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Pentax reliability - letter in AP issue dated 6th of July 2019

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by Chester AP, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    This has been discussed on the Pentax Forum website: the recent page below has links to older pages about the problem and some advice about it.

    https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums...pentax-k-30-dark-photos-movies-live-view.html

    Personally I'm very glad that the K5, K3 and KP don't have this problem because I have a K5.

    I have purchases only 4 SLR/DSLR bodies in the last 45 years, and even when buying my first one at the age of 17 I was careful not to buy a recent model. All the camera bodies I have purchased (one East German and 3 Pentax) were models that had recently been discontinued. This policy has 2 advantages: price and the increased chance that any problems will by then be well known so that purchase can be avoided.

    The writer of the letter could perhaps look for a mint-condition K-5 body - I've seen these advertised by reputable dealers for £200-£230. Mine is not for sale and I hope it will provide many more years of reliable service.
     
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  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Wouldn't work with Nikon. They have a tendency to correct faults by discontinuing a camera and bringing out a replacement with the fix. ;)
     
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  3. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Is the Nikon solution is any help to owners of the faulty models? Do Nikon offer them and help?

    I believe that any responsible manufacturer should accept liability and quietly fix camera bodies if returned within the realistic expected lifetime (10 years?) without any evidence of abuse. Ricoh must be having a lean time with its Pentax sales, and a letter like the one in AP is just one more nail in the coffin.

    Careful reading of the posts on the Pentax Forum website suggests a faulty component that controls the aperture operation on modern 'electronic' lenses. Old lenses in which the camera body doesn't control the aperture still produce correctly exposed pictures.

    I notice that the problem bodies are the 'economy' models, whereas the K5/K3/KP models were top of the range models when introduced. Perhaps this is a case of using cheaper components to keep the price down on some models. One of the Pentax Forum suggested fixes is to cannibalise and old K10 body to get a replacement part. The K10 was also top of the range when introduced - I had one as my first DSLR (purchased when reduced in price because it was discontinued), and later replaced by a K5 purchased under the same circumstances. The K5 offered some useful improvements over the K10, but no model since the K5 offers any 'improvements' that are of sufficient interest to me to merit spending money to have them.

    Pentax are never again going to challenge Canon and Nikon, but their camera bodies do offer an alternative. And a 'mint used' K5 (or K3 if he can find one) would still be worth the AP letter writer considering. Good build quality, a very useful LCD panel on the top of the body, and his existing lens collection can still be used.
     
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  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The only experience I had was Canon warranty repair of the mirror coming unstuck on a 5D. Mine did, a couple of weeks before the date Canon announced for closure of the offer, roughly 10 years after the fault was found. It was fixed for free and the reason for ending the 10 year correction period was end of supply of the repair kits.
     
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  5. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    An example to all manufacturers, and exactly the sort of service that AP could compare (and contrast) with that from Ricoh/Pentax.

    If there is a suspected fault with a camera body, I wish that AP would make a point of always reporting it promptly once the problem has been shown to be genuine. I know this might upset some advertisers, but surely AP's service to its readers is more important.
    Or am I being naive?
     
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  6. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Well they fixed D600s that suffered the lubricant on the sensor issue, as well as replacing the model with the still listed D610.
     
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  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Absolutely. My point was not that Nikon didn't fix them, but that buying one after the end of sales wasn't a guarantee of getting a fixed one.
     
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  8. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    My K-50 suffered a sticky, for lack of a better term, memory card slot and, rather than getting it fixed (yet), I went back to my
    K-r and, then, several months later I picked up a used K-3 (for $250 Can) and a month or two later, I was gifted a K-5 w/a 21/3.2 :eek:

    So, I don't know if I will get my K-50 fixed ;)

    Cheers,

    Jack
     
  9. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Might be worth it if you get the solenoid that tends to fail and cause the aperture-block problem replaced at the same time. If they can find a decent one. It would probably make it more saleable.
     
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  10. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    The Pentax Forum website specifically lists the K-5 and K-3 as models without the aperture problem, so you are in the enviable situation of having a K-3 body with an K-5 as a spare, and I am fortunate to have a K-5. Interestingly, one of the posts there also says that for 'aperture problem' repairs that happened soon enough to be covered under guarantee, Pentax were uncertain which component was the problem, and initially just replaced a sub assembly that controlled the function with an identical one which then suffered the same problem later. It was suggested that only after some comments on the Pentax Forum did Pentax realise that the fault could be traced to one single component on that sub assembly, but that Pentax dd not then have stock of a different version of that specific component. Hence the suggestion about taking that component from an old K-10 body, if you can find somebody with the skills to do the work for you.

    There don't appear to be many K-3 bodies on the secondhand market in the UK, just some K-5s and other older models. Perhaps the K-5 owners are happy, and also there isn't really any sensible upgrade unless you want a full-frame K-1.

    A suspicious person might consider that the models with the aperture problem were not the 'top models' when introduced, so perhaps the lighter build of the faulty models included cheaper components too. Whatever the full story is, abandoning customers after the guarantee period when the fault has been diagnosed is very bad for the reputation of the brand. Losing a good reputation is much easier than keeping it.
     
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  11. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    I agree, Chester, with the lighter build of the entry level bodies being a possibility of potential problems and why
    I was pleased to get the K-3 and K-5 :). Although, having said that, I never did have any (real) issues with my
    previous cameras, the K200D's, K-r, K-50 (memory card slot, notwithstanding) :)

    Cheers,

    jack
     
  12. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    I'll, probably, try to take the camera in this or early next month to see what they about it, Steve. ...
    .... i.e: how much ;) ... and if it's reasonable, I'll get it done and hang on to it :)

    Cheers,

    Jack
     
  13. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    There is another letter about this in the latest copy of AP (my subscription copy arrive today), which I think refers to Ricoh in the UK, in which the writer referred them to the history of the problem detailed on the Pentax Forum website and got the repair quote changed from £250 to £90.
     

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