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04-18-2017, 07:13 AM   #1
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K3ii writing black frames on SD card

Hi there!

I am new here. I have a Pentax K3ii and for a few months I have been getting a lot of black frames instead of photos written in the SD card.
I use SanDisk UHS 1 Extreme and Extreme pro cards with 80 and 90 mbp/s speed but just recently I have been experiencing this.
I have changed out the cards and made sure the batteries are fully charged.
I tend to shoot in bracketed mode and when this started I was getting one out of three shots with just a black frame. now it happens even in single shooting mode.
The photos it does write, writes fine, no issues. I even bought new cards thinking my cards were bad but the issue is still happening.
Has anyone had this problem? if yes, how did you fix it?

I am about to send it in for repair but they charge ~$250 just to send it in so I wanted to check in with all of you first.

Any feedback is appreciated!!

Lola

04-18-2017, 11:51 AM   #2
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Shoot RAW and upload the EXIF info. Maybe some settings are messed up.
04-19-2017, 07:08 AM   #3
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Hi there and thanks for your reply. I attached images of how frequent this happens and the exif file. The firmware in the camera is the latest 1.10.
I also thought of something else, could this be a problem of communication between the lens and the camera?

Thanks!!!
lola
Attached Images
     
04-19-2017, 02:16 PM   #4
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Can you load some individual images? This seems to be an overview or screenshot.

Does it occur in all modes? (eg P, TV, etc)

Does it occur in AUTO (Green) mode?

04-19-2017, 02:31 PM - 1 Like   #5
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check you shooting mode setting if you have kept "bracketing or "multiple shots" setting turn on or kept in memory when the camera is shut down. It could be just a wrong setting you made by mistake. If in doubt, simply reset all custom settings in the camera, hopefully, it would clear the problem you experienced.

Last edited by aleonx3; 04-19-2017 at 03:04 PM.
04-20-2017, 01:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Theov39 Quote
Can you load some individual images? This seems to be an overview or screenshot.

Does it occur in all modes? (eg P, TV, etc)

Does it occur in AUTO (Green) mode?
Sure, see attached, i just uploaded the actual black jpg frames because it does not allow for dng formats to be uploaded here. as you can see from the screen shots I posted before, even if the camera was set to bracketing, there is no reason to get the empty frames. I didn't change locations for the camera to assume it was too dark. I shoot almost always in bracketing mode so I know how to use it and it was working fine. now I get these empty frames even when shooting single mode.
I also reset all settings to factory default (or I think they are factory default) and is still does it. could it be the lens? i use a tamron 28-300, brand new... Thanks!!!
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3 II  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3 II  Photo 
04-20-2017, 01:27 PM   #7
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I thought there might have been something funny in the settings like a very high shutter speed or small aperture but I can see that is not the case here.

Sorry to say it but I think at this stage all you can do is send it to a Pentax service center to have a look BUT before doing that try another lens to eliminate the possibility that it might be a lens issue.
04-20-2017, 01:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lolamorena Quote
Sure, see attached, i just uploaded the actual black jpg frames because it does not allow for dng formats to be uploaded here. as you can see from the screen shots I posted before, even if the camera was set to bracketing, there is no reason to get the empty frames. I didn't change locations for the camera to assume it was too dark. I shoot almost always in bracketing mode so I know how to use it and it was working fine. now I get these empty frames even when shooting single mode.
I also reset all settings to factory default (or I think they are factory default) and is still does it. could it be the lens? i use a tamron 28-300, brand new... Thanks!!!
Can you try shooting with the smallest aperture opening possible, 22 or what it might be... Earlier pentax cameras has suffered from failiures on the aperture motor. This means that the aperture will be set to minimum. And if you have a large aperture normally the frames will be black, but if you as I suggest use a small aperture you should get rid of the black frames if it is this fault

04-22-2017, 08:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lolamorena Quote
Hi there!

I am new here. I have a Pentax K3ii and for a few months I have been getting a lot of black frames instead of photos written in the SD card.
I use SanDisk UHS 1 Extreme and Extreme pro cards with 80 and 90 mbp/s speed but just recently I have been experiencing this.
I have changed out the cards and made sure the batteries are fully charged.
I tend to shoot in bracketed mode and when this started I was getting one out of three shots with just a black frame. now it happens even in single shooting mode.
The photos it does write, writes fine, no issues. I even bought new cards thinking my cards were bad but the issue is still happening.
Has anyone had this problem? if yes, how did you fix it?

I am about to send it in for repair but they charge ~$250 just to send it in so I wanted to check in with all of you first.

Any feedback is appreciated!!

Lola
OK, this may be a long shot...
What was the source of these "SanDisk UHS 1 Extreme and Extreme pro cards"?
Because they are relatively expensive, they are OFTEN COUNTERFEIT.
Two websites whose names sound like places you might find a boat...have apparently been flooded with lower-spec cards that have bogus labeling and often terrible performance, and often less than the marked capacity. The problem is so bad that SanDisk offers a service to validate the serial numbers of their cards. The likelihood of this being a problem increases with the goodness of the deal you thought you were getting at the time.

Like I said, a long shot. But also a warning for future purchases.

Last edited by FilmORbitz; 04-22-2017 at 08:44 PM. Reason: addl info
04-24-2017, 04:16 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FilmORbitz Quote
OK, this may be a long shot...
What was the source of these "SanDisk UHS 1 Extreme and Extreme pro cards"?
Because they are relatively expensive, they are OFTEN COUNTERFEIT.
Two websites whose names sound like places you might find a boat...have apparently been flooded with lower-spec cards that have bogus labeling and often terrible performance, and often less than the marked capacity. The problem is so bad that SanDisk offers a service to validate the serial numbers of their cards. The likelihood of this being a problem increases with the goodness of the deal you thought you were getting at the time.

Like I said, a long shot. But also a warning for future purchases.
Thank you and all who have answered. Most of my cards are from Best Buy and I have one or two that came from amazon. It's worth to check them anyway. I didn't know about that validation service so thanks for that.
I spent a couple of hours doing a test shoot for an upcoming wedding and played with the settings which I normally don't do, and I still got a couple of black frames. I made sure all the cards were empty and reformatted and the camera had a fully charged battery. This appears to be random. I just noticed it happened once when I changed the metering but I still think is random. I did clean my lenses and the camera contacts with alcohol and I didn't get as many as I have been but I still did.

I'm so bummed.... I don't know if to try to trade in the camera and buy another brand but I really like this camera and all my lenses are Pentax. Do you know if the k5 or k7 are as good as the k3? What about the k1. Is it a real change?

Thanks again!
Lola
04-24-2017, 05:48 AM   #11
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Before sending to repair, do you have another battery? if so , try to use another one.
Also, do this..record a movie until max towards a well lighted area..replay the movie all the way at normal speed observing if theres a dropout. If theres at least 2 dropouts, your camera needs service..transfer the movie to a pendrive, it will be handed to the repair shop

---------- Post added 04-24-17 at 05:54 AM ----------

A great camera for weddings is the K5ii..fast burst mode, very low lighting focusing, and excellent resolution at high iso speed..
K7 is very old and K1 are expensive, depends on your budget
04-24-2017, 06:29 AM   #12
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Hi, and sorry to hear about the issues with your K-3II. I bought one brand new last year and had what sounds to be the same or very similar issue. I would be getting random frames that were completely black and some that had the minutest amount of light/detail captured, with the next shot being absolutely fine. Sometimes it would seem to lock up that way, and I remember cycling back in and out of LiveView to try and get it to work properly and get the LV image preview to display. I had a look around the forums and found that there were a few suggestions of shutter failure. Fortunately my camera body was under warranty, and I got the shutter block changed out free of charge and haven't had the problem reoccur since.

I would follow the previous suggestions and try the other fixes first; hopefully it is something simple and not the shutter
04-24-2017, 08:10 AM   #13
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Your lenses may not be compatible with the full-frame K-1, so that is an expensive solution.

I would suggest the next test:

Do this testing in full-auto non-bracketing (ie, eliminate these variables). Use the card(s) from BB, not Amazon.

Put one card in slot 1 only and take 50 pictures of same scene. Nice bright scene.
Put same card in slot 2, set options to use that slot, repeat above.

Then take a second card and repeat above. Purpose of this is to isolate if you have bad/dirty contact in either card slot.
If one slot seems worse than the other, put card in that slot and repeatedly press in and cycle the card many times (50x). Object is to knock dirt off slot contacts.

We are eliminating the things cheap to fix before having to send in for service, as the shutter could be bad.

Finally, are you original purchaser? If so, any traumatic events? Dropped, or really wet? Let 2 y/o use it? Don't give up on your K-3II as it is a really good camera, even if you have to pay to fix it. You don't want to trade down to the K-5 or especially K-7 since they are less refined (not trying to offend owners of these, either). And understand the urgency, because if you are doing weddings for pay, you risk serious legal issues if your problem causes the wedding to not be fully recorded. I'd decline work, or rent a K-3 until this is resolved.

Last edited by FilmORbitz; 04-24-2017 at 08:34 AM. Reason: addl info
04-24-2017, 09:15 PM   #14
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I am very grateful to all that have replied and continue to reply!

@Focusrite, thanks for the suggestion. I am going to test everything suggested here and determine if I need to send this in for service which I think I will have to. I really love this camera and I guess that's why it bothers me. I also have a pretty awesome Lumix GX8 but there is something about M4/3 that I don't dig. I use both cameras for all my shoots but the Pentax photos have a particular look... Plus I shoot astro and this camera has given me uber amazing shots.

Worst case I will have to have it serviced. I didn't think buying a K5 or K7 would be an answer since I will pay less just getting mine fixed. I bought mine used and it was flawless...I have taken it to Iceland and it has seen severe weather for sure...I can say I got my money's worth! LOL.

Thanks again! Please keep the suggestions coming if there is anyone else that thinks something may be done.

Lola
04-25-2017, 06:21 PM   #15
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Have you tried a factory reset? And, have you tried a firmware update?
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