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01-03-2019, 10:44 AM   #1
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K-1 Freezing Up and Not Shooting

Hello, I have a Pentax K-1 Mark I I purchased in July of 2016, and for the past few months, maybe longer, it will randomly freeze up when I'm trying to take a photo. I'll point the camera and press the shutter to focus and nothing will happen. The screen on the back doesn't respond as well. The solves seems to be to shut on and off the camera, but having to constantly do that when shooting is annoying and has caused me to miss a good deal of shots. Every once in a while a black rectangle outline will flash on the viewfinder.

The firmware is up to date and the camera has never been dropped or damaged. The lens is the Pentax 24-70 2.8 and the card is a sandisk 64gb extreme pro(95mb/s). It occurs with another of the same card and battery. I shoot in RAW as well.

Thank you!!

01-03-2019, 11:17 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by olsinglefin Quote
Every once in a while a black rectangle outline will flash on the viewfinder.
Unreliable contacts with either of the hardware interfaces (lens mount contacts, battery contacts, battery grip contacts, SD card contacts, etc. or electrical contacts between components inside the camera) can confuse the firmware leading to unstable operation. It's not difficult to check and carefully cleanup every contact that is accessible without opening the camera. But if external checks don't solve the problem, I'm afraid that any internal hardware issue requires to send the camera for repair to a qualified Pentax repair center.


Do you have the same issue with another lens? Have you checked the lens mount on camera side and lens side? The mount can be cleaned on both side to make sure the lens electrical contact are reliable.
01-03-2019, 11:32 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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I do not have a K1, but in other Pentax cameras the same has occurred with batteries that are not operating properly or are depleted.
01-03-2019, 11:45 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by olsinglefin Quote
Hello, I have a Pentax K-1 Mark I I purchased in July of 2016, and for the past few months, maybe longer, it will randomly freeze up when I'm trying to take a photo. I'll point the camera and press the shutter to focus and nothing will happen. The screen on the back doesn't respond as well. The solves seems to be to shut on and off the camera, but having to constantly do that when shooting is annoying and has caused me to miss a good deal of shots. Every once in a while a black rectangle outline will flash on the viewfinder.

The firmware is up to date and the camera has never been dropped or damaged. The lens is the Pentax 24-70 2.8 and the card is a sandisk 64gb extreme pro(95mb/s). It occurs with another of the same card and battery. I shoot in RAW as well.

Thank you!!
Could it be a K-1 to K-1 II upgrade gone wrong? The upgrades are warranted, so you should check with the shop if you suspect this.

But it's more likely to be a faulty battery or poor lens connectivity, as others have suggested.


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01-03-2019, 11:54 AM - 1 Like   #5
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The few times I’ve experienced similar problems were due to poor lens contacts or a battery issue, as already stated. My battery issues were from generic batteries and on another occasion it was due to dirty battery contacts.

Good luck
01-03-2019, 12:01 PM   #6
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Another thing to look at is the sd card. If there are errors due to bad contacts or a failing card, the whole thing slows down.
01-03-2019, 12:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
The few times Iíve experienced similar problems were due to poor lens contacts or a battery issue, as already stated. My battery issues were from generic batteries and on another occasion it was due to dirty battery contacts.

Good luck
Having an OEM Pentax battery does not insulate you from those problems. When they go bad you can get the same effects as an after-market battery (as I know from personal experience).
01-03-2019, 01:54 PM   #8
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Thank you for all the quick responses! It could be due to lens connectivity as I only have the 1 lens and very rarely take it off. I shoot almost entirely at the beach so there's a real chance there's some sand in there. I did a quick check and it seems pretty clean, but I will try to thoroughly clean it once I get home. I've never actually cleaned a camera before so I'll do some research there.

I don't think the battery is the issue, I only shoot maybe once a month and the original battery is still very new. I just bought a new one (pentax original from B&H) back in February as a back up and it has the same issues with that battery as well. Similarly with the SD card, the one I bought with the camera and a new one in February.

01-03-2019, 02:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I do not have a K1, but in other Pentax cameras the same has occurred with batteries that are not operating properly or are depleted.
I was also going to suggest it could be the batteries.
01-03-2019, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by olsinglefin Quote
Thank you for all the quick responses! It could be due to lens connectivity as I only have the 1 lens and very rarely take it off. I shoot almost entirely at the beach so there's a real chance there's some sand in there. I did a quick check and it seems pretty clean, but I will try to thoroughly clean it once I get home. I've never actually cleaned a camera before so I'll do some research there.

I don't think the battery is the issue, I only shoot maybe once a month and the original battery is still very new. I just bought a new one (pentax original from B&H) back in February as a back up and it has the same issues with that battery as well. Similarly with the SD card, the one I bought with the camera and a new one in February.
I use a soft cloth lightly dampened with isopropyl alcohol to wipe the mating surfaces. When I did a lot of beach portraiture, I would have to clean the surfaces on a regular basis. It wasnít the sand which caused the issue, but the salt from the Gulf which would create a film on the entire camera.
01-03-2019, 02:12 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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My K-1 does the same thing. There are a number of factors.

1. the battery isn't fully charged. It never does it right out the door.
2. The temperature is below 0.

Mine actually locks the mirror up when it does it, so my viewfinder is black. When I shut off the power I hear it clunk back into place. It can be irritating, and I suspect a new set of batteries for it might be the answer. I think the problem is older batteries losing power in the cold. Some of the batteries in my rotation are from my K-5 and K-3.

Thanks, this saves me having to start my own thread.
01-03-2019, 02:17 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
My K-1 does the same thing. There are a number of factors.

1. the battery isn't fully charged. It never does it right out the door.
2. The temperature is below 0.

Mine actually locks the mirror up when it does it, so my viewfinder is black. When I shut off the power I hear it clunk back into place. It can be irritating, and I suspect a new set of batteries for it might be the answer. I think the problem is older batteries losing power in the cold. Some of the batteries in my rotation are from my K-5 and K-3.

Thanks, this saves me having to start my own thread.
The temp issue is likely an indirect cause. It's likely that the <0 temp is causing battery power fluctuations or drops that result in the same issue as a dying, poorly maintained, or under-charged battery.
01-03-2019, 03:39 PM - 1 Like   #13
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One other thing can cause this - if you accidentally bump the directional pad on the back, the camera can be placed in delayed shutter mode. Then, when you press the shutter button, nothing happens (screen on back goes black) until the 2s or 12s timer times out (making you think the camera has frozen-up). Turning the camera off and back on clears it, but it should do the same thing again on the next exposure, until you take it out of shutter-delay mode.

If this is the case for you, use menu item C3 line 20 to put the camera in selectable AF point mode and click the small 4-star button above the directional pad so the controller chooses the AF point rather than timer, remote control....etc (another click of that 4-star button will return you to the timer...etc. select mode). That way, accidentally bumping the directional-pad will only change the AF point.

It only took me a couple of days to find this foible when I first got my K-1 and I was dumbfounded as to what was going on until I figured it out.
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Last edited by Bob 256; 01-03-2019 at 04:00 PM.
01-03-2019, 03:42 PM   #14
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Huh. I have a new Pentax 24-70mm on my K-1 and I had the same issue, coincidentally when shooting at the beach. When I re-seated the lens the issue cleared, but it happened more than once during my shoot. Of course, it could have also been my battery since I left my spare in my camera bag in my car trunk. I will clean my contacts.
01-03-2019, 07:10 PM   #15
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It has happened to me in the middle for bursts, so it's unlikely an accidentally pushed dial. I may give cleaning the battery contacts try though.
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