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08-11-2011, 09:47 AM   #1
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Pentax K-x Focus Mode Lever problem

Hi

I'm new to the forum, and relatively new to digital SLRs (although I have owned Pentax film SLRs before). My K-x is just over a year old now (and just out of warranty!) and I am experiencing my first problem with it.

The Focus Mode Lever on the body of the camera is set to MF and seems to be jammed there - it won't shift to AF. It continues to operate in Autofocus mode despite this.

Does this sound like a hardware problem (i.e. back to the shop for repairs), or am I possibly missing something obvious, some lock or override that I have inadvertently activated?

The camera hasn't got wet or been dropped or mistreated in any other way (not yet, anyway), so there is no obvious reason for a sudden hardware problem.

I use Manual Focus all the time.

Many thanks in anticipation for any ideas anyone may have.

08-11-2011, 07:12 PM   #2
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Whatever you do, don't force it. Try moving it with power off, lens off, battery out, and on different modes. Go though the menus and see if there are any unusual settings. Probably none of this would work but you never know. Good luck, hope you get a better answer though.
08-12-2011, 04:42 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. Have tried all these things, no luck. I also tried resetting everything to the default factory settings - again, nothing.
Expecting reliability from Pentax, I haven't wanted to believe it was simply jammed - but looks like it is.
The good news is that I have discovered this forum, and will use it in future.
Cheers and thanks
Michael
08-12-2011, 11:11 PM   #4
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All the AF-MF lever makes is raise and lower the AF motor screwdriver from the camera's mount. That's probably what got stuck, check if it didn't got bent or if there's something holding it in place.

08-13-2011, 05:16 AM   #5
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Thanks for this input. It sounds like good advice.

I don't know enough about digital SLRs to know what the AF motor screw drive looks like, however - so I cannot tell if it is jammed or not.

The shop tells me that repairs take a standard 5 weeks - so I don't mind trying a few simple fixes first if it means I don't lose my camera for so long.

Can anyone direct me to any technical drawings / photos which show the working parts of the Pentax K-x? (The Operating Manual doesn't give such detail).

I admit I know almost nothing about how DSLRs work, but am capable of following simple instructions.

Thanks again
08-13-2011, 08:37 AM   #6
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Here is a photo of my *ist DS with the lens removed. This camera's mount is slightly different than the K-x but not in any way that matters in this discussion. The screw drive is sticking out on the right. It's spring-loaded so it can be pushed in when a lens is mounted.



The AF/MF switch is electrical and mechanical. The electrical part switches off the AF motor, lights up the MF indicator in your viewfinder, and maybe some other things too. The mechanical part retracts the screw drive so it's flush with the mount.

The lens release button also retracts the screw drive. So if you can't get the lens off at all, the drive can't retract, and it's not just the switch that's broken. If the lens does come off, try the lens release button, then the switch, and see what they do. I might use an old toothbrush on the screw drive to loosen debris that can jam this slot, though I have never had this happen myself. (You can see how worn the mount is; I change lenses a lot.) Brush the potential debris away from the mirror, otherwise it'll end up on the sensor.
08-13-2011, 03:28 PM   #7
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This is seriously helpful, thank you.

Now that I know which is the screw drive, I can report that it is clean as a whistle, no debris in sight. It isn't retracted, however, even thought the lever is stuck pointed at MF.

Nothing happens to the screw drive when the shutter release button is pressed.

Lenses are no problem to attach and remove.

Is it significant, perhaps, that different things occur with and without a lens in place?

- WITHOUT a lens, the status screen displays "MF"; I am also also able to change the AF Mode function setting (between AF.A, AF.S, AF.C) as I please

- with a lens ATTACHED, the status screen displays "AF.A"; although I cannot change the AF Mode because this option is greyed out on the menu
(it is also curious that even if I change the setting of AF.A to AF.S or AF.C while the lens is off, it doesn't change the display of "AF.A" when the lens is back on again)

Does this all point to the failure of an electrical component, I wonder?

I am very grateful for your help. Even if I don't succeed in fixing this problem, I am finally beginning to learn something of how my camera works (and enjoy it more as a result), which is great news...

Thanks again

Michael
08-13-2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by michaeljswaine Quote
Is it significant, perhaps, that different things occur with and without a lens in place?

- WITHOUT a lens, the status screen displays "MF"; I am also also able to change the AF Mode function setting (between AF.A, AF.S, AF.C) as I please

- with a lens ATTACHED, the status screen displays "AF.A"; although I cannot change the AF Mode because this option is greyed out on the menu
(it is also curious that even if I change the setting of AF.A to AF.S or AF.C while the lens is off, it doesn't change the display of "AF.A" when the lens is back on again)
I think this is happening because you are likely using the Green "Auto Pict" mode. In that mode I believe AF.A is the only option, hence the reason the option is greyed out on the menu. With the lens off, it should always display "MF" because the mount correctly knows that no AF lenses is attached. With no lens attached, you can change the menu items to whatever focus mode you want (which is what it will default to in P, A, Tv, Sv and M modes), but once you attached an AF lens in "Auto Pict" mode, it will always go back to AF.A as that is the only option for that mode.

08-14-2011, 12:57 AM   #9
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Thanks for this - it's obvious to me now that my latest bit of "evidence" is irrelevant. What you say makes good sense.

I'm still stuck though - and so is the lever!

Thanks, everybody, for trying to help. This is a real learning experience, though. I am finally having to think about how my camera works instead of pointing and shooting.
09-15-2011, 03:27 PM   #10
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Hello. I'm new to this forum. I have the exact same problem with my Pentax K-x. The focus lever is stuck on MF and yet it is operating in AF. Did you manage to find out what the problem is?
09-16-2011, 07:08 AM   #11
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I'm sorry, but no, I never found out what the problem was - and ended up paying for it to be repaired.

Problem is now fixed (cost me £60), but I don't yet know what they did except "repair focus lever and update firmware". I've emailed the company asking for more information - and I'll update this thread if I get any more detailed information from them.

Good luck.
09-16-2011, 07:48 AM   #12
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Very interesting to find this post.

I have a slightly related issue, with my K10D.

I say slightly related because my issue is with the lens release button. THe lens release pin, which is located at about 8:00 when facing the camera body, is perminantly recessed, as is the screw drive.

The common mechanism between the release button and the pin/screw drive has become detached.

I have elected to leave it alone, and now use the body as an M42 body (since I have 14 M42 lenses).

One point for those with a stuck MF switch. On my camera, the mode switch moves and if put in AF the screw drive turns even though recessed, so I have put it in MF mode to make sure it does not try.

FOr those with a stuck switch, it sounds like the linkage between the release button and the screw drive is in tact, otherwise you would not be able to remove lenses.

So here is a question. Have you tried pressing the release button at the same time as moving the AF/MF switch?

Just a thought. otherwise, you may also have a MF only body like me.
09-20-2011, 08:04 AM   #13
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Update from the repair company who described their fix as "mechanical". Not helpful, sorry. Good luck
09-20-2011, 11:53 AM   #14
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i hit the lens release and af/mf switch together and now the screw moves normally. It mustve got jammed. Thanks a lot for all the help and quick replies.
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