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09-28-2014, 02:55 AM   #1
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645Z Malfunction

Hey guys, I have been having a couple strange shutter malfunctions in the last week and today has gotten to a point where I'm about to send it back.

Noticed when in portrait orientation doing panorama's the exposures varied a lot with out setting changes (usually darker). It started as one every now and then and as of today it seems like every second picture is exposed different to the previous which as you could image makes panos impossible. The shutter even sounds off when I press the capture button, Almost out of time or catching/getting caught??? Some times is wont even display in live view, and gives me a blank black screen as if the lens cap is on, which makes me think the shutter is jammed down at random times.

I have updated to the new firmware hoping it was a bug.. but it seems more than that and the update had no effect on the issue.

I always shoot in M mode and found that this problem occurs with the "mirror up" when enabled and disabled.

Here is a link to a quick video I shot tonight to help show what its doing.

What do you guys think?

09-28-2014, 06:47 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomasbrowphoto Quote
Hey guys, I have been having a couple strange shutter malfunctions in the last week and today has gotten to a point where I'm about to send it back.

Noticed when in portrait orientation doing panorama's the exposures varied a lot with out setting changes (usually darker). It started as one every now and then and as of today it seems like every second picture is exposed different to the previous which as you could image makes panos impossible. The shutter even sounds off when I press the capture button, Almost out of time or catching/getting caught??? Some times is wont even display in live view, and gives me a blank black screen as if the lens cap is on, which makes me think the shutter is jammed down at random times.

I have updated to the new firmware hoping it was a bug.. but it seems more than that and the update had no effect on the issue.

I always shoot in M mode and found that this problem occurs with the "mirror up" when enabled and disabled.

Here is a link to a quick video I shot tonight to help show what its doing. 645z shutter issue - YouTube

What do you guys think?
Doesn't look or sound good. Before I'd send it in, though (North American service being so poor...), I'd try hard resets (plural) and switching in and out of bracket mode, & etc, just to see if it has an effect in the way that reboots and other little tricks can sometimes sort out a computer problem. Maybe roll back the firmware and then a re-install. Probably won't have much effect, but I'd still try that before sending it off as my last resort.

The sound is worrying.
09-28-2014, 07:25 AM   #3
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Thomas, I pretty well guarantee it's a failed shutter. Obviously my 645D's didn't have Live View, but the rest of the symptoms I had on both shutter failures I experienced are exactly the same as I just saw on your video. Including increasing frequency of whacked exposures (too dark or sometimes too light), and a sound like the camera is trying to actuate the shutter 2 - 3 times before either getting it to fire or giving up. Send the camera in; there's no point waiting, it's only going to get worse. The camera will go to Japan for repair. My two shutter replacement jobs took 10 weeks and 12+ weeks (still counting, since the camera isn't back yet from the second repair).

Since I've been through this myself, I feel for you. This sucks. It doubly sucks given that the Z has a new, supposedly more durable shutter design compared to the D.
09-28-2014, 01:23 PM   #4
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Just send it in to CR Kennedy and they will take a look at it. Their service is pretty good and you can speak directly to the tech in head office.

---------- Post added 09-29-14 at 06:26 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Royce Howland Quote
Thomas, I pretty well guarantee it's a failed shutter. Obviously my 645D's didn't have Live View, but the rest of the symptoms I had on both shutter failures I experienced are exactly the same as I just saw on your video. Including increasing frequency of whacked exposures (too dark or sometimes too light), and a sound like the camera is trying to actuate the shutter 2 - 3 times before either getting it to fire or giving up. Send the camera in; there's no point waiting, it's only going to get worse. The camera will go to Japan for repair. My two shutter replacement jobs took 10 weeks and 12+ weeks (still counting, since the camera isn't back yet from the second repair).

Since I've been through this myself, I feel for you. This sucks. It doubly sucks given that the Z has a new, supposedly more durable shutter design compared to the D.

The Z has double the shutter life yes, but for a landscape guy like the OP, it has no more than the D because the camera uses the shutter every time he goes in and out of live view, which is every shot.

09-28-2014, 06:13 PM   #5
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Thanks Guys, Yeah I have been in contact with the Pentax Service/distributor here in Australia and they want me to send the body in immediately.

Ill keep you all informed as to how this plays out.

Cheers, tom
09-29-2014, 09:58 AM   #6
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There is an issue with those catastrophic failures. I only had one with my 645D so far, but it made me concerned about taking the 645D for international travels. Taking a backup body would be really heavy, even though I plan on getting a 645Z just to have two bodies around.

I must say that I have not had such failures with my other medium format system, the Rolleiflex Hy6 system. When it fails, it fails slowly and is still functional for a while. Had to replace autofocus mechanism after many many years, but the camera was still functional. Same with some dialing buttons. Haven't had shutter issues so far, fortunately. Might have to do with the shutter being located in the lenses, but still. I wouldn't have a problem taking the Rolleiflex on a major trip.

Didn't have an issue ever with my m43 system (ten bodies).

Something for Pentax to work on. Those shutter issues shouldn't occur that frequently.
09-30-2014, 06:56 AM   #7
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Thomas -
Just curious, what's the shutter count on your camera? Best of luck to you on this.
09-30-2014, 03:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by iCrop Quote
Thomas -
Just curious, what's the shutter count on your camera? Best of luck to you on this.
Shutter count was only around 2800 Actuations. Thanks

09-30-2014, 08:27 PM   #9
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I have just got off the phone to The Service Centre/ Distributer CR Kennedy here in Australia. They have tracked down a replacement body and I should receive it in the next day or so. They believe it is a "Aperture lever issue" and that my camera is going to be sent off to the Philippines to to be assessed and repaired due to unavailability of parts here in Australia. They also told me that this is the first time they have heard of this issue with the 645Z.

Fingers Crossed the new body is good!

Tom
09-30-2014, 09:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lacunapratum Quote
There is an issue with those catastrophic failures. I only had one with my 645D so far, but it made me concerned about taking the 645D for international travels. Taking a backup body would be really heavy, even though I plan on getting a 645Z just to have two bodies around.

I must say that I have not had such failures with my other medium format system, the Rolleiflex Hy6 system. When it fails, it fails slowly and is still functional for a while. Had to replace autofocus mechanism after many many years, but the camera was still functional. Same with some dialing buttons. Haven't had shutter issues so far, fortunately. Might have to do with the shutter being located in the lenses, but still. I wouldn't have a problem taking the Rolleiflex on a major trip.

Didn't have an issue ever with my m43 system (ten bodies).

Something for Pentax to work on. Those shutter issues shouldn't occur that frequently.
What is your data point? You will always get some failed units, there is nothing to say that this is a regular fault, just because two forum members have had shutter issues (albeit one of them more than once). This is where forums are a bad data point for things like this as it creates exaggeration of many negative issues.
10-01-2014, 05:15 PM   #11
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Well I thought I would Conclude this thread as I was shipped a Brand new 645Z body this morning, only 3 days after me contacting CR Kennedy/Pentax distributer about my malfunctioning 645Z. Im very Happy with how they looked after the matter, and believe they understand the importance of good customer service. Fingers Crossed the new body lasts. I love using the 645Z.

Tom
10-01-2014, 08:36 PM   #12
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Well Ishimitis, apologies for stating my perspective. I believe I am the third one with such an experience on this forum and I do have a wonderful set of Pentax lenses which would have been ideal for travel with the 645D. Also, never had any problems with my three 645n bodies in the past. This summer I went to Southern China, South Africa, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro; and in the end I took my Olympus system. I was just too much worried that my single 645D body would fail while abroad. And I know that the 645D pictures would have likely been of better quality. My Hy6 system, on the other hand, has older backs that are less convenient for distant travel. Anyway - that's my perspective. Those 50K/100K actuations and the occasional failure are certainly o.k. for studio use, but I would like Pentax to improve on the aspect of shutter longevity. You may be happy with yours, but wait until you have a shutter issue ...

Last edited by Lacunapratum; 10-01-2014 at 10:20 PM.
10-01-2014, 11:54 PM   #13
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I'm very glad to hear that Thomas, and was hoping it would be resolved in such a manor. It's nice to have faith in CRK for this stuff.
10-02-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lacunapratum Quote
Well Ishimitis, apologies for stating my perspective. I believe I am the third one with such an experience on this forum and I do have a wonderful set of Pentax lenses which would have been ideal for travel with the 645D. Also, never had any problems with my three 645n bodies in the past. This summer I went to Southern China, South Africa, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro; and in the end I took my Olympus system. I was just too much worried that my single 645D body would fail while abroad. And I know that the 645D pictures would have likely been of better quality. My Hy6 system, on the other hand, has older backs that are less convenient for distant travel. Anyway - that's my perspective. Those 50K/100K actuations and the occasional failure are certainly o.k. for studio use, but I would like Pentax to improve on the aspect of shutter longevity. You may be happy with yours, but wait until you have a shutter issue ...
My point was that your post suggested that most pentax users have issues with the shutters, which i do not believe to be the case. It was not intended as a judgement of you, just of an assumption that there is a regular shutter failure based on a few accounts. Forums are never strong straw samples as they are anything but random. Every issues is chewed over and expanded. So there have been 3/4 cases of shutter failures on this Pentax forum of a Pentax camera. That must mean they are all failing then. It's a regular occurrence on many forums.
10-02-2014, 05:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
My point was that your post suggested that most pentax users have issues with the shutters, which i do not believe to be the case. It was not intended as a judgement of you, just of an assumption that there is a regular shutter failure based on a few accounts. Forums are never strong straw samples as they are anything but random. Every issues is chewed over and expanded. So there have been 3/4 cases of shutter failures on this Pentax forum of a Pentax camera. That must mean they are all failing then. It's a regular occurrence on many forums.
"that your post suggested that most pentax users have issues with the shutters" - this is certainly a false read of my post.
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