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08-20-2018, 06:30 PM   #1
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Any updates on the K-50 aperature block problem?

My camera is about 3 years old with 5000 shots on it. After not using the camera for a month or so I found myself at the beach during an August thunderstorm with horizon to horizon double rainbows - and I helplessly shot 30 very, very dark photos. Ugh. After some research I discovered the problem, and a “sort of” solution - I mapped the fx button to optical preview, and I exercise the aperature controller daily. But I can never count on the first shot or two working, so can’t capture anything spontaneous.

Can I really order a new aperature controller from the web and install it? Are these parts reliable/reputable? Does the “filing” solution work? Less risk than busting out the soldering iron, I guess.

Anyway, haven’t seen a post in 2018 on this (or missed it) and wonder if more info is now available.

Thanks in advance for any news or ideas.

Bob rob

---------- Post added 08-20-18 at 06:52 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Bigrob Quote
My camera is about 3 years old with 5000 shots on it. After not using the camera for a month or so I found myself at the beach during an August thunderstorm with horizon to horizon double rainbows - and I helplessly shot 30 very, very dark photos. Ugh. After some research I discovered the problem, and a “sort of” solution - I mapped the fx button to optical preview, and I exercise the aperature controller daily. But I can never count on the first shot or two working, so can’t capture anything spontaneous.

Can I really order a new aperature controller from the web and install it? Are these parts reliable/reputable? Does the “filing” solution work? Less risk than busting out the soldering iron, I guess.

Anyway, haven’t seen a post in 2018 on this (or missed it) and wonder if more info is now available.

Thanks in advance for any news or ideas.

Bob rob
Oops, posted this in the wrong place. Sorry folks.

08-20-2018, 07:43 PM   #2
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Not sure where you are, or your technical skill level, but this repair was beyond me, so I sent my K-30 out to the guy in California and spent $120 to have him fix it. Works perfectly now, and my son just took it off to college with him. Search "Pentax camera repair" and you'll see the link.
08-21-2018, 08:00 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

Nothing has changed in the last year or so. The problem still exists and the solutions are still the same - a replacement or 'adjustment', either professionally or DIY.
08-21-2018, 10:28 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bigrob Quote
Any updates on the K-50 aperature block problem?
Welcome to the forum and it's what he said (victormeldrew)... "Nothing has changed in the last year or so. The problem still exists and the solutions are still the same - a replacement or 'adjustment', either professionally or DIY."

08-28-2018, 12:41 AM   #5
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G'day mate and welcome to the forum
10-06-2018, 06:40 PM   #6
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Well, I tried to make the repair as suggested in many places on this and other forums. I had no trouble slowly and carefully taking the K-50 apart. I got to the aperture controller and carefully removed and filed it a bit. Then I carefully re-assembled the camera. Unfortunately I may have fixed the aperature controller but caused other problems. Pressing the flash button puts the camera into live view. Almost any selection of the control dial shows the camera in AV mode. I can take photos, but not delete them. I am now trying to figure out where I went wrong.

I would caution others about trying to make this repair on their own. I am fairly good at repairs in general. I am good with my hands. But, it appears I have fried my camera.

I was thinking of bailing on Pentax until I realized I have some nice lenses: DA 18-135 WR and DA 55-300 WR. I would like to put off switching to another system for a few years. Would you recommend a used K-5 or K-3? I would like to keep my investment under $300 if at all possible. Something about cutting my losses. The alternative for me is to bite the bullet and buy an MFT or Fuji camera. Sorry Pentax, but not owning up to the aperature block problem is unforgivable to me. I'm happy to buy used, but rather not give any $ to Pentax at this point.

I was so happy with my K-50 until this. Oh well, life goes on.

BigRob
10-06-2018, 07:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bigrob Quote
Well, I tried to make the repair as suggested in many places on this and other forums. I had no trouble slowly and carefully taking the K-50 apart. I got to the aperture controller and carefully removed and filed it a bit. Then I carefully re-assembled the camera. Unfortunately I may have fixed the aperature controller but caused other problems. Pressing the flash button puts the camera into live view. Almost any selection of the control dial shows the camera in AV mode. I can take photos, but not delete them. I am now trying to figure out where I went wrong.

I would caution others about trying to make this repair on their own. I am fairly good at repairs in general. I am good with my hands. But, it appears I have fried my camera.

I was thinking of bailing on Pentax until I realized I have some nice lenses: DA 18-135 WR and DA 55-300 WR. I would like to put off switching to another system for a few years. Would you recommend a used K-5 or K-3? I would like to keep my investment under $300 if at all possible. Something about cutting my losses. The alternative for me is to bite the bullet and buy an MFT or Fuji camera. Sorry Pentax, but not owning up to the aperature block problem is unforgivable to me. I'm happy to buy used, but rather not give any $ to Pentax at this point.

I was so happy with my K-50 until this. Oh well, life goes on.

BigRob
Sorry about your K-50 other than the obvious problem you have its a great little DSLR. Adorama shows to have a preowned K-5 and K-3. I've got both a k-50 and K-3 and both are still working fine. If you can spring for the K-3 it will give you great service and the K-5 is under your $300 limit so it would make you a nice buy also. Either one would be quite a step up from the K-50 in both build and features. I'm not sure about the shutter could on either camera.

Good luck

Last edited by Larrymc; 10-06-2018 at 07:38 PM.
10-06-2018, 07:53 PM   #8
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I have a K-50 that has had the aperture block repair done. I replaced it this week with a K-70 as it has a few more features that I wanted. My K-50 is for sale and works perfectly now.

10-06-2018, 08:03 PM   #9
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I haven't owned a K-50, but I have had a K-30 with the aperture block failure. Had mine fixed by the guy in Cali for ~$100, after picking up a K-3 as a replacement to expedite having a working camera. My son stole the K-30, and in a very generous turn of events, I was gifted a K-5 as a backup while discussing potential replacements.

The K-5 and K-3 are, in my hands, better than the K-30, which is all but equivalent to the K-50. Either of these is going to be a good step up from your K-50, in ny experience. Depending on your budget and what's available at the time (since the used market fluctuates a lot), make your call based on shutter count and condition. Something to consider is the lack of an anti-aliasing filter in the K-5iis and K-3, which makes some difference , but in reality isn't a deal breaker either way.

Alternately, you could get about $200 apiece for your lenses on the used market, and make the switch to a different system if you're really pissed at Pentax.
10-08-2018, 01:05 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bigrob Quote
...Something about cutting my losses. The alternative for me is to bite the bullet and buy an MFT or Fuji camera.
If a mirrorless camera is more suitable, that might be a good option if a reasonably-priced adapter is available to support your lenses. You may want to consider reliability while doing market research. The most recently published numbers from Consumer Reports* indicate 3-year failure rates for MILC as follows:
Olympus -- 14%
Nikon -- 11%
Sony --10%
Fujifilm -- 9%
Panasonic --7%
Canon -- 6%
Differences of less than 6% are deemed not significant.

For dSLRs, the numbers look like this for the same period:
Pentax -- 10% (includes bulk of K-50 failures)
Nikon -- 8%
Sony -- 8%
Canon -- 7%
Again, difference of less than 6% are deemed not significant.

My take on these numbers is that the camera industry as a whole is seeking a new low for reliability and fault detection/control. My advice for new purchases is to consider a third-party extended drop 'n spill warranty/insurance.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bigrob Quote
Sorry Pentax, but not owning up to the aperature block problem is unforgivable to me. I'm happy to buy used, but rather not give any $ to Pentax at this point.
I understand your disappointment, particularly after a failed self-service, but can assure you that no camera maker has offered compensation for manufacturing defect outside the warranty period as a matter of general practice. The closest I can think of is Nikon's 2014 forced recall of D600 dealer stock from China due to reports of oil-fouled sensors there. Nikon subsequently offered replacement of D600s on which they had performed repeated service for oil spots and which still had significant fouling. It is unknown how many cameras were replaced under those provisions.

I hope you find a good solution that allows you to be taking photos with a minimum additional cash out.


Steve

* Failure within three years of purchase as reported in the Winter 2017 survey. The beginning of the three-year window being in Fall of 2014.
10-08-2018, 08:13 PM   #11
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Thanks Steve. Good info on reliability. I still haven’t given up on repairing the K-50. Had it taken apart again today and found a lose ribbon cable that fixed a couple of functions, but the mode dial and delete button are still not working. Also did a firmware update. Will keep trying, but thinking of a used K-5 as a reasonable way to keep with My Pentax lenses.

You may well be right about major camera makers not fixing cameras off warranty. But it does leave me little disappointed.

Time to dust off my AE-1 :-)
10-10-2018, 05:40 AM   #12
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Just a quick update. I went back into the camera last night, and was able to fix it. There is a ribbon cable (actually might be mylar or something else) that had come partially loose during the assembly/disassembly process. This cable made the electrical connections from the top plate to the camera body. Re-seating it carefully brought the camera back to life. Thanks for the offers & suggestions for a K-5 or K-3, but I think I will now stick with the K-50 for as long as it lasts. Not quite sure how long the aperture fix will last.

Maybe I should get into the camera repair business? Just kidding.

Bob
10-10-2018, 05:40 AM   #13
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Just a quick update. I went back into the camera last night, and was able to fix it. There is a ribbon cable (actually might be mylar or something else) that had come partially loose during the assembly/disassembly process. This cable made the electrical connections from the top plate to the camera body. Re-seating it carefully brought the camera back to life. Thanks for the offers & suggestions for a K-5 or K-3, but I think I will now stick with the K-50 for as long as it lasts. Not quite sure how long the aperture fix will last.

Maybe I should get into the camera repair business? Just kidding.

Bob
10-10-2018, 06:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bigrob Quote
You may well be right about major camera makers not fixing cameras off warranty. But it does leave me little disappointed.

Time to dust off my AE-1 :-)
I had two Canon Rebels in a row die after 'suffering' for a while from processor issues. When you pay 'consumer level' prices, you get 'consumer level' quality, but I do agree that Pentax should drop this line if they can't get it to work for more than a couple of years {my K-30 is having Dark Image Syndrome issues after three years}
10-25-2018, 01:56 AM   #15
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Sanding / Filing the plunger of the green China solenoid IS NOT A REPAIR but a mod

QuoteOriginally posted by 35wailin Quote
I have a K-50 that has had the aperture block repair done. I replaced it this week with a K-70 as it has a few more features that I wanted. My K-50 is for sale and works perfectly now.
No, your K-50 didn't receive a repair, it received a modification, i.e. you sanded the plunger:

QuoteOriginally posted by 35wailin Quote
I haven't gone through all 50 plus pages of this thread, but I did the repair on my K-50 myself. I did the sandpaper the corners trick.

As an electronics technician, I examined the actuator and plunger and at least on mine, the plunger had a sharp edge wich I believe over time snagged the plastic lining of the channels where the plunger rides, causing a burr in the plastic surface which the plunger would have to have enough force to overcome. I believe my rounding the corners, it would prevent further damage as well as being rounded, would ride over any existing burrs much like the tips of a set of skis.

I may be wrong in my theory, but after several thousand shots since the repair, all is well.

As an electronics technician and if you would have read all the previous posts and warnings about the sanding method you would then have understood very well that this is not the road to go!

All plungers, also those of the white Japanese solenoids have a sharp edge but those of the white solenoid will not snagg the lining of the body because it is made out of PTFE and not PET like the cheap green one.

There are many reports of failures of sanded green solenoids, I myself came across a few and one was a dead end because further damage happened due to the now more uncontrolled movement of the plunger due to being sanded and thus moving with more play... remember, the PET (or PTFE with the white solenoid) acts acts as a bearing for the plunger.


So if you plan to sell this K50 you better offer this extra information that it was not actually repaired (which would mean exchange with a true working solenoid) but it was modified by using this dreaded sanding method.And you are quite right not to trust it as your wrote:

QuoteOriginally posted by 35wailin Quote
I am considering upgrading my k50 to a k70 because of the aperture motor failure in the k30 and k50.

I repaired my 50, but I dont fully trust it now.
Well, as said, it is not a repair but a (bad) modification, which will work for some time but often is a timebomb!

---------- Post added 10-25-18 at 02:18 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Bigrob Quote
Well, I tried to make the repair as suggested in many places on this and other forums. I had no trouble slowly and carefully taking the K-50 apart. I got to the aperture controller and carefully removed and filed it a bit. Then I carefully re-assembled the camera. Unfortunately I may have fixed the aperature controller but caused other problems. Pressing the flash button puts the camera into live view. Almost any selection of the control dial shows the camera in AV mode. I can take photos, but not delete them. I am now trying to figure out where I went wrong.

I would caution others about trying to make this repair on their own. I am fairly good at repairs in general. I am good with my hands. But, it appears I have fried my camera.
This is one of those posts which as well can be so misleading:

You did solve the problem which actually says that you were not that "good with your hands" this time, things like this happen, no question, but then to warn people to be cautious because you did not study enough all posts and did things in haste.

You
a) went the very wrong way by filing an already faulty part, enough has been written about this, so I am not going to repeat myself.

Which is not a repair but a modification which helps for a short limited time that the camera works again but in many cases has lead to final exodus!

b) warning people before sitting down, checking what went wrong

You see, this is what brings confusion in.

Patience is what is needed, if possible prior the repair.
Patience is also needed for finding out what is the correct route to take!

Last edited by photogem; 10-25-2018 at 02:28 PM.
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