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09-18-2017, 09:39 PM   #1
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645z finicky shutter release button?

Hi, all,

I have a low mileage 645z, less than two years old with maybe 20,000 actuations. Lately I've been shooting on a tripod in the studio on manual focus and manual exposure. I'm doing dance photography so split-second timing re shutter release is critical. But for the past few sessions, I'll frequently fire the camera, or attempt to do so, only to have the shutter not release. The problem is intermittent and very frustrating. If I were on autofocus I would chalk it up to the camera hunting for focus, but given that I'm not, that isn't it. The problem happens both when I start from half-depressed and when I start from undepressed. It also seems to be happening when I use a shutter-release cable.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is it due to pilot error, or does it sound like a hardware/software problem?

Thanks for any help.

09-18-2017, 09:43 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bfmelton Quote
Hi, all,

I have a low mileage 645z, less than two years old with maybe 20,000 actuations. Lately I've been shooting on a tripod in the studio on manual focus and manual exposure. I'm doing dance photography so split-second timing re shutter release is critical. But for the past few sessions, I'll frequently fire the camera, or attempt to do so, only to have the shutter not release. The problem is intermittent and very frustrating. If I were on autofocus I would chalk it up to the camera hunting for focus, but given that I'm not, that isn't it. The problem happens both when I start from half-depressed and when I start from undepressed. It also seems to be happening when I use a shutter-release cable.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is it due to pilot error, or does it sound like a hardware/software problem?

Thanks for any help.
Unless the camera is locked up writing to the card, there's no reason for this to happen. Could well be the button. Is the shutter instant with the IR remote, if you have one to test with?

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09-19-2017, 06:58 AM   #3
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Couple of things that occur to me. Perhaps worthless but it might be worthwhile to at least investigate.

My experience with the IR remote has been that there is a significant lag between pressing the button and the camera firing. I was unaccustomed to having this lag when using a wireless radio remote with my other cameras.

If it's happening with the wired remote then it pretty much can't be the mechanics of the shutter button.

Is the meter off timer set to shut off in 10 seconds? If the camera is having to wake up that could be an issue.

My absolute favorite step when chasing poltergeists in the CPU sort of problems, where I have absolutely no clue what might be the issue, is to perform a factory reset as the absolute first step. Try things out with the default settings and see if anything changes. Also with a freshly charge known good battery and memory card and a different lens. Reloading the firmware wouldn't hurt anything.

My very best WAG here is that it's not a mechanical problem as long as the shutter button doesn't feel like it's stuck and not returning to the fully up position, but potentially a firmware/software glitch, or pilot error.

Last edited by postnobills; 09-19-2017 at 07:04 AM.
09-20-2017, 06:56 PM   #4
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It's happening with the wired remote. I'll check the meter timer and if that isn't it I'll give the reset a try. Thanks!

10-05-2017, 07:46 PM   #5
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There is a known problem on the 645Z with the wired remote cord connection inside the camera. It starts out exactly as you describe with delayed or intermentent shutter release, and eventually the connection becomes so bad that it can no longer reliably trigger. I believe it was here on Pentax Forums where there's a thread discussing this issue and many of us 645Z owners report having the problem. I don't know what the cost would be to fix. What most of us have done is switch to the wireless infrared remote. I use a 3rd party brand for this and it works well.
10-10-2017, 04:51 PM   #6
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I have a tendency to use those $5 wired remotes one finds on the Bay. The manufacturer names are Neewer, Yonguo, Shoot, etc., and they frequently look similar, except for the name printed on them. I use them on all my bodies that have the remote socket (*istD, K10D, K-50, K-5, K-3, K-1, 645Z). I'll buy 3 or 4 at a time, since they're so cheap. They typically last a couple years, and then the simulated gold contacts seem to wear away, and I get intermittent operation from them. When they start to fail, I can half-press the button and nothing happens. If I wiggle the connector, rotate it in its socket, or pull it out and reinsert it, frequently it will start to work again, for a while, and I know it's time to order more. They're so cheap, I keep them in every camera bag (9), and backpack (3) I own. I even have one in the car.

My 3-year-old 645Z has an admittedly low shutter count of 12,700, and has had no issue with the on body shutter release or remote socket.
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