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01-19-2016, 12:26 AM   #1
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Camera and lens fog up?

My K30 and 16-85mm are with me in Singapore. I noticed that exposure in Av is way off; its producing very dark images. Upon closer inspection I noticed the lens front and rear elements are fogged over as is the mirror inside the camera. I cleaned/wiped these off with a cloth and left the camera open to the air for a few minutes; however the exposure is still very dark in Av mode. What could have caused this fogging and can it cause permanent damage?

---------- Post added 01-19-16 at 01:30 AM ----------

Moving the exposure compensation all the way to +5 provides pictures that are nearly properly exposed. I would need to go above +5 to get properly exposed photos.

01-19-2016, 01:18 AM   #2
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Are you moving in and out of buildings frequently, what is the relative humidity like over there? If the outside environment is cold and has high humidity with no air movement, condensation forms at will on just about any hard surface. If you are in that sort of soupy environment, keep your camera gear covered in a bag or at your hotel and wait for a clear day to shoot - sort of like how it is, most of the time here on the Canadian wetcoast.
01-19-2016, 02:36 AM   #3
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Temperature change in high humidity atmospheres could be the issue. It's wet season there and I'm guessing +80% humidity each day. As soon as you walk from an air conditioned room into the outside air you'll have this issue. You'll need to try keep the camera and lens at the same temperature as the outside atmosphere to prevent fogging from occurring. I've had this issue in cold weather and overcame it by keeping the camera bag in the shed or laundry the night before.

Be mindful that repeatedly fogging the internals of the DSLR/Lens can result in damage to circuitry. Make sure you store the lens and camera in a bag with desiccant to dry it back out at the end of each session.

Last edited by jawsy; 01-19-2016 at 03:30 AM.
01-22-2016, 05:52 AM   #4
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Thank you for your help guys, it Seems to be the change in humidity that was causing the issue. Now that I'm back to a more stable climate, the camera is having trouble determining exposure. If I turn the camera on in Av and press the shutter all the way once, it'll exposure very dark. However, if I half press the shutter 3-5 times and then fully activate the shutter it'll expose properly. It had never acted this way before but now does it everytime I restart the camera (I have to half press the shutter multiple times). What might be causing this? Could the fogging have damaged the camera exposure system?

01-22-2016, 05:51 PM   #5
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Sounds like the aperture motor might be starting to go. My k-50 won't open aperture unless I take a lot of shots without memory card in a warm environment (if it's cold I can't get it to work at all and have to resort to manual aperture) K-30 and K-50 share internals and it is a known problem with them. The fogging is probably just happened to coincide with the aperture failing, and is less likely to be an actual cause.

Last edited by Auzzie-Phoenix; 01-22-2016 at 05:58 PM.
01-22-2016, 08:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
Sounds like the aperture motor might be starting to go. My k-50 won't open aperture unless I take a lot of shots without memory card in a warm environment (if it's cold I can't get it to work at all and have to resort to manual aperture) K-30 and K-50 share internals and it is a known problem with them. The fogging is probably just happened to coincide with the aperture failing, and is less likely to be an actual cause.
Is there anyway to know for sure it is the aperture motor? Right now the camera won't properly expose at all. I've tried wiping the mirror, front and rear of the lens, and the glass object at the bottom of the inside of the camera below the mirror but nothing has helped. I do see a finder print and lint in the viewfinder that I can't remove, maybe that is related?

I just noticed that camera will properly expose in live view. The same problem occurs with other lens. Does this mean it could still be the aperture motor?

Last edited by Newtophotos; 01-22-2016 at 08:38 PM.
01-22-2016, 10:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
Is there anyway to know for sure it is the aperture motor? Right now the camera won't properly expose at all. I've tried wiping the mirror, front and rear of the lens, and the glass object at the bottom of the inside of the camera below the mirror but nothing has helped. I do see a finder print and lint in the viewfinder that I can't remove, maybe that is related?

I just noticed that camera will properly expose in live view. The same problem occurs with other lens. Does this mean it could still be the aperture motor?

There most certainly is a pretty much foolproof way to test this. You will need to use a lens with an aperture ring. Take 2 photos, the first using auto aperture on the lens, and set it to wide open. That shot should underexpose. The second shot, use manual aperture, and set the aperture ring to wide open. That shot should expose properly. Also, when the aperture ring is set to auto, take the sd card out of the camera so that you won't waste writes: with aperture in camera set to wide open, look down into the lens and keep pressing the shutter button. If the shutter blades close down to the narrowest aperture, there you have it.

As for exposing properly in live view... no clue on that, but i would suspect it could be mirror or light sensor related rather than aperture. I'd try to narrow things down by using the aperture test first, though.
01-22-2016, 10:44 PM   #8
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Thank you very much that's a great way to test it. I'm currently traveling in Japan and don't have any lens with a manual aperture ring; I'll have to try it when I return to the states.

Is it bad to write multiple times to the same card? I've never heard of wasting writes.

I did make a thread for this issue as the title of this one doesn't match the current issue. Maybe someone has had the same exact issue with bad normal mode exposure and proper exposure in live view: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/312348-k-30-take...ml#post3502261

01-22-2016, 10:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
Thank you very much that's a great way to test it. I'm currently traveling in Japan and don't have any lens with a manual aperture ring; I'll have to try it when I return to the states.

Is it bad to write multiple times to the same card? I've never heard of wasting writes.

I did make a thread for this issue as the title of this one doesn't match the current issue. Maybe someone has had the same exact issue with bad normal mode exposure and proper exposure in live view: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/312348-k-30-take...ml#post3502261
You could just leave the sd card in the slot, but then you'd have to waste time reformatting it or deleting images you didn't want to take. All solid-state memory has a limited number of write operations that can be performed before failure or instability of data. While the number is absurdly high these days, it's a bit pointless to just waste the writes needlessly for doing testing that can easily be done without the card in the camera. No card in camera, shots aren't saved. The only time you need the card is for the 2 image comparison of auto-aperture vs. manual aperture.

In your reply, you mention that you're traveling in japan? Perfect. Stop by a pentax store and try out any of their lenses with manual aperture. Also, make it a point to let them know that all of us with the k-30 and k-50 aperture problem are rather upset about their lack of a permanent solution (as well as their choice in repair facilities)- at least those of us here in the states....

Last edited by Auzzie-Phoenix; 01-22-2016 at 10:55 PM.
01-23-2016, 09:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
There most certainly is a pretty much foolproof way to test this. You will need to use a lens with an aperture ring. Take 2 photos, the first using auto aperture on the lens, and set it to wide open. That shot should underexpose. The second shot, use manual aperture, and set the aperture ring to wide open. That shot should expose properly. Also, when the aperture ring is set to auto, take the sd card out of the camera so that you won't waste writes: with aperture in camera set to wide open, look down into the lens and keep pressing the shutter button. If the shutter blades close down to the narrowest aperture, there you have it.

As for exposing properly in live view... no clue on that, but i would suspect it could be mirror or light sensor related rather than aperture. I'd try to narrow things down by using the aperture test first, though.
Thanks again Auzzie-Phoenix, I did exactly as you said. The only aperture ring lens I could find was the FA 31mm. Manually setting the aperture ring on the FA 31 to f/4 and using the same shutter and ISO as my 18-135mm produced very different results. The picture taken with the 18-135 was almost all black while the picture taken with the FA 31mm was properly exposed.
01-24-2016, 01:11 AM   #11
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Did you take a picture using auto aperture using the FA31 as well? The test is to compare auto aperture vs manual aperture using the same lens to see if auto will stop the lens down properly. If you compare against another lens, there is the possibility that the problem exists solely with that lens and won't give conclusive results one way or the other if compared against a different lens.
01-24-2016, 05:08 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
Thank you for your help guys, it Seems to be the change in humidity that was causing the issue. Now that I'm back to a more stable climate, the camera is having trouble determining exposure. If I turn the camera on in Av and press the shutter all the way once, it'll exposure very dark. However, if I half press the shutter 3-5 times and then fully activate the shutter it'll expose properly. It had never acted this way before but now does it everytime I restart the camera (I have to half press the shutter multiple times). What might be causing this? Could the fogging have damaged the camera exposure system?
Time for seriously considering having it properly diagnosed at a Pentax repair. Is it doing the same in TAv mode? Does using the dial to override the exposure setting to a larger or smaller aperture have any effect? Do photos taken in P, TAv, or Auto modes expose properly?

Either the body isn't setting the aperture automatically to the correct aperture, or that 18-135 lens is damaged in some way, either the ap lever (does it move freely by using your finger to open/close the blades?)

Also, try a complete reset to defaults in the menu with the lens attached. See if that helps.

If not, diagnosis by a shop is probably the best course. It's under warranty if you just got it.

Last edited by f22; 01-24-2016 at 05:19 AM.
01-24-2016, 06:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
Did you take a picture using auto aperture using the FA31 as well? The test is to compare auto aperture vs manual aperture using the same lens to see if auto will stop the lens down properly. If you compare against another lens, there is the possibility that the problem exists solely with that lens and won't give conclusive results one way or the other if compared against a different lens.
How do I set the camera for auto or manual aperture with the FA31? While at the store I turned the aperture ring on the lens and the aperture value shown on the K30 screen was "F --". Is there a button or menu selection on the K30 to turn it back to auto aperture control?

I do get the same under exposed picture results on my K30 when I use my 16-85mm or 18-135mm which makes me think the issue is with the camera and not the lens. Additonally, I have my second K30 with me (so glad I brought both) and both lens exposure properly with it.
01-25-2016, 07:04 AM   #14
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Auto-Aperture is the A setting on the aperture ring (unless the lens is too old to have one). If you're having problems with both other lenses, and were fine in manual-aperture F--, then I'd have to say that it's definitely the diaphragm block (aperture) issue with the K-30/K-50 rearing its ugly head. Sorry to say, but that camera will need to be repaired or replaced, or just used as-is with manual aperture and only using modes that don't rely on auto-aperture.
01-25-2016, 03:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
Auto-Aperture is the A setting on the aperture ring (unless the lens is too old to have one). If you're having problems with both other lenses, and were fine in manual-aperture F--, then I'd have to say that it's definitely the diaphragm block (aperture) issue with the K-30/K-50 rearing its ugly head. Sorry to say, but that camera will need to be repaired or replaced, or just used as-is with manual aperture and only using modes that don't rely on auto-aperture.
Thanks again Auzzie-Phoenix, this is what I suspected. If none of my regular use lens have an aperture ring, aren't they all auto aperture?
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