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11-21-2013, 11:26 AM   #1
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K3 cold weather focus issues

Hi I wonder if anyone has had a k3 stop auto focus when in the cold. About -15c. I know the manual says good to -10c. However, my K5 says the same and has never had problems at much lower temperatures and for longer times. I had a fresh battery. It happened twice and with more than one lens. Thanks for any ideas on this. I am off to talk to the dealer to see what they think.

11-21-2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmurray Quote
Hi I wonder if anyone has had a k3 stop auto focus when in the cold. About -15c. I know the manual says good to -10c. However, my K5 says the same and has never had problems at much lower temperatures and for longer times. I had a fresh battery. It happened twice and with more than one lens. Thanks for any ideas on this. I am off to talk to the dealer to see what they think.
I can't answer your question as I'm not exactly in an area with those sorts of temperatures

But what I can say is that in general, going below the specified operating temperature can cause issues. I used the MX-1 in very cold weather and sometimes the pictures would randomly come out looking green and purple. A K-5 user on the forum once had his mirror freeze (literally) on him. Battery voltage is also a concern, as it drops in cold environments. And low voltage can make a camera do unexpected things.

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11-21-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I expect you are correct. However, I will try to see if this experience is unique to my camera or not. Winter is just starting up around here.. Glad I kept my k5.
11-21-2013, 12:21 PM   #4
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Did you let the camera acclimatize? If the camera cools down (or heats up) too quickly condensation can cause problems too.

11-21-2013, 01:31 PM   #5
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In that low of temperature, I'd keep the battery in a shirt pocket under my coat when not in use and deploy it when I'm ready to shoot.
11-21-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
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With the K20D in cold weather (about -20 C) sometimes the mirror took some time to get back down after taking a shot. Really weird but it never prevented me from taking pictures. It's not yet cold enough to test the K-3 in extreme weather here, but if I ever notice anything this winter, I'll post about it.
11-21-2013, 01:41 PM   #7
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Could it be the lens?
Have you tried replacing the lens with a warm one?
I'd think you're more likely to have problems with the lenses before the camera is affected.
I've had my DA* 50-135 stick up in just below freezing in under an hour. Yet some other lenses have shown no issues for longer periods in colder weather.

Like you, my K-5 has never shown issues. Sorry, no K-3 in my hands yet...
11-21-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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This morning I took my k5 out in similar temperatures - 15C for about 1 1/2 hours with the same lens that was on the k3 when it lost AF. I used it lots during that time and at the end of the time it worked perfectly as far as I could tell.

11-21-2013, 02:56 PM   #9
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Let me get this straight:
Your startpost is about an issue that happened earlier this week but you only posted it this evening. But before posting this issue you allready tested the same lens on a different body this morning, which means you were allready suspicious of the lens and not the body? May I ask why you didn`t posted the complete story?

We like to help but without all the facts that`s gonna be really hard.
11-21-2013, 03:16 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Just get a standard non-Pentax Flucard, or possibly any other wireless card, and run it in your K-3. They seem to generate some heat, which may be useful in very cold conditions, especially as the card slot is near the battery
02-10-2014, 07:02 PM   #11
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Update on K3 Cold weather issue.

After considering all the suggestions and trying everything I could think of to eliminate the problem I sent the k3, that was not functioning well in sub zero conditions, back to Ricoh in Mississauga. While it was there ( I sent it back twice) I had a few conversations, initiated by me, with the technician who was working on it. He thought the problem was due to contamination on the two pentax wr lenses that I had used with it and suggested that I might solve the problem by carefully cleaning the contacts with alcohol. Doing this had no effect. The problem still occurred with all four of my pentax wr lenses. After about six weeks of fairly pleasant back and forth about it the company decided to exchange the original body for a new one.

I just had the new body out for over three hours of -30 to -25 C and it worked well. So far so good. Thanks to everyone who kindly offered advice and suggestions!
02-11-2014, 06:15 AM   #12
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I spend last Saturday at Quebec city's Winter carnival. -14C from 10 AM to 5 PM. 60-250 attached. Not a hiccup.
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