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10-20-2013, 12:38 PM   #1
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K-x repair/replace issue

I have a K-x with under 5k shots on it that has recently begun to produce occasional all-black images, usually the first one or two shots of a session. Today the AF motor refused to get a lock even in good lighting. Manual focus worked fine. After turning it off and back on, it started focusing okay, but seemed a bit slow. (The last bit might be my imagination.)

Apparently, my K-x has become aware that I've been eyeballing a K-3 now that I am getting more serious about photography and may be staging a strike.

So... I am guessing that any shutter repair (if indeed that's what it is) will run ~$200, and I doubt I could get that for the body alone at this point, even repaired. I had planned to ask for a new lens at Xmas, then buy the K-3 early next year, and keep my K-x as a backup.

1) Am I correct in assuming it's probably not worth sending away for repair?
2) Is there a DIY fix I could attempt to clean the shutter?
3) Given that this camera has light usage and has never been dropped or been in harsh environments like dusty or salty ones, am I correct in being rather annoyed at such a short lifespan?

10-20-2013, 12:46 PM   #2
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1. You're right- it's not going to be worth it
2. Not that I know of
3. While the AF motor issue might be unrelated, it sounds like your camera might have some sort of manufacturing defect. It's not covered by warranty any more, is it?

The K-3 would be a huge step up from the K-x, but so would a K-5 II, so I guess it depends on what you need. If you want to save some money, get a K-5 II and spend the rest on glass

Adam
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10-20-2013, 01:07 PM   #3
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Adam,

Thanks for the speedy reply. I bought it 1/23/2010... so definitely out of warranty! Almost all of those photos were taken in the past couple of months, so it's possible I had a problem unit and it just never showed up until now.

Perhaps my local hackerspace group can repurpose it; I guess I am getting a new camera.
10-20-2013, 03:10 PM   #4
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You can see if the shutter is staying closed by choosing [Sensor Cleaning] in the [Set-up 4] menu. If you see the sensor (colorful rectangle in the middle of the mount), the shutter is opening, if you see a few nearly black horizontal shutter blades instead, it's not. I have a couple of DLs that produce black frames, and it seems to be the sensor instead. But the DL is different.

I have replaced a shutter by just being careful, removing parts until I got to the shutter, putting in a new one and soldering on five or six wires. It may not require removing every part on the camera but it seems like it. Someone in a hackerspace group could probably succeed.

10-20-2013, 03:30 PM   #5
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The shutter opens when I check it; like I said it's just every now and then I get the black frames.
10-20-2013, 05:24 PM   #6
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Can you try a different battery/set of batteries? Here are some of the standard things you can try to see if they make the problem go away. Check the lens and camera mount to make sure they are clean, that the aperture blades on the lens work properly, update the firmware to the latest version (it contains all previous updates), try resetting camera to factory defaults, try another SD card..
Probably none of this will work, but it might be worth a try. And yes, repairing a K-x is probably not very cost-effective, maybe not even possible anymore (because some parts might no longer be available).
10-21-2013, 06:10 AM   #7
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I will give those a try; I already checked the aperture blades.

The batteries are fresh but strangely when the autofocus was acting up, I was getting a low battery indicator, which is what I initially assumed was the problem. After turning it off and back on, my battery indicator shows full.
10-21-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleC Quote
strangely when the autofocus was acting up, I was getting a low battery indicator
That actually makes sense in a way. If poor contact between pins and batteries exist the current draw from the focusing motor may cause unstable power to the system. The vibration from the mirror-slap could also cause the symptoms you described. I suggest cleaning the battery contacts especially the inner ones and also check to see in case they have recessed down enough were they barely make contact with the batteries.

As mentioned above, what firmware are you using? The original firmware (v1.0 – if I’m not mistaken) had battery level accuracy issues. Although I didn’t experience it with my K-x but to my understanding at around 50% battery charge the camera “believed” the batteries were near depletion and acted erratically. The K-x is rated for at least 100k shutter actuation. Under 5k - that's practically new.

Hope this helps.
Cheers.

10-21-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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The batteries feel snug and the contacts look clean, but I cleaned them anyway for grins. I didn't have any battery issues perviously and I'm using the same type (Energizer Ultimate Lithium.)

I updated the firmware this AM; I guess I will wait now and see if any of this happens again.
10-27-2013, 05:56 AM   #10
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Just an update:
I continue to have intermittent AF issues. With the firmware update, instead of the first couple of frames being totally black, they are now just severely under exposed.

Peachtree Camera is coming to our local camera shop in a few weeks for a clinic; I think I will go and have them look at it then.
10-28-2013, 06:22 PM   #11
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Strange. My K-x has survived rain, splashing, dropping off a table onto concrete, being bashed into stuff, and me falling on top of it (admittedly it was in a camera bag, but I'm not a light guy), and has never given me even a tiny glitch. Perhaps your girlfriend punted it and didn't tell you, or you just have bad luck.

Charles.
10-29-2013, 04:39 AM   #12
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Either my boyfriend is going to happy or very upset when he learns I have a girlfriend.
10-29-2013, 05:59 AM   #13
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Hah, didn't even look at the name. I apologize

Charles.
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