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10-21-2016, 08:27 AM   #1
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k-r won't turn on

My K-r died on me recently, mid-shooting. Normally the the mirror goes click-clack when shooting but the other day it went "clic-" and the camera stopped responding. It doesn't turn on, the mirror is in the normal position, not up. I had the camera since 2010-11 and estimate the shutter count to be around 25,000. I'm using two batteries, the original pentax one and an off-brand. Checked them both with a meter and they both give off a higher voltage: pentax 8.3 v and off-brand 8.1 v. The only "sign of life" I can find is a very soft 'tseek' when I plug in the battery (the sound appears after the locking mechanism clicks). It's half electronic and half metallic, so I this could be misleading, perhaps. Other than this, the camera would occasionally flap it's mirror too much ("click-clak-clack", instead of the usual "click-clack") and pictures after that would come out out of focus. I'd usually turn the camera off and the mirror would "-clack" back, then turn it back on and the pictures would be back to normal, in focus. Because I'm often using old lens, and the flapping would usually occur with these, I assumed it was a lens problem and not a body problem, maybe I was wrong.

My questions are (first batch):
If the shutter died, are the signs (not turning on, basically no response from the camera) the correct signs of this?
How much are the repair costs (minimum-maximum)?
How long does it take to have the camera repaired (I'm in Maryland, USA)?
Is there a way to debug it, perhaps by plugging it into a computer (I would have to acquire a cable for this, since I left mine in Poland)?

Thanks in advance for help!
-M.

10-21-2016, 12:32 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sader01 Quote
Checked them both with a meter and they both give off a higher voltage: pentax 8.3 v and off-brand 8.1 v.
-M.
I'm not sure what the voltage tolerance is of a Kr (or any other camera body) but that seems a little high. The battery is only 7.4V and with a four AA adapter the camera is running on 6V. Unless there's something wrong with your voltmeter, 8.4V is a little high
QuoteOriginally posted by sader01 Quote
the camera would occasionally flap it's mirror too much ("click-clak-clack", instead of the usual "click-clack")
That sounds like the "classic" Kr Mirror flop that was discussed on numerous threads similar to this: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/189224-mirror-fl...revisited.html

QuoteOriginally posted by sader01 Quote

My questions are (first batch):
If the shutter died, are the signs (not turning on, basically no response from the camera) the correct signs of this?
-
....As far as I know the camera should still turn on and display something on the LCD.
QuoteOriginally posted by sader01 Quote
How much are the repair costs (minimum-maximum)?
...A body that old might not be economical to repair, sorry to say. Precision Camera in CT is the only authorized repair center. Their online quote is $206 for a K-r
QuoteOriginally posted by sader01 Quote
How long does it take to have the camera repaired (I'm in Maryland, USA)?
...Precision Camera? With a "less than positive" stories I've been seeing with regards to Precision experience, you'd be lucky to get your camera back before Christmas.
QuoteOriginally posted by sader01 Quote
Is there a way to debug it, perhaps by plugging it into a computer (I would have to acquire a cable for this, since I left mine in Poland)?
---One thing to try if possible is use and AA adapter and see what happens. You should be able to get them on Amazon, BH Photo, Ebay.

Good Luck!
10-21-2016, 03:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by K57XR Quote
I'm not sure what the voltage tolerance is of a Kr (or any other camera body) but that seems a little high. The battery is only 7.4V and with a four AA adapter the camera is running on 6V. Unless there's something wrong with your voltmeter, 8.4V is a little high

That sounds like the "classic" Kr Mirror flop that was discussed on numerous threads similar to this: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/189224-mirror-fl...revisited.html


....As far as I know the camera should still turn on and display something on the LCD.

...A body that old might not be economical to repair, sorry to say. Precision Camera in CT is the only authorized repair center. Their online quote is $206 for a K-r

...Precision Camera? With a "less than positive" stories I've been seeing with regards to Precision experience, you'd be lucky to get your camera back before Christmas.

---One thing to try if possible is use and AA adapter and see what happens. You should be able to get them on Amazon, BH Photo, Ebay.

Good Luck!
Thank you very much!
10-21-2016, 08:14 PM   #4
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it lives!

Holly Molly! Miracles do happen!

I had a look at the topic K57XR mentioned (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/189224-mirror-fl...revisited.html) and somehow read about about somebody poking with a screwdriver around the aperture actuator. So, it's what I did. There was an end of a spring kinda sticking out at the bottom of the actuator and I pushed it down a bit, moved it around a little and tried to remove and reinstert the battery. The mirror flapped back into place and and the camera came back to life! Wowowowow!
I suppose the camera is locked when the mirror is in the wrong position the camera locks up. Maybe because the spring got displaced the camera couldn't draw enough power to move the mirror back and it remained locked. No idea, really, just speculation.
I'll have a pro look at it but we're leaving the US in a month or so, so it will have to wait, I guess.
Anyway, to me it's an amazing story.

Woop-woop!

10-22-2016, 06:07 AM   #5
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it's the flapping mirror syndrome

OK, so it's not a total miracle...

The camera now displays erratic behvior -- it lags (1-2 second delay between push of a button and change on the display screen) and flaps it's mirror like ten times in a row, and freezes up the same way it did before.
But using a small screwdriver to rotate down the small gear behind the shutter actuator cycles the mirror and the camera goes back to normal.
So, I'm going to read up on the flapping mirror thing and maybe poke around with it some more.
I wonder if this problem indeed has to do with older lenses? Maybe the spring on the shutter inside the lens is stronger in them because I basically never had this problem with the kit lens (now defunct). I can't experiment with this right away because for the time being I only have a single old (Pentax K 28 mm 3.5) lens.
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