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02-21-2022, 08:14 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Is my K-s1 dead ?

My Pentax Ks-1 has recently started malfunctioning.

It allows me to take a picture but the image is always grossly underexposed(basically no image visible) . This happens with all different modes(shutter priority/auto/aperture priority etc..).
The only way i can get a visible image is to use the exposure compensation on max(+5Ev), even then the image is a bit underexposed and noisy/out of focus.
The above occurs with different lenses attached.
I've tried updating the firmware but this has had no effect.

This problem started a few months back but only occurred briefly before returning to normal, but now it has reoccurred and nothing i try is helping.

Is the camera dead? It only cost me £250 about 5 years ago so i dont want to do an expensive repair.

What can i try and if it is dead please suggest me a suitable new replacement.

Thanks in advance

02-21-2022, 08:29 AM   #2
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Hi,
It sounds like aperture block failure, an issue that seems relatively common in K-30, 50, 70, S1, S2...
Read more here: Dark exposure problems on K-30 or K-50? Read me first! - PentaxForums.com
A home repair is possible but delicate: Manual: Solenoid replacement: Pentax K-S1 - PentaxForums.com
A professional repair is enconomically impossible.
If you were to decide for a replacement, tell us more about your criteria and budget?
If you're trying to keep your costs low, Pentax's only current offering is the K-70. But I would strongly suggest to take a look at the used market and get an experienced higher-tier body in the same price range instead...
Good luck!
02-21-2022, 08:39 AM   #3
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Nod dead obviously, but sick. I think it's the aperture block failure. (Pentax Aperture Block Failure Survey Results - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com and much more, search for it).

Is it worth fixing is another question. Sending it to the service is probably not, but there's a manual on doing that by yourself somewhere here.

There are also lenses that have electrical apertue control, the so called KAF4 mount. They don't need the part that is broken and will work. Your camera should support it with the latest firmare upgrade (I think), but there's not many KAF4 lenses so far.
02-21-2022, 10:47 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by VictorDA Quote
Hi,
It sounds like aperture block failure, an issue that seems relatively common in K-30, 50, 70, S1, S2...
Read more here: Dark exposure problems on K-30 or K-50? Read me first! - PentaxForums.com
A home repair is possible but delicate: Manual: Solenoid replacement: Pentax K-S1 - PentaxForums.com
A professional repair is enconomically impossible.
If you were to decide for a replacement, tell us more about your criteria and budget?
If you're trying to keep your costs low, Pentax's only current offering is the K-70. But I would strongly suggest to take a look at the used market and get an experienced higher-tier body in the same price range instead...
Good luck!
Think i'll try the attached aperture block failure test to see if its definitely that.
If it is I would be tempted with a replacement as it has served me well.
Criteria for new would be; basically a similar spec to the k-s1 with any improvements or upgrades appreciated
My camera is mostly used on holidays and when i'm out and about so size+weight is a factor.
Otherwise a good balance between good IQ and easy to use as although i've used dslrs for years i appreciate the ability to a snappy set up

02-21-2022, 11:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Soggy75 Quote
Think i'll try the attached aperture block failure test to see if its definitely that.
For 99,9% it is just that!

No matter if you buy another one or want to repair your K-S1, I peronally like it very much and always have one ready for light travelling,
for its's size and weight the K-S1 is kind of unique, the smallest "fully equipped" DSLR of the world imo. Particular as you can use vintage lenses
and with the SMC Pentax A50/2,8 macro one has a small light camera that can do amazing things.

There are few other DSLR's but they lack features and quality.

In Japan the Pentax/Ricoh engineers were particular proud of the K-S1, it was a huge hit there.

You check wide open and fully closed as described here:
How to detect aperture block failure on Pentax K-S1 (and K-S2) - PentaxForums.com

And then repair it the right way!
02-21-2022, 12:30 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I have a K-S2 with defective solenoid and I only use this camera with aperture ring lenses.
works very well
02-21-2022, 03:13 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Crooski Quote
I have a K-S2 with defective solenoid and I only use this camera with aperture ring lenses.
works very well
One has to take into account, that the majority of all "modern users" of entry to "middle class" Pentax DSLR use their cameras
with DA-lenses, most just the kit-zooms, some more advanced... but here we leave the majority already.

Maybe some are happy to master Av, Tv and even Tav or P-Modes.

To use lenses the "analog way" which requires the green button mode is unknow to most but a few specialists
and those who are old enough that they have learned it this way.

Most young people /grow/grew up in a world of "instant results".

Kind of trying to teach young people typing with just two fingers to use the 10-finger typing method.
And if one brings in manual lenses, then this is a bit like bringing in an old mechanical typewriter.
Or handwriting with a fountain pen.

02-21-2022, 08:55 PM   #8
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If your copy is otherwise in fine condition and with low usage, repairing it might be the best idea, as photogem suggests. If you are somewhat handy and can obtain a replacement solenoid from an older Pentax model that is not subject to this failure, you might be able to do the repair yourself.

Otherwise, if you are interested in some upgrades, the K-S2 might suit you well. I bought mine new about 6 years ago, getting a good closeout deal for new left-over stock as the then new K-70 appeared. I like it very much as my most compact lightweight model. The upgrades include having both front finger and rear thumb dials which allow more convenient adjustments and access to the unique Pentax Hyper Program system. With this system, when shooting in P (Program) mode (which I often do under hertain conditions of changing lighting, like passing clouds or if panning against changing backgrounds, etc), and you'd prefer a different aperture or shutter speed than that chosen by the camera, you can select your own choice simply by using the front or the rear dial, and the camera will instantly obey! Essentially, the camera is switched to Av or Tv operation without having to first change the mode dial before making your selection. A touch of the green button will instantly resort the fully automated P operation.

It also features the articulating rear LCD screen. This can be useful for shots taken from otherwise awkward shooting positions, and this camera is the only model designed to make use of this feature for doing selfies.

The camera size is virtually identical to the K-S1. The weight, however, is slightly more, in good part from the deeper right-hand grip containing the front dial control, but does not affect the overall camera dimensions. I can take this camera with a small lens, such as the DA or DA-L 18-50mm kit lens (which came with mine for a very low cost) and shove it into a large jacket pocket! Hard to find many APS-C DSLR cameras with a zoom lens that can accomplish that!

Last edited by mikesbike; 02-21-2022 at 09:25 PM.
02-22-2022, 12:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Soggy75 Quote
Criteria for new would be; basically a similar spec to the k-s1 with any improvements or upgrades appreciated
My camera is mostly used on holidays and when i'm out and about so size+weight is a factor.
Otherwise a good balance between good IQ and easy to use as although i've used dslrs for years i appreciate the ability to a snappy set up
Then, if it comes to that, any Pentax DSLR will take your existing lens(es). The K-70 is the successor of the K-S1 and I don't see anything it doesn't do as well or better. It is still sold new.
But if you want a more advanced body with no risk of the same aperture block failure, I would suggest to consider upgrading to a used KP (still pretty small and light, and you can still reuse your D-LI109 batteries).
K-3 or K-3II are also excellent choices (my personal preference) but slightly bigger and heavier, and they don't take the same batteries as your K-S1.

Edit: link added: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-cameras-compared/?c1=Pentax+K-S1&...0&c3=Pentax+KP
02-22-2022, 03:41 AM   #10
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It certainly does sound like aperture block. My daughter's K-S1 developed this a few years ago and I had it repaired for 100 dollars here: Pentax Camera Repair - Aperture Control Repair If you know your way with a soldering iron, I think there are a number of guides for doing the repair yourself.

The other option is to use the camera with lenses that have aperture rings and just go old school.
02-22-2022, 05:12 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It certainly does sound like aperture block. My daughter's K-S1 developed this a few years ago and I had it repaired for 100 dollars here: Pentax Camera Repair - Aperture Control Repair
He's in England: Shipping + VAT
But it in USA and maybe even Canada, a possibility, but they do the grinding/filing job.

Nevertheless, allthough this had gone wrong before, the guy gives an unofficial livelong warranty.
That's an important/valuable "extra"
But using the JAPAN DSLR solenoid is the 100% route!

Last edited by photogem; 02-23-2022 at 05:38 AM.
02-23-2022, 05:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by VictorDA Quote
The K-70 is the successor of the K-S1 and I don't see anything it doesn't do as well or better. It is still sold new.
The K-70 is the successor of the K-S2 and not of the K-S1.


The K-S2 has an almost identical body and "inner live" but a different sensor and video.


Of course the K-70 is a great camera and much less prone to develop ABF which sadly the K-S1 still did.

The K-S1 was a "special extra" as was the K-01 or in a way the KP.

The Japanese designers were (rightly) very very proud of what they achieved with the K-S1 after the K-01 didn't go down that well.

As I have disassembled at least 20 K-S1's I can say for sure that they mastered a brilliant job for this "kind of successor" of the K-01 and they can be proud of it!
The clever way the housing is designed to keep is as small as possible with almost everything a fully equipped DSLR needs and particular pentax-prism viewfinder!
03-30-2022, 11:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Soggy75 Quote
My Pentax Ks-1 has recently started malfunctioning.

It allows me to take a picture but the image is always grossly underexposed(basically no image visible) . This happens with all different modes(shutter priority/auto/aperture priority etc..).
The only way i can get a visible image is to use the exposure compensation on max(+5Ev), even then the image is a bit underexposed and noisy/out of focus.
The above occurs with different lenses attached.
I've tried updating the firmware but this has had no effect.

This problem started a few months back but only occurred briefly before returning to normal, but now it has reoccurred and nothing i try is helping.

Is the camera dead? It only cost me £250 about 5 years ago so i dont want to do an expensive repair.

What can i try and if it is dead please suggest me a suitable new replacement.

Thanks in advance
The same thing also happened with my K-S1 in 2020 (bought in 2016) one month before the warranty expired. Fortunately!! I sent it for assistance and I only paid the shipping costs.
03-31-2022, 07:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flapentax Quote
The same thing also happened with my K-S1 in 2020 (bought in 2016) one month before the warranty expired. Fortunately!! I sent it for assistance and I only paid the shipping costs.
The usual official “fix” involves putting in the same part, so you can expect to go through the same thing in a few years, but Pentax is now using a modified part which seems to have a lower failure rate.

Last edited by reh321; 04-02-2022 at 08:29 AM.
04-02-2022, 05:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
The usual official “fix” involves putting in the same part, so you can expect to go through the same thing in a few years, but Pentax is now using a modified part which seems to have a lower failure rate.
So if I ever buy a new model will I have to wait for it to fail in 8 years instead of 6?
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