Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-21-2020, 10:58 AM   #1
Forum Member
jesssss's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Appalachia
Posts: 55
Pentax K-S2 fail. Alternative? Give up?

Two and a half years ago, I bought a K-S2 to have a digital body in my film kit and something small to carry around with a little prime. I've switched primarily to Nikon, but couldn't bear the thought of retiring my favorite lenses completely. Some 1679 frames later, probably 10% of them failed test pictures after it went dark, it has officially suffered the dreaded dark frame failure.

Frustrated. So frustrated with Pentax. It's not the place for the whole rant, but we have a bad history. I have been throwing time and money at defective equipment since the K-10, assuming it is user error and testing testing testing until I'm out of warranty. The halo over my much loved 6x7 and 31/1.8 shines a little too bright though and I come back for more.

The question is: is there a path forward for me with Pentax? The dark frame issue seems to be known and prevalent. Is there a newer inexpensive camera that can take the K-S2's place that does not currently have known widespread defects?

08-21-2020, 11:16 AM - 1 Like   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 118
Hi Jessss:

First, I'm very sorry that your K-S2 failed. I agree that the quality control on this part is disastrous. I can't believe there hasn't been some sort of class action brought against Ricoh/Pentax for a solenoid failure that seems to have persisted through several generations of entry-level and mid-range DSLRs.

However, my understanding is that Precision Camera (Ricoh's official US repair) will fix this issue for about $200. People on this forum offer to do similar repairs for even less money. Yes, it's a bitter $200 that you should not have to spend, but that $200 is about what you'd spend buying one good-quality used lens on another camera system if you decided to switch.

The warranty on my K-S2 just lapsed (I bought mine direct from Ricoh in 2019 as an open-box refurb, possibly the last K-S2 in America still under warranty). It works splendidly, but I will always have a tiny, nagging worry. It's why I haven't sold my trusty K200D. However, if my solenoid fails and my pictures go dark, I'll bang my fist on a table for a minute or two, then I'll ship it off to Precision Repair. Because the K-S2 is still the best, most glorious camera I have ever owned.
08-21-2020, 11:32 AM   #3
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 19,967
QuoteOriginally posted by jesssss Quote
. . . Give up? . . Is there a newer inexpensive camera that can take the K-S2's place that does not currently have known widespread defects?


possibly, especially if you are willing to look at an " experienced " camera body

have you checked the forum's market place yet

it can be sorted by country

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses - PentaxForums.com

___________________

possible repair options:

QuoteQuote:
US
KEH.com (GA, Most current and vintage gear)
Eric Hendrickson (Vintage cameras, Current and vintage lenses)
Precision Camera (Authorized to perform warranty service, NC)
Advance Camera (Most current and vintage gear, Portland, OR)
General Camera Repair (LA, CA)
Garry's Camera Repair (IL, select film SLRs)
International Camera Repair (LA, CA)
Halcyon Cameras | Vintage Camera Restoration (Vintage film cameras, San Diego, CA)
Camera Repair Japan (Services Sigma lenses and more, Atlanta, GA)
Allied Camera (MN, manual film cameras)
Bill Rogers Camera (LV, NV, film-era cameras and lenses)
Phototronic (Topeka, KS, film and digital camera repair)
Lezot's Camera Center (VT, film SLRs / medium format)

Read more at: Pentax Repair Facilities (Wordwide listing) - Page 9 - PentaxForums.com

I had good luck with Phototronic here in Topeka he fixed a broken 150-450mm zoom for me

https://phototronic.biz/

Last edited by aslyfox; 08-22-2020 at 10:24 AM.
08-25-2020, 02:47 PM   #4
retired sw engineer
Loyal Site Supporter
reh321's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Bend, IN, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,539
QuoteOriginally posted by jesssss Quote
Two and a half years ago, I bought a K-S2 to have a digital body in my film kit and something small to carry around with a little prime. I've switched primarily to Nikon, but couldn't bear the thought of retiring my favorite lenses completely. Some 1679 frames later, probably 10% of them failed test pictures after it went dark, it has officially suffered the dreaded dark frame failure.

Frustrated. So frustrated with Pentax. It's not the place for the whole rant, but we have a bad history. I have been throwing time and money at defective equipment since the K-10, assuming it is user error and testing testing testing until I'm out of warranty. The halo over my much loved 6x7 and 31/1.8 shines a little too bright though and I come back for more.

The question is: is there a path forward for me with Pentax? The dark frame issue seems to be known and prevalent. Is there a newer inexpensive camera that can take the K-S2's place that does not currently have known widespread defects?
My K-30 failed, but in the early days of failure, I purchased an FA 28-105, and kept on taking photos with it using "green-button" metering.
Now I have a KP, which has the stepper motor used in the K-1ii, but I still use the K-30 on occasion.

08-25-2020, 02:55 PM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
paulh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: DFW Texas/Ventura County, CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,565
QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I purchased an FA 28-105, and kept on taking photos with it using "green-button" metering.
Yes, you can continue to use the camera in M mode, using lenses with an aperture ring.

Last edited by paulh; 09-11-2020 at 10:39 PM.
09-08-2020, 03:03 PM - 1 Like   #6
Pentaxian
ehrwien's Avatar

Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 760
As someone whose K-S2 also suffered the dreaded failure, I want to guide you to this thread in the K-S2 forum section: Manual: Solenoid replacement: Pentax K-S2 (and K-70) - PentaxForums.com
I've never soldered before (apart from taking out the "good" white solenoids from an otherwise defective *istDL the day before) and have no experience in precision electronic work, and I managed to fix my K-S2 thanks to this instructions manual myself.
I had bought the defective *istD some time ago through the local equivalent of Craigslist. I paid 15€ for it including shipping. My K-S2 slowly started to develop the dark picture problem, only the first picture was dark at first, but last week the first 10 or so stayed black and so I began to act. I bought a JIS #000 screwdriver for 10€, could borrow a soldering iron from a friend (otherwise I would have probably not spend more than 20€ on a cheap one), bought a "third hand" clamp for 4€, printed out the pictures provided in the thread I linked above, glued them to some pieces of cardboard from a box I had lying around, punched some holes at the places each screw was supposed to go with a tiny screwdriver, and started opening the camera. I had put a soft silicone mat under the camera that my friend had included with the soldering station, so I wouldn't ruin my desk. I had some tweezers to grab the little cables with, and put on some goggles to protect my eyes from hot solder accidentally flying into them. I had watched some intro tutorials into soldering on YouTube the day before.
All in all the process from starting to loosen the screws on the camera to tightening the last screw, putting in battery, sd card and lens, turning the camera on, making a test shot to make sure it worked, .. the whole process took me a few hours, and I was nervous the whole time the camera was "open", and especially when soldering those tiny cables inside the camera, I made sure to have some support for my hand when doing the actual soldering so I wouldn't shake, but I managed to not screw up and I fixed the camera. Should you decide to tackle this by yourself, it might be as cheap as 50€, even if you have to get all the tools and parts necessary. And the result would be a camera better than before, because the white solenoid will not fail the way the green ones do.

Should you decide not to repair the camera yourself or let it get repaired at an official repair center, you could still use the camera with manual aperture lenses (a lens with an aperture ring) as detailed by the previous posters
09-10-2020, 10:10 AM   #7
Pentaxian
stillshot2's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,011
You could try using your 31mm f1.8's aperture ring to work around the problem. Just make sure in the menus you set the camera to allow this. Or the K-5ii, K-3, K-3ii are solid cameras that do not have this failure and they could be had for not too much money used. You could still get a bit of money for your K-S2 if you sold it to someone that uses manual lenses, as my K-30 developed the issue a few years ago and I still got around $150 for it.
09-10-2020, 12:01 PM   #8
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 38,039
QuoteOriginally posted by jesssss Quote
Is there a newer inexpensive camera that can take the K-S2's place that does not currently have known widespread defects?
Sorry to be late to the party, but any of the current Pentax offerings will satisfy that criteria at least based on frequency of complaints.

I reviewed your post history. Sorry about the K-01 and (apparently) the K10D. Is it safe to assume your *ist DS also suffered an untimely demise? The suggestions above regarding your K-S2 are good ones. The cost to repair is not particularly high and the DIY option, not particularly difficult. If you still have any of your dead bodies, they might even serve as solenoid donors. Likewise, shifting use to manual mode only might also be a reasonable option if you already do a fair amount of that sort of work.

If it were me and if I still owned the D500 kit, I would simply shift the spending to the Nikon side of things and not bother with another $550 for a K-70. As you know, the D500 is a very capable piece of kit and is not something to leave on the shelf. Do what you please with the K-S2. It is not dead, just crippled with a treatable ailment.


Steve

09-11-2020, 08:49 PM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 2,783
I have the K-S2 as my most lightweight body, replacing the K-r because it is much more advanced. I got it new at a closeout bargain price after the K-70 appeared. I like it very much in that capacity, when not wishing to tote its bigger and more strongly-built older brother my K-5 IIs. it is essentially as good in its imaging, and has newer features of its own while being smaller. Yet it does not have the build quality nor the pro-level controls of the K-5 IIs. Older it is, but I still think very highly of the K-5 IIs for its very good performance and its set of dedicated controls . I have since acquired the KP, which has its design with a foot in both worlds- a slimmer design, a pro-level build, better controls than the K-S2, and even more advanced imaging and features.

But I still like the K-S2, easy-carrying and still lighter, whenever that is important, and generally for more casual use. I hope it keeps on ticking. If it should develop this problem, I would be looking to do the fix given in this thread.
09-12-2020, 01:04 AM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Iloilo City
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,137
QuoteOriginally posted by ehrwien Quote
As someone whose K-S2 also suffered the dreaded failure, I want to guide you to this thread in the K-S2 forum section: Manual: Solenoid replacement: Pentax K-S2 (and K-70) - PentaxForums.com
I've never soldered before (apart from taking out the "good" white solenoids from an otherwise defective *istDL the day before) and have no experience in precision electronic work, and I managed to fix my K-S2 thanks to this instructions manual myself.
I had bought the defective *istD some time ago through the local equivalent of Craigslist. I paid 15 for it including shipping. My K-S2 slowly started to develop the dark picture problem, only the first picture was dark at first, but last week the first 10 or so stayed black and so I began to act. I bought a JIS #000 screwdriver for 10, could borrow a soldering iron from a friend (otherwise I would have probably not spend more than 20 on a cheap one), bought a "third hand" clamp for 4, printed out the pictures provided in the thread I linked above, glued them to some pieces of cardboard from a box I had lying around, punched some holes at the places each screw was supposed to go with a tiny screwdriver, and started opening the camera. I had put a soft silicone mat under the camera that my friend had included with the soldering station, so I wouldn't ruin my desk. I had some tweezers to grab the little cables with, and put on some goggles to protect my eyes from hot solder accidentally flying into them. I had watched some intro tutorials into soldering on YouTube the day before.
All in all the process from starting to loosen the screws on the camera to tightening the last screw, putting in battery, sd card and lens, turning the camera on, making a test shot to make sure it worked, .. the whole process took me a few hours, and I was nervous the whole time the camera was "open", and especially when soldering those tiny cables inside the camera, I made sure to have some support for my hand when doing the actual soldering so I wouldn't shake, but I managed to not screw up and I fixed the camera. Should you decide to tackle this by yourself, it might be as cheap as 50, even if you have to get all the tools and parts necessary. And the result would be a camera better than before, because the white solenoid will not fail the way the green ones do.

Should you decide not to repair the camera yourself or let it get repaired at an official repair center, you could still use the camera with manual aperture lenses (a lens with an aperture ring) as detailed by the previous posters
I was quite tempted to buy a KS2 for my son last year for our trip to France. Considering that I do not have the skills to do a repair that you've described and considering my repair experience here in my region, I had to pass that sale. That solenoid problem is the only fault I can find on the KS2 and the K-70. Other than that, both cameras are really good. I had to let my son use my K-5II and for me, I used my K-3II. I normally shoot with 2 bodies but had no choice but to let my son use my other camera. I hope to have enough spare cash to buy some KP for my children. Probably one form me too.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
customer service, frame, k-s2, pentax, pentax k-s2, ricoh imaging, suggestion
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thrift Risk...Fail for Fungus. Disassembly? Pentax SMC-F 70-210mm jawats Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 13 06-03-2020 02:41 PM
Ack! Pentax K-01. Lowest shutter count to fail ratio ever!! RichA Pentax K-01 8 08-10-2019 08:27 AM
Why did pentax give up completly on SLR? elicius Pentax Film SLR Discussion 58 05-23-2019 09:53 AM
Life has gotten too busy, give up film photography or store it for a VERY long time? PPPPPP42 Pentax Film SLR Discussion 28 11-07-2018 04:19 PM
Macro FAIL!! Not Epic, but FAIL... icywarm Photo Critique 3 04-28-2010 05:51 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:05 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top