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02-21-2010, 07:54 PM   #1
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Is the k-x mirror slap issue real?

Hi, I was almost sure I want to buy Pentax k-x, because I need good low light performance and excellent image quality. However I have read about the mirror slap problem - I use the 1/100 shutter speed a lot and I need the SR because of the low light I often shoot in. Is the problem real and affect most cameras or should I still buy k-x?

I really need a good low-light and general purpose travel camera and now I am confused.

02-21-2010, 08:15 PM   #2
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I tried mine with the latest firmware. I didn't spot the problem...just FYI...
02-21-2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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wasn't the latest firmware supposed to fix a SR 1/125 issue? Which i never had.
02-21-2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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As I understand it, the issue is that some people report fuzzy images at medium shutter speeds with SR engaged. The "mirror slap" cause is, again as I understand it, speculation.

02-21-2010, 09:28 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kyknos Quote
... I use the 1/100 shutter speed a lot and I need the SR because of the low light I often shoot in. ...
There is NO relationship between low light and SR. The usefulness of SR is related to focal length and shutterspeed.

Depending on the focal length that you use, you might not need SR. E.g. 18-55mm kitlens at 55mm should never need SR at 1/100s and with good technique can be shot with 1/60s without SR. 1/30s might be pushing it, but I'm quite sure that it can be done as well without SR. I have managed 200mm on film (SR did not exist yet; APSc equivalent would be 135mm) at 1/30s by getting the additional support of a street light or leaning agains walls and trees.

Last edited by sterretje; 02-21-2010 at 09:33 PM.
02-22-2010, 02:26 AM   #6
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Don't worry about it, get a K-x and be happy.

The blur problem is indeed real but is extremely rare. My K-x has it. Most K-xs do not. At normal focal lengths, I leave the SR off in good light where shutter speeds between 1/100th and 1/200th would be used (after all, I was fine without SR in good light before) and only enable it in lighting where I'm using slower shutter speeds that can really benefit from the SR.

I tend to forget my K-x has a "problem" until the issue gets brought up online. It's just that easy to work around.

If you feel that you absolutely couldn't live with it, just buy from a store with a good return policy and test your camera as soon as you get it. In the extremely unlikely case that you get one of the few "bad" ones, just return it and get another one sent to you. The likelyhood of getting two "bad" ones in a row are ridiculously low.

It's really not a big deal, and the K-x is possibly the best camera-for-the-dollar ratio on the market today. Don't be scared off because a few people make mountains out of molehills.
02-22-2010, 05:58 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
There is NO relationship between low light and SR. The usefulness of SR is related to focal length and shutterspeed.
Yes and no. If you are shooting in low light, you are more likely to use slow shutter speeds and therefore more likely to need help holding your lens steady. The more you shoot with slow shutter speeds, the more likely you are to use/need SR and to see any problems that might exist with it.
02-22-2010, 06:13 AM   #8
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I've tested two K-x cameras (I owe one) and none of them has any issues.

02-22-2010, 06:19 AM   #9
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No problem with mine. It's a great camera for the money and blows the K10 and K20 away in low light. Buy and enjoy.
02-22-2010, 06:50 AM   #10
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I shoot the Kx 80 percent of the time and have never seen the problem with a variety of lenses.
02-22-2010, 08:55 AM   #11
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Real or imagined? Hardware, software, firmware related? Can we at minimum identify just what was being suggested by the OP who drew attention to it? I read the whole thread at dpreview and was still uncertain.

Mirror Slap as identified by the original poster on the K-X would seem pretty clearly to indicate a hardware anomaly that affects images. I was trying to understand if the original concern had something to do with the design of the mirror carriage, bad damping, proximity to the sensor, poor sensor mounting, etc. But the discussion on this matter as it affects the K-X has proceeded all over the map to include firmware issues and more. Mirror lockup has always been a feature used by photographers to isolate the mirror and prevent it from mechanically affecting the shot with vibration, slap, whatever you want to call it. So just what is being described in the original complaint that is uniquely bad on the K-X?

I'm new enough to photography (to digital anyway) that I'm learning new parlance every day, but is "mirror slap" understood to be more or less a feature of all DSLR cameras? It's there and some models deal with it 99 percent effectively and some do not? Does it follow that somebody got on a forum and suggested that the K-X is a poor performer in this category? From another thread at dpreview.com......


QuoteQuote:
Hello. I am shooting with a D70s and a Nikkor 70-300mm with cable release. Tripod is an inexpensive Quantaray (~2lbs). At telephoto focal lenghts I am noticing a great deal of what I believe to be mirror slap. Will a more sturdy tripod fix this problem completely? Any brand/model recommendations? Is there a way to use the mirror lock-up function listed in the menu system (and if so will this help)? Thanks for all your help!!!
....and response

QuoteQuote:
With better tripod, it will be a little bit better than the smaller and less turdy tripods but not by much. The mirror slaps send the vibration throughout the camera and no matter how sturdy your tripod is, some degrees of blurriness is unavoidable. MLU is probably one of the weakest link on the D70/D70s.
Less turdy tripods? Any amount of turdiness is going to blur an image. I mean, C'mon!


The story about mirror slap on the K-X is starting to sound like it may have begun with an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Last edited by frascati; 02-22-2010 at 09:17 AM.
02-22-2010, 09:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by frascati Quote


The story about mirror slap on the K-X is starting to sound like it may have begun by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. ??
If their camera has the same problem as mine, then that's a possibility (though you may find that using more polite terms in conversations anywhere gets you a lot more mileage), since they never noticed that turning the SR off eliminates the problem. Mirror slap has nothing to do with images blurring between 1/100th and 1/200th on my K-x. Overcompensation by the SR does.
02-22-2010, 09:32 AM   #13
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There's been a few posters who I think are thorough enough to consider the problem real on some cameras. Then there are others (particularly on DPR) that I think get a couple blurry images in the suspect range and immediately jump in to claim equipment problems.

I can't replicate the issue on mine, tripod or handheld, SR on or off, but I don't doubt some people have an actual problem. Whether it has anything in the world to do with "mirror slap" is pure speculation.
02-22-2010, 09:54 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
Don't worry about it, get a K-x and be happy.
The blur problem is indeed real but is extremely rare. My K-x has it. Most K-xs do not.
It would appear to be real, but very rare - as most of the other posts would seem to indicate.

Here's a thread about the problem:

Are we seeing a pattern? K-x soft with shutter speeds around 1/100 to 1/200?

and here's the thread about the rumored firmware update that may (or may not) address the issue

New "silent" K-x firmware fixes SR blur problem

note: this thread is in Pentax News and Rumors section
- so strictly it is a mere rumor/speculation - but read the thread and decide.

However, I cannot see that er1kksen wouldn't have done that firmware update ....
so has he reported his K-x problem cured?

I am one of those who never had the K-x SR problem, if you care to look at the thread:

Kx in Use

there are lots of shots at low light and low shutter speeds of 1/4 sec handheld - which shows that my K-x SR at least does very well.
I discuss the SR in particular in Post #21.

Since er1kksen reports the problem is actually between 1/100 and 1/200 sec - Post #25 has 4 of 5 shots between those shutter speeds with SR On and they do not show any problems in the SR area.

Like the given advice - buy from a place that has a good return policy - so should you encounter that problem with your sample - you can return it for exchange until you get one that is satisfactory.

But more than likely you will get one that's just fine....
like mine was.
02-22-2010, 10:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote

However, I cannot see that er1kksen wouldn't have done that firmware update ....
so has he reported his K-x problem cured?
Actually, I have not. It's been requested that I test the SR both before and after that firmware update, so since I haven't gotten around to doing that testing yet, I have not yet updated the firmware. It's really become a non-issue for my normal use so I'm not terribly motivated to see about fixing it.
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