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09-24-2014, 01:05 PM   #1
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Kr Exposure Problem

When I take shots, irrespective of shutter speed or f/stop, manual or AF, they come out dark as hell. If I shoot a lot of quick shots, ranging up and down in speed and f/stop, eventually it'll start taking in light normally again. This happens with both of my lenses (I have an AF kit lens, and a MF macro lens.)

This has happened in full brightness outdoors, with sun shining directly on the subject. (As well as, yes, indoors).

The entire shot comes out black. If it's bright enough, and the shutter speed long enough, I might get the ghost of an image, as though it was just extremely under-exposed.

It's not the settings: if I rapid-fire about 40 pictures running through various apertures and shutter speeds, it'll "loosen up", and then I get perfectly fine pictures at the same settings I was previously getting black screens on. It's also completely insensitive to flash before it loosens up.

Let me give you an example: F/4 1/25th second, ISO 200 before & after loosening up, same setting, same lighting conditions (three lamps, and a large window with evening streetlights in a big city exterior to it), plus or minus a flash, attached.

Obviously, I'm assuming something is sticking and the rapid shooting is loosening it up. I youtubed a video on cleaning lens contacts, which is what keeps coming up when I google this problem. However, that did nothing to help. Any tips / hints / suggestions / etc.?

A separate issue, which may be less technical and more my ineptitude (picture 3): my spot-metering seems to be giving me inaccurate results. I'm shooting in Manual mode, pointing my viewfinder at a target, and half-depressing the trigger. The viewfinder is reporting, say, f/5.6, .3'', (ISO800) +1.3 stops overexposed. The former readings are obviously the result of my manual settings; the latter should indicate I'll have an overly-light shot as a result. The result, though, is quite dark - with a histo that doesn't get out of the mids. Is my spot meter busted, or am I doing something wrong?

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09-24-2014, 02:21 PM   #2
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(On second thought, the issues may not be unrelated: it may be the meter is giving me the correct results, and the sticky shutter/aperture/whatever is causing the picture to come out darker than it ought to for that reading.)
09-24-2014, 02:40 PM   #3
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Set your camera as follows:
  • M mode
  • Aperture at maximum for the lens
  • Shutter speed at 3 seconds
  • Release shutter while looking in the front of the lens
  • Confirm that the aperture stays wide open for the full 3 seconds
If the lens stops down, there is a problem with the aperture actuator mechanism.

09-24-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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Thanks, Steve.

It stays open the full 3 seconds, but it's not opening all the way. Until I run it through its "scales" (my exercise of shooting off around 40 shots), the aperture was staying heavily, heavily stepped down (it looked closer to an f/22).

So, does anyone have a guess on how much I can expect that to cost in repairs, before I head over to my local shop (adorama, B&H)? Or is this something I'm better of contacting Pentax for?


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