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08-28-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
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DA* 16-50mm buckled at green ring, big, black/gray specks on K20D sensor ...

Kinda wondering what my options are here, as it's not looking good.

Long story long ...

A relative thought they'd help me unload by grabbing my Pentax Slingbag, which they thought was a shoulder bag. I didn't see it happen, but I heard it hit the pavent ... "thunk!" I immediate asked, "what was that?!" because it sounded like something hard in a bag hitting the ground. One long pause later, it was, "oh, that was your camera bag, it just slipped off of my shoulder." After a brief explanation of what a sling bag was (over the head, not just the shoulder), I just hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, for certain ...
  • DA* 16-50 f/2.8 is buckled open at the green ring on one side, exposing the gearing and internals, and the gaskets on the other side are sticking out too
  • K20D sensor has not-so-small specks of dark black/gray, won't shake/clean off (and yes, tried another lens)
This was the ready/mounted combo, and I can only assume the impact fractured plastic/carbon when went firing back into the sensor. The K20D electronics still work, but even to the naked eye, that sensor has some serious plastic/carbon "friends" that can't be cleaned off.

Now on a brighter note, I tested the following, three (3) lenses in the bag that weren't mounted, and I think I'm okay:
  • DA* 200 f/2.8, even though it wasn't in any lens bag and was right next to the DA* 16-50 f/2.8, seems to be okay. SDM still works too. I have a SquareTrade accidental damage warranty on this if it's not (4 year, and I'm only into 1 year)
  • D-FA 100 f/2.8 Macro WR, on the other side, but in its own, internal bag -- seems to be good, will shoot more tests in the sunlight
  • DA 10-17 Fisheye, was in its lens bag, and inside of the DA* 200 f/2.8's hood, so very well protected from impact
I think it's literally a case where the impact only damaged the lens connected and flushed under the solid, heavy-duty mount. I mean, the mount is totally undamaged. I had the hood on the DA* 16-50, so the top of the body and lens hood likely hit the ground (inverted), and the force finally found a weak point in the ends-heavy combo and buckled.

Oh, yeah, the relative asked how much it cost me? I told them $1,500, $900 for the body, $600 for the lens, oiver two years ago. Now the K20D body has some down some, but the lens has gone up $200 since. I really loved my DA* 16-50 f/2.8 sample, the second one after one return. Sigh ....

So what are my options?


Now this is one week before my Alma Mater's first game, and I'm going to be traveling quite a bit after that on several away games. They are in Florida, and I love having my weather sealing just for Florida. I have my non-WR K-x as a backup, and still have the DA* 200 (although that is WR). And I also have the non-WR DA 16-45 f/4 which is fine for all but low-light shooting, although it's no DA* 16-50 f/2.8.

The K5 rumors are regular, and many say Pentax is going to be announcing new bodies in October. The last thing I want to do is upgrade to a K7 and then see it drop in price, much like my K20D did about 4 months after I upgraded to it. It would also be nice to see the K5 features-price against a reduced-price K7. So I'm thinking of just "making do" with the K-x for now, using the DA 16-45 f/4 and DA* 200 f/2.8.

I also think I could sell my K20D's five (5) Pentax-branded batteries and two (2) Pentax-branded chargers. I just shot 5,000 shots on three (3) of those batteries at Mid-Ohio, re-affirming why I chose to stick with Pentax branded'n certified Li-Ion (don't get me started on why, but that says something after 2 years and God knows how many shutters and re-charges over the last two (2) years.

Still debating what to do. Maybe I could find a K20D used/refurbished and still use my batteries/chargers. But losing the DA* 16-50 f/2.8 is something that really smarts. Unless, of course, people think I could get either repaired? I'm not thinking so on the DA* 16-50 f/2.8, and I really don't think the K20D sensor is worth repairing -- unless sensor replacements are cheap enough?

Nah, just checked BestBuy.com, they don't even have the K10D refurbished any more (and the refurbished K20D has been sold out for awhile). The K20D has re-appreciated, just like the K7 has started to inch up against too. Sigh. Should have bought another expert/WR body, instead of the K-x as a backup. I use my K-x only 1/20th the time of my K20D.

08-28-2010, 08:46 PM   #2
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Well that blows. Out of curiosity, in case I missed it, what did the relative say when you spit the numbers at him/her?

From anecdotal evidence, you could probably figure on $400+ to replace the sensor on the K20d. That is, if it cannot be cleaned at all. The lens sounds like it's roached and would cost nearly as much to repair as to replace. I don't know that for a fact but I just have that feeling.

With respect to waiting for the next model, You will probably be waiting until late October or early November, to pay the out the chute, full price for one. Only to be miffed again when the price drops 4 months later. MY suggestion would be to wait, see what a whizbang camera it really is and then evaluate it against what you had or against the K7. I have to say that once I had the K7 in my hands, the K20d just sat. I have one of the refurb (I suspect) K10d's that I bought to get back the ability to shut off DFS, and I've probably taken 100 shots with it in 6 months. I sold my K20d about 6 months ago, haven't regretted the upgrade for 1 second.


Last edited by JeffJS; 08-29-2010 at 11:04 AM.
08-29-2010, 03:29 AM   #3
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sorry to hear this. Seeing you like your K20d so much, and you have a whole lot of batteries for it, to me it would make sense to try and find a used K20d to replace it, but not before checking whether your sensor can be cleaned/fixed relatively easily. That will keep you going for another while, and you can decide on K7's or K5's when you're ready (and the prices are, too).

On the other hand, I'm not sure what kind of weather you expose your cameras to, but my DS has seen some light rain more than a few times, and never caused me problems. So I wouldn't have a problem taking out my K-x with a little drizzle. Then again, I can understand that when you're used to K20d controls, the K-x feels like a big step backwards.
08-29-2010, 10:48 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Well that blows. Out of curiosity, in case I missed it, what did the relative say when you spit the numbers at him/her?
I remember immediately barking, "your attention should be defined by the price of what is in the bag." It was clear the person just grabbed it without thinking twice. Sigh, they knew I never let people grab my camera bag.

08-29-2010, 11:05 AM   #5
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personally if i was in your position i would stick with the k-x but buy a new da* 16-50mm - few plastic bags and some rubber bands could suffice for weather sealing till you can evaluate the k-5 when it arrives

i'd also check your house insurance - even though it might not have happened in your house you be amazed by what they will sometimes cover -about 6 or 7 years ago friend got his fancy racing mountain bike (about 6000 worth) stolen from his apartment while at university yet his parents house insurance covered it dispite it not having been anywhere near the house

now admittedly that was a while ago and with the economy insurance companys might not be so generous now but it cant hurt to ask - specially since it sounds like your relative doesn't stump up for breaking it
08-29-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
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Have you tried wet cleaning the sensor?
03-03-2011, 11:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mdave13 Quote
Have you tried wet cleaning the sensor?
Yep. It seems the specs are all on the mirror and bottom of the pentaprism. The body is still intact. I had to "pop" it back into place, but it's there. I've taken it out in the rain for many hours, still working.

However, it does sometimes go "flaky" and won't shoot. Also, the dials are not precise sometimes, and everything from changing the aperture/shutter to zooming in and out when looking at photos is a PITA.

With my K-5 Limited Silver Kit pre-order from early February still on backorder and not coming through for Sebring, I'm going to "limp along" with the K20D for now. We'll see how it handles 4 days at Sebring.
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