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06-15-2008, 02:38 PM   #1
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K200D sensor problem?

I just received my first Pentax - a K200d + 18-55 + Tamron 70-300, after much research and teasing of shop assistants.

I believe, however, that there is a problem with the body. Basically, it seems not to sense the light level correctly and consistently underexposes to a drastic degree. I've read in some forums that the camera has a tendency to underexpose, but my results are far worse than anything described. If I take a simple shot indoors with the flash and Autopict selected, the shot is more or less black: if I play with the settings and expose for a couple of seconds, with ISO1600 and EV+2, I start to see some details. If I take a shot outside on a reasonably bright day with Autopict, it looks like a moonlit night: if I play with the settings again, I get something that looks like a stormy day. the last experiment was taking a close-up of a lit electric light bulb with Autopict: this looked like I'd taken it through welder's goggles. The lenses seem to be perfect, however - at least in terms of seeing clearly and being able to frame & focus the shot - but the results are the same with both.

I've tried following a tip on a Pentax forum somewhere that suggested enabling the custom function linking AE to AF, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

I believe that I've followed the manual explicitly (what could go wrong, anyway?). But perhaps there's some elementary novice error that I've committed, in which case please let me know. I suspect it's going to have to go back to the vendor...

Thanks in advance for any tips - I have to say that I'm kind of disappointed in Pentax at this time...

Mike

06-15-2008, 02:49 PM   #2
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Sounds like a defective body ....

What White Balance (WB) are you using Auto ?
Is there a newer Firmware Version (google K200D firmware)
Are you shooting jpeg's or raw ? Do the raw look any better ?

Post some samples that will others diagnose as well.
06-15-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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Thanks, Dave

I've been using AWB, but changing it didn't seem to make much difference. I've just checked for a more recent firmware version (hadn't thought of that - thanks..), but I don't see anything more recent than mine (1.00). I tried using RAW+, but there was no difference between the JPG version and the RAW.

I tried to upload a couple of samples, but I had no success. Damn, nothing's going my way today!

I'd love for you guys to tell me I've been dumb, but I tend to agree with you that the body is faulty.

Thanks

Mike
06-15-2008, 05:27 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mholland Quote
I just received my first Pentax - a K200d + 18-55 + Tamron 70-300, after much research and teasing of shop assistants.

I believe, however, that there is a problem with the body. Basically, it seems not to sense the light level correctly and consistently underexposes to a drastic degree. I've read in some forums that the camera has a tendency to underexpose, but my results are far worse than anything described. If I take a simple shot indoors with the flash and Autopict selected, the shot is more or less black: if I play with the settings and expose for a couple of seconds, with ISO1600 and EV+2, I start to see some details. If I take a shot outside on a reasonably bright day with Autopict, it looks like a moonlit night: if I play with the settings again, I get something that looks like a stormy day. the last experiment was taking a close-up of a lit electric light bulb with Autopict: this looked like I'd taken it through welder's goggles. The lenses seem to be perfect, however - at least in terms of seeing clearly and being able to frame & focus the shot - but the results are the same with both.

I've tried following a tip on a Pentax forum somewhere that suggested enabling the custom function linking AE to AF, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

I believe that I've followed the manual explicitly (what could go wrong, anyway?). But perhaps there's some elementary novice error that I've committed, in which case please let me know. I suspect it's going to have to go back to the vendor...

Thanks in advance for any tips - I have to say that I'm kind of disappointed in Pentax at this time...

Mike
Please post some pictures with EXIF data intact..ony then can someone help you!

02-19-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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Hello,
I have the same problem the k200d with Pentax 18-250 lens takes very dark photos. In a summer day every photo i take is like it is cloudy day!!!
Did you find any solution?
Thank you
Antonis

QuoteOriginally posted by mholland Quote
I just received my first Pentax - a K200d + 18-55 + Tamron 70-300, after much research and teasing of shop assistants.

I believe, however, that there is a problem with the body. Basically, it seems not to sense the light level correctly and consistently underexposes to a drastic degree. I've read in some forums that the camera has a tendency to underexpose, but my results are far worse than anything described. If I take a simple shot indoors with the flash and Autopict selected, the shot is more or less black: if I play with the settings and expose for a couple of seconds, with ISO1600 and EV+2, I start to see some details. If I take a shot outside on a reasonably bright day with Autopict, it looks like a moonlit night: if I play with the settings again, I get something that looks like a stormy day. the last experiment was taking a close-up of a lit electric light bulb with Autopict: this looked like I'd taken it through welder's goggles. The lenses seem to be perfect, however - at least in terms of seeing clearly and being able to frame & focus the shot - but the results are the same with both.

I've tried following a tip on a Pentax forum somewhere that suggested enabling the custom function linking AE to AF, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

I believe that I've followed the manual explicitly (what could go wrong, anyway?). But perhaps there's some elementary novice error that I've committed, in which case please let me know. I suspect it's going to have to go back to the vendor...

Thanks in advance for any tips - I have to say that I'm kind of disappointed in Pentax at this time...

Mike
02-19-2009, 08:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by anthger Quote
Hello,
I have the same problem the k200d with Pentax 18-250 lens takes very dark photos. In a summer day every photo i take is like it is cloudy day!!!
Did you find any solution?
Thank you
Antonis
The 1st thing people are going to ask you for are examples with the exif data. Also what metering mode you are in and where in the frame you metered from. A lot of times on bright sunny days people will meter on something that happens to be very bright causing the overall photo to look underexposed.


John
02-19-2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by anthger Quote
Hello,
I have the same problem the k200d with Pentax 18-250 lens takes very dark photos. In a summer day every photo i take is like it is cloudy day!!!
Assuming you are trying to use it like a point&shoot camera - not being careful to meter off something neutral but instead letting the sky or another very bright object determine the shutter speed - what you are seeing sounds perfectly normal. The camera tries to keep highlights from clipping (being reduced to pure white) and it tries to make all scenes come out as medium dark (the equivalent of 18% gray) on average unless you take steps to override it.

Simply changing from multi-segment to center-weighted metering can make pictures brighter in many cases - because then the camera will go ahead and allow highlights to clip. Not what Pentax assumes you would want, but if it is, then go ahead and make the change.

What the original poster describes is rather different - not just protecting highlights resulting in a stop or so of underexposure, but radical underexpose of many stops.
02-19-2009, 07:11 PM   #8
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Please post some sample pictures. n/t

There is no text.

QuoteOriginally posted by mholland Quote
I just received my first Pentax - a K200d + 18-55 + Tamron 70-300, after much research and teasing of shop assistants.

I believe, however, that there is a problem with the body. Basically, it seems not to sense the light level correctly and consistently underexposes to a drastic degree. I've read in some forums that the camera has a tendency to underexpose, but my results are far worse than anything described. If I take a simple shot indoors with the flash and Autopict selected, the shot is more or less black: if I play with the settings and expose for a couple of seconds, with ISO1600 and EV+2, I start to see some details. If I take a shot outside on a reasonably bright day with Autopict, it looks like a moonlit night: if I play with the settings again, I get something that looks like a stormy day. the last experiment was taking a close-up of a lit electric light bulb with Autopict: this looked like I'd taken it through welder's goggles. The lenses seem to be perfect, however - at least in terms of seeing clearly and being able to frame & focus the shot - but the results are the same with both.

I've tried following a tip on a Pentax forum somewhere that suggested enabling the custom function linking AE to AF, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

I believe that I've followed the manual explicitly (what could go wrong, anyway?). But perhaps there's some elementary novice error that I've committed, in which case please let me know. I suspect it's going to have to go back to the vendor...

Thanks in advance for any tips - I have to say that I'm kind of disappointed in Pentax at this time...

Mike


02-19-2009, 08:09 PM   #9
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It sounds like the spring has come loose on the aperture armature of the camera body. If you put the camera in Av mode and alter the aperture and check the depth of field preview and there's no change, it's possible the spring has come loose.
02-19-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by the_int21h Quote
It sounds like the spring has come loose on the aperture armature of the camera body. If you put the camera in Av mode and alter the aperture and check the depth of field preview and there's no change, it's possible the spring has come loose.
Set the camera to near wide opened, say, for a f/4 lens, set it to f/5.6, fire the shutter and look directly from the lens front to see if the aperture actually opened up as instructed correctly, or not.

I do suspect a defective camera in this case for what it is described.
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