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11-26-2017, 05:25 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigoak Quote
Best I can get:
Thanks for the detailed imaqe.

There is a lot of metal in the K-1 body, but certainly not much underneath the flash mount, unfortunately.

From the Pentax web site


from DPReview

Given the loads that point in the body may be subject to, perhaps Ricoh should consider strengthening the hot-shoe mount point.

It seems pretty clear to me from looking at the K-3's metal framework [below] that it (or the K-3II) would not have had the same problem:




Last edited by rawr; 11-26-2017 at 05:44 AM.
11-26-2017, 05:52 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
It seems pretty clear to me from looking at the K-3's metal framework [below] that it (or the K-3II) would not have had the same problem:
Is there a picture of the K3ii metal chassis anywhere? - interested to see if the GPS really is the culprit
11-26-2017, 06:05 AM   #18
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Ask on their FB...

that's not a bad idea.

This is a better view of the damage. Looks like it cracked the casing towards the right side too.

No damage to the flash shoe, but if I knew it was so weakly reinforced, I'd have been babying it more.
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11-26-2017, 06:43 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
Is there a picture of the K3ii metal chassis anywhere? - interested to see if the GPS really is the culprit
Last time I looked, the difference between the K-3 and K-3II chassis seemed minimal.



11-26-2017, 06:54 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
It seems pretty clear to me from looking at the K-3's metal framework [below] that it (or the K-3II) would not have had the same problem:
Great finding! Yes, as I can see the top part of the K1 is plastic. Good to get more sensitive GPS reception, however not good at all for the flash fixture. The problem of flash is the lever applied at this point of connection to the camera, any force applied at the top of the flash is multiplied. I've used the K1 with an RF60 and a better beamer flash extender on it, and yes the whole thing seemed to bend, which made me feel the construction wasn't very solid for the flash mount, but I was very careful when mounting and using the flash, so it didn't break.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 11-26-2017 at 07:05 AM.
11-26-2017, 10:19 AM - 3 Likes   #21
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As a structural engineer I've always been a bit nervous about a big flash unit on a pentaprism hot shoe, both regarding the camera and the unit's foot. I don't suppose the originators of the standard shoe ever expected such large and heavy flash units as we have today, nor that camera makers would rely on plastic to take stress. It is disappointing if Pentax omitted metal structure here because of GPS - just another point-of-sale tick-box feature IMHO.

I'm sticking to a hammerhead arrangement. Alex645 said here they are no longer an affordable option, but I use one made one up from a Pentax Hot Shoe Grip from ebay and an unbranded flash bar, seen below. Since taking that picture I have acquired a Pentax 4P Sync Cord B to connect the hot shoe to the grip, which makes a neater job than the unbranded lead shown.


Last edited by Lord Lucan; 11-26-2017 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Clarification
11-26-2017, 12:12 PM   #22
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It looks like the hot shoe assembly itself is part of the molded plastic prism cover and has been torn loose due to the thin plastic giving way, breaking the printed circuit board connections to the board beneath it which may well have damaged that board as well. It may be the Ricoh can redesign the cover and offer it as a replacement part so this won't happen in the future to those so unlucky to have it happen. Of course, that would have to be a repair item since it looks like it would be an impossible replacement for most owners.


Last edited by Bob 256; 11-26-2017 at 12:18 PM.
11-26-2017, 02:43 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lord Lucan Quote
It is disappointing if Pentax omited metal structure here because of GPS
But other solidly-built cameras with in-built GPS - like the Canon 1Dx II or Canon 7DII - have magnesium shells covering the top of the body. If GPS was the reason for not having a metal top plate in the K-1, I don't think the Pentax designers were working hard enough to come up with a solution to the problem.

Last edited by rawr; 11-27-2017 at 03:53 AM.
11-26-2017, 03:25 PM   #24
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In my 45 years of photography, I've had 4 "major" accidents.
a) Dropped a Minolta Maxxum 9 (pro-level, all metal construction) from 5 feet onto pavement with a huge telephoto. Camera chassis completely split in half. Lens unharmed other than a cracked filter.
b & c) Dropped my plastic body 645 twice from 3 feet. Once on carpet, it bounced and put a hole in the stucco wall. Once on asphalt. No damage or dings, both times!
d) Soccer ball at high velocity hit a telephoto lens (with plastic mount) on a camera (with metal mount) in my hands. The lens broke off, but did not damage the lens mount on the camera. If I had a metal mount on that lens, I'm almost certain the lens mount on the camera would have been damaged as well.

Aesthetically, I prefer metal. It gives me a sense of being solid and strong. But plastic parts has in my experience been the right design choice.

Note: I'm not saying the K-1 shouldn't have a stronger hot shoe. But built-in flash units and flash shoes always seems to be the weak link in most cameras.
11-26-2017, 04:30 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
...plastic parts has in my experience been the right design choice.

Note: I'm not saying the K-1 shouldn't have a stronger hot shoe. But built-in flash units and flash shoes always seems to be the weak link in most cameras.
True. Modern, tough plastics are all over many new DSLR's, and do a commendable job.

But in the case of the OP's accident, I would have preferred to see the flash fall apart, rather than see the top of the camera burst open.

No doubt Pentax DSLR body engineers did lab test all these things - mount Pentax flash(es), knock camera and flash about vigorously to simulate real-world field usage, see what happens to the camera hot-shoe. Or maybe not.

Either way, this incident does seem a great excuse to use radio triggers (like the Cactus ones) on the K-1. Pity Pentax makes no radio triggers.
11-27-2017, 12:22 AM   #26
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It's interesting - if potentially a little fruitless given incomplete information - to speculate about why Ricoh decided to go with an all plastic top plate. They obviously took a long time developing this camera, and put a lot of thought into it, so a 'design flaw' needs an explanation.

The 'Negative' reasons might be:
i) to keep costs down - they wanted to launch at a very competitive price
ii) to keep weight down - people already not that the camera is heavier than some of its rivals - an impression exaggerated by its comparative compactness.
iii) it was the only way they could make it -cramming so much into a small space with no gap in the metal where an LCD is fitted, for example.
iv) insufficient testing with third party flashes (as suggested above) so problems did not show up and were thus outweighed by pluses.

The 'Positive' reasons might be:
i) GPS - it's very accurate in my experience - I don't now if it is more accurate than cameras with a metal top plate, and I'm not sure it would preclude a e extension of the metal chassis to the hot shoe mount
ii) the fact, as @Alex645 notes, that plastic is more robust to some sorts of impact.

Any other thoughts?
11-27-2017, 12:46 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
iv) insufficient testing with third party flashes (as suggested above) so problems did not show up and were thus outweighed by pluses.
Any other thoughts?
I am not familiar with the 360ftx II that the OP mentions. It sounds like a Pentax flash unit. Is this a typo for the AF360FGZ II?

Would love to see a close up photo of the OP's flash unit foot to see if it sustained damage too.
11-27-2017, 12:52 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I am not familiar with the 360ftx II that the OP mentions. It sounds like a Pentax flash unit. Is this a typo for the AF360FGZ II?
ah yes - looking at my keyboard, the letters are adjacent on both cases (t&G, x&Z) - I suspect you are right
11-27-2017, 02:41 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I am not familiar with the 360ftx II that the OP mentions. It sounds like a Pentax flash unit. Is this a typo for the AF360FGZ II?

Would love to see a close up photo of the OP's flash unit foot to see if it sustained damage too.
Rest assured that the flash unit is undamaged (thank goodness! /s) yes it is FGZ; autocorrect got me there. Literally the little "chunk" of plastic was neatly adhered to the flash shoe mount, no damage to the flash whatsoever.

Like i said, after walking around with it during oktoberfest for a day, i noticed that the left side of the shoe was slightly raised. enough to make it difficult to properly seat the shoe without effort. In retrospect, it is likely that the tiny screw on the left had already pulled up from normal usage during the day.

If your shoe is askew, i recommend bringing it in for service sooner than later to avoid catastrophe like this.
11-27-2017, 03:49 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
I don't now if it is more accurate than cameras with a metal top plate,
Canon DSLR's with a GPS on-board, like the 1Dx II or 7 D II, have a little plastic 'bump' just in front of the hot-shoe where the GPS gear sits - 1DX II (left), 7 D II (right) - that covers an opening in the metal top plate of those bodies:


Canon I DX II and 7D II top view with GPS bump in front of the hot-shoe


Canon 1 DX II metal chassis with opening in top plate for GPS

Maybe the old O-GPS module Pentax shoe-horned into the K-1 simply needed a lot of space, or wasn't sensitive enough to work surrounded by too much metal, so Ricoh had no option but to include it as they did.
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