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12-08-2009, 05:26 AM   #1
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K-x dead after trying a lens! HELP!

Dear all,

after years of pondering whether or not to buy a DSLR, I decided to buy a K-x. It arrived yesterday. I spent the evening learning the basics about its use, shooting some pictures with the inlcuded kit lens. So far, so good - and no battery problems, for those of you worried about that! Using NiMH batteries.

But today I started trying the camera with my existing lenses. After all, the main reason to buy a Pentax DSLR was to be able to use my existing lenses! I tried the Pentax-A 50/1.4 first. No problems. Then the Voigtländer 180/4. It felt a bit scratchy to mount, but worked well. Then I tried to install my Tokina 28/2.8. There was a problem with this: It seemed to lock in position, after rotating it about a little less than halfway to the correct position. I tried to remove it again, but it was pretty much locked in place. It would move very easily and loosely by only one degree or so, but seemed to hit hard edges there, both forward and back.
I gently forced it back to remove it. It didn't take much force at all, just a little more than normal to remove a tight-seating lens. But after that, the K-x is DEAD! It won't power up!!!

I can't see any damage at the K-x lens mount, contacts, aperture coupler, or anything, and anyway the force I had to apply is not like it should be able to cause any damage. So I don't know if the misfitting lens is at all involved in the problem, or if it was just pure chance that the camera died at that moment.

To avoid any questions in that line: I did remove and reinstall the batteries, I checked the batteries to make sure they are still charged, I also swapped in a fresh set of batteries. No change. The K-x is dead.

What can I do? Any suggestions?

The issue is that returning it to the store is easier said than done. I live in Chile, and I had to order the camera from overseas. I ordered it from B&H in New York. Returning it implies expensive shipping each way, plus doing huge paperwork to recover the over 200 dollars I had to pay in Chilean tax, or else loose that money and pay the tax again when the repaired or replacement camera arrives.

I have done repairs on cameras, and I'm an electronic engineer. So if this is anything I can fix myself, I would prefer that route. But of course, opening a brand new camera and trying to detect a problem without any technical information on it, is pretty hopeless and foolhardy, as that would certainly void any warranty!

Would there be any warranty at all, or will Pentax or B&H argue that since I tried a non-Pentax lens on it (even if it is of course a Pentax-A type mount!), any warranty is void?



12-08-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your trouble. Isn't there a Pentax representative in Chile which can help you?

Take a look at your Tokina and your Pentax lenses and see if there is anything different on the lens mount. Your Tokina could be a Ricoh lens which is very similar to Pentax. Nikon lenses is also possible to mount half way like this. Take special notice to the aperture lever. Is it longer or positioned different on the Tokina? If it is, take a look at your camera and see if anything is bent in the aperture mechanism.

Last, but not least. Don't even think of opening your camera . My work is also electronics and mechanics and out of curiosity I took a look inside a broken *istD. It was packed full and there is endless amounts of screws, connectors, wires and circuit boards. You probably have to de-solder some wires to get everything off. I wouldn't do that on a new camera if it's still possible to have it repaired cheaply.
12-08-2009, 01:29 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear that!
From what you write, I wonder if the Tokina is for the short lived Ricoh KP-AR mount, which is essentially Ricoh's own version of Pentax KA mount. The Ricoh mount is based upon the universal K-mount, but with own solution to automatic aperture, so full mechanical lenses works on it but it has to be special made for auto aperture to work. The Ricoh mount looks very smilar to the Pentax KA mount, but isn't the same thing.

Now, lenses for the Ricoh mount is famous for getting stucked on Pentax AF bodies. They work on manual K-mount bodies, but not AF. The reason for this is that the AF linkage screw in the lens mount, gets in the way for a pin at the back of the Ricoh mount. This pin does not exist on KA mount lenses, but it is there on lenses for the Ricoh mount. This pin is for electrical connection with the camera.
The Pentax KA mount (A series of lenses) has the electrical contacts at other places than the Ricoh mount.

Sounds to me like your camera has, what's the english term for it? When something gets an electrical shock and all the fuses blows... seems to me like that has happened in the camera. Too bad.

Could also be oxidation on the lens that made the electricity from the camera taking the wrong way.

Now, all this sounds quite complicated to fix...
Since it happened when you tried a non-Pentax lens on it, I don't think that warranty covers it. But you could always tell that it was dead when you opened it up... and forget about mentioning the other lens...

You could try AA lithiums.
Just to make things sure. The camera should have come with AA lithiums in the package. They are for testing the camera functions. If those works, then restart your camera and download the firmware upgrade - this may make your other batteries work.

But if the camera isn't powering up with the included AA lithiums, then I'm sorry...
So sad when things like this happens.
12-08-2009, 04:52 PM   #4
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Does the Tokina have the tall lever shroud like the following photos?
It could have caused damage to the camera's aperture sensor. It is located on the left, looking at the front, just inside the lens opening.

Photos belong to Peppermonkey. Borrowed from another thread.

Last edited by wildlifephotog; 09-27-2013 at 07:23 AM.
12-08-2009, 04:56 PM   #5
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Original Poster

Well, the camera is alive again! After all, it WAS just the battery issue of the K-x. What fooled me was the fact that I tried THREE (not just two) sets of known good and fully charged, nearly new NiMHs, and the camera didn't power up with any of them! So I thought it was dead.
Then I tried the supplied Lithium batteries, and wow, it was alive again! I then downloaded the firmware update and installed it, and now the three sets of NiMHs work too. The Lithiums have been stored away for the next emergency, or for when I go climb a mountain and need to shoot at -20 degrees!

It was purely coincidental that the battery problem hit precisely after trying that Tokina lens. It scared me real good. I thought that I had lost my nearly 1000 dollar investment (with shipping and taxes).

Yes, there is a Pentax representative in Chile, but he hasn't even heard yet about the existence of the K-x. Nor of the K2000. He's still selling the previous models, and the point-and-shoot ones, all at prices doubled from those in the US. It would be hopeless to ask for help there, specially when the camera was imported directly, without passing through him!

GREAT hint about the cause for the jam! I spent at least one hour comparing the mount of this Tokina lens to those of my other lenses, not finding the problem! Of course I noticed the additional contact, but I didn't suspect it, because I have three other Pentax-Ricoh-mount lenses which do not jam on the K-x! Now that I read this, I examined the lenses again, and sure enough, on the other Ricoh-compatible lenses that contact is rounded off well enough to be pushed in by the edge of the focus drive hole, but on the Tokina lens, the contact pin protrudes enough to jam!

Well, that should be an easy mod. I don't have any Ricoh SLR (even if I do have a Ricoh GR-1s), so I can simply cut off that little pin from the Tokina!

And no, the Tokina lens doesn't have a larger shroud. The problem was surely just that tiny little contact pin that protrudes and locks into the focus drive hole

Thanks, guys!

Manfred, now with a happier face!

Last edited by Manfred; 12-08-2009 at 05:02 PM.
12-08-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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Great to hear it worked out for you!
12-08-2009, 05:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Manfred Quote
Well, that should be an easy mod. I don't have any Ricoh SLR (even if I do have a Ricoh GR-1s), so I can simply cut off that little pin from the Tokina!
You can actually take the whole mount off by taking off the 4 screws and then taking the ricoh pin from the other side.
If you google, you will find out how easy it is to remove without damaging the lens.
The pin just drops off when it is taken out of the other side of the mount.
It is just held by a strip of metal spring. Unscrew the screws holding the pin down and you can just take out the pin.
12-08-2009, 05:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Manfred Quote
Returning it implies expensive shipping each way, plus doing huge paperwork to recover the over 200 dollars I had to pay in Chilean tax, or else loose that money and pay the tax again when the repaired or replacement camera arrives.
Hi Manfred, I am glad that the issue turned out to be a non issue.

For the tax however, I don't know how it works in Chile of course. But it should be possible to return the parcel marked "for repair" and for B&H to mark it "repaired item" to avoid paying taxes again. It always worked for me this way (Germany).


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