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10-09-2018, 04:05 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Another K-S1 Aperture Block Failure

I decided to put this in its own thread, because I think it makes sense to report each case of ABF individually.

Today I used my K-S1 with an autofocus lens for the first time in a while (18-55mm WR) and discovered that it has developed aperture block failure. The symptoms are the usual ones of extremely underexposed shots. The camera had only done 4668 shots before the failure occurred, 90% of them with the SMC Takumar 24mm/3.5 mounted. In fact, I'm wondering if the failure happened after so few shots exactly because I've normally used a lens that doesn't require the aperture actuator to work. It's just guesswork, but I wonder if perhaps not being physically engaged with a lens while shooting makes the mechanism fail sooner.

It's not really a big deal for me personally because I usually use the camera with a Takumar anyway, and of course it still works fine with Taks, but I wanted to report it because I think every case should be recorded here.


Last edited by Dartmoor Dave; 10-09-2018 at 04:11 AM. Reason: Typo
10-09-2018, 05:59 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I decided to put this in its own thread, because I think it makes sense to report each case of ABF individually.

Today I used my K-S1 with an autofocus lens for the first time in a while (18-55mm WR) and discovered that it has developed aperture block failure. The symptoms are the usual ones of extremely underexposed shots. The camera had only done 4668 shots before the failure occurred, 90% of them with the SMC Takumar 24mm/3.5 mounted. In fact, I'm wondering if the failure happened after so few shots exactly because I've normally used a lens that doesn't require the aperture actuator to work. It's just guesswork, but I wonder if perhaps not being physically engaged with a lens while shooting makes the mechanism fail sooner.

It's not really a big deal for me personally because I usually use the camera with a Takumar anyway, and of course it still works fine with Taks, but I wanted to report it because I think every case should be recorded here.
Thank you for reporting this.

Based on previous reports, I believe you are correct in thinking that using the aperture control in the camera regularly prolongs its useful life.
10-09-2018, 06:11 AM   #3
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"..it has developed aperture block failure. The symptoms are the usual ones of extremely underexposed shots.."


This is not a totally aperture block but a lens failure to assist the camera to capture a correct exposure. If this happens to all lens then aperture block begins to play.
One reason I could think of is that a widely open interfering rays are admitted ( parallel light rays ). Try a continuous shooting if this occur again.
10-09-2018, 06:25 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear that, David

I do hope the good folks at Ricoh Imaging have taken note of these problems over the years, and have retired that component and / or mechanism. Less than 5,000 shots isn't an acceptable failure point.

I'm glad that you can continue to enjoy the camera with your manual lenses, so it's not a complete deal-breaker for you...

10-09-2018, 08:59 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I'm glad that you can continue to enjoy the camera with your manual lenses, so it's not a complete deal-breaker for you...

Thanks Mike. Since the K-S1 is really just my low light special, I think I might pick up a cheap spare 18-55mm and jam the aperture wide open. Then I'll still have an autofocus zoom available for when I need one, and the camera's aperture control mechanism will be irrelevant.
10-09-2018, 09:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Thanks Mike. Since the K-S1 is really just my low light special, I think I might pick up a cheap spare 18-55mm and jam the aperture wide open. Then I'll still have an autofocus zoom available for when I need one, and the camera's aperture control mechanism will be irrelevant.
I have an FA for that purpose {has aperture ring, of course}, but I will 'lose' 18-28 if I have to go that way. Your approach has possibilities.
10-09-2018, 09:52 AM   #7
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SO, repair it. Pesonally I don't buy anything I can't afford to repair. Usually with me it's me getting the dropsies. but the same applies to all my gear. Stuff if going to fail, all of it, eventually.

It's still sad when it happens but it's not something I'm going to dwell on. Sometimes not going for the top of the line model means you get less than top of the line components. In fact, that's true of any brand.

Last edited by normhead; 10-09-2018 at 09:58 AM.
10-09-2018, 10:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
SO, repair it. Pesonally I don't buy anything I can't afford to repair. Usually with me it's me getting the dropsies. but the same applies to all my gear. Stuff if going to fail, all of it, eventually. It's still sad when it happens but it's not something I'm going to dwell on. Sometimes not going for the top of the line model means you get less than top of the line components. In fact, that's true of any brand.

It's out of warranty, and I don't think that in my particular case it would be worth the cost of repairs for the few occasions when I want to use anything other than a Takumar.

To avoid confusion: my only intention in starting this thread was to provide a report that this particular camera body has failed, in order to help build up an overall idea of the model's reliability. It is in no way intended as a criticism of the Pentax brand. After all, since this is the first failure I've experienced with any of the many Pentax cameras that I've owned over the past four decades, I'm just as happy with the brand as I've always been.

10-09-2018, 11:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
It's out of warranty, and I don't think that in my particular case it would be worth the cost of repairs for the few occasions when I want to use anything other than a Takumar.

To avoid confusion: my only intention in starting this thread was to provide a report that this particular camera body has failed, in order to help build up an overall idea of the model's reliability. It is in no way intended as a criticism of the Pentax brand. After all, since this is the first failure I've experienced with any of the many Pentax cameras that I've owned over the past four decades, I'm just as happy with the brand as I've always been.
Understood, yet I think the plug for buying a top of the line body also needs to be made.

The only thing stopping me from snapping up a K-3ii today is the lack of the tilting back screen. I got used to it on my K-1, Now I swear at my K-3 when I try and do low angle macro. What were they thinking?
10-11-2018, 04:17 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Thanks Mike. Since the K-S1 is really just my low light special, I think I might pick up a cheap spare 18-55mm and jam the aperture wide open. Then I'll still have an autofocus zoom available for when I need one, and the camera's aperture control mechanism will be irrelevant.
Sounds like not repairing it is best for you. It cost £109 for me to get my K-S1 done earlier in the year, but it's been fine since then and the repair service was quick.
10-11-2018, 02:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clothears Quote
Sounds like not repairing it is best for you. It cost £109 for me to get my K-S1 done earlier in the year, but it's been fine since then and the repair service was quick.
Was that through official Pentax service, or a third party? If the latter, would you mind sharing who you used? £109 isn't small change, but it's a lot cheaper than buying a whole new camera, or even a used one... Even if it doesn't make financial sense for Dave (and I can see why it mightn't), I imagine there will be some owners who'd be content to pay that if it means they get a working camera at the end of it...
10-11-2018, 02:40 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Was that through official Pentax service, or a third party?
Well, it was the official Pentax repairers for the UK, who were: Johnsons Photopia Ltd, Hempstalls Lane, Newcastle under Lyme, ST5 0SW Staffordshire, UK.
Tel: +44 1782 753350, but they seem to have gone into administration. So it's unclear who it would be at the minute.

The K-S1 has some minor downsides, but there is no obvious replacement model as far as I'm concerned. I'm not interested in a folding rear screen or more than one control wheel. So I got it repaired and am content with that.
10-11-2018, 02:44 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clothears Quote
Well, it was the official Pentax repairers for the UK, who were: Johnsons Photopia Ltd, Hempstalls Lane, Newcastle under Lyme, ST5 0SW Staffordshire, UK.
Tel: +44 1782 753350, but they seem to have gone into administration. So it's unclear who it would be at the minute.

The K-S1 has some minor downsides, but there is no obvious replacement model as far as I'm concerned. I'm not interested in a folding rear screen or more than one control wheel. So I got it repaired and am content with that.
That's sad to hear they've gone into administration. As I understand it, they were a decent outfit. I wonder who Ricoh Imaging is now partnering with in the UK... There are a few choices, but they'll need to be very good...

In any case, thank you for the info
10-12-2018, 12:25 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clothears Quote
It cost £109 for me to get my K-S1 done earlier in the year, but it's been fine since then and the repair service was quick.

Thanks for the price info. It hadn't occurred to me that the repair cost would be so cheap, and at that price it probably would be worth getting the camera fixed for those times when I want to use something other than a Takumar. I'll wait and see who replaces Photopia and get a quote from them.

I was assuming that the out-of-warranty repair cost would be as much as a replacement camera, since the only repair guy in my area charges £50 just to even glance at a camera.
10-12-2018, 03:03 AM   #15
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Oops, looks like I lied about the cost (but only a little :-). Looking at my records it was actually £113.40 which included return shipping and VAT.

---------- Post added 12-10-18 at 11:06 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I was assuming that the out-of-warranty repair cost would be as much as a replacement camera, since the only repair guy in my area charges £50 just to even glance at a camera.
Well, had it been anything like that I would certainly have looked at a new camera. But as for me the only minus on the K-S1 is that the grip could be a bit larger, the cost was OK for me.
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