Official Pentax UK response. K-r AF problems

Started Nov 28, 2011 | Discussions
Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Official Pentax UK response. K-r AF problems

I'm making a new thread on this for clarity and transparency and to assist K-r users.

I'll keep all responses from Pentax in this thread.

Today email received from Pentax UK

My email was pretty straightforward I simply said I can't get focus accuracy in low kelvin & tungsten light and that I was happy to send it in for service if needed.

Their response was:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your enquiry.

The focusing is quite a complex process and it depends not only on type of light (like tungsten) but for exapmle on color rendering index.

There is no solution at this moment. As soon as it's fixed it will be announced on the following website:
http://www.pentax.jp/english/index.html

I hope that your question has been answered to your satisfaction.

Should you have further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

When replying, please make sure this email is included.

With kind regards,

Pawel Jedrzejczak
Pentax Digital Camera Support Team

So there we go obviously they admit there is a problem but they don't have a solution. I'll reply to that email later on, but this isn't a very satisfactory conclusion simply because we're left with a camera that's not working properly.

If they can't find a solution then I'm obviously inclined to try to get a refund for my purchase. Still doesn't explain why Pentax are ok about having a model on sale that has issues.

Pentax K-r
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
chiane Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
Re: Official Pentax UK response. K-r AF problems

I love the auto response of "was your question answered to your satisfaction?".

I feel I went out on a limb going with Pentax and the K-r, and this issue just make me say "what was I thinking" sometimes.

OP Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Rest assured...

The Panzers are being fuelled right now and I'll be unleashing them very shortly!

Yes as expected the Auto response was annoying though at least I got a response fairly quickly.

I've sent a fairly hard hitting (though not impolite) email response to this I'll just do a quick summary:

-I asked why the K-r is still on sale if Pentax know there is a problem with it

-I've also asked why a solution is not available to users (either firmware or hardware)

Making it crystal clear that I intend to pursue this issue until a satisfactory conclusion is available. I also pointed out I lost many shots due to this issue and that I was hoping to build up a K mount system.

I made it very clear that this issue damages Pentax as a brand and hurts their customers. Also I said that I would take it as far as need and was happy to talk to anyone about this issue.

If I don't get something slightly interesting email wise I'll hit the phones..and that's where I'm really quite happy to keep working on this one until something useful happens.

Model Mike Veteran Member • Posts: 3,892
Re: Rest assured...

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

The Panzers are being fuelled right now and I'll be unleashing them very shortly!

At least he was being candid (although he probably had no other choice short of wasting your time and his). Clearly Pentax Japan don't feel it's worth their while to fix it.

Same as the bounced flash issue on the K-5, and the shutter induced blur issue on the K-x.
--
Mike
http://flickr.com/rc-soar

MightyMike Forum Pro • Posts: 40,519
Re: Official Pentax UK response. K-r AF problems

here is a thought, do you have any colour filters from the film days? yes i know they will cause a nasty colour cast in the images but perhaps a test would be a good idea.

setup a situation where the lighting is such that the focus consistently doesn't work, then start swapping the filters on and seeing if any colour changes the effect, red, green, orange, yellow, warming, cooling, 1A, polarizer (different positions)

we may be able to figure out a new work-around this way
--
Mike from Canada

"I am not a great photographer! God is a great creator! All I do is capture His creation with the tools He has provided me."

'I like to think so far outside the box that it would require a telephoto lens just to see the box!' ~ 'My Quote :)'

http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?sort_order=views%20DESC&first_this_page=0&page_limit=180&&emailsearch=mighty_mike88%40hotmail.com&thumbnails=

Terry k Regular Member • Posts: 102
K-r tungsten lighting FF problem

I totally understand your irritation and anger over this issue and the lack of any meaningful or helpful response to it by Pentax. I gave up on my own fight against this some time ago, but I support you completely. Maybe you can finally get some action out of them.

At any rate, to steal and manipulate a famous quote, attibuted to a supporter hearing a speech by Harry Truman, “Give ‘em Hell, Harry!”. (Truman actually said,“I don’t give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.” )

"Give 'em Hell, Barry" !

888tg Forum Member • Posts: 69
Re: Rest assured...

Way to go Barry!!!

You managed to get an answer just about when I was beginning to think that there is no real people behind the Pentax brand name.

I just wanted to thank you for making a stand and to let you know that I'm sure there are many people like myself who appreciate your effort.

I hope this will be a wake up call for Pentax, I understand that they are smaller company than their competition, but that is not an excuse for taking our money in exchange for a miss-performing product and then ignoring the issue in a hope that it will go away.
Good job sir and keep up the great work!
Teo.

(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 15,724
Pentax Typically

seems to be a more consumer oriented company than others I know of, hopefully they have the resources to fix this issue. I'd like to see it resolved.

Carl

http://photographic-central.blogspot.com/

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude; nothing can help the man with wrong one."
-Thomas Jefferson

OP Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
I see an opportunity here for Pentax

To "do the right thing"

It might seem unlikely the odds might be stacked against us, but ultimately we're on the right side. There is a problem, it's far more than a trivial issue (esp if you shoot available light work)

Once you know you're right, then you know you can succeed.

No company can afford to not look after it's customers, the longer term damage to their reputation is more costly than addressing this issue.

I'll take this fight as high as I have to and I'm not one for quitting. It might be a pointless fight, but there is a just cause and the many K-r users out there deserve more than this. Right now what we need are an army of K-r users who are willing to spend just a little time, to voice their views..to complain to Pentax. And most importantly to keep this topic very much on the agenda.

We do have a voice a single one is not very effective, but many are.

I see a lot of good things from Pentax, the K-r is a great camera in most ways. But the taint of AF problems takes the shine off this model and quite a bit. I now encourage Pentax to make an official statement on this, and to find a solution for it's users.

Aside from going to normal Pentax sites you can find them at facebook too:
http://www.facebook.com/Pentax

USA customers have a free phone number:
http://www.pentaximaging.com/about/contact-us

1-800-877-0155

Your web form is here to fill in and detail your problems:
http://powerhelpus.tosystems.com/pentax/callform/pages/callform.asp

European customers your service numbers and contacts are here:

http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/repair_entry-europe.html

OP Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
New email from Pentax

This arrived just now:

I asked if they can fix the camera, I also made a specific question about the K-5, ie does it have the same problem

I didn't get a response as to why Pentax are selling the K-r knowing it has a problem. (not exactly shocking)

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your enquiry.

You can certainly return your camera to our service center for a test. The contact details of the service center are here:
http://www.pentax.co.uk/en/Photo-Service.html

The K-5 had a similar drawback but it has been fixed in one of the firmware updates (V1.03):
http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/digital/k-5_s.html

I hope that your question has been answered to your satisfaction.

Should you have further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

When replying, please make sure this email is included.

With kind regards,

Pawel Jedrzejczak
Pentax Digital Camera Support Team

What puzzles me now is if they don't have a fix for the K-r issue, what good is going to be achieved by sending my K-r to service to "test it"?

Strange I'll be trying to figure this one out and will update this thread when I get more information.

essH Contributing Member • Posts: 876
Re: New email from Pentax

It seems to me that there's another possibility - maybe they know that solving the problem in a current model will cost resources they don't have, and that the issue will be solved in a model not yet announced. At that point they would then have to answer the question "do we fix an old model, risking that it might encourage people not to spend money on the new model".

I suspect this is not Pentax being difficult - or rather, this is not Pentax doing anything different from a dozen other manufacturers in other markets - cars, washing machines, TVs or whatever. Yes, they should fix it - and if they intend to keep that model in production for a long time, they clearly need to. But will they spend time and effort on something that will fade away? At some point it becomes a commercial decision, influenced by how many customers have actually noticed the problem and how many are actually bothered by it. The other question is this - do the direct competitors do any better?

By the way, I'm not supporting the idea that problems should be ignored. On the contrary, I believe companies should have a small group busy beavering away fixing things, so as to keep customers happy. I just recognise that not every business agrees.
--
Simon

 essH's gear list:essH's gear list
Pentax K-30 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Pentax smc FA 77mm 1.8 Limited Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8
Infrabasse Regular Member • Posts: 342
Re: Official Pentax UK response. K-r AF problems

Instead of fighting this battle on our own, maybe consumer associations could be informed of the issues encountered by K-r users ?

 Infrabasse's gear list:Infrabasse's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Pentax K-5 Pentax Q Pentax K-30 Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +10 more
Terry k Regular Member • Posts: 102
maybe getting a group of dissatified K-r users to send to Pentax?

Barry - I agree with Infrabasse that getting a consumer rights group involved maybe worthwhile. However, i also agree with the financial analysis of essH, which means that this will most likely be a losing fight, since if Pentax admits the problem, they will have to offer a "fix" to many K-r owners, which may be very expensive for them, and may therefore be judged by them to be a bad business decision.

Nonetheless, I am happy to support the cause, and am willing to have you (or someone else) include me in correspondence to Pentax regarding this problem. Maybe if you can get together a large enough (and vocal enough) group of K-r owners, Pentax will actually do someting about this problem....

OP Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Further news and phone calls. Fairly encouraging

I phoned Johnsons Photopia Ltd this morning the official Pentax repair company.
They were unable to say if they could fix the problem.

I then called Pentax UK service and spoke with an agent who said he would speak to a more senior member of staff and get him to call me back in the afternoon.

I got my phone call this evening from that person and I spent nearly 45 minutes on the phone to him. I spoke in depth about the issue and he was in full agreement with me and was completely open about the problem and that Pentax are aware of it.

I told him that I was very happy overall with Pentax and was very disappointed that this issue is present with the K-r as it spoils an otherwise excellent camera. I've agreed to write a detailed email in depth explaining my situation, my recent move to Pentax and my desire to build up a system with the company and to highlight the negative impact such a problem has on Pentax K-r users.

I'll also back that up with a written letter to Pentax UK HQ if required. I'm being fully open about my presence in forums and online. I would again encourage users all around the world to take the issue up with their regional Pentax service and press this as much as possible.

He's very much in agreement the issue needs to be fixed and will push things as hard as possible up the chain in Pentax UK HQ. He isn't a decision maker so that will rest with the person and people who are in charge there. And there are no promises either but I've let him know I'm ready to keep this on the agenda as long as is required to get a fix for K-r users.

So folks if we keep applying positive pressure to Pentax...we should be straight to the point and firm..though random mud slinging isn't likely to help..be upfront about it in complaints to Pentax, let them know it's not acceptable for users to have this problem.

It is only early days yet but I am encouraged by today's events. And impressed that the issue was taken seriously, there was no denial or attempt at denial or fudging the issues. That is a decent step so far.

Tomorrow I shall spend some time writing a detailed email explaining all the points I'll be sending samples along too. Any further developments I will continue to update Pentax users on this thread. The goal is to take the issue to the HQ at Pentax and to get an acceptable solution for K-r users. I'm in this one for the long haul if it takes a while I'm sticking to it.

kadarpik Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: Further news and phone calls. Fairly encouraging

AF is pentax main concern, I hope they are taking it seriously now. I own both K5 and 5D2, yesterday K5 failed almost 90% with very dim fluorecent tubes. ISO was 6400 1/50 f/4. 5D2 24-105 f4 was performing quite well. Pentax 50-135 2.8 failed with K5.

Color rendering index of this light was really really low and the lights were old ballast versions.

But there are nice things as well in pentax, you must just admin the tech limitations.

OP Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Re: maybe getting a group of dissatified K-r users to send to Pentax?

Terry k wrote:

Barry - I agree with Infrabasse that getting a consumer rights group involved maybe worthwhile. However, i also agree with the financial analysis of essH, which means that this will most likely be a losing fight, since if Pentax admits the problem, they will have to offer a "fix" to many K-r owners, which may be very expensive for them, and may therefore be judged by them to be a bad business decision.

Nonetheless, I am happy to support the cause, and am willing to have you (or someone else) include me in correspondence to Pentax regarding this problem. Maybe if you can get together a large enough (and vocal enough) group of K-r owners, Pentax will actually do someting about this problem....

Hi Terry

Well at the moment I'm not encountering any resistance from Pentax on this issue they seem to completely agree that there is a problem so it's really a case of getting an official statement on this, and ultimately some kind of satisfactory solution.

Any company has to look after it's customers so if we need to set up some kind of vocal group on this to keep the topic under discussion and visible will help and is an option.

Regarding consumer rights well I hope we don't have to go down that road if UK/Eire users can contact Pentax support using this form:

http://www.pentax.co.uk/en/Photo-Contact-Digital-Support.html

Or the technical hotline at: 0870 7368299

Other countries can contact their own regions but it's important to increase the volume on this because a few people can only have so much impact.

Obviously any kind of fix will cost money, but then the impact from users migrating to other brands and the level of problems with the K-r's AF performance will deter many potential buyers. This alone should ensure some action is taken.

OP Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Re: Further news and phone calls. Fairly encouraging

kadarpik wrote:

AF is pentax main concern, I hope they are taking it seriously now. I own both K5 and 5D2, yesterday K5 failed almost 90% with very dim fluorecent tubes. ISO was 6400 1/50 f/4. 5D2 24-105 f4 was performing quite well. Pentax 50-135 2.8 failed with K5.

Color rendering index of this light was really really low and the lights were old ballast versions.

But there are nice things as well in pentax, you must just admin the tech limitations.

That's interesting to hear I was under the impression the K-5 was a lot more reliable than the K-r for AF even with lower kelvin temps do you have any samples you can show?

Thanks

BobORama
BobORama Senior Member • Posts: 2,731
Re: Official Pentax UK response. K-r AF problems

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

"I hope that your question has been answered to your satisfaction."

Just a wild guess, but "No."

I love this aspect to CRM, the bit about "managing customer expectations." I took that training too. "Your Jedi mind tricks will not work on me..."

 BobORama's gear list:BobORama's gear list
Pentax K-5 Pentax K-1 Sigma 10mm F2.8 EX DC HSM Diagonal Fisheye Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Samyang 14mm F2.8 ED AS IF UMC +9 more
OP Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Re: Official Pentax UK response. K-r AF problems

Another update I've emailed off quite a detailed letter to Pentax UK highlighting the problems and symptoms of this issue.

I've been fairly specific as per posts and have sent samples to them. Obviously I'm now on hold with any further purchases with Pentax until I feel this issue gets resolved to the satisfaction of K-r users. I can imagine I'm not alone in this either.

I will update the thread when I hear back from Pentax

At the moment I am at least pleased they did get back to me in a timely manner and are taking the issue seriously. But we really need a solution for K-r users and that is the ultimate goal.

Gris Gris Man Junior Member • Posts: 48
Added my voice to the complaints with Pentax ...

Used the link above to complain to Pentax US and ask for an explanation of when and how this will be resolved. Got a quick response back acknowledging the problem but with the usual lack of detail on when, how and if this will be fixed. I responded to that with a suggestion to offer either a refund, credit to upgrade, or a replacement model for affect K-r owners. I also suggested that Pentax is driving victims of this malfunction to take their complaints to consumer advocates if there isn't something forthcoming.

Hopefully if we keep making noise they'll have to come up with something. We shall see.

 Gris Gris Man's gear list:Gris Gris Man's gear list
Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL II (IF) Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA 40mm F2.8 Limited +2 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads