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08-26-2015, 10:00 PM   #1
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K-30 photos dark all of a sudden

Had my camera a year and a half and it takes gorgeous pix. All of a sudden pix taken in auto mode are extremely dark - inside and outdoors. But video I take is fine. I am definitely a novice (hence using auto mode most of the time) so wonder if I pushed some button or setting but tried all reset options in manual and still the same. Help!

08-26-2015, 10:03 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by HedoGunner Quote
Had my camera a year and a half and it takes gorgeous pix. All of a sudden pix taken in auto mode are extremely dark - inside and outdoors. But video I take is fine. I am definitely a novice (hence using auto mode most of the time) so wonder if I pushed some button or setting but tried all reset options in manual and still the same. Help!
Can you post a photo with exif intact? Perhaps you've accidentally switched the camera to spot metering mode.

It could also be an issue with the shutter.

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08-27-2015, 05:16 AM   #3
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it happened to me too. i could not find the root cause , did not have to troubleshhot. i reset it to factory settings and corrected the problem.
08-27-2015, 06:50 AM   #4
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My father-in-law has a GX20 (K20D) and he had something similar. A factory reset sorted his issue out too.

08-27-2015, 07:18 AM   #5
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I tend to hit that +/ button on the top sometimes thinking it controls the flash, maybe you hit that by mistake?
08-29-2015, 01:25 PM   #6
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The K-30 is prone to an aperture activation arm failure. If you were to look at your camera lens head on and start clicking away then you will see the aperture blades close down to the smallest possible size, like f/22 or something*. You are totally right in that this is a randomly occurring event. In my experience I had it happen more with some lenses than other. For example, my K-30 would do this 50% of the time with the D-FA 50mm, especially when pointed downward. However, I only had a 10% or so occurrence with my DA 18-135mm. I don't know all the in's an out's of the mechanics that make this happen. There are several threads about this on the forum here.

* Yes, I did do this. Set the camera to manual focus and start clicking single shots. Make sure the camera is in Av mode and set the aperture to a known value like f/5.6 as your control.
08-29-2015, 06:14 PM   #7
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I've had the same problem for quite awhile. the last response of setting the camera to 5.6 in AV mode, manual focus while looking at the shutter when taking a photo has given me the answer to my problem. Seeing the shutter not open is a relief knowing what's wrong. Now to fix it.
08-29-2015, 08:12 PM   #8
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My K-30 has begun doing this as well. So far it's just the first shot after being off for about 10 minutes or so. I've had it since Jan. '13, so I'm thinking a Black Friday K-3 may be in my future!

09-01-2015, 09:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rudy Quote
it happened to me too. i could not find the root cause , did not have to troubleshhot. i reset it to factory settings and corrected the problem.
How do I do a factory reset? Not in manual. Thanks
09-02-2015, 07:20 AM   #10
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Resetting to factory default is on page 217 in the manual I have. Select "Reset" in the [set up 2] menu, press the four way controller > , reset screen appears, press the four way controller up , select reset, select ok. You may want to reset custom functions also.
I tried doing this also but it didn't work for me. I have gone thru the menus to see that all parameters are at factory default. I believe that the aperture arm has failed, I'm sending mine in for repair.
09-03-2015, 08:29 AM   #11
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Well very discouraged. Especially after reading this is a common problem with K-30. Wish I had read forum before buying. Did all the resets, took camera to shop here and they couldn't figure it out either. Recommended sending to Pentax (Ricoh) for repair. You have to send to Precsion Camera in Ct who charges you $206 before even looking at camera. For around $100 more I could buy a new camera body! Needless to say will be looking for a new camera and not a Pentax. Any recommendations?
09-03-2015, 09:13 AM   #12
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Get a K-S2 or K-3. The problem does not exist there. Both cameras use a completely different shutter from what I understand. This way you can use your K lenses without having to start over in a new ecosystem.

If you do decide to jump ship then check out an Olympus M10. A new rev II model was recently released but the first generation is very, very good. The sensor is not too far behind the performance of APS. There are also lots of sharp lenses that can had on a budget.
09-04-2015, 09:55 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by HedoGunner Quote
You have to send to Precsion Camera in Ct who charges you $206 before even looking at camera. For around $100 more I could buy a new camera body! Needless to say will be looking for a new camera and not a Pentax.
Your K-30 should still have some value, even with the aperture activation problem. A quick search of completed listings on eBay showed the lowest price "parts or repair" K-30 body went for $87. I often end up shooting wide open at dance recitals or floodlit sports events (using manual lenses), so have often thought about a cheap second body for those cases.
09-12-2015, 08:05 PM   #14
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My K-30 just started doing this today as well. It is extremely dark in Live-View mode as well. Tried multiple lenses with the same results.

Mine is closing the aperture all the way even when set to 1.4 on my FA50-1.4. Comes out almost completely black even with the flash on.

I have had mine for almost 26 months. I have the extended warranty and thought I was going to have to send it in. I got it working again by resetting to factory settings.
12-17-2015, 12:28 PM - 1 Like   #15
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A couple days after I thought I got it working again, it completely messed up and would always close the aperture all the way.

So I sent it in under extended warranty and just got it back from Precision Camera today for this issue.

They replaced the Diaphragm Control Box.
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