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03-05-2019, 07:25 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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K50 went black

Brand new to photography and my auto mode is all dark. This happened after the camera hadn't been used for months. How can I verify if this is a setting problem or if it's the aperture solenoid problem...or something else entirely. Thanks in advance for your help!

03-05-2019, 07:45 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lee Clary Quote
Brand new to photography and my auto mode is all dark. This happened after the camera hadn't been used for months. How can I verify if this is a setting problem or if it's the aperture solenoid problem...or something else entirely. Thanks in advance for your help!
Often the aperture control issue does seem to first occur after the camera has been idle for some months. I have copied below a good set instructions for determining if that is the issue in this case
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The gold standard for diagnosing aperture block failure is to put the camera in M mode (auto ISO off, aperture ring not being used) with aperture set wide open and shutter speed at something slow (e.g. 1-2 seconds). Release the shutter while observing the aperture opening through the front of the lens.* Anything other than the aperture remaining wide open is indication of a problem with the controller. If the problem has been intermittent, it may help to do the test after a period of non-use. Even one failure is significant.

* This method was instrumental in diagnosing the initial wave of aperture block failures on the K-30 and narrowing the cause to a fault in a mechanical component rather than electronics.
03-05-2019, 08:25 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lee Clary Quote
Brand new to photography and my auto mode is all dark. This happened after the camera hadn't been used for months. How can I verify if this is a setting problem or if it's the aperture solenoid problem...or something else entirely. Thanks in advance for your help!
Here is the full list of steps, if needed:

Dark exposure problems on K-30 or K-50? Discussion Thread - PentaxForums.com

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03-05-2019, 09:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lee Clary Quote
Brand new to photography and my auto mode is all dark. This happened after the camera hadn't been used for months. How can I verify if this is a setting problem or if it's the aperture solenoid problem...or something else entirely. Thanks in advance for your help!
Lee, my K-50 developed the aperture block problem a couple years ago, which was a great disappointment to me as I really liked the K-50. I had been using it for about 3-4 years. I hope this does not turn out to be the problem for your camera. However, in my case there was a silver lining on that rain cloud. After trying to get my K-50 repaired and that not working out, I decided to get a K-70 to replace it, in a kit with the 18-135 lens. I've been very pleased with both camera and lens. Although it cost me money to make this upgrade, in some respects I consider the demise of my K-50 a fortunate accident, as the K-70 is superior in many ways, yet it preserves many of the things that I really liked about the K-50. Good luck to you, and I hope you continue to enjoy shooting with a Pentax.

03-06-2019, 07:28 AM   #5
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Before getting mired in the sometimes contentious discussion thread try this one first:
Dark exposure problems on K-30 or K-50? Read me first! - PentaxForums.com
01-26-2020, 12:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lee Clary Quote
Brand new to photography and my auto mode is all dark. This happened after the camera hadn't been used for months. How can I verify if this is a setting problem or if it's the aperture solenoid problem...or something else entirely. Thanks in advance for your help!
Allthough AUTO-Mode isn't the most perfect setting at all (if one doens't know about AV, TV etc, then SCN-mode is better) it still should give normal

results.

The dark-image-problem, i.e. defective solenoid does show as much in AUTO Mode as in AV, TV etc.!

And particular that it happened after the camera hasn't been used for month is typical!

Read here how to solve it:
Manual solenoid replacement Pentax K30 / Discharge flash-condenser / Solenoid choice - PentaxForums.com
and here how to do better tests:
Tutorial: Detection of aperture block failure on Pentax K-30/50/500/K-S1/S2/ K-70 - PentaxForums.com
01-26-2020, 03:35 AM   #7
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If you go to Av mode and set the aperture to f22 (or whatever is stopped all the way down for your lens) you should get normally exposed images if it is the aperture block issue.

01-26-2020, 07:08 PM   #8
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You say your Auto mode is all dark. What about the other modes? The Auto mode disallows many adjustments and control features, which are a major reason for having a DSLR in the first place, the other major reasons being- the availability of interchangeable lenses, and the optical viewfinder allowing you to view your framing right through the lens you have mounted on the camera.

To still have the camera select both aperture and shutter speed for fully automatic exposure, it is better to use the "P" (Program) mode, which does allow various adjustments and control settings to be made by the user. Try this and see if results are different. (probably not, but let us see.)

The next thing is, did you buy this camera new, and if so how long ago? It might still be under warranty. You'd need your sales receipts or product registration.
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