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05-25-2022, 11:22 PM   #1
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K1 Bizarre behaviour with SDM lenses

My original K1 seems to have developed a strange disagreement with SDM lenses. I noticed it a couple of days ago when out shooting in the morning, and it's like the camera lost nearly all of its internal processing capability when operating.

I didn't really play around with it much at the time, just grabbed my other camera to carry on shooting, but today I sat down to do some tests. I have established a pattern of behaviour as best I can.

When equipped with a lens with SDM-powered focusing motor, the camera is slow; incredibly slow. It takes longer to boot up. There is a delay when selecting an aperture value - roll the control wheel, and half a second later the aperture will jump to the new selection. Press and hold the LV button to get Live View 1.5 seconds later. The D-Pad buttons barely function, and when I zoom in on Live View it takes forever to get back out again. Some functions simply don't work while others have major delays in response time.

Auto focus with SDM lenses don't work in either Live View or utilizing the view finder. The camera will take photos nearly instantaneously with a press of the shutter, but the instant preview lasts around 7 seconds instead of 1 and it's impossible to try and zoom in on the image or do anything while it is being presented.

Any other lens with screw-drive focusing, manual focus like my Samyang lenses, or vintage lenses with zero electrical contacts? Absolutely fine; perfectly functional with snappy response from all buttons and functions.

Now I currently only have two lenses with SDM contacts, those being the 28-105mm and the Sigma 35mm f1.4. Both lenses work terribly on this K-1 and work fine on my back-up K-1 body. I also have a Tamron teleconverter with SDM contacts. Installed by itself, the camera works fine; slap the 28-105 or Sigma 35mm on top of the teleconverter, and then the camera misbehaves.

Playing around a little further, I put some tape over the SDM contacts on the lens to see what would happen. No change in behaviour. I then taped over the set of electrical contacts along the flat face of the bayonet mount and left the SDM contacts open - the camera operated fine, however it is unable to select the aperture value.

It's all a bit puzzling, and I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar issue? It's like the camera is absolutely befuddled with any lens with SDM focusing; whether or not it is used in Manual Focus mode or any other setting.

The camera itself has been in my ownership since new in 2017, and it's very rough around the edges. In balance I can't really say that I'm surprised that it is playing up, considering how much salt water and spray it's been exposed to, and if the camera body is on its way out it has given me good service - in some ways I'm surprised it has lasted this long as it is!

I'll likely be taking the camera to the local Pentax repair shop tomorrow to see if they can do anything about it, but if there is internal salt-water damage it's probably not going to be worth repairing. It would still have its uses, but not being able to use the 28-105mm is pretty restrictive - at least I have a back-up body to use

05-26-2022, 12:45 AM   #2
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Did you clean all the contacts?
05-26-2022, 04:13 AM   #3
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Did you try to do a system reset? You will lose any custom settings, but it may be worth a try.
05-26-2022, 05:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Did you clean all the contacts?
Good suggestion! I did give them a bit of a scrub with a paper towel, but went over them again with an alcohol wipe on both the camera body and lenses. There doesn't seem to be any corrosion on either, and considering the lenses work perfectly on the other camera I don't see them as the issue. Unfortunately, it didn't make any difference.

QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
Did you try to do a system reset? You will lose any custom settings, but it may be worth a try.
Another good suggestion. I gave it a reset and then updated the firmware for giggles. Unfortunately it didn't make any difference either.

05-26-2022, 06:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Focusrite Quote
I did give them a bit of a scrub with a paper towel, but went over them again with an alcohol wipe on both the camera body and lenses.
... including the SDM power contacts in the mount? Using a different battery may also be worth a try.
05-26-2022, 06:43 AM   #6
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Latest firmware?
05-26-2022, 07:40 AM   #7
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As long as you're observing this behavior with more than one SDM, I would take it to your repair shop.

It's also possible that the failure could be in the lens if you were talking about a single SDM. That lens could be affecting the power (or data) bus of the camera which might produce the issues you mention, however you mentioned that two SDM lenses produce identical issues so it appears the camera is at fault.

05-28-2022, 12:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Focusrite Quote

Auto focus with SDM lenses don't work in either Live View or utilizing the view finder. The camera will take photos nearly instantaneously with a press of the shutter, but the instant preview lasts around 7 seconds instead of 1 and it's impossible to try and zoom in on the image or do anything while it is being presented.

Any other lens with screw-drive focusing, manual focus like my Samyang lenses, or vintage lenses with zero electrical contacts? Absolutely fine; perfectly functional with snappy response from all buttons and functions.

Playing around a little further, I put some tape over the SDM contacts on the lens to see what would happen. No change in behaviour. I then taped over the set of electrical contacts along the flat face of the bayonet mount and left the SDM contacts open - the camera operated fine, however it is unable to select the aperture value.

It's all a bit puzzling, and I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar issue? It's like the camera is absolutely befuddled with any lens with SDM focusing; whether or not it is used in Manual Focus mode or any other setting.

I'll likely be taking the camera to the local Pentax repair shop tomorrow to see if they can do anything about it, but if there is internal salt-water damage it's probably not going to be worth repairing. It would still have its uses, but not being able to use the 28-105mm is pretty restrictive - at least I have a back-up body to use

SDM lenses rely on the power contacts (2 contacts more inside lens ring) and on one contact transmitting digital information, the v in this picture (assisting the camera with lens inf and focus/aperture status)
https://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/77/p1463/KAF2p.jpg


From your taping and other lenses experimentation, I think this digital information contact is behaving badly, sending repeatedly information for instance ( hence keeping camera busy) due to bad contact...or an error in camera like loose wire. So check/ clean this one and check if the little ball of the contact is sufficiently supported by the spring behind it.

Another reason might be an old or nearly empty battery, not able to supply enough power....

Last edited by mlag; 05-28-2022 at 12:13 PM.
05-29-2022, 12:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
... including the SDM power contacts in the mount?
QuoteOriginally posted by mlag Quote
So check/ clean this one and check if the little ball of the contact is sufficiently supported by the spring behind it.
Yep, I gave those a clean and an inspection ( as best I can ). They don't appear to have any significant damage beyond having normal wear on the contact surface, and are both happily springy and sitting at the correct distance.

QuoteOriginally posted by DonV Quote
Latest firmware?
Yes, currently utilizing 1.60.

QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
Using a different battery may also be worth a try
QuoteOriginally posted by mlag Quote
Another reason might be an old or nearly empty battery, not able to supply enough power....
Tried it with all 5 of my batteries. They are not necessarily new, but hold good charge and work fine with my other K1.

QuoteOriginally posted by mlag Quote
I think this digital information contact is behaving badly, sending repeatedly information for instance ( hence keeping camera busy) due to bad contact...or an error in camera like loose wire.
That is a fascinating theorum, and fits nicely. I didn't end up taking the camera to the shop on Friday, but will hopefully get the chance this week.

Any further suggestions are welcome!
06-28-2022, 11:43 PM   #10
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Just as a follow-up, I presented the camera body to the local Pentax dealer in the city, and they ended up repairing it by replacing one of the large circuit boards. The body is currently in storage while I'm travelling so I don't have the paperwork on me and I won't try to guess the name of the component as I'll probably get it wrong. The repair shop bundled the old component with the camera body when they returned it; no obvious damage that I could see, but something must have gone wayward in one of the chips or circuitry components. The camera works fine now.

All in all, I'm happy that they were able to repair it for much, much less than what it would have cost to replace, so it's an outcome that I'm pleased with. For now it's my back-up body, but will probably graduate back into my camera bag to keep the mileage down on my newer K1 😁
07-03-2022, 06:52 AM   #11
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It might be worth checking the serial number reported in the exif data and see if it matches the number stamped on the camera base. I had the main board replaced for a LV focus problem and it now has a different serial number.
Live view problems - PentaxForums.com
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