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07-08-2016, 12:41 PM   #1
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K30 Underground

I love my K30. It was originally purchased 30 months ago for use in underground speleological /caving photography. Later used whilst kayaking. It has been dragged around in a Peli-Case, bumped down many a rocky passage. Dunked under water whilst kayaking and survived to tell the tale. Exactly what I had hoped for when buying Pentax.

Until last month. On the way to a week's kayaking trip on the west coast of Scotland, jumped out of the car to take snaps of Loch Lomond.... Very dark pictures.
90% of pictures failed over the whole week.

It seems this is a common issue, with a shutter/mirror/motor error. The camera had withstood harsh handling but failed with a regular problem.

Now I don't know where to go.

07-08-2016, 12:53 PM   #2
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send it in for repair or replace it outright - perhaps a K-3 or K-3II?
07-08-2016, 12:57 PM   #3
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You have three basic choices. One - send to a Pentax Authorized Repair center. Two - try to DIY repair it, a few oriental language sites have some info on this fairly complex effort. Three - Don't repair it.

If you don't repair it you can replace it and/or also make it a dedicated m42 camera. Fit an adapter and use old Takumars to your heart's content. If you want you can experiment with M and K lenses also. They may work correctly in stopped down style (green button) metering. Lastly you can convert some lenses to manual (stopped down always) aperture and shoot them like M42 in Av mode with Aperture controlled by the lens.


I suggest replacement since the cost of repair is so high. You can continue to use the camera as a backup and simply replace it with a K50, K70, KS1, KS2, K3 etc.
07-08-2016, 01:20 PM   #4
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Thank you. I have some learning to do here. Will try to look for a cheap-ish lens first. Hopefully that makes the camera usable, just for underground use, then save up some pennies for a K3 maybe.

07-08-2016, 02:13 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by southseacaver Quote
I love my K30. It was originally purchased 30 months ago for use in underground speleological /caving photography. Later used whilst kayaking. It has been dragged around in a Peli-Case, bumped down many a rocky passage. Dunked under water whilst kayaking and survived to tell the tale. Exactly what I had hoped for when buying Pentax.

Until last month. On the way to a week's kayaking trip on the west coast of Scotland, jumped out of the car to take snaps of Loch Lomond.... Very dark pictures.
90% of pictures failed over the whole week.

It seems this is a common issue, with a shutter/mirror/motor error. The camera had withstood harsh handling but failed with a regular problem.

Now I don't know where to go.
If you regularly subject the camera to abuse, I would recommend stepping up to Pentax's flagship lineup, likely a K-3 or a K-3 II. Those cameras are tougher (through an all-metal body) and have more durable shutters, but that said they're not designed to withstand some of the conditions you're describing, so YMMV.

Given the cost of a K-30 repair versus the price of a new K-50 (which is almost identical to the K-30 on the inside), I don't think this option would be economical.

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07-08-2016, 03:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by southseacaver Quote
Thank you. I have some learning to do here. Will try to look for a cheap-ish lens first. Hopefully that makes the camera usable, just for underground use, then save up some pennies for a K3 maybe.
Do you have any lenses with an aperture ring now? If you do you can try using them in Green Button mode. The article here will explain the options:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-me...k-x-k-7-a.html
07-08-2016, 05:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by southseacaver Quote
I love my K30

Hi southecaver. Welcome to the Pentax forums. Sorry to hear that you are having problems with your beloved K30. Hope you get it sorted soon. By the way,
I would very much like to see some of your caving photographs.
07-09-2016, 10:11 AM   #8
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Lots of good advice already given, I'll just say welcome.

07-10-2016, 02:39 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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Thank you all for helpful suggestions. I will be keeping a eye out for a suitable lens with an aperture ring. There are many better underground photographers but here are a few pictures. Problems to overcome are many. High humidity being one of the hardest which virtually rules out using a camera mounted flash.
Attached Images
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PENTAX K-30  Photo 
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PENTAX K-30  Photo 
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PENTAX K-30  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
07-14-2016, 11:51 PM   #10
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I like your photos. Especially the last one. It's amazing.
I hope you'll be able to keep shooting with manual lenses or new camera.
07-15-2016, 01:54 PM   #11
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Thank you. The K30 certainly helped me get better pictures underground. Its still a lump to carry about in a Pelicase + 2 flashes. I previously had a Ricoh G600 tough compact using infrared triggers to fire slave flashes. The move to radio triggers using the hot shoe on the K30 was the best move. Think I''l get a K70 as K3 body is larger.
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