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08-15-2008, 01:55 PM   #1
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Some problems with my new Pentax K20D

Hi colleagues
I am new to this forum. Hope to get some help here.
I Have purchased the Pentax K 20D and right after it arrived, I charged the battery and went to my anthropological field research in Lithuanian woods. Spent 10 days in a tent. I have been intensively shooting in various weather conditions. I like the camera and its performance. Though 98% of camera performance where good there are few problems I have faced:
1. The camera freezed 3 or 4 times. Turning it on and of haven't helped. I had to replace the battery and put in. After that camera started to work again.

2. Several times camera produced black shots in very different light conditions. The lens was open, exposure set correctly, camera metering and everything else worked good, but after tacking shots, it appeared simply solid black. I would turn the camera of and on and everything would be fine.
I was making night shots with long exposure up to 3 minutes. I have been doing one shot and I have had the only chance for it. During the long exposure I felt happy to make that shot, but it appeared the black though other night shots where good. I checked exposure settings. Everything had to be fine. That was frustrating. Same thing occasionally happened shooting in a daylight.

Any comments on that please. Is it something I have to be concerned?
Thanks

08-15-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
DAZ
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OK, it would help to know the exact specifics of what you were doing. We can start with this thou. Did you know that when you take a photo that if the shutter is open long enough that camera would take a dark frame for dark frame noise reduction? This frame will be about as long as this time you had the shutter open for. For example, if you take a 3 minute exposer then the camera will take a 3 minute dark frame. During the second 3 minute the camera will not do any thing but the dark frame. You canít even turn the camera off. It will look like the camera is locked up. At the end it will write the photo to the memory card. If you pull the battery I donít know if you will get some file on the card but in there is one it probably would not be a good usable file. Maybe just a black pic?

DAZ
08-15-2008, 08:17 PM   #3
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If your camera is working properly 98% of the time I cant really see a problem with the k20d.Being out in the cold Iam wondering how you are storing your sd cards? Condensation on freshly inserted cards can cause problems.
10-10-2008, 03:50 AM   #4
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Problems with Pentax K20 (Update)

Hello
I posted earlier, that I have problems with my brand . It freezes sometimes and sometimes produces black shots. I thought it was some marginal problems related to the thing that I was not very well familiar to my camera, but...

I have done over 1000 shots with it so far and I face several problems and more frequently than before.

1. I was shooting golf players and during serial exposures camera freezed suddenly. After I took battery off and inserted it again it showed that there are (besides good ones) two shots: one black and one white with red line in the middle.
2. Camera quite often freezes usually after I change lenses or I wake it up from sleep mode. When it works good, all camera functions performs good and I am happy about it.

I attached that white frame with red line to show...
Any comments please. I am worried, because If I have to return it here might be some difficulties. I live in Lithuania. Bought the camera from B&H on line. Sent it to US address to my friend and he brought it to me home. No local warranty I guess.

Thanks

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10-10-2008, 04:57 AM   #5
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Hi Saul,

Take a look at this post: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/225290-post1.html aparently we are talking about the same issue. I sent my camera back to Pentax... they did not find any fault in it... so I lost over month time and €200 postage...

It still happens more often with some CD cards less with others...

Cheers

Tom
10-10-2008, 05:28 AM   #6
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Thanks Tom
10-10-2008, 05:53 AM   #7
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I also found many of these problems to be card related, and very rarely a horrid body (which should be sent back).
However, this is not onyl a pentax thing, I see it on our local forums too, same symptoms, different brands, same card brands.
10-14-2008, 11:14 PM   #8
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I purchased my Pentax yesterday, and my K20d have the same problem.


10-15-2008, 09:06 AM   #9
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I get black long exposures too sometimes! it is generally when the shot should be about 1 stop underexposed, and it just turns out black. Then i pump the exposure out so that it cant go any higher and our comes a perfectly exposed image. Annoying with 5 minute exposures (which last 10 minutes...)
10-15-2008, 09:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Saul Quote
Hello
I posted earlier, that I have problems with my brand . It freezes sometimes and sometimes produces black shots. I thought it was some marginal problems related to the thing that I was not very well familiar to my camera, but...

I have done over 1000 shots with it so far and I face several problems and more frequently than before.

1. I was shooting golf players and during serial exposures camera freezed suddenly. After I took battery off and inserted it again it showed that there are (besides good ones) two shots: one black and one white with red line in the middle.
2. Camera quite often freezes usually after I change lenses or I wake it up from sleep mode. When it works good, all camera functions performs good and I am happy about it.

I attached that white frame with red line to show...
Any comments please. I am worried, because If I have to return it here might be some difficulties. I live in Lithuania. Bought the camera from B&H on line. Sent it to US address to my friend and he brought it to me home. No local warranty I guess.

Thanks
This looks very much like a problem with the SD card, rather than with the camera. It's worth a shot - get another card (from a solid brand, not a cheap one from the corner big box store). I use SanDisk because that's what I got a deal on when I bought the k10d, but there are other good brands as well.
QuoteQuote:
I get black long exposures too sometimes! it is generally when the shot should be about 1 stop underexposed, and it just turns out black. Then i pump the exposure out so that it cant go any higher and our comes a perfectly exposed image. Annoying with 5 minute exposures (which last 10 minutes...)
This is a known problem with the k20d. There is no way to turn off the dark frame exposure. There are many on this forum who have discovered the problem. Luckily for me, my k10d does allow turning it off. Hopefully Pentax will issue a firmware update that will resolve the issue.
10-15-2008, 09:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by IsaacEastgate Quote
I get black long exposures too sometimes! it is generally when the shot should be about 1 stop underexposed, and it just turns out black. Then i pump the exposure out so that it cant go any higher and our comes a perfectly exposed image. Annoying with 5 minute exposures (which last 10 minutes...)
I would think on any exposure that would take 5 minutes, there must be so little light that you are well below the lower limit for the amount required in order for the camera meter to work effectively. That is, with light levels that low, the camera meter is simply making up random information to tell you what the exposure should be.

Although I'm confused as to how you getting the camera to produce 5 minutes exposures in the first place - I would think that would be possible only with B mode? I guess maybe with the K20D you can get that more directly?
10-15-2008, 09:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I would think on any exposure that would take 5 minutes, there must be so little light that you are well below the lower limit for the amount required in order for the camera meter to work effectively. That is, with light levels that low, the camera meter is simply making up random information to tell you what the exposure should be.

Although I'm confused as to how you getting the camera to produce 5 minutes exposures in the first place - I would think that would be possible only with B mode? I guess maybe with the K20D you can get that more directly?
Marc, it's actually the dark frame that is causing the problem, the way I read the complaint. He ties the camera up for 10 minutes when taking a 5 minutes exposure. That's five minutes for the exposure plus five minutes for the dark frame.
10-16-2008, 01:20 PM   #13
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i use sandisk, and they work on my K10D ...

here is an exemple
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10-20-2008, 06:17 PM   #14
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I just took about 4000-5000 shots over a weeks time on a k10d and k20d (about 3k on the k20d) and had no problems like this. Been using sandisk extreme III's. Most of the time it was fast action too.
10-20-2008, 06:50 PM   #15
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Don't have any problem with Lexar, Sandisk, Transcend, or Kingston SD cards in my K20D. Have seen really cheap cards cause problems for others. Keep in mind there are also counterfit cards that barely work, if at all.
Would also try cleaning battery contacts. Out in the wilderness you may be having condensation problems. Are you using the Bg2 grip? If so try cleaning those connections. Also try a second battery. Both to check 1st battery, and if you have grip use both batteries. Cold temps can cause problems for batteries. 5 min exposures would be harder on them. Two batts could help this.
Hope you get it figured out.
thanks
barondla

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