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10-31-2011, 12:49 AM   #1
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Good CRIS repair experience in my 2nd dead Pentax

Update: My 2nd repair with K20D comes back in about 3 weeks and I have changed the title to reflect the status


My Pentax K-x white was dead when it was in its 9th month with me. CRIS repaired it well but I was devastated with the repair experience, I sold it soon after its return from CRIS.

And today, my 3 year old K20D died in my hands while doing stop-down metering with green button. I was taking the k20D with my Cosina 55mm f/1.2 for a workout. These are two of the last photos with my 2nd dead Pentax. God forbids that I get my heart with Pentax



1/160 sec, likely f/8.0 or f/11, 55mm, iso 100, +0.7 Ev, mono-pod


1/2500 sec, f/1.2, 55mm, iso 100, +0.7 Ev, hand-held

The curtain was locked down and there is no pulse to any clicks on the shutter. Removal of batteries and SD card don't do anything to my dying puppy. In close examination tonight, I saw a metal needle object like a spring sticking out of the mirror chamber. Not sure if it is related and it ain't looking good. There is a constant whining and hissing noise that repeats every few seconds. The menu and control dial navigation become agitated and I can't get to most of the menu items.

I bought it used and the original owner has a 3 year extended warranty from B&H. It should have ended in May this year.

I really can't think straight tonight. It is ironic that I am selling bunch of gear in PF marketplace making funds for my K5 upgrade. I am soul searching for the right thing to do. Is it just me having bad luck with Pentax? Please offer me guidance as to think straight out of my current mess with NO digital body. My film gear can't replace my K20D and I only have one digital body. And I am heavily invested in Pentax with primes and zooms in 15, 24, 35, 43, 55, 77, 10-17, 28-75, 50-135, 55-300 and 300.

Thanks,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 12-02-2011 at 01:09 PM.
10-31-2011, 01:40 AM   #2
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I am certain their reference samples in their labs are awesome but I have no faith in Pentax QC or after sales service. My approach is to get their cheaper body to minimize my loss in case of failure outside warranty. If the top-end body is on par with mid-end C/N AF performance, I might reconsider, but I don't see it happening.
10-31-2011, 01:54 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your bad luck Hin. I hope the K-5 will be just what you wish it to be. For me the K-5 has been the first camera in a looong time that has really changed my way of shooting. With bodies I've been lucky. The *istDS is the only DSLR that ever broke on me, and that after five years and a lot of use.
10-31-2011, 04:48 AM   #4
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Complex precision instruments will fail.

Since your K20D was bought used, it may have had some knocks and bumps in it's past. Does the problem occur when you stick a standard lens - eg the kit lens - on the body?

Also having a backup body is very useful.

10-31-2011, 06:13 AM   #5
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Hin, I thought you had already jumped in a different boat. I myself was, perhaps still am, considering switching to Nikon, mainly for AF, but also for availability of lenses... Personally I haven't had problems with the bodies (K200D-14000 clicks and K-x 7000 clicks), but your stories give another reasons to think again of switching. Still, I like my K-x (with primes) too much--and I suppose the successor to K-r will be similarly likable--to make a switch before anything bad happens to me. But, subjectively speaking, in your stead I would have definitely looked to other horizons...

On the other hand: have you had serious problems with your lenses? I'm thinking, with the amount of equipment you've gathered, chances of something failing with any system may not be negligible.

Last edited by causey; 10-31-2011 at 07:25 AM.
10-31-2011, 07:02 AM   #6
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My wife & I haven't yet experienced any problems with any of our 4 bodies (two *istDs, a K100D & a K-x) but you guys are making me twitchy with all this talk of camera failure. When I made the switch from film to digital, I was used to using cameras like K1000s, Nikon F2, Minolta SRT101 and others... cameras that never plonked out on me. The only 35mm SLR I've ever had die is the Olympus OM-2S Program.

Now with all the talk about lousy QC & whatnot, I hope I didn't back a losing horse. On the other hand, how do you know Canon or Nikon would fare better in the reliability department?
10-31-2011, 07:25 AM   #7
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The hard reality we all have to face is our cameras are becoming disposable electronic devices. My K10D is entering it's fifth year and mostly has held up good. My only issue is I get SD card issues on warm summer days if I have the camera in the sun. I went with Pentax when I switched to digital because of my bad experience with my last NIkon film camera so I can say by personal experience that Nikon is not immune to problems or QC issues. I spent more money getting the film auto winder repaired multiple times than the camera cost me. My Nikon glass has gathered dust. Our old manual film cameras were built like tanks. My Spotmatic still works and I found an old Chinon M42 camera and lens in a garage sale this summer that still works perfectly. The other side of the coin is that we shoot thousands of pictures on our digital cameras. I don't know my shutter count but I have over 30K pics in my catalogs and I have deleted a lot. I never shot that much film in my lifetime so I think most of us are getting a lot of use out of our cameras. I'm in a wait and see position myself. I would like a K5 but I hear a lot of grumbling over QC issues. For now, I'm doing a wait and see to see what develops in the next few months since the Ricoh sale. If I was without a camera, it would be a different story. After 2 camera failures, I don't blame you for being pissed.
10-31-2011, 07:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
The hard reality we all have to face is our cameras are becoming disposable electronic devices.
That's how I see it as well. The "body" is a body plus film...and pretty much expendable after about 3 yrs as film progresses on. Cost to repair isn't worth it, so I put the roughly $250/yr in film costs I used to have into an "upgrade body" fund for the eventual upgrade to a new body...

10-31-2011, 08:21 AM   #9
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+1 to Reeftool's comment. No company is immune to breakdowns. One of the biggest drawback to Electronics in general is they fail, regardless of what brand you buy (I spent 25+ years in consumer electronics industry and the Two things i can say for certain about any brand is they have products that will breakdown, and that it will cost more than you like to repair them
Doesn't matter if it's an inexpensive Chinese made dvd player or a high end hand built from the best components audio item. they all suffer a failure rate.

Secondly Reef points out the high shutter count we achieve on digital. I'm on my 4th DSLR. Combined I have likely shot 60-80000pictures on them. in the 30 years before i went digital i'm not sure i shot that many (about 1700+ rolls of film or 58 rolls a year. certainly i had times i shot far more than that but i also had years where i shot very little indeed)
I see lots of QC grumbling here, but I think we are not seeing the whole picture. People who don't have [problems rarely search out a place to grumble, whereas people who do will tell everyone and anyone where ever they can. I would bet the Failure rate for Pentax is in the same zone as it is for Canon Nikon Sony et al (certainly if you look at the forums for these guys you'll see complaints as well)

Manual Film stuff as noted was built like a tank (at least most of it was) and aside from having little to go wrong even a complete refurbishment is not expensive in the scheme of things - if it's a leica product it is probably worth doing as a clean serviced unit has good value in the market. maybe not for a Chinon you got for $20 at a yard sale though
10-31-2011, 08:21 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
That's how I see it as well. The "body" is a body plus film...and pretty much expendable after about 3 yrs as film progresses on. Cost to repair isn't worth it, so I put the roughly $250/yr in film costs I used to have into an "upgrade body" fund for the eventual upgrade to a new body...
i wish i was that disciplined, i just spend it on other things (like cheap lenses LOL)
10-31-2011, 08:38 AM   #11
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Dear Hin Sir, just think, the worst could have happened, compared to a used K20D refusing to work. Now that it has passed over our heads, let us think about putting an alternate body in your hands. Please do not touch the K5, pass it over for a myriad Quality Problems this body faces.
I would put my bet on another used K20D. Don't be tempted by the K7 as it is only marginally better in some areas and worse in others than a K20D.
But please do not buy on evil Bay. Craigslist seller in your city or even Goodwill should be better, as you can meet up and try the stuff out with your lenses. Even this Forum should be reliable.
In the meantime check the K20D's shutter count and send it for repairs. What you describe as metal pin and spring stuff should be easily repairable and might set the camera clicking again.
I believe the K20D is the best built Pentax. Buy a new body when the K5's replacement is announced. I believe the new Master Ricoh is a better company. I am still using a compact shutter priority Ricoh camera I bought 23 years ago in Dubai.
Smile and be happy Hin Sir. Start shooting as soon as you can, because once you hold a purring camera you will be just fine.
10-31-2011, 08:55 AM   #12
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i would disagree on the K7 Nanhi. I own a K10 (same build as the K20) and a K7. I think the K7 is better built than the K10 was (i still use both but prefer the K7 now) As for performance the K7 is vastly underrated as people seemed to expect a bigger performance jump at the time. Advantage to a K7 if you are thinking a K5 at some point is both use the same design so no adapting how you work every time you change bodies (the layout differences are the most frustrating thing when i carry both)

As for K5 QC I believe most issues have long since been addressed, and like it's been said all makes/models will have a failure rate, including whatever comes next from Ricoh-Pentax.
The K5 was also a big seller so i think we see more people with issues just because they sold more cameras than before
10-31-2011, 08:55 AM   #13
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I'm sure I've come across a relatively simple fix for this somewhere. I'll see if I can find it again . . .
10-31-2011, 09:26 AM   #14
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Original Poster
Thank you for your thoughtful comments and replies. Please keep them coming as I still can't think straight on what to do.

I was tempted to go Nikon a couple of times since the introduction of Nikon D90 and now D7000. I hesitate as selling my gear has been sucking my life on energy, time and emotions. I don't have the luxury of time to go that route of selling 20+ items of my Pentax gear. I will ask my good friend to borrow his D7000 for trial again as if I go to a store to get tempted. But last when I try it, I keep thinking of the ergonomics of Pentax and my gear collection. Like all gear, it takes time to get used to. And I love the collection of lens that I build around my K20D. I was notoriously nominated for LBA of the year. At one point, I have both the FA limited and the DA limited lens series. I have wised up a bit since the hay day of LBA/CBA. Maybe not wise enough, I still have more gear than I need.

My initially plan is to upgrade to K5 and have my K20D as a backup. It would have been my ideal backup to have a K5 and a smaller body as in K-x and K-r. My dead K-x experience sort of put that idea off. The K-x shines as a travel and everyday use camera -- it is my best Pentax experience in low light shooting and traveling light with 15, 21, 43 and a long zoom when required. My 21 was mistakenly sold when I was grieving with my K-x lost and I was half-way to the dark side in getting D7000 about the time.

I need to sit through the idea few more days. I may order the K5 and live with the lemon law of electronics. I will make it a priority to at least get a 2 year warranty, preferably 3 year. With the QC and the bad experience that I have with 2 dead Pentax digital bodies, anything less is not helping me with the piece of mind. I am glad that I am NOT professional as what happens to me will be devastating to a business that greatly depends on the gear. I can still soak up the weary thoughts and grudges with my film bodies from the 70's and my point and shoot Fuji F30 from 2006.

I heart my Pentax gear and I truly hope what happens to me don't happen to any one of my Pentax friends. I have high tolerance to the failures in my Pentax bodies but truly there is certain limit that I can crack with anger and frustration.

Warmest,
Hin
10-31-2011, 09:42 AM   #15
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Hin, you were terribly unlucky with the K-x. I'm sure the vast majority of K-x owners are satisfied with it... (I'm one of them.)
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