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02-26-2016, 10:00 PM   #1
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Pentax K-50 aperture/Dark pictures

Hello, I'm new to the forum and very new to the Pentax K-50. I bought this for my wife when her Canon died. It seemed to work fine originally, then it just started failing. The pictures we take are very dark. I've tried an FA 28-80 lens and I just bought a DA L 55-300 lens today hoping it was a lens problem. It still is not working right. I have tried auto setting, factory reset, P setting, Manual. The only mode it works well in is Av mode, and only when I turn the aperture up to like 20!. I've read on this forum that the aperture motor fails in this camera a lot. I was wondering how I could test mine to see if that's the problem. I will post a picture in the morning, but its just a dark/black image. If you need any details to troubleshoot, I'll try to provide them (first DSLR). Thanks!

02-26-2016, 10:08 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by brttc Quote
Hello, I'm new to the forum and very new to the Pentax K-50. I bought this for my wife when her Canon died. It seemed to work fine originally, then it just started failing. The pictures we take are very dark. I've tried an FA 28-80 lens and I just bought a DA L 55-300 lens today hoping it was a lens problem. It still is not working right. I have tried auto setting, factory reset, P setting, Manual. The only mode it works well in is Av mode, and only when I turn the aperture up to like 20!. I've read on this forum that the aperture motor fails in this camera a lot. I was wondering how I could test mine to see if that's the problem. I will post a picture in the morning, but its just a dark/black image. If you need any details to troubleshoot, I'll try to provide them (first DSLR). Thanks!

Silly question but do you make sure the exposure compensation is set to zero? I'm hoping its something small like that because I don't want you to have a bad camera!
02-26-2016, 10:09 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zephos Quote
Silly question but do you make sure the exposure compensation is set to zero? I'm hoping its something small like that because I don't want you to have a bad camera!
Yep! I've set compensation to zero. When I was really learning how to figure it out, I had set the compensation to 5 and that was the only way I could take pictures! Now I have it set to zero, and use AV really high. I'm worried I may have bought a dud.

---------- Post added 02-26-16 at 11:34 PM ----------

hmm, also my firmware appears to be waaayyyy out of date. 0.25. I can't even update it to the new 1.02. I guess I'll be giving Pentax a call monday. Thanks!
02-26-2016, 10:57 PM   #4
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0.25? That's pre-production!

Did you buy it used? I'm wondering if you got an early review sample that escaped into the wild.

QuoteOriginally posted by brttc Quote
Yep! I've set compensation to zero. When I was really learning how to figure it out, I had set the compensation to 5 and that was the only way I could take pictures! Now I have it set to zero, and use AV really high. I'm worried I may have bought a dud.

---------- Post added 02-26-16 at 11:34 PM ----------

hmm, also my firmware appears to be waaayyyy out of date. 0.25. I can't even update it to the new 1.02. I guess I'll be giving Pentax a call monday. Thanks!


02-27-2016, 12:07 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, it sounds like the aperture block issue that K-30 and K-50 models sometimes get. The only real way to test it is to put a lens with an aperture ring on it onto the camera, set the camera up for green button/aperture ring allowance settings, and to take a few test shots at a fixed aperture via the ring, and a few with the aperture ring set to A. If the fixed aperture images show up properly, and the auto aperture ones don't, then it is most likely an aperture block failure and will need repaired/replaced. As for the firmware.... I have no clue about that.
02-27-2016, 05:19 AM   #6
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Why not just look through the front of the lens and see if it stops down properly when taking an exposure?
06-09-2016, 07:56 AM   #7
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Hey all !!! Late to the party here ---

I had the same issue - I went to my sons graduation and I took the Camera it did not work all pictures were almost black. I googled this and I read it might be a faulty battery. I took it home tried different batteries - none worked --- then I installed eneloop rechargeable batteries with the use of an adapter ( sold separately ) I put the camera in burst mode - shoot off like 6 shots it worked again -- I have no idea how the batteries effect this aperture but it worked - if I put any of the lithium batteries back in the camera the same thing happens black picture - put in the eneloops and shoot off 6 shots - the camera works fine again -- can anyone explain how this is possible??

Thanks,

Zoomer
06-09-2016, 06:04 PM   #8
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Slight overvoltage, maybe... giving it the extra power to overcome whatever is stopping it. Either a weak motor, or as some threads have mentioned a part gets stuck from built up magnetism in a component. It's not a fix, so don't rely on it. If you're under warranty, send it in for repair. If not, decide whether the repair cost is worth it vs. replacing the body.

06-10-2016, 10:46 AM   #9
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I just started playing with my K-50 again after not using it for over a year and I'm noticing the same issue. It seems to be metering correctly, just not exposing the images enough. It does appear to be an aperture issue as it wants to completely stop down the lens for some reason.

Here are some images:

This first one is taken with my Fujifilm X100

F4 1/30 ISO200

And this is with the K-50 at the same exposure

F4 1/30 ISO200

Trying again while looking at the lens, I see it stop down completely.
06-11-2016, 03:37 AM   #10
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Thanks guys! It's out of warranty and Ricoh won't fix it for free.
Can you guys recognize a repairman? Any idea what it would cost?
06-11-2016, 04:32 AM   #11
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You would probably find another used K-50 for less cost.
06-11-2016, 10:02 AM   #12
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Is there a difference between pictures taken thru the Viewfinder vs Live View? Mine are noticeably darker thru viewfinder, and Live View is fine. I am trying to find out why thru this forum, thru a call to Pentax, and thru a call to Precision Camera who repaired this camera per the direction of Pentax. The repair replaced a diaphragm control block, and did nothing to correct the dark picture issue.

---------- Post added 06-11-16 at 10:07 AM ----------

My pictures were not totally as dark as yours, but I would still be interested to see if Viewfinder vs Live View framing is different, and while you are at it, try one with Viewfinder, only totally cover the viewfinder with your finger or a towel, to prevent light from entering the viewfinder.

Some replies to my post suggest it is just the nature of DSLRs to have some difference, which makes no sense to me. A digital camera should do the same pic when framed thru the viewfinder or live view--or the viewfinder becomes unuseable. If a proper exposure is ISO 100, 1/60 at F8, then it should remain the same for viewfinder and live view-----I thought the two were just two different avenues with which to frame the shot.
06-11-2016, 10:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RedSky Quote
Some replies to my post suggest it is just the nature of DSLRs to have some difference, which makes no sense to me. A digital camera should do the same pic when framed thru the viewfinder or live view--or the viewfinder becomes unuseable. If a proper exposure is ISO 100, 1/60 at F8, then it should remain the same for viewfinder and live view-----I thought the two were just two different avenues with which to frame the shot.
From what I understand, DSLRs usually meter differently because metering is measured off the mirror. When in live view, the camera has to meter off the sensor which requires calibration and is not always perfect. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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