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01-01-2015, 05:59 PM   #1
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esrandall's Avatar

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K-50 mirror freezes when shooting f/2.8 or faster

I see there's another thread where a few people have chimed in with an issue that I seem to be sharing.

I'm having a similar issue, where the mirror will sporadically stick when I'm shooting wide open on faster (mainly f/2.8) lenses. Usually happens with the first shot taken (operating temperature doesn't seem to matter), and really starts happening in either of the burst modes. I'll fire off a 5-7 shot burst, and the mirror seems to kind of "stick" in the middle, and then everything lags for a few seconds. During that time, the VF is either black, or blurry looking. After those few seconds, the mirror seems to correct itself, and then I can shoot again. These are the lenses it happens on:

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Pentax M 50mm f1.7
Tamron 90mm f/2.8
Pentax M 50mm f/2
Sigma 50mm f/2.8 MF
Sigma 50mm EX DG f/2.8

So definitely not an isolated lens, and it doesn't happen on any of my slower lenses, and goes away on the faster lenses if I shoot one-stop faster than wide-open. I'm also hearing a low buzz while the camera is processing a run of shots taken in burst mode. Just started noticing this today while we were out hiking, and am certain I would have heard it before (I shoot a lot of burst mode). I just re-flashed the firmware, but it's still happening. Anything else I should be looking at, or something to try for a fix?

Camera was purchased last February, so I'm still good under the 1 yr. warranty. I'll wait to see if anybody out there has any suggestions, and if not, I'll start trying to figure out the RMA process.

Thanks.


Last edited by esrandall; 01-01-2015 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Ha!
01-01-2015, 06:15 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by esrandall Quote
Pentax M 500mm f/2
Oooh, where can I get one of these?

Seriously, I am struggling to see how there could be a relationship between the aperture setting and the mirror getting stuck. Unless when you are shooting wide open at a fast aperture you are also using a higher shutter speed? I can logically understand why shutter speed might have some effect but not the aperture.

At any rate, I do not think there is anything that can be done DIY to fix this, so I think it should go back. I had the stuck mirror issue on the k-5 and after repair it worked flawlessly. Since it is now 10 months old I do not think you send it back to the dealer. Precision camera is the warranty repair depot for Pentax. Precision Camera - Digital Camera Repair, Video Camera Repair Just follow the steps to "get a quote" and then you can print out the paperwork to include in the box.
01-01-2015, 06:16 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Were you using rechargeable AA's, or was your battery voltage low when this happened? If not, I would send the camera in under warranty and get the shutter replaced.

Adam
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01-01-2015, 07:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Oooh, where can I get one of these?

Seriously, I am struggling to see how there could be a relationship between the aperture setting and the mirror getting stuck. Unless when you are shooting wide open at a fast aperture you are also using a higher shutter speed? I can logically understand why shutter speed might have some effect but not the aperture.

At any rate, I do not think there is anything that can be done DIY to fix this, so I think it should go back. I had the stuck mirror issue on the k-5 and after repair it worked flawlessly. Since it is now 10 months old I do not think you send it back to the dealer. Precision camera is the warranty repair depot for Pentax. Precision Camera - Digital Camera Repair, Video Camera Repair Just follow the steps to "get a quote" and then you can print out the paperwork to include in the box.
Shutter speeds were nothing special, in the 1/100-1/500 range. Didn't really make sense to me either, and while I only shoot wide-open when I'm feeling "artsy-macro" with flowers, I'm afraid it's the start of a bigger problem. The local shop I purchased it at didn't tell me about the extended warranty (and I was too new to know about it), so I figure I'd better make it happen now, seeing as how the K-50 has dropped enough in price that it would make more sense to just buy a new one, as opposed to paying for a repair.

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Were you using rechargeable AA's, or was your battery voltage low when this happened? If not, I would send the camera in under warranty and get the shutter replaced.
Fresh Pentax battery, though it's done it with a generic replacement, too. It's been pretty sporadic to this point, but really took off today.

I have my paperwork, etc., so I'll get the return process going. I'm hoping it's repaired, and back in my hands by Feb. 13th. We're going on vacation to Disney World, and I'd prefer to bring the K-50 instead of my MX-1, but at least I have that as a backup plan.

Thanks for the help/advice.

01-01-2015, 09:19 PM   #5
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My K-5lls did the same thing. It took 3 months to get it back from precision-camera. If it's possible to get a refund I would, otherwise be prepared for a long wait.
01-01-2015, 09:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by djam Quote
My K-5lls did the same thing. It took 3 months to get it back from precision-camera. If it's possible to get a refund I would, otherwise be prepared for a long wait.
Yeah, I've seen a pretty wide-range of customer service stories about them in our forum. I'm not in a position to return it because I've had it for nearly a year, so I don't really have any other options. Reading the threads here, it seemed like they weren't prepared for the volume of RMA work when they became the new service contractor, so I'm hopeful that a little time has smoothed/sped up their process. If I have a poor experience, then I'm not sure what I'll do moving forward from a brand standpoint. I'm new to photography, and equally new to Pentax, so I don't have the years of brand loyalty that a lot of folks here are a part of. I love my camera, and would like to add a K-3 (or whatever else they release) to my kit, but if we are only going to have one official service provider, well they need to be worthy of my eventual business. I have no issues with the camera needing service, such is the nature of complex electronics, but the experience with the provider needs to be solid, because I won't put up with crappy customer service. So we'll see how it goes, and good or bad, I'll post the results so the next person can have another piece of information to apply to their own situation.
01-02-2015, 06:50 AM   #7
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Is it possible that you are catching the camera in the middle of a process as the memory buffer is fill and the camera is busy. Look at your auto settings, lense corrections etc and memory card speed
01-02-2015, 08:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Is it possible that you are catching the camera in the middle of a process as the memory buffer is fill and the camera is busy. Look at your auto settings, lense corrections etc and memory card speed
Good Class 10 card, and it will sometimes stutter after just one shot, let alone a 3-7 shot burst, with the burst really bringing the pain. I do have a lot of those settings checked off in-camera, but never experienced any issues previously, so I don't think that's it. I would think if I was overloading the camera, that it would just hit me with the "processing data" comment, and I wouldn't be able to do anything for a couple seconds (my MX-1 does this when I shoot in RAW), as opposed to the shutter/mirror going kind of halfway, and then after a few seconds -- popping back into place.

I went ahead and got the warranty work going through Precision, and my wife will take the package to the post office this morning. Hoping for a fast turnaround, but if not, my buddy offered up his K-5 as a loaner for when we go to Disney World in February, so I'll be covered.

01-02-2015, 11:11 PM   #9
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in my K7 same trouble. but the mirror freezes for a few minutes
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