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08-20-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
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What happened when you get a black picture?

Every once in a while, while messing with the settings as I shoot in manual mode, I get a black picture.

Usually when I'm in my living room with the TV on or outside.
Anyone know what's going on and how to avoid this?

Using a k-x

08-20-2010, 08:12 AM   #2
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First off, make sure the cap is off

If you set the shutter speed and the aperture so that not enough light passes through to the sensor, you'll obviously get a black picture. Try pressing the green button first to get a light reading by the camera first, and then configure the shutter speed and/or aperture accordingly.
08-20-2010, 11:54 AM   #3
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That usually means the picture was taken too fast for any light to be recoreded. Either too fast a shutter speed, too small an aperture or a combination of both. When shooting manual, pay attention to the light meter. Negative numbers indicate a dark picture, (Underexposed), positives mean overexposure and the pic will be white in the worst case.

Thanks,
08-20-2010, 02:35 PM   #4
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You already received some good advice. For completeness and curiosity, I may add an experience that I add with my K-7 leading to black pictures.

Once I did some Hi continuous shooting, and I had a black picture in the middle of the sequence. I suspect that the mirror could not keep up with 5.2 fps frame rate. This has been an isolated incident and I had it only once more (out of 7,000 shots).


08-20-2010, 02:37 PM   #5
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I have gotten a completely black frame on rare occasions.

It is not a case of having the wrong settings.
08-20-2010, 03:51 PM   #6
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Something else to check is bracket mode. If the camera is set to bracket to (-/0/+ ) chances are the underexposed one may look black.
Equipment malfunction is always a possibility but not very lekely
08-20-2010, 07:33 PM   #7
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I think the OP is (and I am) talking about BLACK, not an image underexposed by a couple stops.

It is an equipment failure, but I don't know the cause.
08-20-2010, 10:17 PM   #8
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An image underexposed by a couple of stops might not be black, but an image underexposed by ten stops will be. The OP said he was using manual mode, but gave no indication as to how he was manually setting exposure. So it's certainly possible he really did underexpose by that much while, as he put it, "messing with settings".


Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-21-2010 at 12:51 PM.
08-21-2010, 07:39 AM   #9
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Looking at the exif of the black picture should tell you what happened. Last week I got a black frame while shooting indoors. The data is identical for the frames before and after the black frame. I was using a flash and obviously, the flash didn't fire even though the exif says it did. The batterys in the flash were running down and it was taking a long time to recover. One of the things I have noticed with my K10D is that when I have been shooting in Av and switch to manual, the camera is set to the shutter speed I used the last time I shot in manual mode, NOT the shutter speed the camera was just using in auto. If the Kx operates the same way, this could easily explain the black frame. While I've had a dark frame because of this, more often I end up with an extremely overexposed white frame. Always check the exposure settings when shooting in manual. They will not be the same settings you were just using.
08-23-2010, 09:04 AM   #10
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A sticky shutter will also do this.

I've had a sticky shutter on my DS for the last 4 years, usually the first couple frames after it's been sitting for awhile are either black or underexposed, then it starts to work normally again.
08-23-2010, 11:28 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by anthers Quote
A sticky shutter will also do this.

I've had a sticky shutter on my DS for the last 4 years, usually the first couple frames after it's been sitting for awhile are either black or underexposed, then it starts to work normally again.
Agreed. My K20D does this from time to time, especially on a less-than-fresh battery charge, and ONLY on the first shot after I turn it on.

I can take two shots in a row, with exactly the same settings, and showing exactly the same EXIF. The first one will be entirely black, and the second one exposed as intended.

I know I need to send my camera in, but I don't have a spare so I haven't done it yet.
08-29-2010, 12:14 AM   #12
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I've just got my K-x...
From yesterday, i have the same probl. And like "Quicksand", only the first shot in blak (in the same conditions)...What could be...
08-29-2010, 03:18 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
Agreed. My K20D does this from time to time, especially on a less-than-fresh battery charge, and ONLY on the first shot after I turn it on.

I can take two shots in a row, with exactly the same settings, and showing exactly the same EXIF. The first one will be entirely black, and the second one exposed as intended.

I know I need to send my camera in, but I don't have a spare so I haven't done it yet.
I took my camera to a local authorized Pentax repair outfit and he quoted me something like $300 to do a CLA of the shutter. I figured at that price I could live with it and put towards a dSLR upgrade somewhere down the line!
08-29-2010, 10:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paully76 Quote
I've just got my K-x...
From yesterday, i have the same probl. And like "Quicksand", only the first shot in blak (in the same conditions)...What could be...
Post a sample with EXIF intact - that will enable us to tell if there a problem with the settings or not.
08-29-2010, 02:08 PM   #15
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Hi there. Like i said, first picture is black...But trying to solve it i found that if i take the first picture in live view mode the picture is ok, than turn LV off.. and works. So, with the mirror up.. the first shot is ok. I gues it could be a probl. with the mirror...
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