K10D tilted viewfinder conundrum


J2R

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 15:19
I have a K10D (or rather, a Samsung GX-10, which for the purposes of this discussion is basically the same thing). I bought it 5 years ago and have hardly used it since I discovered (once the camera was out of warranty!) that the problem I was seeing in landscapes where the horizon was tipped down to the right by a couple of degrees was, in fact, a fault with the camera and not just me being inept. A bit of research has shown that this was in fact a fairly common problem with the K10D, and it seems to be caused by a misaligned mirror box.

Now, I can work around this by actually tilting the camera a little while shooting, if using the viewfinder; or by making sure the base of the camera is horizontal (the sensor seems to line up OK with the body - if I take a shot with a perfectly level camera, the horizon is fine). But this is a bit of a pain and I'd ideally like to do something about it. I've been quoted 96 plus VAT to address the problem. But I'm wondering whether I might just be better off ploughing that money into a replacement camera, maybe off eBay or somewhere, and seeing what I can get for my camera on eBay (with the fault acknowledged, of course!). I could probably pick up a K20D or GX-20 for under 200 and end up with what should, theoretically, be a slightly improved camera. Ideally I'd go for a K5 or K30 but they're a bit outside my budget at present.

What do others think? Is the 96 worth spending? Or is it a known problem which can be fixed at a lower cost, if so where?

johnriley

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 15:24
I've just sold a pristine K20D that went for a low 185.00 and a K10D that went for 130.00, also pristine.

You could probably do your upgrade at a very low cost, less than a repair I would think.
Best regards, John

J2R

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 15:33
Ha, don't I just know it! I tried to put in a higher bid on your camera with 10 seconds to go but neglected to click the Confirm button! I thought it would shoot up by 30-40 in the last few seconds but it didn't, so I was miffed to miss it (and you're probably miffed to sell it a low price).

I would presumably get far less than 130 for my camera, given its tilted viewfinder issue. I have to consider how much extra over the 96 I'd think it worth paying to get a camera which is apparently only a marginal improvement over the K10D. As the owner of both, would you consider the K20D to be a significant enough upgrade?

Algernon

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 16:51
Don't all cameras have tilted viewfinders

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

pgweber

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 17:01
My K10D has a "tilted viewfinder", borne out by one or two comments on my gallery pics. Either that or I have one leg shorter than the other!

I called in at Johnson's last year when I had a problem with one of my lenses and one of the technicians briefly checked out the K10D. He mentioned a masking plate in the viewfinder that was misaligned and the repair and service cost IIRC was circa 140. It was a recognised issue with some K10s apparently.
Peter

Pentax K5
Pentax DA 18-55 Mk1, 50-200 (Samsung), 16-45, , 55-300, 35 f/2.4
Pentax MZ6 + FA28-90, FA50 f/1.4, M 50 f/1.7
Tamron 80-210mm & 28mm
Last Edited by pgweber on 25/09/2013 - 17:11

johnriley

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 17:44
Some like the image quality of the K10D CCD sensor, but I prefer the K20D. I still use one for studio work.
Best regards, John

J2R

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 17:46
Peter, how visible is the issue with your K10D? On mine it's very obvious on landscape photos featuring the sea. I haven't been able to measure it accurately but it's probably somewhere between 1 and 2 degrees.

pgweber

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 18:19
Others tend to notice it before I do, like on this shot:

https://www.pentaxuser.com/photo/user-5416/snowdon-spat-15377

Perhaps it's a bit like sensor stains - it's there if you look for it!

I continued to use the K10D until I got my K5 but was a bit put off picking it up again after the JPS tech said it was an issue with some units.

However I did take this shot earlier this year with the K10D and had it published in a railway magazine. The train was running at ~90mph at the time.

https://www.pentaxuser.com/photo/bittern-blowing-off-64445/large

I can't remember if I levelled it in Photoshop, which is ok for the occasional shot.
Peter

Pentax K5
Pentax DA 18-55 Mk1, 50-200 (Samsung), 16-45, , 55-300, 35 f/2.4
Pentax MZ6 + FA28-90, FA50 f/1.4, M 50 f/1.7
Tamron 80-210mm & 28mm
Last Edited by pgweber on 25/09/2013 - 18:20

J2R

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 18:59
It is noticeable in the Snowdon shot but not gross. It helps if you avoid seascapes!

It's certainly possible to correct the problem in processing, with something like Photoshop or Lightroom, but it's a pain to have to do it each time, and it also introduces some degradation to the image (it's not possible to rotate by arbitrary amounts losslessly).

Nice photos, by the way.

J2R

Link Posted 25/09/2013 - 19:13
johnriley wrote:
Some like the image quality of the K10D CCD sensor, but I prefer the K20D. I still use one for studio work.

I have to say I have no pressing requirement to upgrade, as I'm very happy indeed with the image quality from my GX-10 for landscapes, which is what I normally photograph. The tilt is the only problem (apart from a minor issue to do with exposure in older prime lenses, which I'll raise a separate post about).
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