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04-13-2017, 07:48 AM   #1
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K30 Aperture failure advice

My K30 is starting to experience the aperture block failure. The first picture or two after power up is very underexposed. I am debating if I should send it in to Precision Camera and try to convince Ricoh to cover the repair (it is out of extended warranty) or send it in to the guy in California that repairs them for $100.

Has anyone had success in getting Ricoh to cover the cost of repairs when sending it into Precision camera?

Has anyone ever gotten the burst mode "fix" to work for an extended period of time? I've got a shutter count around 30,000 and just started to experience the problem.

Thanks for any advice!

04-13-2017, 08:01 AM   #2
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A few people have gotten the repairs covered out of warranty. It doesn't hurt to ask. Just remember the adage "You can catch more flies with sugar than vinegar".

As for the California repair he has had a few failures too. Still in learning mode despite what is stated on the website ("better, permanent solution").

See these threads:

Pentax k 500 aperture block failure resolved! - PentaxForums.com

K-30 / K-50 Aperture Block Failue - Repair Solution available - PentaxForums.com
04-13-2017, 08:39 AM   #3
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or replace it with a model that has not had any history of that particular failure?
04-13-2017, 09:13 AM   #4
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Outside of warranty, I don't like your chances of getting anything out of Ricoh.

Either get it fixed or buy an M42/K adapter with infinity focus and shoot it full-time with M42 lenses. Or replace it.

Some people would be happy to buy a declared-faulty K30 as an M42-shooting body, but if you offer it for sale on those grounds make very clear what the issues are.

04-13-2017, 04:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
shoot it full-time with M42 lenses
Can you modify such as bend the aperture lever or remove the camera's aperture lever entirely so that it doesn't make contact with a lens' aperture lever and then all lenses can be used like an m42 lens? Has anyone tried this yet?
04-17-2017, 07:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Outside of warranty, I don't like your chances of getting anything out of Ricoh.

Either get it fixed or buy an M42/K adapter with infinity focus and shoot it full-time with M42 lenses. Or replace it.

Some people would be happy to buy a declared-faulty K30 as an M42-shooting body, but if you offer it for sale on those grounds make very clear what the issues are.
I think I'll see how long the AA battery fix lasts before trying more involved repairs. Thanks for all the advice!
05-14-2017, 04:14 PM   #7
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I wonder if the problem I'm having is related to the aperture block issue. I use a K30 with a K-mount SMC-M 50mm f4 macro lens. I use AV mode in a studio environment, shooting tabletop images with constant lighting. The K30 body was purchased new and now has a shutter count around 20,000. Recently I noted that the shutter speed does not change as the aperture is adjusted. I've looked into the lens when shooting, and the aperture is indeed stopping down correctly throughout the lens's full range. But I cannot get proper exposure other than at a single f-stop setting. Changing ISO has no effect.

Just as a test, I mounted a SMC-DA 18-55mm "kit" lens and shot in AV mode. The problem was unresolved: Correct exposure in AV mode at only one f-stop setting, In P and AutoPict modes, the lens aperture can be seen closing down, but the images are consistently 4 to 5 stops under-exposed.

This is not a show-stopper for the kind of photography I'm doing, but I'm limited to shooting everything at f5.6 to get correct exposure, and using the +/- adjustment simply to correct the equivalent of an f-stop or two, for unusually dark or bright subjects. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks!
05-14-2017, 04:29 PM - 1 Like   #8
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If you have the AA adapter try that. I fixed my K-30 with 33,000+ actuations with the AA adapter and it works correctly now. Some say this isn't permanent fix but I've had no problems with it after changing to the adapter.

05-14-2017, 05:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
If you have the AA adapter try that. I fixed my K-30 with 33,000+ actuations with the AA adapter and it works correctly now. Some say this isn't permanent fix but I've had no problems with it after changing to the adapter.
Thank you -- I will try that in daylight tomorrow.
05-20-2017, 04:41 PM   #10
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On further careful study, I see that my K30 does have the aperture block failure. Any lens with a fully auto diaphragm (any KA series for example) stops down to its smallest opening regardless of light conditions or camera mode setting. I can see this by looking right into the lens and firing the shutter under different light conditions. The reason I can shoot with my old SMC-M lenses is that the lens mechanically limits stopping down to the opening I manually preset. So now I gotta buy a K3, I guess....
09-07-2017, 12:55 AM   #11
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Just some of my findings.
I bought a K30 off eBay. On testing it I got very under exposed photos. I had some old manual lenses that I had used on my K100D so I tried these. Everything was fine.
After a few days researching on this forum, and watching videos, I tried a few things. I informed the seller and we agreed a price for the faulty camera. I was going to use it as a backup in manual mode. I was also considering dismantling and filling the magnet, but thought that could wait.
Having sorted out how the opposing forces seemed to work I tried several other solutions.

1) I tried off rapid bursts. After about 80 shots it worked fine. This only lasted until I came back shortly afterwards and had to start again. Each time took more shots to get it working and lasted less time. Not a solution. I was back to manual mode.

2) I bought a AA battery holder. I charged my Eneloop batteries and success. The first test shot was exposed correctly. The camera immediately died. Not charged enough. Charged the batteries fully and back to the exposure problem. I shot off some photos in manual mode before trying again. This time it work fine. I've left the camera overnight and this morning the first shot was fine. It seems fully charged AA batteries, like the lithium, are too powerful. Run them down a little.

My plan now is to keep an A lens on the camera with AA batteries. Shoot normally until I have a problem and then switch to manual mode. Looks like a very good backup camera. Pity I have to carry an extra lens with A setting though.

Hope this may encourage other people to try some of the suggestions out there.
09-07-2017, 11:04 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mfd Quote
Just some of my findings.
I bought a K30 off eBay. On testing it I got very under exposed photos. I had some old manual lenses that I had used on my K100D so I tried these. Everything was fine.
After a few days researching on this forum, and watching videos, I tried a few things. I informed the seller and we agreed a price for the faulty camera. I was going to use it as a backup in manual mode. I was also considering dismantling and filling the magnet, but thought that could wait.
Having sorted out how the opposing forces seemed to work I tried several other solutions.

1) I tried off rapid bursts. After about 80 shots it worked fine. This only lasted until I came back shortly afterwards and had to start again. Each time took more shots to get it working and lasted less time. Not a solution. I was back to manual mode.

2) I bought a AA battery holder. I charged my Eneloop batteries and success. The first test shot was exposed correctly. The camera immediately died. Not charged enough. Charged the batteries fully and back to the exposure problem. I shot off some photos in manual mode before trying again. This time it work fine. I've left the camera overnight and this morning the first shot was fine. It seems fully charged AA batteries, like the lithium, are too powerful. Run them down a little.

My plan now is to keep an A lens on the camera with AA batteries. Shoot normally until I have a problem and then switch to manual mode. Looks like a very good backup camera. Pity I have to carry an extra lens with A setting though.

Hope this may encourage other people to try some of the suggestions out there.
Other option you can try is shoot in Live View mode couple of time to wake up the stubborn solenoid and you are good to go with full charged AAs too. But this trick doesn't work with OEM Li batteries.

Experience From my K50.
09-07-2017, 12:15 PM   #13
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After trying things out during the day the AA batteries are showing yellow, half empty. Put in the lithium whilst I charged the AAs and immediately the shots were under exposed. Hopefully it will be working when I put in the AAs tomorrow morning.
If this works I'll be getting some more rechargeable AA batteries.
06-01-2018, 07:58 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Mine turned out to be a temporary fix. I'm now using it with the green button. No real hardship at all. In fact it makes you think about the aperture more and leads to better photos.
06-01-2018, 12:15 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshot2 Quote
Can you modify such as bend the aperture lever or remove the camera's aperture lever entirely so that it doesn't make contact with a lens' aperture lever and then all lenses can be used like an m42 lens? Has anyone tried this yet?
I would hate to mutilate fine old lenses like that!!
Green button is not that onerous.

I'm running my K-30 off AA batteries {I have a lot of rechargeable ones!}, but even so, during our "holiday" last weekend, my camera was having problems with the first picture of the day. I haven't used it since Monday, but I'm expecting more issues tomorrow when we go on a day trip. I have two sets of lenses to backup my regular lenses

(1) FA 28-105mm and Sigma 70-300mm, each being AF and each having an aperture ring, so I can use them with the green button

(2) AdaptAll 28-70mm and AdaptAll 60-300mm, each having the aperture lever temporarily disabled internally in the AdaptAll mount

I was glad that use of KA-mount worked fine last weekend, because I took some ultra wide angle pictures, and I lose that capability with my backup plans. Otherwise, I will use one of the backup sets until I purchase a KP next year {or I'm one of the winners of a K-1 this summer}
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