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Old Jun 6, 2010, 7:50 AM   #1
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Default Pentax K10 repair Horrors: Auto Focus

Have a Pentax K10 DSLR. Number of years old - 4 or 5. Have just moved to Valencia, Spain. Auto - Focus seems to have broken down yesterday: whirrring sound that went on close to a minute, now camera will not auto focus, a motor noise is made but the lense itself will not physically change length in any way or focus. Had this kind of problem before: think it was called a screwdrive problem: the actual physical mechanism that focuses the lens.
I'm using a Pentax: smc da 18 - 55 lens , their "kit " lens. Not sure how true a "screw drive" system this is ?
Here's the horror: still in the process of moving from New York - so my sales receipt etc is still back there in boxes not shipped yet, this time, I'm probably beyond the one year warranty limit, how does getting a Pentax repaired in Spain work anyway; Pentax has offices here in Spain .... in Barcelona; I speak no Spanish yet.
Something , huh ?
Can something like a Pentax auto focus be repaired at just a non Pentax camera repair shop? Is this a very expensive fix. Can the relatively smart person repair something like this them self ?

Any Help Would Be SOOOOO Appreciated,

Marty
(dotfur.com)

Last edited by dotfur; Jun 6, 2010 at 1:43 PM. Reason: added lens model
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 8:04 AM   #2
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The screwdrive autofocus mechanism is pretty common. Nikon and Sony/Minolta use it as well. So you shouldn't have any trouble finding a technician to fix it. They can usually get ahold of service manuals for brands they don't yet officially support. The tough part would be getting parts, but they can usually do some horse trading to get those as well. I think you will probably meet with sucess by taking it to a good camera store. And if they can't do it, they'll say so.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 1:11 PM   #3
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I'm pretty sure it's a "screwdrive." Here I amin Valencia, Spain though: gonna be fun to find a camera repair shop that understands the concept of the screwdrive without speaking any Spanish.
Fun Fun Fun
I only have with me : smc da 18 - 55 lens , their "kit " lens. Not sure how true a "screw drive" system this is ?

Last edited by dotfur; Jun 6, 2010 at 1:44 PM. Reason: added lens type
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 1:54 PM   #4
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That's a screwdrive AF lens.

And if you take the camera with the lens to a shop, and show them that it doesn't autofocus, I don't think you'll need to speak a whole lot of Spanish to get your point across.

The tough part will be when they want your name, address and telephone number.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 5:14 PM   #5
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Definitely sounds like the camera's AF motor (which is a screw drive motor). A number of K10 cameras had AF issues, though not with the motor as such - i.e., they wouldn't focus correctly but they would still focus somewhere. The one person who I know who got his fixed paid something like $250 for it probably around two years ago and I don't know if that included the motor or something else. I know I'm not much help.

Unless you bought some really old unsold stock, or else got an extended warranty, the chances of your K10 still being under warranty is slim - Pentax offers a 1 year warranty normally and the K10 was replaced something like 2 plus years ago.

TCav's advice to try to talk with a camera store is probably a good one. Otherwise, you might try calling Pentax Europe and explaining your situation, they should be able to tell you where to go.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 5:28 PM   #6
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... or maybe it's time to put your K10 out to pasture.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 6:04 PM   #7
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The whirring sound indicates that the AF motor is running. The culprit is likely a stripped gear, but whether in the camera or lens, I couldn't say. A good camera tech could tell whether the camera was worth saving or not. Translation seems to be the biggest difficulty here - even someone who can translate conversational Spanish may have difficulty with the technical terms.

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Old Jun 15, 2010, 10:20 AM   #8
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Sorry, was away for awhile. Yea, called some place called Reflecta in Barcelona that handles Pentax stuff here. English speaking woman on phone ( not a tech support person) said it would probably cost around 200 EU which is like around $240.00 . Whew: just to go in there and put a new little gear in there. Not far from the cost of upgrading to a K20. I love the Pentax..'cause I shoot at dog parks all day and sometimes I even have to jump in a stop a fight, I've actually just drop the camera or had it wind up under me in midst of some wild tussle. I just love the tank like build and weather resistant quality that it has.
I'll have to find some work here soon or come up with some Ocean's 13 type plan to wind up with a new or repaired camera .

Marty
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 10:36 AM   #10
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Just finding a good camera store with any repair abilities is a task without really knowing what they call such things here in Spain. Also: I'm not in... like: the NYC or Chicago of Spain: more like the Philadelphia or Atlantic City: Valencia. 3rd Largest City in Spain. But not: Madrid or Barcelona. I've wound up in a neighborhood of Gypsies - gitanos: you'd think, maybe, they did stuff like that. Probably did in the old days with whatever was like a digital camera back then.
Problem is : is the gear for the Pentax AF screw drive specific to the Pentax?

Marty
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