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06-28-2020, 03:04 PM   #1
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*ist DS won't shoot in AF or MF modes

I have a *ist DS with the stock smc PENTAX-DA lens. The batteries are new and good and the SD card is readable in playback mode, so I assume it isn't a card issue. I've walked myself through the whole manual and I cannot get the shutter to fire in AF or MF modes. I don;t see any obvious errors in the LCD panel, monitor or viewfinder. Any advice?

The camera has sat for a few years (with batteries removed), but prior to that it wasn't used very much, so it shouldn't be any kind of wear-and-tear issue. I'm a rank amateur and out of my depth here, so any advice its sincerely appreciated!

06-28-2020, 03:45 PM   #2
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You say the card is readable in playback mode, does it have photos on it? If so, download them and format the card in camera. It may be full or corrupted where it won't write. If you have already formatted the card in camera disregard this.
06-28-2020, 04:15 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BadJuju Quote
The batteries are new and good
What batteries are you using? I'm learning the hard way that the *ist series seems to be fussy about batteries, especially if it has sat for a while. Try repeatedly turning it off an on, and it might wake up.
06-28-2020, 09:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BadJuju Quote
the SD card is readable
What is the spec of the SD card. The DS is a very old model. It wont work with large size very modern cards.

06-29-2020, 02:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
What is the spec of the SD card. The DS is a very old model. It wont work with large size very modern cards.
this article might help out

QuoteQuote:
. . . Pentax DSLR Compatibility
All Pentax DSLRs since 2009 support SDXC cards, though some (such as the K-x, K-r, K-7 and K-5) first require a firmware update. This presents an interesting paradigm: an older SD or SDHC card is needed to carry out the update itself.

All other Pentax DSLRs support SDHC cards. Similarly, early models such as the *ist DS require a firmware update, and only a standard SD card can be used for this.

The table below shows the minimum card specifications needed to achieve optimal performance (continuous burst length, video length) with every Pentax DSLR model based on our testing. Write speed is the key consideration since read speed will always be at least as fast.. . .

Older DSLRs SDHC SD Standard speed Not tested Class 10
Read more at: Comprehensive SD Card Guide for Photographers - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com
06-29-2020, 03:46 PM   #6
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Possibly a problem with the lens or it's contacts?


Will the camera make an exposure with the lens not fitted?
If so it could be that the camera "thinks" that the lens is not set to "A" on the aperture ring, but of course, the "kit" lens doesn't have an aperture ring!


A work-around may be to go into the ' Custom Setting' menu and set 'Using aperture ring' to "2" ... no guarantee this will work, but worth a try.


If these diagnoses give some kind of result, maybe the lens and/or lens mount contacts need cleaning. Unfortunately I don't have a problem with my *ist DS so I can't replicate the symptoms exactly. FWIW I use eneloop batteries in my *ist digital cameras and they are totally reliable


Good luck
06-29-2020, 03:49 PM   #7
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It seems like if the card was over 2Gb the camera would shoot and then give a card write error, not quit early. I can't test that theory because mine has upgraded firmware.

The default setting is to not shoot when the camera can't lock focus on something. If the AF-MF switch is in MF, the camera shouldn't care about focus. But maybe the switch is not working properly. I would put the switch in AF and attempt to focus on something manually while pressing the shutter button. (Should work fine with the original lens which allows manual focus at all times. You should see a green hexagon in the bottom line display of the viewfinder when the AF locks onto something. If you get a green hexagon, the AF sensors are working. The AF drive should work too, that's kind of obvious.

Another idea I had is a setting called "Release while charging". The default is to not shoot until the flash is fully charged. If the flash system is broken somehow, the flash can't charge. You can disable this setting in the Custom menu. The flash system might fix itself if the capacitor starts charging again.

Mediocre batteries and corroded battery terminals can cause lots of weirdness. I keep a set of Energizer Lithiums in mine. They have lots of power, actually improve AF speed, are lighter, plus a long shelf life. I don't use the camera a lot so the long shelf life keeps the clock working.
06-30-2020, 01:00 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
You say the card is readable in playback mode, does it have photos on it? If so, download them and format the card in camera. It may be full or corrupted where it won't write. If you have already formatted the card in camera disregard this.
Thank you for the suggestion. I've reformatted the card that was in it, no joy. I then replaced it with an identical card (which I also formatted in-camera), and still no success.

06-30-2020, 01:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
What batteries are you using? I'm learning the hard way that the *ist series seems to be fussy about batteries, especially if it has sat for a while. Try repeatedly turning it off an on, and it might wake up.
Thanks. I'm using a brand new set of Watson NiMH batteries. Tried tuning it on and off several times. I can hear a motor sound (which I think is the mirror), but I still can't get the shutter to fire in either AF or M mode.
06-30-2020, 01:05 PM   #10
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It's a 1GB 80x SD card that I bought when the camera was new. It worked at that time.
06-30-2020, 01:22 PM   #11
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Great suggestion! I was able to get it to take an exposure while the lens was off, but it took about six seconds (?) or more of holding down the button before it did so (I don't have any delay set). It worked best when pointed at a light fixture. After putting the lens back on, the AF seems more responsive, but I still can't get the shutter to fire in AF or MF.
06-30-2020, 01:33 PM   #12
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I've set release while charging to 2 (allow) and I've set "using aperture ring to "permitted." No go on either. I can confirm that the flash capacitor will discharge -- I accidentally left the lens cap on for one test and the flash went off (the pre-flash, if you know what I mean, not the full flash).
6 Days Ago   #13
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Did you do a complete reset?
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
Did you do a complete reset?
Yes, I did that before I tried setting "release while charging"to 2 (allow) and I've set "using aperture ring to "permitted." Should have mentioned.
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