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04-18-2015, 04:02 PM   #1
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K30 Dilemma

Not long after I bought my K30 in 2013 I had to send it in for repair because of the aperature motor problem that seems to plague the K30. Now it has already started messing up again and I just invested in a couple of new lenses for it. I don't have the money to go out and buy a new K3 and I'm quite sure my warranty is now out on the K30. What would you guys think about me buying a used K20D? Or, should i repair the K30 yet again, knowing it will mess up again at some point in the future. I'm just frustrated right now because we just started baseball season for my son and then the first of June we're going on a trip to Yellowstone. What are you thoughts?

04-18-2015, 04:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by lextextrapper Quote
Not long after I bought my K30 in 2013 I had to send it in for repair because of the aperature motor problem that seems to plague the K30. Now it has already started messing up again and I just invested in a couple of new lenses for it. I don't have the money to go out and buy a new K3 and I'm quite sure my warranty is now out on the K30. What would you guys think about me buying a used K20D? Or, should i repair the K30 yet again, knowing it will mess up again at some point in the future. I'm just frustrated right now because we just started baseball season for my son and then the first of June we're going on a trip to Yellowstone. What are you thoughts?
Instead of a K20D, I'd go for the K-50. It's pretty cheap new ($349 not counting rewards and freebies, even less used) and is identical to your K-30 in terms of operation and features. There aren't any major QC issues that I'm aware of- you may have just gotten unlucky with your K-30

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Last edited by photolady95; 04-18-2015 at 07:57 PM. Reason: fixed typo
04-18-2015, 04:40 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Instead of a K20D, I'd go for the K-50. It's pretty cheap new ($349 not counting rewards and freebies, even less used) and is identical to your K-50 in terms of operation and features. There aren't any major QC issues that I'm aware of- you may have just gotten unlucky with your K-30
I thought I read somewhere in the forums here that the K50 has the same aperture motor set up, so I want to stay away from the K50 if that's true.
04-18-2015, 04:44 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lextextrapper Quote
I thought I read somewhere in the forums here that the K50 has the same aperture motor set up, so I want to stay away from the K50 if that's true.
As I said, I'm pretty sure you just got unlucky. I think almost every current Pentax, save the K-3 uses a similar aperture actuator.


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04-18-2015, 05:01 PM   #5
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I had K-30 with an aperture activation problem but it only occurred with one lens, the D-FA 50mm f/2.8. The shutter/aperture actuation made a very distinct sound. All my other lenses, like my DA 18-135mm, worked just fine. Do you find the problem occurring with every K-mount lens you have?

Since the problem only manifested itself to me when using a single lens I decided to "suffer" through it until I could upgrade. I would take multiple (2-3) shots for every moment just in case the problem would occur. At the end of the day I would have to delete some dark images but it was manageable. I had a 32 GB SD card so I had no fear filling it up.

Another alternative, although a little pricey in the long run, is to rent K-mount body for critical events.
04-18-2015, 07:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I had K-30 with an aperture activation problem but it only occurred with one lens, the D-FA 50mm f/2.8. The shutter/aperture actuation made a very distinct sound. All my other lenses, like my DA 18-135mm, worked just fine. Do you find the problem occurring with every K-mount lens you have?

Since the problem only manifested itself to me when using a single lens I decided to "suffer" through it until I could upgrade. I would take multiple (2-3) shots for every moment just in case the problem would occur. At the end of the day I would have to delete some dark images but it was manageable. I had a 32 GB SD card so I had no fear filling it up.

Another alternative, although a little pricey in the long run, is to rent K-mount body for critical events.
I tried all my lenses and you were right...only one lens seems to create the issue. My Pentax DA 50-200mm is fine, 55-300mm is fine, 18-55mm is fine, but the new Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 EX HSM causes the under exposure about 30% of the time. I just bought that stinking lens! Is there anything I can do to correct the issue?
04-18-2015, 07:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lextextrapper Quote
I tried all my lenses and you were right...only one lens seems to create the issue. My Pentax DA 50-200mm is fine, 55-300mm is fine, 18-55mm is fine, but the new Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 EX HSM causes the under exposure about 30% of the time. I just bought that stinking lens! Is there anything I can do to correct the issue?
Check if the aperture linkage on the Sigma lens is sticky or loose. Unfortunately if the problem is with the lens, there is nothing that we can correct on the Pentax camera; may be you can use EV compensation to correct it.
04-18-2015, 07:48 PM   #8
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My D-FA 50mm f/2.8, which had problems on my K-30, works perfectly on my K-3. I would guess that your Sigma lens would work just fine on different Pentax body. Don't worry about the lens.

I wish I had a solid solution beyond pure speculation. In my case I tried cleaning the lens/body contacts, reorienting the camera, checking the aperture arm alignment, etc. I could make it worse by pointing the camera straight down but I could never make it better.

04-20-2015, 06:54 AM   #9
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It's very frustrating not to be able to depend on the K30 to perform the way it was designed to perform.
04-20-2015, 06:56 AM   #10
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Look up the guys at Sigma, see if they have a fix.
04-20-2015, 07:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lextextrapper Quote
It's very frustrating not to be able to depend on the K30 to perform the way it was designed to perform.
You're totally right and there's no excuse for Ricoh/Pentax here. The engineers picked a bad component, inadequately tested it, and now do very little to support it. This failure is probably something that can't be caught in a lab. Not only does a component have to wear but it has to age with dirt accumulating on it, oil drying out, etc. Simulating this by having the camera fire off 100,000 shutter actuations in an environmental chamber or an oven may not reveal a long term fault like this. So, yes, boo on the K-30! As consumers all we can do now is salvage what we can. That is why we all ask how consistent is the fault. One lens or all lenses? Can you take multiple shots, like 2-3 in a row, to ensure at least one comes out? If you are dedicated to the K-mount then can you upgrade to a newer model like one of the K-Sx models or even the K-3? The answers aren't always pretty in many of these questions.
04-20-2015, 07:49 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
There aren't any major QC issues that I'm aware of
QuoteOriginally posted by lextextrapper Quote
I thought I read somewhere in the forums here that the K50 has the same aperture motor set up, so I want to stay away from the K50 if that's true.
lextrextrapper is correct in that there is risk of the same issue with the K-50. I sent a close friend's K-50 in for repair for this problem a few months ago (camera barely off warranty, but Ricoh/Pentax opted to cover it) and there have been several other reports on this site. That being said, the incidence is far less than the flurry of K-30 failures that were reported on this site about 2 years ago.


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05-01-2015, 09:53 AM   #13
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My K-30 also had this issue. I got it back from Precision in January and have noticed a couple underexposures here and there lately and that has me nervous. However, by and large, it's working just fine. I may just be a bit over-sensitive to it now.

I know I have read about the K-50 having similar issues.

I have pretty much decided if the K-30 has the same problem again I am going to upgrade to whatever is out at the time. I have invested too much in lenses to switch systems and I like Pentax. If you can wait a little while, I bet the KS2 prices will come down and maybe that would be an upgrade option for you?
01-18-2017, 05:29 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lextextrapper Quote
I tried all my lenses and you were right...only one lens seems to create the issue. My Pentax DA 50-200mm is fine, 55-300mm is fine, 18-55mm is fine, but the new Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 EX HSM causes the under exposure about 30% of the time. I just bought that stinking lens! Is there anything I can do to correct the issue?
Thanks for the idea! I got my hopes up, but my K30 has the same problem with both my Pentax DAL 55-300 and my Pentax 18-55. So still stuck with only a manual 50mm lens. At least I can still take some photos though.
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