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08-20-2019, 01:22 PM   #1
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Pentax Kx won't take a picture without a lens on M mode

So I got a Pentax Kx for free. Previous owner says the shutter acts weird, and would stay open and all that. When I got the camera it didn't happen this way but rather when the shutter "stays open" it was really the camera not letting the shutter fire at all (when this happens no picture is saved).

So I played around a bit and tried to use the camera without a lens. When I do this the camera absolutely refuses to take any picture at all (same problem the original owner described). I tried shorting out the contacts on the body and it will take picture on Av mode, but on M mode it would not take any picture at all.

Before anyone asks, "Using aperture ring" is set to allow, but I can't think of any other settings that I can use to enable the camera to fire.


I'm asking because I'm going to use a K mount SMC Pentax M lens and I don't want to be stuck on Av mode. It looks like this camera is stuck on Av mode because it can't communicate with a lens. How do I disable that?

08-20-2019, 01:38 PM   #2
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That sounds interesting! Camera set to AF or manual focus? A setting to say it can't fire if an image is not in focus?
08-20-2019, 06:46 PM   #3
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camera is on MF.
08-20-2019, 07:11 PM   #4
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You don't have any lenses at all to test it? Shorting the pins out by hand may not be the most reliable method.

08-20-2019, 09:51 PM   #5
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I have the stock kit lens. When the kit lens is in, everything seems to work fine (except flash, it's broken for some reason). But since I want to use screw mount lens, it will not communicate with the camera at all, and in that case the camera has the F stop as "---" and only M and Av mode works. The only way I can adjust shutter speed is in M mode but the camera will not take a picture in M mode but it will in Av mode. It's weird.

Is corrupted software possible, and if so is there a way to fix it? I updated the firmware to 1.03
08-20-2019, 10:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by taiwanluthiers Quote
I have the stock kit lens. When the kit lens is in, everything seems to work fine (except flash, it's broken for some reason). But since I want to use screw mount lens, it will not communicate with the camera at all, and in that case the camera has the F stop as "---" and only M and Av mode works. The only way I can adjust shutter speed is in M mode but the camera will not take a picture in M mode but it will in Av mode. It's weird.

Is corrupted software possible, and if so is there a way to fix it? I updated the firmware to 1.03
This sounds perfectly normal (because manual lenses don't communicate with the camera). You need to change a menu setting to allow use of the aperture ring, and even with that there are some shooting restrictions. Here are the steps to follow to get the camera to shoot:

How to use/meter Manual & M42 Lenses on all Pentax DSLRs (K-1, K-3, K-5, K-30, etc) - PentaxForums.com

Of particular note for your case:

QuoteQuote:
Also note that the mount on the lens must be conductive for electrical current so that it shorts the electrical contacts on the camera body. All Pentax manufactured lenses have a conductive mount, but some third party lenses do not in which case the area of the mount touching the contacts must be sanded down.

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08-20-2019, 10:19 PM   #7
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I have set the aperture ring to allow and the problem still persists.

Also sometimes, if I set shutter speed to about .3 seconds or greater, the camera also will not fire under any circumstance but randomly it will fire again.

---------- Post added 08-20-19 at 10:38 PM ----------

Another update: On M mode with stock lens, it will only take a picture wide open. If I select an aperture other than wide open the camera will not take a picture either. If I unscrew the lens slightly, to simulate a manual lens, same thing happens.

But everything works fine under Av mode but I can't select whatever exposure I need (for example if I want to do super long exposure photography).

Software problem?
08-21-2019, 03:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by taiwanluthiers Quote
Also sometimes, if I set shutter speed to about .3 seconds or greater, the camera also will not fire under any circumstance but randomly it will fire again
Does it make a difference if you have the focus set to auto or manual ?


QuoteOriginally posted by taiwanluthiers Quote
Previous owner says the shutter acts weird

This is the root of your problem. Only a service engineer is likely to be able to diagnose and fix it. May not be financially worth it.

08-21-2019, 04:49 AM   #9
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I took it to a Pentax dealer and they said it's a bad mainboard because the mirror flips up but the shutter won't release. However they didn't do any testing or anything.

Right now it will only work when an auto lens is full open, or in Av if the lens were manual. It's basically useless in any other mode.

I can buy a used 400D body for 60 dollars that's supposedly in good condition and the Pentax lens can be easily adapted over.
08-21-2019, 07:15 AM   #10
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It might be battery voltage. If you are very lucky, clean the battery contacts, put in some AA lithium non-rechargeables and it'll work. The K-x is picky about low battery voltage.
08-21-2019, 09:17 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by taiwanluthiers Quote
I took it to a Pentax dealer and they said it's a bad mainboard because the mirror flips up but the shutter won't release. However they didn't do any testing or anything.
Because the chances are high that the camera is just simply broken, I did not offer any suggestions after your first post. With a working camera, using aperture ring lenses is usually an easy matter.

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
It might be battery voltage. If you are very lucky, clean the battery contacts, put in some AA lithium non-rechargeables and it'll work. The K-x is picky about low battery voltage.
This is a good suggestion and if that does not work, perhaps mounting a clock into the mount might be an option.


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08-21-2019, 03:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by taiwanluthiers Quote
I took it to a Pentax dealer and they said it's a bad mainboard because the mirror flips up but the shutter won't release. However they didn't do any testing or anything.

Right now it will only work when an auto lens is full open, or in Av if the lens were manual. It's basically useless in any other mode.

I can buy a used 400D body for 60 dollars that's supposedly in good condition and the Pentax lens can be easily adapted over.
I'd say you have your answer. It's clearly defective. Either use it in AV mode or get something else. I doubt it can be economically repaired.
08-21-2019, 06:16 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I found a working Canon 400D body for around 60 anyways. I'll just use that. He says the shutter count is over 60,000 but still going strong.
08-21-2019, 06:31 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by taiwanluthiers Quote
I found a working Canon 400D body
I have a 450D myself and honestly I love it. Only downside is that there is no stabilization in camera. Canon is good w M42, PK, and OM lenses (OM in PK you'd need an adapter with glass).
08-21-2019, 06:35 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by taiwanluthiers Quote
I found a working Canon 400D body for around 60 anyways. I'll just use that. He says the shutter count is over 60,000 but still going strong.
Keep an eye out for a K-7 or K-5 on Marketplace. Very capable Pentax cameras that now sell for affordable rates.
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