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01-04-2022, 03:23 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
I think the problem can be overstated. There are many thousands of cameras with the green solenoid (e.g. K-30, K-50, K-S1, K-S2, K-70) still in use. Most will never develop the problem (I had two K-30s and neither had any issue.) Others will have been repaired and never get it again. You hear a lot about the problem ones, but not about the vast majority that don't have a problem. My guess is that these cameras have at least as long a useful life, on average, as their contemporary rivals (e.g. Canon Rebels, Nikon 3XXX and 5xxxx series) - maybe longer, because they were often better built in the first place.
Having repaired a lot of Pentax bodies and having studied the forums, offers on ebay etc. I would say you are far off with saying the problem can be overstated.
I estimate that it hit and hits 30% of all Pentax K30's and 30% of all pre December 2015 manufactured K50's + K500's (never built after that time actually), as well as K-S1's and K-S2's. What brings me to that number is personal experience within family, relatives and friends because I recommended Pentax, they know me and listen to me. From that moment on when ABF became an issue, I told them about it so that when the dark-image-syndrom would happen it can be fixed by myself.
And it did happen to quite a few, so I started to repair them anyway, now not a single of them contains the China-Solenoid.
I take it that my experience can be extrapolated pretty acurate. But ´only my wife and myself are those who use their DSLR Pentaxes every day or almost every day.
My wife has 3 x the K-S1 and two of them developed ABF.

After Dec. 2015 the problem went much lower but sometimes does happen. I don't own the K-70 myself anymore but I repaired quite a few as well. And yet I can say that the percentage of post-Dec. 2015 going off dropped considerably.


You won't hear about many of the problem cameras at all! Many users are just pissed about it and get rid of them similar to smart-phones. We live in a throw-away-society, thus why should that be different to DSLR's, no matter what the fault is?

Also many cameras don't have a long and useful life as we do. Many use them in the beginning, many just on holidays etc. etc.
I can verify that as well with the low shuttercount of cameras I repaired.


Almost every day Pentax bodies with ABF show up on ebay worldwide. But those are just the tip of the iceberg.

01-04-2022, 03:24 PM - 2 Likes   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by PocketPixels Quote
But I absolutely do not want to get the dark aperture defect 13 months after purchase, and so now I'm wondering if I shouldn't blast off 1000 shots of my garage door every Saturday, just to be sure?
That is the best way to avoid ABF! Regular use.
01-04-2022, 05:42 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
I estimate that it hit and hits 30% of all Pentax K30's and 30% of all pre December 2015 manufactured K50's + K500's (never built after that time actually), as well as K-S1's and K-S2's.
Even if that is right (and it is consistent with the PF survey: Pentax Aperture Block Failure Survey Results - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com), it means that 70% don't develop the problem.

A prospective purchaser needs to make their own assessment of whether they are prepared to take the risk. If on a tight budget, and the buyer is prepared to deal with ABF if it arises (e.g. following your very helpful instructions about fixing it themselves), the K-S2 is potentially an excellent buy.

If they aren't willing to take that risk, a K-5 series, K-3 series or KP would be a safer choice - albeit any secondhand camera carries some degree of risk.
01-05-2022, 02:04 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Even if that is right (and it is consistent with the PF survey: Pentax Aperture Block Failure Survey Results - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com), it means that 70% don't develop the problem.
O.k.: I was understating.
I believe that almost every K30/K50/K-S1/K-S2 built prior Dec.2015 CAN develop ABF and that most of them will do so if left unused for a longer period.

This problem for a long time was not known to Ricoh, it was not their choice that the manufacturer of the solenoid moved manufacture from Japan to China.
And yet Ricoh first tested the solenoid for quite a long time in the flash-compartment of the K100D, K110D, K200D, K-m, K-x and K-r.
It worked without any problems there so from the K30 onwards it was used for aperture-control as well.
When it started failing Ricoh engineers chose to change the whole diaphragm-control-block because they didn't know yet it was just the solenoid.
As soon as this was clear they redesigned the solenoid. I have tested it several times, it is much better but not yet perfect as the orig. Japan-version.


QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
A prospective purchaser needs to make their own assessment of whether they are prepared to take the risk. If on a tight budget, and the buyer is prepared to deal with ABF if it arises (e.g. following your very helpful instructions about fixing it themselves), the K-S2 is potentially an excellent buy.

If they aren't willing to take that risk, a K-5 series, K-3 series or KP would be a safer choice - albeit any secondhand camera carries some degree of risk.
I agree, and would add at least the K-S1 as well but I find the sensor in the K30/50 great as well.
The K5II/s are fantastic, particular the s but they won't accept KAF4 which is a shame³

01-17-2022, 02:26 PM - 1 Like   #20
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I gave in to the solenoid scare, and went for a used K5 instead. Added advantage is that the low megapixel count might be a bit more forgiving on the older (cheaper!) lenses. Really love the handling. Only gripe so far is that I seem to be getting a lot slower write speed in bracketing mode than with the newer bodies, but turning off preview circumvents most of that a bit.
02-13-2022, 10:05 PM - 2 Likes   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
O.k.: I was understating.
I believe that almost every K30/K50/K-S1/K-S2 built prior Dec.2015 CAN develop ABF and that most of them will do so if left unused for a longer period.

This problem for a long time was not known to Ricoh, it was not their choice that the manufacturer of the solenoid moved manufacture from Japan to China.
And yet Ricoh first tested the solenoid for quite a long time in the flash-compartment of the K100D, K110D, K200D, K-m, K-x and K-r.
It worked without any problems there so from the K30 onwards it was used for aperture-control as well.
When it started failing Ricoh engineers chose to change the whole diaphragm-control-block because they didn't know yet it was just the solenoid.
As soon as this was clear they redesigned the solenoid. I have tested it several times, it is much better but not yet perfect as the orig. Japan-version.




I agree, and would add at least the K-S1 as well but I find the sensor in the K30/50 great as well.
The K5II/s are fantastic, particular the s but they won't accept KAF4 which is a shame³
Thought I would chime in on this. I left my K-s2 dormant for almost 5 years. Long story short, I visited these forums for the first time in almost as long after my fiancé made a comment about how I always had my camera with me when we first started dating. She even talked me out of selling everything last year. Depression is a mfer. Anyway, I read through every post on these aperture blocks and I decided to fire her up after charging batteries. Not a single problem. I mainly shot full manual when I was shooting all the time, but took advantage of auto aperture when shooting low light. I tried full auto and auto aperture and no block. I hate seeing fellow Pentaxians have this problem all while the rush of shooting again was almost euphoric. I bought my K-s2 as my first DSLR and regret putting it away for so long. I have killer lenses like my FA 43, Nokton 58 and Nikkor 105 that are a dream to shoot with. Hell I got some amazing shots of my son during a soccer game with my beat up M 200.
02-14-2022, 01:15 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeChefRouge Quote
I left my K-s2 dormant for almost 5 years. Long story short, I visited these forums for the first time in almost as long after my fiancé made a comment about how I always had my camera with me when we first started dating.... Anyway, I read through every post on these aperture blocks and I decided to fire her up after charging batteries. Not a single problem. I mainly shot full manual when I was shooting all the time, but took advantage of auto aperture when shooting low light. I tried full auto and auto aperture and no block.
The answer for this might be quite simple:
Upload a JPEG here:
Then you can see when your K-S2 was manufactured:
Check Camera Shutter Count and Manufacture Date
If after 12/2015 that would be the answer.

02-14-2022, 07:01 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
The answer for this might be quite simple:
Upload a JPEG here:
Then you can see when your K-S2 was manufactured:
Check Camera Shutter Count and Manufacture Date
If after 12/2015 that would be the answer.
oh that's good to know if there's an option for a K-S2 with a no-questions-asked return policy!
02-14-2022, 09:08 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by pimpim Quote
oh that's good to know if there's an option for a K-S2 with a no-questions-asked return policy!
Manufactured March 2015
03-31-2022, 07:33 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by pimpim Quote
I gave in to the solenoid scare, and went for a used K5 instead. Added advantage is that the low megapixel count might be a bit more forgiving on the older (cheaper!) lenses. Really love the handling. Only gripe so far is that I seem to be getting a lot slower write speed in bracketing mode than with the newer bodies, but turning off preview circumvents most of that a bit.
I believe “scare” is an incorrect word - perhaps “caution” would be a better choice.
I purchased a K-30 in June 2015, and in summer 2017 I began experiencing “Dark Image Syndrome”.
I now have a camera body which I use with old film lenses, which allow me to set the aperture at the lense.
04-01-2022, 12:12 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I now have a camera body which I use with old film lenses, which allow me to set the aperture at the lense.
Don't know how easy it is for the K-30, but you could swap the focus screen with an aftermarket split screen, very nice for manual lenses.
06-16-2022, 11:43 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
The answer for this might be quite simple:
Upload a JPEG here:
Then you can see when your K-S2 was manufactured:
Check Camera Shutter Count and Manufacture Date
If after 12/2015 that would be the answer.
Nice! My K-S2 shows a date of 4/12/2017, so perhaps I am in the clear! Thank you for that bit of peace of mind; I'll take it. My K-S2 is a magnificent camera, and while I retain my K200D as a fallback, I can't imagine ever giving up my lovely white DSLR.

(Although I own one A-series and one M-series lens, I have several DA lenses which I love, so reh321's oft-stated workaround would not do for me.)
06-17-2022, 12:01 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by PocketPixels Quote
Nice! My K-S2 shows a date of 4/12/2017, so perhaps I am in the clear! Thank you for that bit of peace of mind; I'll take it.
There was a further improvement of the solenoid recently because even post 12/2015 Pentax bodies with solenoid at times developed ABF.
You can study further details here:
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY: Development of the solenoid in Pentax cameras - PentaxForums.com
But if it ever would go wrong, you just apply DIY:
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY: Development of the solenoid in Pentax cameras - PentaxForums.com
06-28-2022, 09:20 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by PocketPixels Quote
Nice! My K-S2 shows a date of 4/12/2017, so perhaps I am in the clear! Thank you for that bit of peace of mind; I'll take it. My K-S2 is a magnificent camera, and while I retain my K200D as a fallback, I can't imagine ever giving up my lovely white DSLR.

(Although I own one A-series and one M-series lens, I have several DA lenses which I love, so reh321's oft-stated workaround would not do for me.)
That is interesting, as the K-70 was announced in early June, 2016, and was to be the replacement for the K-S2. But maybe they kept making the colorful versions of the K-S2 for a while. I actually like the smaller size, weight, and special "selfie" feature of the K-S2, better than having a K-70. Even though my KP is my most often-used body, and I have my old but still very useful K-5 IIs, as well as for FF shooting- my K-1 II, those special attributes of the K-S2, along with its more articulating screen, make it still the best alternative choice for some occasions, while also able to deliver very fine-quality imaging. I've enjoyed having this special model for over 6 years now.
06-28-2022, 10:59 PM   #30
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My k-s2 came from mpb in EX condition.. with a dead solenoid, though the live view mode nearly worked a few times. About 11k shots, birthday.. EDIT 2015:02:07

Like @reh321 I have aperture rings (M mode) or KAF4 55-300 (all modes). It's not a solution for everyone but it's definitely not junk as some owners fear.

Last edited by jimr-pdx; 06-29-2022 at 08:14 PM. Reason: update for missing data
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