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06-11-2018, 05:38 PM   #1
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K30 replacement; what would you do?

Short:
broken k-30, what should I buy?

Background info:
Iíve had my k30 for quite some time. Iíve honestly gotten out of photography for the last couple years, but am experiencing a renewed interest. My opinion of my k30 over the years: very happy with what I get with better glass (photos from my rokinon 85mm f1.4 make me smile), but Iím not super impressed with auto focus, point and shoot capabilities when I hand my camera to someone else to take our familyís photos (usually with my sigma 17-50mm f2.8). I got spoiled using a friendís D750 that I love, but itís more than I really want to spend, especially since I have all Pentax gear. That said, I think you can hand that thing and the 24-70 tamron to a monkey and get impresssive shots.

Back to the problem at hand: my k30 has the solenoid/aperature control problem so most photos are completely dark. My manual control rokinon is usable but nothing with auto aperture works.

Need advice making a decision on what to do next.

Options:

1. file my solenoid magnet and hope it works for a short while
2. buy a used, ex condition k3 for under $500
3. hold out for a sale on a k1 and still spend 2-3x that
4. [likely unpopular vote] sell everything and buy something else (mirrorless sony or ff nikon)

Thanks in advance for the opinions!


Last edited by kevingt01; 06-11-2018 at 06:11 PM.
06-11-2018, 05:42 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevingt01 Quote
Short:
broken k-30, what should I buy?

Background info:
Iíve had my k30 for quite some time. Iíve honestly gotten out of photography for the last couple years, but am experiencing a renewed interest. My opinion of my k30 over the years: very happy with what I get with better glass (photos from my rokinon 85mm f1.4 make me smile), but Iím not super impressed with auto focus, point and shoot capabilities when I hand my camera to someone else to take our familyís photos (usually with my sigma 16-50mm f2.8). I got spoiled using a friendís D750 that I love, but itís more than I really want to spend, especially since I have all Pentax gear. That said, I think you can hand that thing and the 24-70 tamron to a monkey and get impresssive shots.

Back to the problem at hand: my k30 has the solenoid/aperature control problem so most photos are completely dark. My manual control rokinon is usable but nothing with auto aperture works.

Need advice making a decision on what to do next.

Options:

1. file my solenoid magnet and hope it works for a short while
2. buy a used, ex condition k3 for under $500
3. hold out for a sale on a k1 and still spend 2-3x that
4. [likely unpopular vote] sell everything and buy something else (mirrorless sony or ff nikon)

Thanks in advance for the opinions!
Are these options based on a particular budget?
I keep hearing that the K-70 is "OK", so cost-wise it might fit.
06-11-2018, 05:55 PM - 4 Likes   #3
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#2

buy a good, used K-3 or K-3II and never look back... make the K-30 your fully-manual camera...
06-11-2018, 05:56 PM   #4
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What lenses do you have?

06-11-2018, 06:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
What lenses do you have?
Most frequently used:
Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 (my go to walk around)
Rokinon 85mm f1.4
Pentax-da xs 40mm f2.8
Vivitar series 1 105mm macro

Rarely use:
Pentax 18-135mm WR
Some old Pentax-M primes
Pentax 18-55 kit
Tamron 70-300mm 4-5.6
06-11-2018, 06:13 PM   #6
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The KP is a great little APS-C camera and it will use the same battery as your K-30.
06-11-2018, 06:22 PM - 3 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
buy a good, used K-3 or K-3II and never look back... make the K-30 your fully-manual camera...
I was gonna suggest to do 1 and 2 - but pepperberry's comment is very persuasive!

I had the aperture block problem on my k-50. I shot strictly manual for about 1 year. I did so because I was not aware of a potential "fix" in filing the thing... Best thing that happened to me, as I really learned my camera and how to actually take a photograph...

Back to the aperture block though - I took it upon myself this past January (2018) to fix it (I had all the tools and was snowed in in early January without a thing to do). I did it, and it went well, honestly. To this day, the camera still performing as it did when brand new. However, I do have a great appreciation for shooting manual, and I still do; especially since my most "modern" lense (other than the kit) is an F series.

If you are going to do the aperture block filing thing - watch some videos. I do hear that the k-30, the final step is more cumbersome. Nevertheless, the final screw is "sealed" in place with some nail-polish-like product = TAKE THIS OFF COMPLETELY before attempting to unscrew it, or you'll mess it up, and game over.

Between a k-3 and the k-3ii, I'd go for the k-3 (me personally) - and I will likely get one soon, as my k-50 is leaving me wanting better high ISO (at least a decent 1600). The K-1? I cannot, on my personal situation (family, kids...), come to senses to spend that much on a hobby. Not yet
06-11-2018, 06:34 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by edom31 Quote
I was gonna suggest to do 1 and 2 - but pepperberry's comment is very persuasive!

I had the aperture block problem on my k-50. I shot strictly manual for about 1 year. I did so because I was not aware of a potential "fix" in filing the thing... Best thing that happened to me, as I really learned my camera and how to actually take a photograph...

Back to the aperture block though - I took it upon myself this past January (2018) to fix it (I had all the tools and was snowed in in early January without a thing to do). I did it, and it went well, honestly. To this day, the camera still performing as it did when brand new. However, I do have a great appreciation for shooting manual, and I still do; especially since my most "modern" lense (other than the kit) is an F series.

If you are going to do the aperture block filing thing - watch some videos. I do hear that the k-30, the final step is more cumbersome. Nevertheless, the final screw is "sealed" in place with some nail-polish-like product = TAKE THIS OFF COMPLETELY before attempting to unscrew it, or you'll mess it up, and game over.

Between a k-3 and the k-3ii, I'd go for the k-3 (me personally) - and I will likely get one soon, as my k-50 is leaving me wanting better high ISO (at least a decent 1600). The K-1? I cannot, on my personal situation (family, kids...), come to senses to spend that much on a hobby. Not yet


when my K-50 start to act erratically (not an aperture block issue), I started putting money away to replace it... I already had a K-3, so I started looking/watching for another K-3 (not a K-3II) to use as my second body...

now that I shoot with two K-3's, I actually shoot so much more and am so much more productive...

06-11-2018, 06:37 PM   #9
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Have a K-50 and enough DA lenses that I chose to stay with APS-C when it was time for a new camera. Was waiting for K-3ii successor but didn't happen. Chose to put a little money aside for now and bought a K-70. It's a damn good camera. The K-3's are better built and have a better battery but not so sure they produce better images. If you haven't yet use the camera comparison tool under cameras at the top of the page.
06-11-2018, 06:40 PM   #10
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These are all good opinions. Regarding budget, Iím with edom31.. hard to justify thousand(s) on a hobby, especially one I had walked away from for awhile. Even the KP at $900 is probably more than I really want to spend.

Iím leaning towards a used K3. From things Iím reading Iíd expect to notice some advantages over the K30. Is it right to assume a little more room to push the RAW images given 14bit, and possibly better auto focus and metering?
06-11-2018, 06:50 PM   #11
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A lot depends on what do you use it for, what lenses do you have and if you have suitable environment/knowledge/tools for repairs. My K-30 just started taking fully black shots last week, and I ordered a KP with 6 months payout. My reasoning:
1. I have no idea how to repair, have no tools, do not know any repairers in the place I live in, and I need camera in 2 weeks, which is highly unlikely somebody will repair before.
2. I do have a limited amount of AF lenses with aperture ring (Sigma 70-300, Sigma 50-500 and Tamron 90), and nothing in wider end (only MF Rokinon 10mm, Bower 24mm and Autorevuenon 50mm, as well as 135mm - they are all MF). I was planning to go to sunny place with intention to use wide angle, and I do not see well enough for constant manual focusing
3. I do like shot astrophotography, so better work with ISO was a plus
4. I was planning to buy a new camera anyway, was just waiting till Photokina to see if there is a new model.
5. Price went down from initial, and new model, if such was released during Photokina, would most likely be more expensive.

So, if you feel good enough with the manual aperture lenses you have and not very sure about repairs - stay as it is. If you think you could repair and have tools - try it, it is the cheapest way (you can always buy another camera later if you have bad luck with repairs). Buying another camera should be third option, after you thought about first two.

The decision ultimately is yours, though.
06-11-2018, 06:51 PM   #12
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I have had 2 k-30's and a K-50. I bought a K-3 a year ago and I love it. You will not be disappointed. I loved my first one so much I bought another. I still have the K-50 and if it ever fails I will have it repaired. The auto focus is faster, more reliable in low light situations. The metering is more accurate and the mixed light auto white balance is great. The shutter is much more quite than the K-30. Go for the K-3, you will not regret it.
06-11-2018, 06:53 PM - 1 Like   #13
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A used KS2 will give you a bump in ISO at a reasonable price. I’d still try fixing the K30 first. Nothing to lose.
06-11-2018, 06:59 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevingt01 Quote
These are all good opinions. Regarding budget, Iím with edom31.. hard to justify thousand(s) on a hobby, especially one I had walked away from for awhile. Even the KP at $900 is probably more than I really want to spend.

Iím leaning towards a used K3. From things Iím reading Iíd expect to notice some advantages over the K30. Is it right to assume a little more room to push the RAW images given 14bit, and possibly better auto focus and metering?
Iím not very familiar with the K30 as I had the K5 before the K3. The autofocus of the K3 was much improved over previous models (the K-1 autofocus is even better). Having said that, the lenses you have will make a difference in your experience with the autofocus.

Personally, if I wasnít such a gear head, the K3 or K3ii would be plenty of camera for my needs, including portraits and weddings.
06-11-2018, 07:13 PM   #15
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I went from a K-30 to a K-1 II . The AF is night and day between the two. I was reminded of that today when I was taking pictures of my damaged K-1 II with my K-30 . Autofocus was not even working in my dark home office with my DA50. Had to go to another room with more light. This even with AF assist light. I'll be shooting with my K-30 again for the next 10 - 14 days until I get my K-1 II back from Precision camera.
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