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09-22-2014, 03:32 PM   #1
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K-30: No Photo captured when using viewfinder HELP

Greetings!

I am on vacation in Mexico and went to take some photos with my K-30 and noticed every photo I took when using the viewfinder would produce a black photograph when reviewing - but when I use the live screen to take the photo, they turn out perfectly clear. I am heading to the Mayan Temples tomorrow and was hoping that someone has encountered this before and could tell me what to do or if some setting has changed accidentally.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Tim

09-22-2014, 03:35 PM   #2
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Sounds like it might be a metering issue. Can you post a sample with EXIF? If your camera isn't in matrix (green) metering mode, the light meter can easily be thrown off when pointed at something bright.

Adam
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09-22-2014, 03:47 PM   #3
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Hi Adam,

It's in my resort room. I could take a photo when I get back. What would I do if that's the case? Also I don't know how or what EXIF is...

Thanks!

Tim
09-22-2014, 03:53 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by allpowerfultim Quote
Hi Adam,

It's in my resort room. I could take a photo when I get back. What would I do if that's the case? Also I don't know how or what EXIF is...

Thanks!

Tim
Just snap a photo, click on manage attachments, and upload it directly to your post. EXIF is metadata and our system will be able to see it after you upload.

The metering setting can be found in the info screen. It's the rightmost icon in the middle row:



It should be green for matrix metering (unlike in the screenshot).


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09-22-2014, 03:58 PM   #5
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I won't be able to upload a photo as I don't have my laptop. I could only snap a photo from my phone and upload that.

How can I return it to normal metering?

Adam you're so helpful - thank you! 😊
09-22-2014, 04:32 PM   #6
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It may not be metering at fault, but the recommendation is to be sure it is in 'green' mode and that is a good first thing to try.

Looks like the screen readout will tell you which icon is which. In the screenshot Adam posted, it reads 'Custom Image Bright' and I think you will want to see 'Metering Matrix' when you select the icon on the right (right middle, I think) . If the readout is anything else (Metering Spot or whatever), change the setting to Matrix.

As far as your problem..
If you can't post a picture, point the camera at the same thing (hotel wall or out the window might be better) and take note of the settings the camera has chosen. You will see shutter speed and ISO and aperture. Note what mode you are in (Program, Aperture priority) . Post the readings you get for both 'through the viewfinder' and 'liveview'.

This may help someone figure out...
I can't imagine what causes this...
Is the picture black-black or just dark-dark underexposed ?

+ The only thing I can think is you may have Exposure Compensation set for -3 or more... Check this setting and see if it is set for anything other than '0' where zer is no effect.

The button for exposure compensation is the +/- button. If you press that and see zero or the little blip in the center of the scale, don't do a thing. If it is negative something, set it to zero/center... If you need to change it, hold the +/- button and turn a control wheel. I think you camera has two wheels? Try the front. The +/- is on the camera body and not in the menu Adam posted.

However, I am not sure this the problem because I can't imagine why it would affect 'through the viewfinder' and not 'liveview'...

Hope you have fun tomoorow
If it doesn't get resolved, it will suck.
But don't let it take too much from the trip.
Now you will have more time to look around and still enjoy the day :^)

Last edited by Tan68; 09-22-2014 at 04:42 PM.
09-22-2014, 05:21 PM   #7
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Is the mirror lifting ?
You can go to page 261 of your manual to check if the mirror is operational.
09-22-2014, 05:43 PM   #8
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I have had this issue for months. Others have experienced the problem which has been discussed several times on the forum.

Bad News: This is a K-30 manufacturing / software issue. which you will have to live with!

Good News: You can live with the problem to some extent. Here are some tips on doing so

The metering

Appears to get better with continuous use. If you keep clicking away, the number of "dark" captures start to reduce.
"Dark" captures completely disappears in bright light with continuous use.

The reason why I suspect the problem could be in the software is because people across the world started reporting it around the same time.

09-23-2014, 01:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Inexorable Quote
I have had this issue for months. Others have experienced the problem which has been discussed several times on the forum.

Bad News: This is a K-30 manufacturing / software issue. which you will have to live with!

Good News: You can live with the problem to some extent. Here are some tips on doing so

The metering

Appears to get better with continuous use. If you keep clicking away, the number of "dark" captures start to reduce.
"Dark" captures completely disappears in bright light with continuous use.

The reason why I suspect the problem could be in the software is because people across the world started reporting it around the same time.
It can be a mirror and shutter synchronization issue. In live view the shutter is already open, mirror is up and aperture set, just snap a frame of picture (electronically). In view finder mode, the shutter need to open, mirror got up and aperture set at same time when shutter is pressed, and picture captured. One or more of these is out of sync can render a black or darker picture.

Black: shutter and mirror is out of sync.
Darker: shutter/mirror and aperture is out of sync.
09-23-2014, 04:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Inexorable Quote
Bad News: This is a K-30 manufacturing / software issue. which you will have to live with!
There is a know issue related to the aperture diaphragm controller that results in severe underexposure. That fault results in the lens stopping full down regardless of the aperture setting. Whether that is what is happening here is not clear. To best of my knowledge, there have been no reports of totally blank images on this site.

As for having to "live with it"...If the camera is still on warranty, it would be best to bring Ricoh/Pentax into the loop as soon as possible. It is unlikely that the problem is caused by a bad setting and non-warranty service could be expensive.

In the mean time, the OP can evaluate the diaphragm operation with this simple test:
  • M mode
  • Aperture at maximum (lowest f-number)
  • Shutter at 3 seconds
  • While looking into the front of the lens press the shutter release
  • The aperture should remain fully open for the full 3 seconds
You can confirm mirror operation with the same setup, but looking into the viewfinder during the exposure while pointing the camera at a bright scene. If the viewfinder does not go completely black (mirror up), there is a mirror problem.


Steve
09-23-2014, 04:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
As for having to "live with it"...If the camera is still on warranty, it would be best to bring Ricoh/Pentax into the loop as soon as possible. It is unlikely that the problem is caused by a bad setting and non-warranty service could be expensive.
+1 But I think Inexorable just meant live with it until the OP can get to a Pentax service centre or agent.

---------- Post added 09-24-14 at 09:44 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
It should be green for matrix metering.
The icon is green but it is called "Multi-segment" metering.

Worth a try but seems unlikely to solve the problem.
09-23-2014, 04:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
+1 But I think Inexorable just meant live with it until the OP can get to a Pentax service centre or agent.
You mean something like using live view until service can be arranged? Good idea.


Steve
09-24-2014, 10:33 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone! It is severely underexposed. I have some screen shots but the site will not allow me to upload from my phone, it just keeps saying "uploading".

I will have to take it in for repair. It's sad, I love the photo quality. I don't use the camera a lot - only on vacations, trips or special occasions. And for something like this to happen, it's very disappointing. It is only under 1 1/2 years old. Sighs.

---------- Post added 09-24-14 at 01:33 PM ----------

Thanks everyone! It is severely underexposed. I have some screen shots but the site will not allow me to upload from my phone, it just keeps saying "uploading".

I will have to take it in for repair. It's sad, I love the photo quality. I don't use the camera a lot - only on vacations, trips or special occasions. And for something like this to happen, it's very disappointing. It is only under 1 1/2 years old. Sighs.
09-25-2014, 08:21 PM   #14
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This happened to my camera as well. I will post some photos later. It must be a defect. I am considering to file a claim to force pentax to look at this issue seriously. It might be useful. For example, nikon had to deal with the d600 issue this year.
09-25-2014, 09:32 PM   #15
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sample photos

I took both photos with the same settings (downsampled them before uploading here). IMGP7843_.jpg is dark but IMGP7844_.jpg looks normal. The corresponding exif properties (using Adobe Photoshop Elment) for both photos were shown in 1.PNG and 2.PNG, respectively.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo     
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