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07-14-2009, 03:42 AM   #1
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K10D mirror alignment problem?

I started noticing a while back that my photos were not level, the horizon appearing to tip down to the right. At first I put this down to user error, although it's not a problem I've usually had, but it was so consistent I decided to do a check. I established that if I rest the camera on a known level surface like a table, the shots are level - it's only when I use the viewfinder that the problem occurs. It struck me that the only rational explanation for this (other than user error) is if the view finder is somehow misleading me. I took the lens off and had a good look at the mirror, and it seems to me that it is slightly misaligned, not quite horizontal.

So, my questions are these:

1. Is this a problem anyone else has come across before?
2. Would a misaligned mirror cause the problem in the way I describe?
3. If so, is it likely to be a user-fixable problem, or will I have to send the camera away for repair?

07-14-2009, 04:22 AM   #2
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The problem you describe (crooked pictures) is a known problem. Unfortunately, the only known cure is to send it to Pentax.
07-14-2009, 07:56 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
The problem you describe (crooked pictures) is a known problem. Unfortunately, the only known cure is to send it to Pentax.
No, this is not the only cure. It all depends on the degree of tilt you have. I've corrected a 5 degree tilt by simply re-setting the focusing screen. 5 degree looks very tilted. A perfect level is nearly impossible to obtain handheld. First, confirm your sensor is leveled by taking a photo of a mirror. If the bottom of the camera isn't leveled, then you've got a tilt on the sensor. Then if both the edge of the mirror (properly aligned in the viewfinder) and bottom of the camera are leveled, then you've got no tilt what-so-ever. Even with a tripod, you'll find that getting less than 1 degree tilt one way or another isn't all that easy.
07-14-2009, 10:41 AM   #4
J2R
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Original Poster
Having done a search here, I'm rather shocked to see this problem is so widespread. In my case the problem is quite gross, immediately visible to the naked eye, so it's probably some degrees out.

Regor, when you say 're-setting the focussing screen', could you perhaps say a little more about what you mean? In view of the fact that the images come out level when I have the camera sat on a known level surface, would it not suggest that the problem is not the sensor (which would be aligned correctly with the camera body) but rather somewhere in the viewfinder?

07-14-2009, 09:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by J2R Quote
Having done a search here, I'm rather shocked to see this problem is so widespread. In my case the problem is quite gross, immediately visible to the naked eye, so it's probably some degrees out.

Regor, when you say 're-setting the focussing screen', could you perhaps say a little more about what you mean? In view of the fact that the images come out level when I have the camera sat on a known level surface, would it not suggest that the problem is not the sensor (which would be aligned correctly with the camera body) but rather somewhere in the viewfinder?
The focusing screen on the K10D is interchangeable by the user. There's a small latch at the front end of the focusing screen (above the mirror). If you pull on this small latch, the focusing screen holding frame will open up (be careful that the focusing screen doesn't fall right out). Simply open up this holding frame, giggle the focusing screen a tiny bit, just so it re-set itself when you close the latch back in place. You may have to do this a few times, it's a random process.
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