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02-05-2009, 03:49 AM   #1
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Happens to me with K10 - black shots

Hi brothers in arms

I'm new on this forum and I'm equally desperate as Saul. I can almost copy/paste Saul's post

Ever since I've bought my K10, in April 2008, camera produces black shots in very different light conditions. The lens is open, exposure set correctly, camera metering and everything else works good, but after taking shots, it appears simply solid black. If I keep pressing the shutter button, nothing happens, only black shots. Then I turn the camera of and on and using the same aperture/exposure setting everything's fine, there's a photo on the card.
The black shot file on the card reads 15-16 mb and exif info same as the normal one.
I'm using SanDisk Extreme III 4 gb. When I first took the camera back to service, they updated the firmware and suggested it is a card issue. I got a new card from SanDisk, but the problem persists. I took it back to service again and they claimed that everything's fine with the camera, I just have a bad luck with the cards. If only black shot happens with another card, they said to replace the camera. After shooting the whole summer without any problem, it happened again and yes this time with another card.
Can you PLEASE suggest what is the problem or what to do because the service persists that everything's OK with camera.

02-10-2009, 05:48 AM   #2
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Anyone? Any ideas? .....
02-10-2009, 05:52 AM   #3
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A shot in the dark....but did you format the card in the K10D or another camera


cheers
02-10-2009, 05:54 AM   #4
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Yes, I always format the card in the K10

02-10-2009, 07:07 AM   #5
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I hate to say this but sounds like the card. Or not trying to be a jerk but I have a thought. You said inside in different conditions can you be more specific? Is it in low light or very dark conditions? Are you maybe taking a shot that is to dark and the camera is bufferring and than you think nothing there and turning it off and back on and the picture or black picture is there. Again not being a smart a$$ but that could be the issue where the camera is buffering or when the low light shot is taken the camera takes (internally) a black shot for noise reduction.

Can you see anything on the frame? can you post it or the picture before and after. Or cold it be a really slow card your using. I don't know I could just be reaching but trying to help.
02-10-2009, 10:10 AM   #6
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thankyou,thankyou,thankyou

The card I'm using is SanDisk Exteme III so it should not exactly be a slow card..
When I say different conditions, I mean daylight, sunset, night, whatever

This is a daylight example, one of them with exif info for the first one
5o mm, 1/50 sec, F5,6, ISO 100 , date 19.07.2008, time 19:48; and the black one has 75 mm, 1/50 sec, F5,6, ISO 100, date 19.07.2008, time 19:53
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02-10-2009, 10:32 AM   #7
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here's some more photos and exifs 50 mm, 1/ 160, sec, F4, ISO 200, date
03.01.2009, time 16:56, and the black shot 50 mm, 1/ 125 sec, F4, time 03.01.2009, time 16:57, ISO 200
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02-10-2009, 10:48 AM   #8
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Okay, this is a stretch, but any chance you took a pic with the lens cap on?

02-10-2009, 10:58 AM   #9
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Not sure if this is the same problem or not.
I got a brand new K20D in December. Right out of the box, EVERY shot I took was black. Just like yours, the exif info indicated a shot had been taken - correct settings and all. This happened with two different cards, and two different lenses - all of which were working PERFECTLY on my K10D.
I had a "connection" at Pentax in Colorado at that point, and he got them to swap my camera for another brand new body, straight up - no testing required for the swap. The new camera they sent has worked perfectly for almost two months now - using those same cards & lenses I was trying on the other body.
I ran into my "connection" last week, and asked him if he had ever heard anything back on the camera I returned. He said they had tested it 4 or 5 times over the course of a week, using various cards & lenses - and never once got a black shot!

Am I a complete idiot? Not sure - but I don't think so. ;-)
I'm thinking maybe there was a bad connection somewhere in the camera that got shaken back into place when it got mailed back to Colorado.. If that IS the case, it's got to be only a matter of time before that body starts taking black photos again.

Not sure if that helps - but maybe just confirms that there is such an issue with at least one other camera, and the story MAY help if you decide to try to get it replaced.

Good luck,

Tim
02-10-2009, 01:16 PM   #10
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I can post another similar K20D story.

My camera takes black shots, but only on the VERY FIRST shutter actuation after turning it on. It doesn't matter what lens (modern AF, old Takumar, whatever) or what memory card. Every subsequent shot -- even one taken a second or two later -- will be fine.

And if I take those black shots and post-process the heck out of them (increasing contrast to maximum, etc) I can see there's SOMETHING there -- mostly noise. So the camera is capturing something, and the file size is consistent with that. If it were a memory card problem, I think I'd see more unusual geometric patterns and artifacts, but what I actually see looks like a photo of darkness, with typical noise and occasional hot pixel patterns depending on the ISO selected.

I can (sort of) do the same thing with your shots -- they are not plain black. There are patterns underneath. I can't see what, because these are resized and recompressed jpegs, but there's definitely a pattern underneath the black. Try for yourself on the original shots and see what happens.

My problem happens most frequently with my cheap Chinese-made replacement batteries, but also occasionally with the original Pentax battery.

So I think there might be a problem with the shutter mechanism, possibly also related to current draw, that's my guess.

I'm going to send my camera in for repair after my son's first birthday, which is imminent. I don't want to rely on my P&S for that!

02-11-2009, 02:46 AM   #11
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@UpNorth - thank you so much for your post; I'm relieved to hear that there's someone with exactly the same situtation, only your's id K20, but anyway..it helps. I also used the different lenses, so.. I had sent my camera for repair and they also tested it and of course, never got a black shot. Now I'm trying to get it replaced since it's still under warranty but I'm not sure in success
@Quicksand - thanks, but it doesn't mean a lot even if there are patterns underneath. What am I going to do with that a photo? Anyway, it should not happen..thanks anyway for your support
02-11-2009, 02:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wild_thing Quote
@Quicksand - thanks, but it doesn't mean a lot even if there are patterns underneath. What am I going to do with that a photo? Anyway, it should not happen..thanks anyway for your support
Well, my advice isn't going to help you use those photos for anything -- it's intended as an attempt to help diagnose (or at least narrow down) the problem!

What I'm suggesting is that IF there's underlying picture information present (but no trace of whatever you were trying to capture), bad as it may be, that means it's probably NOT the memory card, NOT anything to do with writing to the memory card, and NOT an exposure issue. The camera is malfunctioning somewhere in TAKING the shot, either mechanically or electrically.
02-11-2009, 03:19 PM   #13
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It's an abnormal occurance, because I get them too. I basically have to restart the camera. I have not been able to determine the cause. Considering I do not take any action shots, or have any fear of 'missing' a shot, I have never really pressed the issue. It just happens.
02-11-2009, 08:12 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
And if I take those black shots and post-process the heck out of them (increasing contrast to maximum, etc) I can see there's SOMETHING there -- mostly noise. So the camera is capturing something, and the file size is consistent with that. If it were a memory card problem, I think I'd see more unusual geometric patterns and artifacts, but what I actually see looks like a photo of darkness, with typical noise and occasional hot pixel patterns depending on the ISO selected.

I can (sort of) do the same thing with your shots -- they are not plain black. There are patterns underneath. I can't see what, because these are resized and recompressed jpegs, but there's definitely a pattern underneath the black. Try for yourself on the original shots and see what happens.
I did the same thing wondering if the camera was actually stopping the lens down to it's maximum aperture but even though the two scenes are quite different (bright to dark areas) by moving the levels white and mid points left, I get identical patterns blocked up pixels. Maybe the shutter isn't firing but it's still recording 'something' from the sensor (or just making it up!). With film, you'd open the back and fire the shutter to make sure it's working!

For Quicksand, since you can recreate the problem with some repeatability, how about take the lens off, set a long shutter speed and fire the shutter. Have a look in and see if the shutter has opened. Do this in a non-dusty enviroment

Nige.
02-12-2009, 10:34 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by HGMonaro Quote
For Quicksand, since you can recreate the problem with some repeatability, how about take the lens off, set a long shutter speed and fire the shutter. Have a look in and see if the shutter has opened. Do this in a non-dusty enviroment
Very good idea; I'll give it a shot!
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