that problem.
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