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07-19-2020, 05:13 PM   #16
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You can always check out the marketplace here on the forums, you may find one in your budget there.

07-19-2020, 05:21 PM   #17
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I really appreciate all of these helpful replies. I've learned a couple of things, and I've been reminded what a friendly place this is. Thanks!

I think my plan right now is to get something like another K-r to keep my costs down, without losing what's left of the summer. Next spring I plan to buy a better camera with an electronic shutter, circumstance permitting. I'll keep an eye on the marketplace forum, for sure.

An old acquaintance has a K-r he never really used, and he's offered to sell it to me. I believe it has the 18-55 lens with it (which I don't need, but that's OK), and it probably only has a couple of thousand clicks on it, if that. It's been sitting in a drawer for five or six years as far as I know. I don't want to rip him off, but at the same time I don't have a lot to spend. What should I pay him?

Thanks again!
07-19-2020, 05:51 PM   #18
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I paid 45 USD for a K-r here on the forums. It was part of a package so 75 would be fair to most folks. If you take the lens to sell you will only get about 25 for it so adjust accordingly.

BTW those shots of the butterfly scales were amazing!
07-19-2020, 06:51 PM   #19
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I have been soooo badly misinformed about the prices of used K-r's. Wow. At anywhere around that price I'd be thrilled to buy one every six months to keep up with my shutter usage.

I'll be watching the marketplace much more closely. Thank you for the reality check. I nearly overpaid by quite a margin.

Ever since I was a little kid and saw pictures of them in a book I've wanted to explore butterflies on this scale. Glad you enjoyed them!

07-21-2020, 12:11 PM - 1 Like   #20
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If it's mint and only has less than a couple thousand clicks, anywhere up to 100 dollars would be a good deal to you. I'd say anything over 80 would be a good deal to him since he doesn't use it anyway and I don't think he'd feel ripped off.

I paid 150 for mine back in... I think it was 2015. Sold it about a year later because the viewfinder - to me - was a bit small (I was used to the K20D) and the AF was hit and miss. Both these things were fixed by buying a K-S1 in its place - and I got a far better sensor in my opinion.

If you're used to the viewfinder of the K-r and don't mind it, go for it... otherwise why not spend an extra few bucks and get the K-5 classic, the K-30, K-50 or a K-S1? You might get one of those for less than a couple hundred bucks, and they all have that nice bright pentaprism.
07-21-2020, 04:02 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
I paid 150 for mine back in... I think it was 2015. Sold it about a year later because the viewfinder - to me - was a bit small
Yep, I did enjoy my little K-r for a number of years as my most lightweight DSLR body before giving it away to friends upon finding an outstanding deal on the more advanced replacement- the K-S2. Of course, as a used model, a low-use K-5 II would be a very good dream!

However, being accustomed to and very satisfied with the K-r, and now a nearly-unused one available from a friend for only $100, that would be hard to resist. Getting over 100,000 shots from a camera in this class is outstanding! I have not seen much in the way of aperture block failure from the K-r reported as with the K-30 and K-50 models. If considering your friend's K-r, I would advise that you first put your own lens on it and do a substantial test-drive making sure of proper exposure results, etc. Hard to beat that deal!
07-21-2020, 05:32 PM - 1 Like   #22
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The old acquaintance dropped out of sight again, but that's alright because I had talked myself into overpaying for it anyway based on my unrealistic impressions. He bought that camera a year or two after I got mine in the hope we'd share a hobby, and I don't think he ever put 1000 clicks on it. It's too bad, but I guess it's not for everybody.

Somebody on the forum here has made me a very generous offer to help, so I think I have my immediate problem resolved. I really appreciate the candid opinions on prices.

I'll have to see how things go in the world between now and then, but perhaps by next spring I'll have saved enough for a more modern model with an electronic shutter. That should solve my ongoing problem of burning through so many actuations.
07-21-2020, 07:29 PM - 2 Likes   #23
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The Pentax K-30 looks and feels very similar to the K-r.

The K-r was the last entry-level Pentax using the white Japan-Solenoid in its diaphragm-control-unit!
With the K-30 they used the China-made solenoid.

So if you feel you can handle DIY, get a damaged K-30 or K-50 and swap solenoids, then you have a very cheap but superb replacement.

You want focus-peaking, so the K-5 or K5II will not serve you.

The K30 is the best option and very cheap to find if stuck with this "dark-image-syndrom":
Manual solenoid replacement Pentax K30 / Discharge flash-condenser / Solenoid choice - PentaxForums.com
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY: Development of the solenoid in Pentax cameras - PentaxForums.com

Don't even think of the K-500, its not worth to save that little bit of money!

Another option would be the K-S1 or K-S2 but I'd prefer the K-30/50!

Many K-r's had a pretty difficult problem impossible to be solved if it developed:
Mirror flop or mirror flip: This came because the K-r inherited the powersupply from the K-x which was AA only
but the K-r used for the first time Li-Ion but the PS was not yet up to it.
This was solved with the K-30 which can easely bring 100.000 actuations.
But shuttercount usually is best with the advanced models such as the K5/II and K3.


Last edited by photogem; 07-24-2020 at 09:56 AM.
07-21-2020, 07:39 PM - 1 Like   #24
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I think this is very good advice, thank you. I'll read up on all of it.

I think what happened with my K-r may be that a gear or belt broke in the mechanism that raises the mirror. I was fiddling with it last night and when the motor does its thing it seems like it can't raise the mirror, so perhaps I was off base blaming the shutter.

I'll probably take it apart, and while I know there's no rational reason to wait, I'd just feel better about waiting until I have a replacement in hand. If nothing else I could photograph or video the process so I have breadcrumbs to follow when reassembling it.

Thanks again, I really appreciate the detailed suggestions.
07-21-2020, 10:15 PM   #25
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Think of all the possible new bodies to try
116,000 shutter counts is a decent number
07-22-2020, 12:45 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
I think what happened with my K-r may be that a gear or belt broke in the mechanism that raises the mirror. I was fiddling with it last night and when the motor does its thing it seems like it can't raise the mirror, so perhaps I was off base blaming the shutter.

I'll probably take it apart, and while I know there's no rational reason to wait, I'd just feel better about waiting until I have a replacement in hand. If nothing else I could photograph or video the process so I have breadcrumbs to follow when reassembling it.
With your above avarage shuttercount you prove one interesting thing:
The white Japan solenoid lasts super long!
I myself would not hesitate to use it again within a K30 or similar.

Disassembling a K-r is pretty straight forward, it is almost identical to the K-30 but on each side there are 2 hidden screws under the rubber,
the other hidden screws are under the pop-up-flash, behind the rubber eye-piece and one in the batterychamber. When the bottom is off, there is
another screw there if I remember rightly. It is long time ago that I had to disassemble one and I took no pics because the K-r doesn't need a

tutorial as its solenoid is never in danger.

If it developed the mirror-flop, no fix possible! I had one with it, it is an electronic problem then.

So you have 1 or 2 donor solenoids (at least in the EU and Switzerland all K-r and K-x had a green solenoid in the flash-circuit, so I am curious about yours) which you also just could sell on ebay but even if you'd buy a new Pentax such as the K-70 you'd better want a solenoid in reserve.
My K70 developed aperture failure and I have repaired 2 other K70's which got it after the 2 years warranty we have here.

But I have to say, I never came across any K-S1, K-S2 or K50 with this problem built after Dec. 2015!
But all post PRE 12/2015 Pentax bodies with solenoid within larger family and friends (K30, K50 and K-S1) got it!

Last edited by photogem; 07-26-2020 at 02:25 AM.
07-22-2020, 02:54 AM   #27
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I'm committed to the Pentax system, I absolutely love it so I won't be selling any parts. I watched a video of K-r disassembly. I could get it apart alright. I'm a little concerned about getting it back together. It's probably something I just need to do and not worry about it.

I think my immediate needs have been surpassed already. I have a deal pending with somebody, and then another person has generously offered to contribute a body so I should be in good shape once it all goes through.

When I tear down my K-r I plan to either take pics or video, so I'll post the solenoids it has here and give you a heads up, but it may be some time. I'll wait for my replacement so I can record the process without resorting to a potato.

Thank you for the detailed information!
07-24-2020, 05:54 AM - 2 Likes   #28
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Ok, so maybe the OP is not all that familiar with this solenoid talk...

Solenoids fail in K-30, K-50, K-S1, K-S2 and occasionally K-70 as well, though those are very rare. But they only fail in cameras that have not been seen much use.

So for the OP, I would not worry about it. As long as you are using your camera every day or so, you won't have the problem.

On the subject of shutter life, here is an interesting chart: pentax k 50 | Camera Shutter Life Database

The K-50 that is marked between 200-500k now actually passed the 500k shutter actuations mark - as of a year or two ago! The owner, if I recall correctly, also takes over a thousand pictures a day, I think it was for focus stacking as well. So Pentax cameras actually thrive and last longer the more you use them

(I also think whoever entered that their K-50 died with over a million actuations just made a typo - unless I hear otherwise...)
07-24-2020, 09:54 AM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Solenoids fail in K-30, K-50, K-S1, K-S2 and occasionally K-70 as well, though those are very rare. But they only fail in cameras that have not been seen much use.
It is actually both, I have repaired quite a few Pentax which had been in regular use and with high shuttercount.
But for sure it is more common if the body was not used for a longer time.
My wife uses 2 x K-S1, both very regular used. And both failed, having been used just the day before.


QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
On the subject of shutter life, here is an interesting chart: pentax k 50 | Camera Shutter Life Database
If to be trusted*, then interesting concerning all those bodies with the white Japan-Solenoid for aperture-control:
Particular K10D, K20D, K100D, K200D and up K-x! The problem starts with the K-30.
But then interest in polling went down.


*if I look at figures of for example the Nikon D80: Hard to believe: 1.000.000 - 2.000.000 and 10x no failure!
07-24-2020, 10:42 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
On the subject of shutter life, here is an interesting chart: pentax k 50 | Camera Shutter Life Database
How odd, they seem to have every Pentax camera listed except the K-r. I was going to add mine.

Thanks both, interesting stuff.
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