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03-11-2010, 10:33 PM   #1
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(noob question) Getting my K-x tmr -> how to test for mirror slap?

Hi everyone! Great forum here and I'm totally new to dslr.

I am getting my K-x tmr, and I would like to know how I should test it for some known issues (or test for faulty cameras) including mirror slap when I receive it.

Thanks a lot for the response! Really appreciate it!

03-11-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
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update firmware, use camera, if you notice a problem then you might have one...
if you go looking for a problem you might make one up :P
03-11-2010, 11:13 PM   #3
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Be very careful when you take it out of the box, there is a belief that this is where the problem originally starts. Lift it straight up and then rotate it very slowly 360 before unwrapping it. As long as you do that, you shouldn't have a problem. Just to be on the safe side though, never shoot at 1/80, 1/100 or 1/125 sec.
03-11-2010, 11:24 PM   #4
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You may never know you had a problem unless you go looking for one real hard.

Also the 'issue':

(a) hasn't been conclusively nailed as mirror slap related by anyone; or
(b) shown to be present in every K-x.

Test for it by taking lots of photographs under all sorts of conditions and angles and then spend hours and hours poring over them at 100% on screen...

03-11-2010, 11:50 PM   #5
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im getting flamed! but thanks for the reassurance!!!
03-12-2010, 02:41 AM   #6
Damn Brit
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QuoteOriginally posted by Renmanova Quote
im getting flamed! but thanks for the reassurance!!!

Don't buy a Prius as well as a K-x, you don't want to find out that you're really unlucky.



Welcome to Pentax Forums.
03-12-2010, 02:52 AM   #7
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Another important thing, in all seriousness, is to always make sure you use good batteries. Like Energizer Lithiums, or Sanyo eneloop AA rechargables charged by a good charger - like a Sanyo eneloop charger.

Running the camera with good quality, fully charged batteries is a good way to help ensure a happy K-x, and perhaps avoid a lot of the issues you might have heard of.

And part of this is to check which version of the K-x firmware you have (turn camera off > hold down Menu button > turn camera on > see firmware version on screen).

If it isn't version 1.01, download and install the latest version of the K-x firmware from here:
Latest K-x Firmware Update : Software Downloads : PENTAX

being very careful to follow the instructions very carefully, especially the bit about ensuring your battery meter reads green before beginning the firmware update.

v1.01 makes the camera run better on batteries, and also adds a few new features to the camera.
03-12-2010, 07:03 AM   #8
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Is it tomorrow in T Dot yet?

03-12-2010, 12:17 PM   #9
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thanks guys! great tips!

YES my camera arrived!!! extremely excited to test everything! Going to update the firmware now!

Really pleased with the camera so far, but just few questions:

1. i used the lithium battery that came with it, and after about 3min playing with the camera, it suddenly shut off (battery depleted)!!! then I turned it back on and its all green bar and fine... .... what..was that? hopefully it wont happen again

2. the lens cap, is there like a way to make it dangle from the lens? i keep on loosing small stuff like this!

3. is there a place where i can get screen protectors?

4. is UV filter the same as polarizing filter? what does the rating in "mm" mean? I am looking to do lots of outdoor/landscape photography, what would you recommend?

5. do most of you get a camera bag for it? are there small camera bags (outlines the shape of camera+lens) that i can get?

Thanks again!

Last edited by Renmanova; 03-12-2010 at 12:26 PM.
03-12-2010, 12:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Renmanova Quote
thanks guys! great tips!

YES my camera arrived!!! extremely excited to test everything! Going to update the firmware now!

Really pleased with the camera so far, but just few questions:

1. i used the lithium battery that came with it, and after about 3min playing with the camera, it suddenly shut off (battery depleted)!!! then I turned it back on and its all green bar and fine... .... what..was that? hopefully it wont happen again

2. the lens cap, is there like a way to make it dangle from the lens? i keep on loosing small stuff like this!

3. is there a place where i can get screen protectors?

4. is UV filter the same as polarizing filter? what does the rating in "mm" mean? I am looking to do lots of outdoor/landscape photography, what would you recommend?

Thanks again!
1. This is why people will tell you to use Good batteries. DO NOT update the firmware until you have them. You may brick your camera.

2. They make cords for this but I use my shirt pocket for the lens cap. The less dangly stuff hanging from the camera, the better off you'll be.

3. You can buy a film type protector sheet that you put over the screen.

4. UV does not equal Polarizer. Get a Polarizer (google it's use) and forget about the UV. Not needed.

Enjoy the camera.
03-12-2010, 01:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
1. This is why people will tell you to use Good batteries. DO NOT update the firmware until you have them. You may brick your camera.


Enjoy the camera.
Thanks for the reply!

with regards to the batteries, i used the new lithium aa battery that CAME with the camera! i'll be pretty sad if it happens again T_T

also, i took some pictures in AF with SR on, and it appears that some photos are more blurred than others... i attached some cropped out photos to illustrate. is it me? i thought SR could at least compensate for some movements :/ any suggestions?

03-12-2010, 01:29 PM   #12
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It's nice of Pentax to at least supply a set of batteries so you can try the camera. I don't own a Kx or any other AA slr. The reason being that the batteries have always been an issue. Aside from the 7/11 emergency backup battery source, I still fail to see the advantage to them. The solution by Pentax users has been worked out for years, and that's the Eneloops (or that type of battery). People claim 1200+ shots per charge with them. I have no reason to dispute that. As I said, I don't own one.

The reason you don't want to update your Firmware until you have reliable batteries is, If it fails to complete the process, you will have a pretty brick, Non functioning. Pentax charges a fee to revive one of these bricks and you don't want to be without your camera for the 3 or 4 weeks it's going to take.

There could be a Lot of things going on with your photos. At ISO1600 1/60 sec, you should be able to get a steady shot. SR, is not fool proof however and you will still have to practice to get it right. The first thing that looks wrong is the White Balance. Incorrect WB can fool the AF system. You could also be too close. Any number of things. I personally suggest moving away from AWB, and selecting for the condition you are in. Depleted batteries can also give wonky results. One of the things that the FW update is suppose to fix is to make the camera battery meter more reliable, have the camera play better with different types of batteries. You can read volumes about this until your eyes bleed and you run screaming from the room. The bottom line is get the Eneloops and follow the advice of the AA advocates. You'll be a much happier Kx user.

03-12-2010, 01:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Be very careful when you take it out of the box, there is a belief that this is where the problem originally starts. Lift it straight up and then rotate it very slowly 360 before unwrapping it. As long as you do that, you shouldn't have a problem. Just to be on the safe side though, never shoot at 1/80, 1/100 or 1/125 sec.
er... joke? right?

I've read a lot of mixed opinions on here about whether this is a real fault, or operator error, or something that might be imagined if you're being over picky and pixel peeping, but this mirror slap/SR bug or whatever the cause, is a very real issue for me and I am finding myself avoiding a certain range of shutter speeds.... even up to 1/200 or 1/250 I'm seeing a double image/motion blur on a lot of shots with the standard 18-55 lens at the wide end (without having to "pixel peep") and I can feel a very significant vibration from the mirror/shutter mechanism.

QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
update firmware, use camera, if you notice a problem then you might have one...
I've updated the firmware. This is definitely not an imagined problem! Yours might be OK- but mine isn't!

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
You may never know you had a problem unless you go looking for one real hard.

Also the 'issue':

(a) hasn't been conclusively nailed as mirror slap related by anyone; or
(b) shown to be present in every K-x.

Test for it by taking lots of photographs under all sorts of conditions and angles and then spend hours and hours poring over them at 100% on screen...
Not had to look "real hard". I don't know if its mirror slap or what- but it definitely looks like motion blur rather than OOF. I guess it can't be present in every K-x, or everyone would be complaining- because, as I said, you don't have to spend hours poring over the images at 100%. I'm hoping the guy in the shop I bought mine from isn't blind to it, because I'm taking mine back as soon as I get home.

QuoteOriginally posted by Renmanova Quote
4. is UV filter the same as polarizing filter? what does the rating in "mm" mean? I am looking to do lots of outdoor/landscape photography, what would you recommend?
some people are in the habit of using a UV or skylight filter to protect the lens- a polarizing filter is a creative tool and can cut reflections and increase contrast in skies (amongst other things) I recommend you get one!

QuoteOriginally posted by Renmanova Quote
5. do most of you get a camera bag for it? are there small camera bags (outlines the shape of camera+lens) that i can get?
I've tried a few bags- I really like the Crumpler bags- stylish without being too flash. Tough, well made and a huge range of sizes. "messenger boy 2500" is just big enough for a K-x and kit lens, the 3000 is big enough for the camera and a couple of extra lenses without shouting out "I've got loads of expensive camera stuff here!!!"
03-12-2010, 02:33 PM   #14
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You don't need any filters yet, and you would only use a polarizer (as a beginner) outdoors.

Just stick fresh AA batteries in there for the firmware update to be safe, but my supplied KX lithiums are still at full strength after 2 weeks of light shooting, but manual focus helps battery life a lot.

Finally, the shots you posted approach macro, and it's likely you were totally out of the allowable distance to get them in focus anyway. Did you hear the focus confirmation beep, see the icon, AND see the shake reduction icon appear? Until that icon appears, you ain't got SR.

Do yourself and everyone else here a temporary favor so we can best guide you along this exciting journey:

Use the 18-55 and just use it at 18, in P mode, and set your ISO to 400.
03-12-2010, 02:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Renmanova Quote
also, i took some pictures in AF with SR on, and it appears that some photos are more blurred than others... i attached some cropped out photos to illustrate. is it me? i thought SR could at least compensate for some movements :/ any suggestions?
Judging from the EXIF data, I would follow JeffJS's suggestion to try from further away. It looks like you were probably just about at the minimum focusing distance and (assuming you were using centre focus) there isn't a lot of contrast in the subject to achieve focus. Also, was the light in the room fluorescent? That kind of lighting can cause the camera to back or front focus.
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