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07-13-2016, 12:18 PM   #1
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Aperture Block / Shutter Failure

Which Pentax DSLR's are prone to these problems and which are not? My K-50 has it and I'm seeking alternatives.

07-13-2016, 12:26 PM   #2
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The K-m/x/r/30/50/500/S1/S2/and very probably 70 all appear to use the same basic aperture block design (and I've seen a teardown of a K100D that looked very, very similar). We don't have enough data to determine whether any model is more prone to failure, or if we are just seeing more K-50 failures because more K-50s were made. If you want to avoid the issue altogether, you'll have to move up to the bodies with the higher-end shutter design, like the K-5/3/1.
07-13-2016, 12:56 PM   #3
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Definitely most common on the k-30/k-50 period.

Officially it's all very quiet, but I was disappointed to hear reports of the k-s2 having the same issue, and agree the k-70 is likely to be built on the same platform. Sounds like dodgy components made their way into the modern batch at some stage, as it simply didn't occur like this before the k-30 even though the design is the same.
07-13-2016, 01:02 PM   #4
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I'd recommend looking at the K-3 as a replacement. It's more durable and rated for 200k actuations


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07-13-2016, 01:37 PM   #5
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I figure if my K-50 ever catches its can in the bertie I'll just look for a used K-5ii. I'm cheap, and I don't need more megapickles.
07-13-2016, 01:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'd recommend looking at the K-3 as a replacement. It's more durable and rated for 200k actuations
I concur, I would stay away from these other ones.
07-13-2016, 01:48 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
The K-m/x/r/30/50/500/S1/S2/and very probably 70 all appear to use the same basic aperture block design (and I've seen a teardown of a K100D that looked very, very similar). We don't have enough data to determine whether any model is more prone to failure, or if we are just seeing more K-50 failures because more K-50s were made. If you want to avoid the issue altogether, you'll have to move up to the bodies with the higher-end shutter design, like the K-5/3/1.
QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
Definitely most common on the k-30/k-50 period.

Officially it's all very quiet, but I was disappointed to hear reports of the k-s2 having the same issue, and agree the k-70 is likely to be built on the same platform. Sounds like dodgy components made their way into the modern batch at some stage, as it simply didn't occur like this before the k-30 even though the design is the same.
Actually, we have no real statistics, so we have little real knowledge.
We don't know what percentage of the consumer-grade cameras made by Pentax exhibit this behavior and the average time when it occurs.
{and I don't know of any statistics for consumer-grade cameras made by Canikon either ... but I did have two Canon Rebels fail on me in eight years with a total shutter count of under 5000}

A week ago, my wife and I returned from a trip to Canada, to Quebec Province to be more precise.
During the two weeks we were gone, I took a total of 90 distinct pictures, increasing the shutter count of my K-30 by a total of 250.
If that time were typical of my life, I would take 2340 distinct pictures a year, increasing the shutter count of my K-30 by 6500.
However, in the entire first year I owned that camera {the 52 weeks before our vacation}, I took a total of 272 distinct pictures and had a shutter count of 639.

My guess is that these consumer-grade cameras are designed for people with habits like mine, and the many reports we hear here about failures come from those who have habits more like a professional.
Perhaps the consumer-grade cameras should be more durable ... but they aren't {nor do they have metal bodies}

I believe Adam's advice is good.
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'd recommend looking at the K-3 as a replacement. It's more durable and rated for 200k actuations

Incidentally, I am in the process of digitizing every slide /negative I've taken {and still care about} in the 40 years I used a 35mm camera.
As of this morning, my count is 4223, and I currently believe I'm over half-way done.
07-13-2016, 02:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
Definitely most common on the k-30/k-50 period.

Officially it's all very quiet, but I was disappointed to hear reports of the k-s2 having the same issue, and agree the k-70 is likely to be built on the same platform. Sounds like dodgy components made their way into the modern batch at some stage, as it simply didn't occur like this before the k-30 even though the design is the same.
I agree. Do you happen to know the status of the K-S2? I am aware of one confirmed report of aperture control block failure (filmamigo from May '16) on this site. It is hard to say in regards to the K-70 though I would suspect that its mirror/aperture mechanism will follow that of the K-S2.

I would like to insert one small note of clarification. To the best of my knowledge, the K-30/K-50 issues have nothing to do with the shutter. While the mirror and aperture actuator mechanisms work in coordination with the shutter, they are distinct and separate components. FWIW...The shutters on Pentax dSLRs are standard Copal as are the shutter controller boards. They are configured to Pentax specification within the scope of Copal's product description. Copal and Seiko make the vast majority (all?) of shutters in Japanese dSLRs.


Steve

07-13-2016, 02:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I would like to insert one small note of clarification. To the best of my knowledge, the K-30/K-50 issues have nothing to do with the shutter. While the mirror and aperture actuator mechanisms work in coordination with the shutter, they are distinct and separate components. FWIW...The shutters on Pentax dSLRs are standard Copal as are the shutter controller boards. They are made to Pentax specification within the scope of Copal's product description. Copal and Seiko make the vast majority (all?) of shutters in Japanese dSLRs.
Actually, reading carefully through all the threads has left me convinced that there are at least two different issues out there:

(1) Aperture control problem causes severely under-exposed images to be created, because the aperture is not adjusted; the easy "solution" for that is to use m42-mount lenses because their aperture control is totally manual and totally separate from the camera.

(2) Shutter operation, a problem niceshot has been dealing with, causes totally black image to be created, because the shutter is stuck shut; I don't see any solution other than repairing {or buying a new camera} - and as niceshot has demonstrated, issues may cascade, in that case from stuck shutter to ruined motor.

a thread which seems to be covering both issues is at {current message count = 175}: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/321871-k-30-k-50-ape...#ixzz4EKDoQvC8
07-13-2016, 02:19 PM   #10
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I just tested my K-50 again. The first shot in AV mode with my kit lens was dark again i.e. image barely visible. I had an idea that "exercising" the camera might help. So I shot a few frames in continuous mode and bracketing mode. All the shots but the very first one seemed OK. The black image seems only to happen on the very first shot after powering up the camera. I'll keep experimenting.

BTW, all the images I take with this camera seem a bit dark with the EV at 0 when compared with those from my Pentax MX-1.

Thoughts on both issues?
07-13-2016, 02:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lakeshore Quote
I just tested my K-50 again. The first shot in AV mode with my kit lens was dark again i.e. image barely visible. I had an idea that "exercising" the camera might help. So I shot a few frames in continuous mode and bracketing mode. All the shots but the very first one seemed OK. The black image seems only to happen on the very first shot after powering up the camera. I'll keep experimenting.
my thoughts on issue 1:

If you read through this area, and the K-30/50 area, and the K-S1/S2 area {and probably another area or two that I forget right now}, you will find various "folk remedies" like this for what appears to be the Aperture Control Problem {(1) in my discussion in message #9 above}. For awhile, "exercising" the mechanism seems to get results {If I Recall Correctly, several weeks ago we heard from someone who was also taking pictures in "burst" mode}. Ultimately {and I don't have a handle on the time-frame for this} the motor will fail, so if I were you, I would do my experimenting only when I really wanted to take an actual picture, and/or I would pre-order a K-70 now, and/or I would order an M-42 adapter and at least one M42 lens now {this is an entirely manual system last used by Pentax around forty years ago}

.
07-13-2016, 03:53 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
(2) Shutter operation, a problem niceshot has been dealing with, causes totally black image to be created, because the shutter is stuck shut; I don't see any solution other than repairing {or buying a new camera} - and as niceshot has demonstrated, issues may cascade, in that case from stuck shutter to ruined motor.
Yes, though I do believe his is the only report on this site. I don't see that it is helpful to conflate unrelated issues, particularly when one is relatively common and well-characterized and the other is not. FWIW, totally black frames are not unknown with the aperture control block issue. It depends on how the controller fails, the lens, shutter speed, and the amount of light.


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07-13-2016, 04:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yes, though I do believe his is the only report on this site. I don't see that it is helpful to conflate unrelated issues, particularly when one is relatively common and well-characterized and the other is not. FWIW, totally black frames are not unknown with the aperture control block issue. It depends on how the controller fails, the lens, shutter speed, and the amount of light.
Actually there is also the recent report by stighy
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/325602-shutter-dead.html#post3708755

His answers to my precise questions clearly label this as a shutter issue. There was at least one other report that didn't fit the aperture control paradigm very well, so I mentioned the shutter thing here only so that people won't jump to the wrong answer too quickly.
07-13-2016, 04:56 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yes, though I do believe his is the only report on this site. I don't see that it is helpful to conflate unrelated issues, particularly when one is relatively common and well-characterized and the other is not. FWIW, totally black frames are not unknown with the aperture control block issue. It depends on how the controller fails, the lens, shutter speed, and the amount of light.


Steve
No I also think they are not related, cuz in my case the shutter looks as if it had been dropped at the factory and they picked out most of the broke plastic out of the case but miss a few pieces which later jammed the shutter mechanism. I am beginning to really understand this beast .I have one more piece coming it the mail and then I will re assemble it . i am doing this more for the learning process than any other reason.
07-13-2016, 05:07 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
Actually there is also the recent report by stighy
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/325602-shutter-dead.html#post3708755

His answers to my precise questions clearly label this as a shutter issue. There was at least one other report that didn't fit the aperture control paradigm very well, so I mentioned the shutter thing here only so that people won't jump to the wrong answer too quickly.
Definitely shutter issue and perhaps the same problem that niceshot has/had been struggling with.


Steve
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