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09-18-2016, 06:18 AM   #1
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How common is the aperture block failure, really?

I have two Pentax dslr's, a K100d and a K-x, so it is about time for something more current. Unfortunately, I am concerned about the aperture block failures on K-30's, K-50's, and possibly even more recent models. Does anyone know what percentage of these cameras have this problem? I only get a buy a new camera every 6-7 years, and the last thing I can afford is a couple of hundred dollar door stop.

09-18-2016, 06:43 AM   #2
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I never directly heard about it or experienced by anyone I know.
I was using Pentax DSLR's from about day one ( and Pentax SLR's for years) and still have and use many of them ( incl K-x and K-30) .
All lovely cameras , never ever had any problems with them.
09-18-2016, 07:41 AM   #3
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Unlike i_trax, I experienced the problem first hand (although I'm the only one I've ever heard of to have that problem on a K-5II) and at least one person had that happen to his K-30 on a local forum. However, I believe the problem is mostly confined to the K-30, with far fewer reports of K-50s failing. I would imagine the K-70 is fine, although random failures will still happen, as with any part of a camera.
09-18-2016, 07:46 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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People tend to take a sample of 1. That means it s either 100% failure or 0% failure

09-18-2016, 07:56 AM   #5
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My K-S2 developed an aperture block in a little less than a year. It was sent back to the factory for repairs. It seems that the flagship models (k-5's, k-3's) develop less mechanical problems than the k-30/k-50/k-s2. I also have a k-30 thats been repaired twice in 4 yrs already, but works very well after the repairs.
09-18-2016, 08:05 AM - 1 Like   #6
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my own anecdotal evidence:

my K-50 is almost two years old, over 13K shutter actuations and no issues...

my K-3 is almost one year old, over 20K shutter actuations and no issues...

I have more difficulty with the loose nut behind the camera than anything inside it...
09-18-2016, 08:11 AM   #7
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There is a survey here somewhere documenting K30/K50 failures among owners here on PF. I'll try to find it and link to it, but IIRC it was indicating about 1 in 4 will have the Aperture block/shutter failure. As far as real world failures (apart from PF members), I couldn't tell you.
09-18-2016, 08:14 AM   #8
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here it is:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/325815-survey-shutte...r-failure.html

09-18-2016, 09:07 AM   #9
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The issue with trying to guess, even trying a survey, is that people who have no issue tend not to mention it. People with the issue are far more likely to talk about it, which severely skews any apparent result.

The only people that really know are fairly unlikely to tell you the real figure.

However I would hazard a guess that if it was very common, the noise would be much louder.
09-18-2016, 09:18 AM   #10
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We can't accurately say what percentage of K-30 and K-50 cameras have had the failure. What we can say is that we've had multiple reports of the same failure on these models (and one or two on the K-S2, I believe) - enough that anyone buying one of these models should at least consider the possibility that it may affect their camera, and set their expectations accordingly to avoid future disappointment if the problem occurs.

The same can be said about SDM failure on the DA* lenses... we don't know the rate of failure, but we do know that it's a potential concern, so we factor that into our buying decisions and expectations of long-term reliability.

I expect the OP could buy a K-30 or K-50 and most likely never run into the problem - but the possibility (rather than probability) of failure from this known weakness must at least be factored into the decision.
09-24-2016, 01:18 PM   #11
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Ok, so my father has a K30, and 3 friends too. Except my father, all are quite light users doing a few thousand pictures a year max, likely less. Only my father could count as a moderate user and as now he use his K3 mostly we will never see if his K30 develop anything.

But out of the 3 friends that also brought a K30, one had the issue for sure and got it repeared, I don't know for the others, in particular one that changed city and I don't see that much anymore.

I'd think at least on K30 the issue is common, but I have no idea how often.

As it is quite possilbe to get the previous generation flagship for a bargain at the right time, I'd try to target this kind of buy when possible instead of the consumer grade bodies, if you are a moderate to heavy user.
02-01-2017, 10:35 AM   #12
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A few months late with the reply, but my white K-x had the problem when it was only 18months old. Since than, I acquired some lenses with aperture ring and later bought a new body, but I still hold my K-x and use it sporadically with my old lenses.
02-03-2017, 07:13 PM   #13
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I own a K100D, a Kx, and my newest camera is a K50. I upgraded from one to the next expecting a noticeable increase in image quality. I found that for my type of photography there was no big difference in the three cameras since I don't blow up my photos to large sizes. The first two cameras are still mechanically fine but the K50 developed the aperture block problem after I had it for a couple of years. It was only used moderately and the problem occurred overnight. One day it was fine but the next day I got very dark photos and, after consulting Pentatians on this Forum, I was told that it was the aperture block problem. I now intend to use the K50 in manual mode and use the Kx as my main camera. So the problem is real, but I don't think it is as common as you may think.

Last edited by psoo; 02-03-2017 at 07:16 PM. Reason: English correction
02-03-2017, 07:26 PM   #14
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From K10D to my K3 I have never had any issue with a Pentax DSLR. This includes my K-01. I'm a pretty heavy user. I never had a K3 but after 2 years my K50 is still going strong. Personally I do not think is any more issues with Pentax DSLR's than with any other brand. I've been out on photoshoot and seen full frame Nikkons lock up like a brick without any notice. There is always a certain amount of risk when buying any used electronic equipment.
02-04-2017, 03:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scorpio71GR Quote
From K10D to my K3 I have never had any issue with a Pentax DSLR. This includes my K-01. I'm a pretty heavy user. I never had a K3 but after 2 years my K50 is still going strong. Personally I do not think is any more issues with Pentax DSLR's than with any other brand. I've been out on photoshoot and seen full frame Nikkons lock up like a brick without any notice. There is always a certain amount of risk when buying any used electronic equipment.
I agree with Scorpio that buying used equipment may give increased risk of failure. However, my K50 was bought brand new and it was also susceptible to failure.
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