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06-16-2021, 11:46 AM   #1
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Pentax K10D: photos turn out slightly rotated.

Hi all. I've use a Pentax K10D digital SLR for about 12 years and it has served me well with almost 20k shutter actuations. I'm still very happy with it.


Recently I have taken many photos of architectural subjects, such as buildings that often draw tall, straight vertical lines across the image frame. I've found a strange, recurring thing about my images & compositions. I've noticed that no matter how carefully I align the composition lines of the viewfinder with the buildings, the images turn out slightly rotated and I have to correct that in post-processing. It usually requires about 1 to 1 counter-clockwise rotation to fix.


Is this kind of behaviour normal with the K10D? Is there some way to fine-tune the alignment of the image sensor?

I attached a sample photo which shows the phenomenon. I used a manual 135mm lens and a tripod, taking care to align the viewfinder's vertical composition lines with the closest building on the left.

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06-16-2021, 12:21 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The mirror has tilted on K10D over time. Not only this - you probably will notice it is hard to frame squarely since the mirror is tilt relative to the mirror box and the focus screen. It is a common problem on K10D. Google it and you should find many such reports. K10D only has one support point under the mirror. Some found it helps to address the problem by attaching a rubber piece to the mirror box under the unsupported side, but the size of the rubber piece must be just right.
06-16-2021, 12:22 PM - 1 Like   #3
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That is not uncommon, unfortunately... one forum member (a long long time ago) solved this problem by re-setting the focusing screen. See: K10D mirror alignment problem? - PentaxForums.com

Here's another conversation on the subject, also mentioning realigning the focusing screen. K10D - image is consistently rotated? - PentaxForums.com

These threads are pretty old so I guess any further developments should be discussed here...
06-16-2021, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I don't have K10D, so don't know if this is applicable. If there is Auto Horizon correction function in the menu, check it and turn it off.

06-16-2021, 12:47 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medex Quote
I don't have K10D, so don't know if this is applicable. If there is Auto Horizon correction function in the menu, check it and turn it off.
Unfortunately K10D doesn't have this menu option. Perhaps it was added to more recent Pentax models?

Thanks for the tip of resetting the focusing screen. Just take it out and try putting it back? And check if there's any play in its alignment? I will try it and report if it helps.
06-16-2021, 12:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medex Quote
I don't have K10D, so don't know if this is applicable. If there is Auto Horizon correction function in the menu, check it and turn it off.
AFAIK the K10D doesn't have horizon correction. My copy has had the slight tilt issue from day one. Horizon correction is one of the first things I check in post anyway, so it's never been a major issue for me.
06-16-2021, 12:49 PM   #7
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I had this with my K10D also. I made an adjustment in my raw converter and added it to default raw processing profile.

06-16-2021, 01:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
AFAIK the K10D doesn't have horizon correction. My copy has had the slight tilt issue from day one. Horizon correction is one of the first things I check in post anyway, so it's never been a major issue for me.
Does it have composition adjustment via sensor at all?
06-16-2021, 02:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Does it have composition adjustment via sensor at all?
Nope...no live view either (CCD). Sensor shift was in its infancy, across brands.

QuoteOriginally posted by artrasa Quote
Is this kind of behaviour normal with the K10D?
It has been a topic several times while I have been a member here. The suggestions regarding mirror adjustment address the most likely cause. Re-seating the focus screen might make sense if the tilt was noticed after the screen had been been removed for some reason, but otherwise is unlikely to result in anything other than dust on the back surface of the screen.

The problem is probably addressable with service, but the cost might not make sense.


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06-16-2021, 03:17 PM   #10
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Yeah, I had that problem with my K10D way back in the Hoya era. It is very annoying.
06-16-2021, 03:18 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I do the slightly of kilter photos all the time now .... I tilt the camera whilst taking the shot handheld ... don't mean too ofcourse but it happens
06-16-2021, 08:32 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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Dagnabbit... I am now going to have to pull my K10D out and see if this happens with mine... arrrrrrgggh..!!
06-16-2021, 08:41 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dbs Quote
I do the slightly of kilter photos all the time now .... I tilt the camera whilst taking the shot handheld ... don't mean too of course but it happens
I think I've had this problem with all my cameras. I finally decided the problem was me. It's just one of the things I routinely check in PP...
06-16-2021, 08:52 PM   #14
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It can be really bad on the K10D with that problem. Especially when you line up a shot with a horizon and you can see that it is straight in the viewfinder (maybe even on a tripod) and then the picture is way crooked. I convinced them to fix mine for free even though it was just out of warranty since it was a known problem. (Again, this was the Hoya era.)
06-16-2021, 10:34 PM   #15
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I've noticed this with my K10D. When shooting with both eyes open it can be particularly obvious when the image in the viewfinder is slanted compared to what the other eye is seeing.

If I need lines to be parallel with the edges of the frame I fix it in post processing.
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