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05-13-2016, 07:13 AM   #1
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Dark frames on K-S2

Hi folks, I wanted to seek your input into dark frames that I am getting on my K-S2.

When I say dark, I mean mostly so dark as to be almost black. Occasionally a frame is just a bit darker, but mostly the dark shots are wildly underexposed. Sometimes the next shot with very similar exposure settings will be correctly exposed, confirming that the settings were actually correct.

I have also tested to ensure the exposure is correct by:
  • trying the camera in FULL auto (auto ISO, lens on A, camera set to AUTO)
  • trying the camera in full manual (setting appropriate ISO, aperture, shutter speed)
  • verifying the exposure settings to be correct/reasonable with an external light meter

I have also noticed that, on full Auto when using the optical viewfinder, the image come out almost totally black. When using Live View on full Auto, the resulting picture will come out basically correctly exposed, but the ISO will have jumped up a good 5 stops (i.e. 100 to 3200.)

And yes, sometimes everything works right and I get a correctly exposed frame. Usually after having taken three or four dark ones.

I'd love your input before I give up and send her in for service at Pentax.

05-13-2016, 07:49 AM   #2
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I hope this isn't the return of the aperture control system problem we've seen on the K-30 and K-50. Send it in, OP; send it in. Especially if you still happen to be within warranty, get on with it. And let us know what they find.

Your location says Toronto - Pentax/Ricoh service in Canada is well ahead of what our southern neighbours seem to be stuck with right now.
05-13-2016, 08:51 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
Hi folks, I wanted to seek your input into dark frames that I am getting on my K-S2.

When I say dark, I mean mostly so dark as to be almost black. Occasionally a frame is just a bit darker, but mostly the dark shots are wildly underexposed. Sometimes the next shot with very similar exposure settings will be correctly exposed, confirming that the settings were actually correct.

I have also tested to ensure the exposure is correct by:
  • trying the camera in FULL auto (auto ISO, lens on A, camera set to AUTO)
  • trying the camera in full manual (setting appropriate ISO, aperture, shutter speed)
  • verifying the exposure settings to be correct/reasonable with an external light meter

I have also noticed that, on full Auto when using the optical viewfinder, the image come out almost totally black. When using Live View on full Auto, the resulting picture will come out basically correctly exposed, but the ISO will have jumped up a good 5 stops (i.e. 100 to 3200.)

And yes, sometimes everything works right and I get a correctly exposed frame. Usually after having taken three or four dark ones.

I'd love your input before I give up and send her in for service at Pentax.
What lens is that with? And have you tried other lenses?
05-13-2016, 10:13 AM   #4
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Tried it so far with the DA 50-200 WR, the FA 77 Limited, and the Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC. Similar results across the board.

05-15-2016, 04:17 PM   #5
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Sounds a lot like the aperture drive failure from the k30/50. When my k30 did this, I would take a bunch of frames in burst mode. That would clear it up for a while. Does it act the same on yours? I skipped the k50 and got a ks2 hoping to avoid that problem again.
05-16-2016, 11:24 AM   #6
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Vmax911, I didn't have to resort to burst mode. I used the camera for two separate portrait shoots, and I managed to get photos by firing off five or ten shots. That was easy to do, because there is nothing like testing your gear under fire! I stripped all my controls back to manual and ensured I had triple checked anything that could trip me up (like - exposure comp.)

Since that last shoot, it's gotten worse. Essentially stays dark no matter what. The only way to get any kind of shot is to use live view, which for some reason forces the camera to up the ISO.

I've packed her up and sent her off to Pentax Canada. We shall see what they say... in the meantime I've picked up a cheap K7...

Were you able to get the K30 repaired? And has it stayed repaired?
05-16-2016, 02:01 PM   #7
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I didn't bother to get the K30 repaired. From what I read online, the repair cost was around $250. I used that as an excuse to get a K-S2!

I have used the K30 a couple of times since then. A stream of burst shots wakes up the aperture drive and it will work for a session. I also bought an M42 screw mount adapter, and will use the K30 exclusively for M42 lenses if that bug ever bites me.

I did try live view when my K30 acted up and it didn't help. Maybe this is a different issue with your K-S2.
05-16-2016, 03:08 PM   #8
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Not sure that live view actually helps ... It just ups the ISO to get a picture from whatever the effective aperture is (f/22?)

Seems like it carries over a different ISO because of the ISO being bumped to make live view work in the first place.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vmax911 Quote
I didn't bother to get the K30 repaired. From what I read online, the repair cost was around $250. I used that as an excuse to get a K-S2!

I have used the K30 a couple of times since then. A stream of burst shots wakes up the aperture drive and it will work for a session. I also bought an M42 screw mount adapter, and will use the K30 exclusively for M42 lenses if that bug ever bites me.

I did try live view when my K30 acted up and it didn't help. Maybe this is a different issue with your K-S2.


05-16-2016, 06:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I hope this isn't the return of the aperture control system problem we've seen on the K-30 and K-50. Send it in, OP; send it in. Especially if you still happen to be within warranty, get on with it. And let us know what they find.

Your location says Toronto - Pentax/Ricoh service in Canada is well ahead of what our southern neighbours seem to be stuck with right now.
Oh No.......here it comes again !!!! My first thought too !
05-18-2016, 07:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I hope this isn't the return of the aperture control system problem we've seen on the K-30 and K-50.
QuoteOriginally posted by Dlanor Sekao Quote
Oh No.......here it comes again !!!! My first thought too !
My comment in the current K-30/50 thread on this subject is

QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
We still know nothing about mean pictures to failure; there is a lot of talk about failures, but we don't know whether this happens on occasion or whether every camera will "die before its time".

I do carry several M42 lenses around with me to meet my basic "needs", but otherwise I'm just not going to worry about it. Considering the prices of these cameras, they still seem to be a good deal.
05-18-2016, 07:58 AM   #11
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Whatever the camera, buy it, use it. If it fails before warranty expiry, send it in. If it fails after expiry and repair is uneconomical, sell it with full and open disclosure and someone who wants a DSLR body for Takumars can buy it.
05-18-2016, 08:06 AM   #12
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Is this an issue with K5 or K3 cameras?
05-18-2016, 09:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oricman Quote
Is this an issue with K5 or K3 cameras?
No...


Steve
05-19-2016, 04:10 AM   #14
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Thanks. Well that is somewhat reassuring. If I get another Pentax it'll be one the those higher up in the range. I'm not sure a K5 produces any better pictures than a K30 or K50 but if it's more reliable then it's a no brainer.
05-19-2016, 12:55 PM   #15
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My K-5 was bulletproof, as have been my *ist DL, K10D, K20D and K-01. My new-to-me backup K-7 has arrived and works great, even though it's getting long in the tooth.

I did not hesitate to buy a "consumer" level Pentax (K-S2) because the *ist DL and K-01 were so good. If this issue is systemic, it's frustrating to have it perpetuate through multiple models.
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