Discouraged by Pentax reliability

Started Aug 28, 2013 | Discussions
bkpix
bkpix Contributing Member • Posts: 796
Discouraged by Pentax reliability
4

I've been shooting with Pentax gear since late 2008, when I switched over (mostly) from Canon.

Recently I bought a Canon 7D to use with the 100-400L zoom I had never sold from Canon film days; buying the Canon body was easier and cheaper than dealing with the limited long-lens options from Pentax.

The 7D is a pretty good camera, and I've enjoyed using it. The experience spurred to me try out a friend's 5D2, which I concluded offers identical image quality at low ISO to my K-5 in a bigger and clunkier package. So I iced any plans to shift back to a Canon-only system.

Or so I thought.

This week I spent a couple days shooting on the southern Oregon coast and, on Day 1, picked up my K-5 and discovered its lens release button had fallen off, spontaneously, in the closed camera bag. This seems to be a $200 fix at CRIS, as the body is out of warranty. The same K-5 had previously been at CRIS not once but twice for in-warranty repairs, which included a stuck shutter button and the mirror-flop issue (both problems on the first repair) and then a second time to fix the stuck shutter button again.

My K-7 was also at CRIS for an in-warranty sensor replacement when it started turning out photos with digital jaggies.

All this made me realize that I have never had a single issue with any Canon camera or lens I've owned (20D, 5D, 1Ds, 7D, 10-22, 20-35, 100-400, 28-135) despite the fact that the older lenses in my bag are around 15 years old. My son, who uses Canon to shoot bird photos around the world and who is very hard on equipment, has similarly never had a repair, at least none that didn't come directly from abuse.

I love using Pentax equipment but its reliability is very frustrating. Maybe it's just a run of bad luck. Or maybe it's time to go back to Canon....

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SBS
SBS Senior Member • Posts: 2,511
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability
1

Yeah. It's a legitimate question. What bothers me is that Pentax will pretend there are no problems with certain known issues, and make you pay to have them repaired. If I produced a product with a known deficiency, I would want to make it right with my customers, even if it was only to issue a discount for future purchases. I have heard of more helpful responses to customers from Canon. Maybe that's why they are number one.

Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic Senior Member • Posts: 2,775
That doesn't prove reliability issues
5

It only proves that you've had some luck with Canon, unlike others who've had issues with Canon's, and no issues with Pentax gear.

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Zvonimir Tosic
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MightyMike Forum Pro • Posts: 38,600
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

bkpix wrote:

I've been shooting with Pentax gear since late 2008, when I switched over (mostly) from Canon.

Recently I bought a Canon 7D to use with the 100-400L zoom I had never sold from Canon film days; buying the Canon body was easier and cheaper than dealing with the limited long-lens options from Pentax.

The 7D is a pretty good camera, and I've enjoyed using it. The experience spurred to me try out a friend's 5D2, which I concluded offers identical image quality at low ISO to my K-5 in a bigger and clunkier package. So I iced any plans to shift back to a Canon-only system.

Or so I thought.

This week I spent a couple days shooting on the southern Oregon coast and, on Day 1, picked up my K-5 and discovered its lens release button had fallen off, spontaneously, in the closed camera bag. This seems to be a $200 fix at CRIS, as the body is out of warranty. The same K-5 had previously been at CRIS not once but twice for in-warranty repairs, which included a stuck shutter button and the mirror-flop issue (both problems on the first repair) and then a second time to fix the stuck shutter button again.

My K-7 was also at CRIS for an in-warranty sensor replacement when it started turning out photos with digital jaggies.

All this made me realize that I have never had a single issue with any Canon camera or lens I've owned (20D, 5D, 1Ds, 7D, 10-22, 20-35, 100-400, 28-135) despite the fact that the older lenses in my bag are around 15 years old. My son, who uses Canon to shoot bird photos around the world and who is very hard on equipment, has similarly never had a repair, at least none that didn't come directly from abuse.

I love using Pentax equipment but its reliability is very frustrating. Maybe it's just a run of bad luck. Or maybe it's time to go back to Canon....

Take a step back and realize you could probably find 10 Canon users with various failures of their equipment for every 1 Pentax person with equipment failures... This based simply on the amount of canon users to Pentax users and the number was just pulled out of my head. Not dismissing your problems I feel bad for you I'm just saying that like you haven't experienced such issues with Canon I haven't experienced such issues with Pentax and therefore we can have directly opposing viewpoints. Now you've had bad luck and i hope it doesn't continue. Several have mentioned the lens release button falling off in the last few months, lets call it a weak point for Pentax lately.

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Mike Hiran
Mike Hiran Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

ouch!  with that track record I'd be discouraged also... I suppose I've been fortunate.  So far including a few q's and a couple k01's, I've had 10 Pentax DSLR's and even more Pentax lenses that have been trouble free so far.  I'm aware of some of the issues with some Pentax products but I've felt the products were worth what I interpreted to be a relatively small risk.  That is not to say I don't take precautions: I do buy those twenty dollar extended warranty things that b and h sells for Pentax products.  Of course, if you've ever bought extended warranties, if you buy them, things don't go wrong

well your luck has to change for the better from here... so whatever brand you go with, odds are you'll be fine.  besst of luck to you and sorry things haven't gone well.

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jm_mac Senior Member • Posts: 2,045
Sorry to hear about your bad luck
3

...but I don't think Pentax really is any better or worse than the others. I originally came from Canon as well, and through the original Digital Rebel, then dual DRebXT's, then a 40D and a dozen lenses, all were trouble free (except for front focus on a 24-85mm). So in my experience Canon was also very good with respect to reliability.  I left Canon for the same reason you alluded to - there was no reason the equipment needed to be so big!

Then I went to Nikon, from a D40x (shutter button became permantly stuck and sent it back for a cost of $150), to a D80 (no problems), then a D90 ($150 front focus adjustment), a D5100 (no problems), and now a D7000 which I still have (trouble free).

With Pentax, I went K10D, K20D, K5 x 2, and K-01 along with a bunch of lenses - all trouble free.

I guess I'm trying to say that I think you've had a run of bad luck. I still have a Nikon kit, which I like and use on occasion - I'm disappointed by the two costly failures in the D40x and D90, but not enough to paint the whole brand with a broad brush and ditch the equipment. I love Pentax equipment even more, even with its quirks.  Don't be discouraged, keep the equipment!  If you can, maybe get a spare K5 if yours is out of commission (which is why I have 2).

And on the lens release button, I have heard of this happening before.  If you search the forums, you may find other posts - one I recall stated that if you talk to the folks at CRIS, they will send you a button kit for free.  This should *not* be a $200 repair, that is outrageous.

jm_mac

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ASR45
ASR45 Forum Pro • Posts: 36,797
Re: Sorry to hear about your bad luck

I think that begs the question, we all like to think we have the best equipment till it goes wrong, or just is not what we expected, been down that road several times. I have to like after research the brand i am using, anything goes wrong, then i have a rethink.

Reliability is key for me, as well as the obvious when buying a brand name.

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Tan68
Tan68 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,778
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

Mike Hiran wrote:

... Of course, if you've ever bought extended warranties, if you buy them, things don't go wrong

Well, that's what makes it insurance !

Nothing gets the bus there sooner than to light a cigarette and etc.  They are all related.  :^|

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robbo d Senior Member • Posts: 2,691
Re: Sorry to hear about your bad luck

Had not a single ounce of trouble with either brands...............

stanic042
stanic042 Contributing Member • Posts: 585
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

I paid 45 euro for the out-of-warranty repair of my lens release button

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Rastislav

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Joseph Tainter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,412
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

Sorry to hear about your problems. It happens to some of us.

Don't let the patriots get you down, claiming that Pentax's quality control is no worse than other manufacturers. If you own Pentax, all that is relevant to you is Pentax's quality control--and it has been pretty bad in the digital age.

Joe

sdribetahi Contributing Member • Posts: 819
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

Cameras are an electronic commodity, just like a dvd player or tv. They break, every brand, every model. Did it ever occur to you that it could just be dumb luck? I highly doubt that the Canon workers are much better than the Pentax workers. Go spend some time in the Canon forum and come back and tell us how great Canon's quality control is. Same issue, different name.

Gary Martin
Gary Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 4,138
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

Sorry about your bad luck, but if you looked inside any camera repair shop you would see Canons in there too. I've owned 6 Pentax digital bodies: *istDS, k200D, K2000, K-r, K-30 and K-01, and I've never had a single problem. I've sold 3 of those bodies to friends, and they are still going strong, including the *istDS which is over 8 years old.

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leopold Forum Pro • Posts: 14,083
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

Sad for you, i've been a Pentax user for the last 25 years and never had any issues, i did own lenses for 15 years or more without any problem.

I'm also using a 7D since last March with the 400mm/5.6L and it's a great combo, will see if it will be as tough as my Pentax gear ... my 7D still looks good after it went in the water last month with my 400mm

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garyknrd Contributing Member • Posts: 792
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability
1

I have the exact same experience as you unfortunately. I finally just moved to Canon. My K-5 button fell off. Focus issues. Just an extremely poor built camera. I bought a 7D and never had a problem. Now use a IV and it is unreal to say the least compared to Pentax.

And the so called Pentaxians are the real problem with Pentax. It is never Pentax fault and they always have a answer.

I think Richo will put an end to most of the sorry build issues I hope. But most serious shooters have moved on long ago. Pentax will never be close to the big guys. But I have fun buying one body every few years to play with. And use some Pentax glass with. But just for something to do. I know it will be poor compared the the others.

I know a few guys that use it strictly as a novelty now. Fond memories but that is it for me.

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SBS
SBS Senior Member • Posts: 2,511
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability
3

garyknrd wrote:

I have the exact same experience as you unfortunately. I finally just moved to Canon. My K-5 button fell off. Focus issues. Just an extremely poor built camera.

Umm. Pentax has had it's problems, but describing it as a poorly built camera seems a bit strong. There are some qualities to Pentax cameras that suggest the opposite. I do wish they would acknowledge, embrace, and correct their problems rather than ignore them.

I bought a 7D and never had a problem. Now use a IV and it is unreal to say the least compared to Pentax.

Well, the 1D, Mark IV is a top of the line, professional camera that cost @ $5k. It sure better be better.

And the so called Pentaxians are the real problem with Pentax. It is never Pentax fault and they always have a answer.

Have to agree with you somewhat here. Can't help but wonder if the Pentaxian apologist haven't given Pentax cover from producing a truly excellent product. People who loved/tolerated the buggy British sports car might be an apt comparison. Yet, that dynamic is decades old. Not sure it is viable for today.

I think Richo will put an end to most of the sorry build issues I hope. But most serious shooters have moved on long ago.

Now I feel deflated. Here I've been earning money shooting with Pentax, only to learn I'm not really serious. Should I refund my clients money?

Pentax will never be close to the big guys.

They could very easily equal and surpass them. In fact, in some qualities, they already do.

But I have fun buying one body every few years to play with. And use some Pentax glass with. But just for something to do. I know it will be poor compared the the others.

I know a few guys that use it strictly as a novelty now. Fond memories but that is it for me.

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Presently living in Asia

gaddigad Senior Member • Posts: 1,903
Re: That doesn't prove reliability issues

Zvonimir Tosic wrote:

It only proves that you've had some luck with Canon, unlike others who've had issues with Canon's, and no issues with Pentax gear.

I have yet to hear a (recurring) hardware mulfunction complaint regarding the k100d/Super. It's a model thing, and possibly also (company) ownership related.

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dual12 Contributing Member • Posts: 536
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

I don't know whether Pentax is less reliable statistically than Canon, but neither do you.  Your evidence is anecdotal.  I've never had a problem with any Pentax gear...ever.  I've never had a problem with the Canon or Nikon gear that I've owned either, but I've read of plenty of problems with both brands.

dual12 Contributing Member • Posts: 536
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability

I only recall reading about Canon users complaining about service.

Trevor G Veteran Member • Posts: 6,577
Re: Discouraged by Pentax reliability
2

bkpix wrote:

I love using Pentax equipment but its reliability is very frustrating. Maybe it's just a run of bad luck. Or maybe it's time to go back to Canon....

Or Nikon.

I jumped and got a much larger range of affordably priced, large aperture zooms and primes.

Problem 1)   A new K200D which would not focus accurately on subjects in good light with certain lenses.  Those lenses would focus well on a K5.  Eventually refunded.

Problem 2) A new K-x which:

a)  chewed through batteries, especially in live view, at a prodigious rate.

b)  would not focus certain lenses well in good light.

c)  would focus extremely erratically in certain light.  I only found out a few weeks ago that that was a known problem under tungsten.  Not known to me at the time, though.

I sold it and all my lenses in disgust, after finding that most of my lenses were decentered, anyway.

Now a happy Nikon shooter.  Nikon lenses I have acquired seem to have no decentering issues.  Flash system works well.  Exposure is accurate.  No one looks down their nose at me.

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Cheers
Trevor G
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