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Pentax K100D suddenly stopped working

Errol 11 19 South Africa
3 Apr 2010 8:44PM
My Pentax K100D has suddenly stopped working. It hasn’t been bumped or dropped or anything. A few days ago I was still taking pictures, and then a day or two later when I tried it, it wouldn’t work. When you press the shutter release button, nothing happens. No autofocus, no picture is taken, nothing. The only thing is that you hear a fairly rapid clicking sound, perhaps like a gear wheel turning or something.
I tried various settings, new batteries, a different lens, autofocus, manual focus, cleaning the lens contacts, even a different SD card, but nothing makes any difference. The people at the local camera shop couldn’t do anything either. They just said I would have to take it to a camera repair shop.
Is there anything else I can do?
I’m not very impressed that an expensive camera bought in only August 2006 should give problems so soon.

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isleofmull 11 12 Scotland
8 Apr 2010 2:41PM
The sound of gears turning may be worrying.
The last time I heard something like that was because the little focusing enging was broken and the tiny cogs were whirring but one cog was damaged as a result of manual focus being applied to the lens when the camera was in auto-focus mode.
This causes the focus motor to activate against it's will and will break it.

Is it possible that that has happened.........on some zoom lenses even screwing a hood or a filter onto the rotating end on the lens can be sufficient force to cause the focusing ring to turn.
When doing anything like that, I also switch to manual focus mode then back again was the hood/filter is on (or off )
Errol 11 19 South Africa
8 Apr 2010 3:07PM
Many thanks for your reply. Phew, that sounds serious, but unfortunately it does seem as if this could be the problem. I hope not, but we'll see. I guess I'm going to have to take the camara to the repair shop, and I'll see what they say.
If that is the problem, I'm not quite sure how it could've happened, unless, as you say, it's quite easy. I have changed the lenses a few times recently, but don't recall forcing the focus motor.
windrider 7 4
21 Dec 2010 2:44PM
@Errol: did you manage to resolve this issue? I have the same one and I'm not sure if it's fixable.
Errol 11 19 South Africa
22 Dec 2010 1:56PM
Hi Windrider
Thank you for your note. The K100D is working fine again, thanks.
Apologies for not reporting back. In fact, I thought I had done so, but perhaps that was somewhere else. (I was quite worried at the time and made several enquiries in various places.)
In any event, I took the camera to the repair shop in the end, and they said the Aperture Control Unit had to be replaced. It cost me R1600 here in South Africa (that’s about £140) and a wait of about 6 weeks, as they had to import the parts.
They also said that the fault had not been caused by any lens being fitted or by handling the camera wrongly in any way, but was just “one of those things”, a part that packed up for no particular reason and had to be replaced.
It was a bit costly to have it done, but it was the best option I had. If you have a similar problem, it may be a good idea to find out from a repair shop close by how much it would cost. If you’re in the UK, it may well be a fair bit less than it cost here.
22 Dec 2010 6:33PM

I also use a K100D and have never really had any trouble using it other than just learning about all the different operations that it can do. There was only one time that the camera didn't work for me at all, and that was when I was at PSP photographing all the different cell blocks that have been there for such a long time. While trying to capture a specific area that was known to be haunted by strange happenings, the camera just would not work at all! It took me more than 3 try's to get the shot that I have posted. Why it did this, I can only imagine. Was it a ghost or spirit from long ago from the past? I don't really know. Enjoy your K100D. I do. Sorry that it cost you so much money to have repaired. That would make me a bit angry, too.

windrider 7 4
22 Dec 2010 7:42PM
Errol, thanks for your feedback. Btw, do you know by any chance what that "Aperture Control Unit" looks like? Or where it is located?

I actually bought my K100D from eBay and it was already broken (so it didn't cost me much). But still I decided to take a chance and took it to the repair shop where they told me that main PC board is damaged and replacing it will probably solve the problem. But they didn't have one to offer. So I bought another (working) K100D (#2) and kept that #1 just in case (I was planning to sell it for spares after I make sure #2 is 100% working). Well, that #2 started malfunctioning after 2-3 months, when autumn came and it got colder (I managed to make only about 100 shots). I think there's some liquid dirt inside the gears that move the mirror - 'cause now mirror moves really slow and tough. So, time for surgery, I decided.

So, I exchanged the PCBs. #1 started working! I made about 10 test shots - everything looked good. #2 now acted like #1 did before: clicking sound, no shutter release, no info inside viewfinder. Everything as expected. But the next day I decided to check the patient once again - and it had the same symptoms...

So here I am. I guess I'll sell those dead bodies for spares and buy something different instead. But (just out of curiosity) I'd like to find out what the hell happened. GPGeneralPhoto at dpreview forums suggested that there might be a voltage regulator issue which is why that K100D fries PCBs. I'll try to check that when I have some spare time.

P.S. Also it was mentioned that this problem might be related to AF motor issues. This makes sense, because the clicking sound comes from that part of the body where AF motor is located. But what does AF motor has to do with menu buttons and MF mode?
Errol 11 19 South Africa
23 Dec 2010 2:17PM
Hi Windrider

Thanks for your note. No, unfortunately, I don't know anything about the innards of these things, so I can't help you there. I thought earlier it would be interesting to get one of those exploded views of all the parts of the camera to see where the Aperture Control Unit is, but I never found a drawing like that, so I didn't get any further with that idea.

As for the AF motor, I specifically asked the repair shop, but they said that that had nothing to do with the damage. Despite that, however, I'm still not happy with changing the lenses on these cameras the way one used to whip them on and off anywhere and everywhere with film cameras. At the moment, I'm therefore using my 18-55 lens virtually exclusively. I don't even take other lenses with me when I go out. I'm hoping to get a nice 18-200 or something like that soon, and will leave it on the camera permanently.

Hi Les

Thanks for your note. It was interesting to hear about your K100D refusing to function in that jail. I doubt if you can put it down to spooks - though admittedly, judging from your pics, it's a pretty grim looking place. I think you'll more likely find that the shutter refused to fire because the light was too many stops different from the range that the camera was set to cope with. I think I've encountered situations like that before. But you're right, there are quite a lot of functions and settings to learn about. Great camera though. Enjoy it.

Best wishes,

windrider 7 4
28 Dec 2010 4:02PM
I disassembled that K100D to check the voltage and probably AF motor. Whie I was checking the voltage everywhere on the PCB (everything seemed fine, although I wasn't 100% sure where the issue might be) I pushed the shutter relaese button and it worked. No clicks, just nice and loud shutter release sound. So, I assembled it back and it seems to be working fine (tested both AF and manual lenses).

Probably some kind of magic. Don't know what else to say.
Errol 11 19 South Africa
29 Dec 2010 7:12PM
That's great. Well done!

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