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03-08-2011, 06:13 PM   #1
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k200d Exposure and/or Sensor problem

Hello Folks,

I just purchased a used K200d as a replacement for a K100d that had been dropped twice on the ground over a period of 5 years. It was time to get a new camera.

On the K100d, I had been using a manual-focus k-mount 2nd party lens (from the 70s?) and also the kit 18-55 kit lens with acceptable results.

Moving these lenses over to the K200d, while in manual mode the camera's exposure of each image seems to be jumping all over the place, without even adjusting any settings. 3 images in a row will produce one shot dark, one brighter and one over exposed. Using the kit lens in automode, the autofocus works ok but the images are severely underexposed and I have to adjust the EV to the highest to get the subject to even faintly appear. The image is basically black. Sometimes using the kit lens in full auto mode, the flash will pop up to take an image, even when there is enough light in the room to normally take a hand held shot. When using the K100D there are no similar issues or problems with these lenses.

The auto bracketing is not on, I've been through all of the settings on the camera and can't seem to find the problem. Has anyone encountered such a problem? Should I try to send it into Pentax? Is there a trouble shooting method that could at least be used to narrow down what they problem might be?


Last edited by Hayward; 03-08-2011 at 07:29 PM.
03-08-2011, 10:41 PM   #2
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Some ideas:
- Let me be the first to suggest the old "clean the contacts" routine. The battery contacts can get dirty too.
- There is a menu item to reset the camera to factory defaults. That would save time checking each item again.
- I would set up a scene and shoot it with the old camera. Take note of the aperture, shutter speed and ISO used for that photo. Then with the K200D using the same lens, set manual mode. Put the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO exactly where they were with the first camera. Make sure the framing is the same and shoot. The images should have similar histograms and brightness.
03-09-2011, 06:43 AM   #3
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Hi Just1MoreDave,

Thanks for the tips, I'll try the contact cleaning and tests and reply with the results!
03-09-2011, 07:07 AM   #4
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Cleaned the contacts, same problem. The K100d shoots everything appearing normal, but shooting with the same settings, the k200d seems to underexpose everything using the kit lens and seems to work somewhat normally with the manual lens but with highly inconsistent results.

I took the lens off the k200d and tried to see if the aperture arm was working properly and I noticed that with long exposures, the mirror does not go all the way up. I put the mirror lock up function for cleaning the sensor and again it doesn't go all the way up. The k100d does. A hardware problem I suppose?

03-09-2011, 09:22 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hayward Quote
3 images in a row will produce one shot dark, one brighter and one over exposed.
Sounds a lot like auto-bracketing. Check the menu or just reset it to factory defaults.

edit: oops, I see you said its not on

mirror could be a problem, but I would expect you would have a band of black at the bottom of you images if it weren't going all the way up, instead of just being underexposed.
03-09-2011, 10:20 AM   #6
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Thank you enoeske,

I have seen some banding on a few of the images, sometimes it happens and most of the time not.
I took the lens of again and put the camera in bulb mode so I can control the shutter open time. Some times the mirror goes all the way up, sometimes it goes up and then bounces down halfway open. The shutter behind the mirror also closes slightly or halfway when this happens. I'm guessing that with the manual lens this explains why the image is sometimes properly exposed and sometimes not, it seems that maybe the camera is recording the image on the card when the lens pops back down, not allowing more light into the sensor.

But what it doesn't explain is when using the Pentax kit lens, it seems like the aperture never opens at all and I have to set the camera manually to open for at least 1.5 seconds to get anything visible.
03-09-2011, 09:27 PM   #7
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The symptoms aren't encouraging, especially the partial mirror movement. The best you could hope for is one part that's failed. Even then, getting to the part would take time.
03-09-2011, 09:32 PM   #8
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Sounds like the K200 has some serious issues. Hopefully, you can return it and get your $$ back.

03-10-2011, 07:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for your comments. I see that the problem now is more serious than probably worth sending in to repair. I'm going to try to return it and get a new camera body (another k200d- I otherwise really liked this model).

The interesting thing about it was that I measured the shutter count online and it was only 1700 releases or so. The body itself was in perfect condition, so there must of been some manufacturer defect in it. I can't imagine why it wasn't sent in under warranty if the problem arose so early?

Live and learn....
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