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10-02-2019, 11:42 AM   #1
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My third K-50 aperture fix.

My third K-50 is on it's way home after having the dreaded aperture problem repaired.

I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am in Pentax for not stepping up to the plate and at least offer to pay for PART of the cost of the repairs needed for these cameras to function as advertised. That being said, let me add.... even if I had to pay the additional $125.00 for the repairs, it's still the BEST camera I've ever owned!

10-02-2019, 11:57 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I'd hate to miss a once in a lifetime shot because of a defective aperture solenoid. Even if repaired, there's a good chance it'll fail again down the road, especially if the repair involved the same Chinese made plunger.

I had a K-30 that recently started failing. Yes, sometimes taking multiple shots or using DOF preview with small apertures would get it working again for a short period of time. But it got to the point where even 20 minutes after that it'd stop working again. I lost all confidence in it afterwards.

I sold it for parts. Got $125 for it.

10-02-2019, 12:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by amstel78 Quote
I'd hate to miss a once in a lifetime shot because of a defective aperture solenoid. Even if repaired, there's a good chance it'll fail again down the road, especially if the repair involved the same Chinese made plunger.

I had a K-30 that recently started failing. Yes, sometimes taking multiple shots or using DOF preview with small apertures would get it working again for a short period of time. But it got to the point where even 20 minutes after that it'd stop working again. I lost all confidence in it afterwards.

I sold it for parts. Got $125 for it.
Fix has a life time guarantee and was NOT made using the defective "Chinese made plunger." I have one that was repaired three years ago and after over 17K actuation's, it's still going strong.
10-02-2019, 12:07 PM   #4
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My K-30's aperture control mechanism is basically dead. I "permanently" mounted a Helios 44M lens with a M42 adapter on it. It still makes for a fantastic camera ... but with manual lenses only.

10-02-2019, 12:09 PM   #5
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Iím sorry to read about your bad experience, Amstel78, and I hope that it made someone happy. Thankfully my K50 hasnít developed the ABF yet, so Iím still enjoying it all the way.
10-02-2019, 12:19 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
Fix has a life time guarantee and was NOT made using the defective "Chinese made plunger." I have one that was repaired three years ago and after over 17K actuation's, it's still going strong.
That's cool. Glad it's held up. Purely anecdotal at this point, but I recall hearing stories of repaired K-30's and K-50's failing again after a certain period of time. Number of shutter actuations didn't seem to play any role in it either. Most failed repairs I think were made using the green plunger rather than the white Japanese version.

QuoteOriginally posted by HoutHans Quote
I’m sorry to read about your bad experience, Amstel78, and I hope that it made someone happy. Thankfully my K50 hasn’t developed the ABF yet, so I’m still enjoying it all the way.
It was my daughter that was more disappointed than I was. She was a heavy user of the K-30 whereas I mostly use my K-1 Mark II or a much older K10D. Anyway, I'm sure whoever bought my K-30 for parts would have been happy with it. Personally I didn't care much about the loss since I didn't pay much for it to begin with. I just didn't want to find my daughter or myself using it one day when a great opportunity comes along, only to lose the shot because of a cheap 50 cent part that Ricoh won't own up to.
10-02-2019, 12:37 PM   #7
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Please clarify: This is your third body require a fix and not the same body repaired for the third time.

Who did the previous repairs and how much did they cost?

Ricoh US at times has covered the repair outside the warranty in the past. You need to contact Ricoh US (not Precision) and Ricoh wanted the camera inspected by Precision before making a decision. I haven't heard of any cases where Ricoh US declined to cover the fix.
10-02-2019, 01:32 PM   #8
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Wow, you have three K-50 cameras? That's commitment I have three cameras too, but it's a K10D (with buttons that have issues), a K-50 (that was given to me) and a K-S1 (that one I bought from B&H).

The K-50 surely has been growing on me. At first I thought the K-S1 sensor was much superior, and in some ways it is, so I mostly took the K-50 out as a backup or when there would be drizzle or dust, or to the beach. Now every time I look at the actual pictures from it, they're just as good as the K-S1 pictures, just different.

Mine's almost 40K actuations, and thank God no solenoid issues. But it does have some electronic glitches that come up from time to time... though they haven't since I started using an AA battery adapter a week or so ago!

10-02-2019, 02:04 PM   #9
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I'd like to know who is giving a lifetime warranty as well.

I recently "filed" my K30, though I'm not sure how long that will last. Though it doesn't get much use anymore.
10-02-2019, 05:58 PM   #10
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My K-30 is still going strong after many years. My daughter uses it now, and still works as good as new. Probably < 10,000 actuations on it though.
10-02-2019, 08:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Please clarify: This is your third body require a fix and not the same body repaired for the third time.

Who did the previous repairs and how much did they cost?

Ricoh US at times has covered the repair outside the warranty in the past. You need to contact Ricoh US (not Precision) and Ricoh wanted the camera inspected by Precision before making a decision. I haven't heard of any cases where Ricoh US declined to cover the fix.
It was three DIFFERENT cameras. I was buying and selling a few now and then and my go-to K-50 went bad, so I sent it to Mark Kainu at PC35 PhotoLab in Pine Grove, California. Pentax Camera Repair - Aperture Control Repair A friend of mine gave me a Lipstick Red K-50 and it went bad and there was NO WAY I was NOT going to get it fixed. Then, I bought (stole?) a Storm Trooper K-30 that had the bad aperture to begin with. For $100, it's a no-brainer if you like the K-50 / K-30 as much as I do. Cost is $100 plus shipping and Ins.
10-02-2019, 08:44 PM   #12
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I've had a K30 and two K50's and all of them developed the aperture problem - I'm not a heavy user (maybe that's the problem). I had the K30 repaired locally but it failed again after 4 or 5 months. I sold both K50's as is and one of the guys I sold to was a computer tech and he replaced the solenoid and got it working.

He was happy to have a go at fixing my K30 and 7 months later it's still going strong, although I do make sure to take some shots at least once a week to keep it exercised. If it fails again then I'll keep using it for the FA Ltd's and use the aperture ring.

But to the OP's point I agree that Ricoh/Pentax (or whoever) should have stepped up with what was clearly a well-documented issue.
10-02-2019, 08:52 PM   #13
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I still haven't sent my K-70 in for warranty repair yet, I'm sure once it's fixed it work for quite a while but I don't know if I'll ever be confident enough to buy a lens that doesn't have an aperture ring.
10-03-2019, 05:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
It was three DIFFERENT cameras. I was buying and selling a few now and then and my go-to K-50 went bad, so I sent it to Mark Kainu at PC35 PhotoLab in Pine Grove, California. Pentax Camera Repair - Aperture Control Repair A friend of mine gave me a Lipstick Red K-50 and it went bad and there was NO WAY I was NOT going to get it fixed. Then, I bought (stole?) a Storm Trooper K-30 that had the bad aperture to begin with. For $100, it's a no-brainer if you like the K-50 / K-30 as much as I do. Cost is $100 plus shipping and Ins.
So PC35 is offering a lifetime warranty now (web page says one year)? And you've had no repeat failures on his fixes, correct?

Thanks, this is all valuable information.
10-03-2019, 07:15 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vmax911 Quote
I'd like to know who is giving a lifetime warranty as well.
I helped out my brother-in-law by setting up a repair at Pentax Camera Repair - Aperture Control Repair . They guarantee their repair forever, you have to send the camera back and forth. Being in Canada, that's more complicated for us, sadly.
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