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A brand lens that’s not compatible with its brand camera, that’s unthinkable….I have learnt by default that miracles could happen to teach one the importance of observation, the World Wide Web and of course truth. I bless those whose aim is to see through the mistakes of the past, only then do we benefit


Self-portrait, photographed with Pentax K10D in timer mode, AF spot

Pentax writes,

John Carlson Sr. Manager, Product Marketing & Customer Support
PENTAX Imaging Company / 600 12th Street, Suite 300, Golden, CO 80401 /
PHONE: 303.728.0337 / FAX: 303.728.0187 / BE INTERESTING. PENTAX

After reviewing your “post” I couldn’t find anything that would definitively indicate an issue with your K10D that couldn’t also be user error.  I would have to ask if you ever contacted Pentax Customer Service regarding the supposed issue, or if you instead put your efforts into this blog?  It seams that contacting someone at Pentax would have been the more constructive course of action.

And while your post suggests that Pentax build a camera that is reliable and easy so use, you should also note that the K10D won five prestigious camera awards around the world during its run.

If you would like us to take a look at your K10D, we are more than willing to determine if the camera is malfunctioning.  Again, the photos in your post don’t necessarily indicate an issue, but simply an image out of focus.
Thank you,


After much frustration trying to determine why this camera failed to focus correctly, I endeavored to research the problem affected by many users over Pentax, and particularly this camera the K10D. The error  is that of the Pentax itself and of its incompatibility of lenses which the Pentax K10D camera had been marketed to work with, flawlessly we presumed.  It claimed to be compatible with all Pentax lenses built since 1964. This meant that its lenses could be mounted on the camera, however they were not guaranteed to work correctly by means of a term called front and back focusing. The camera and lens had to be calibrated which its measurements were  stored. This was limited to 5 calibrated lenses  (reported) in the K10D.

The problem therefore stood if you used a different lens, you may have faced the problem of out of focused images. Only Pentax could correct  this until the camera’s firmware was hacked and the company quickly released an update to disable the function called debug mode. The more cameras and lenses that were brought into service, they tested the correctness  of each lens. This supplied data for future models at the cost of consumer’s time, expense and bewilderment.  I can only conclude that this adjusts the focal-plane of the sensor in micrometers movements, why this is necessary I do not know. If focusing errors had occurred on a film camera, I am quite sure this company would be out of business.

It should be noted the in trouble shooting manual over if a  glitch of the camera not focusing when what you see is in the view finder is in focus is never mentioned.

You can calibrated the Pentax K10d with a PC Windows compatible XP Russian debug mode software.

Firmware 1.3 debug

The password for the  installation is :

1.Make sure your battery is fully charged.

2. Set up a focal point, I used a steel ruler in a cup and pointed the camera at 45 degrees at a center mark. The debug focus correction is a scale rule measured in  increments of +/- 10 micrometers. Set at 0 and began with a shot taken before to determine where  the camera focused, ie:  before or behind the subject. This takes some time.

To add and remove the debug mode follow the steps carefully as explained here


Calibration lens setup photographed with the Pentax k10d re-calibrated with the debug mode software, handheld 60 at f2.5  AF spot anti-shake off at 100 ISO

Suggestions to Pentax update firmware 1.4

1. Post a bulletin over the issue of this camera to certain Pentax lenses

2. Integrate the lens calibration and offer a chart to aid users with particular lenses.

3. Revamp the menu display, keep it precise without nonfunctional  icons.

4. Improve the jpeg quality to its highest standard.

5. Have a mirror lock up  in timer mode, it is useful to prevent any mirror  disturbances

6. Correct the overall dullness  produced from this camera

7. Offer a rebate or trade in when owners want to buy another Pentax, refurbish and re-sell as a classic model

6. Be recognized for something…..Make more of life PENTAX in the interest of your customers without their kind support, you do not exist.

Camerablues Richard Bolai copyright ©2009 All Rights Reserved


“We are not looking just to increase the number of models and go aggressively after unit sales, the most important thing is to pursue profit. But we are not going to complain if sales keep increasing as they have.” – Fumio Urano

death of

My trusty sidekick of a camera had some major freakouts this weekend. It took lots of pictures just fine, but then there were batches of photos like this. This happened on and off with multiple batteries and memory cards, lenses and shooting modes. And I treated it so nicely! At least it worked well intermittently (I guess!) Of course it’s 9 months out of warranty, but we’ll see what the nice people at Pentax customer support have to say to me. Hopefully something nice, and not just “time to buy another camera body!”

source Flickr


Frame 1 Download


Frame 2 Download


Frame 3 Download

To determine whether or not the user of this camera was incapable of photographing in focus. The camera was set under these conditions.

1. Green line

2. Auto focus (green)

3. Another switch Auto focus (green)

4. Multi-frames

5. ISO auto 100-1600

6. Pentax 50mm 1.4 lens.

I looked to the sky and caught these vultures swooping down. I pointed the camera, I panned, (IT DID NOT FIRE) the bird continued, it swooped across again. (THE CAMERA DID NOT FIRE) So I switched it to manual focus, set the lens to infinity. These are the shots. I need answers to why?

Camerablues Richard Bolai copyright ©2009 All Rights Reserved

Sometimes when you think its  going good, a gitch happens and changes all the stakes, we thought over the years it would be fixed, don’t count on that. Business in business, features  are looked upon as a catch, we are told…if only this mistake was not true…..


“It says this, but is doing this, who wrote this manual, Fumio Urano?”  The composition using a  Kodak Brownie Fiesta lens mounted on the Pentax k10D

In a correspondence with ricehigh of  ricehigh’s Pentax blog, he suggested to me that,  “I think the problem you face is just about the design limitations of the K10D” and concluded that , “K10D is infamous for inaccurate focusing with various different Pentax lenses, especially when you focus at large apertures with a fast prime”

I wrote:

Dear ricehigh,

Last week I received an email from Pentax’s Imaging USA
product manager, John Carlson, in it he wrote his concerns
over the images I had posted on the blog, and he eluded that
it may be a user error offering Pentax service to see if the
camera indeed had malfunctioned. This has be concerned, I am
careful when ever I focus.

The Pentax K10D camera was set under these conditions

So I did some research to see if the Pentax K10d had
problems over its focusing, and to my astonishment there
were many complains.There is even a chart were you could
calibrated it to see if the lens is not aligned. I really
don’t care. This is not the consumer’s
responsibility. If calibrations are needed to adjust each
lens, Pentax should integrated it as part of  its

I also read that the focusing screen may be an issue over
manual focusing, there too could have errors. The matter to
me was its removal and cleaning, now this. Then one or two
persons reported that the anti shake switch broke off. I
have had problems with the camera staying in modes after I
have switched it to another, and many users wrote seeking
HELP over something going wrong posted on the internet.

I thought it could be the lens, perhaps the housing was
loose, but if the camera focused correctly, the blur would
be diagonally across the image and the object should still
be in focus. What do you think? I am not a technician.
I was so furious over these reports and literally took the
camera and put it in the trash…(safely of course, I am no

Since then Pentax has released three or more cameras,
something called the K-X then K-7 whatever. They are using
colour customizing to sell it.  I like the idea of
penlight batteries, its very useful and universal. I also
think that Brands are responsible for their product and the
reputation and loyal buyers like you. With out them, they
will be out of business.

I looked at the Leica  website and was appalled over
its navigation and elitism. Spending $9000 on a camera is
ludicrous with reports such as comparing it with a $98
dollar Kodak easyshare.  I made a parody of the website
by putting on my leather jacket, and going outside and
taking a picture by remote control using my (no offense
Canon Pro 1) I think if a camera supports the remote control
feature, then it should come in the box.

All I want is a camera built to replace the 1976 Canon F1
with the 50mm L lens, where I could photograph, hand held
without flash day and night shots as low as 15 of a second,
film speed 25
. Can any digital camera today can offer this?

” Dear RiceHigh,

> I got so confused over your post, how does pentax manged
> over this flaw? Why would anyone purchase their equipment?
> On another note, you say you own the canon D5 full frame, do
> you really see the difference comparing it with the Pentax?

Yes, the 5D has better IQ (low noise, high image details, high color accuracy),
faster but more accurate AF, more accurate and consistent metering and exposure.”

The Camera industry needs to have an universal standards
over a sensor in resolution the fit industry imaging. How
many cameras do you need to buy really when they produce
them in increments 10 /12/13/14/18/ then 24/ MP and so
forth. What joy do people get? Is there really a difference?

I have forwarded this letter to Pentax, I am not sure what
the terms are over the repair / replacement / I am not
paying a cent. What I can say is that I am disappointed over
what was reported, and what was said of the Pentax K10d in
all its reviews.  The purchase was based on that

I hope we can all learn from this, I’ll keep you
posted, it may be the Head of Pentax himself, Fumio Urano,
The giant can’t tie his shoe


Richard Bolai

Camerablues Richard Bolai copyright ©2009 All Rights Reserved

Sometimes when you think its  going good, a gitch happens and changes all the stakes, we thought over the years it would be fixed, don’t count on that. Business in business, features  are looked upon as a catch, we are told…if only this mistake was not true…..



These two photographs were taken during a live performance, the Pentax K10D was mounted on a tripod, the lens was Pentax 50mm 1.4 . The conditions I recall were either F8 or F11 at 100 ISO * This is unacceptable.


When the Pentax K10D hits the mark and gets it right  Download

This report is aimed to alert designers that simplicity in how things  work is the key to a reliable product. I never expected that my efforts would be couched as if I did something wrong. The sequence of photographs were taken with this camera with one of its lens.  I discovered that when the auto focus switch was on,  it just did not focus on the object…and then it did.  This needs to be explained.  To guarantee that these  photographs would be correctly in focus, I switched it to manual focus. To my horror this was the result……I just had enough.

The Pentax photographed with the Canon Pro 1, 1/8, F2.7 auto ISO. Hand held. Download

Pentax K10. s/n 2539901. A camera that photographs beautifully at times, but has a major issue focusing on objects. No photographs are guaranteed to be properly in focus. Not recommended. Too many functions. Stick to the principle. Exposure, time, sensitivity.


May I asked why Pentax why?

mikew wrote:

Hmm well I found this some time ago:

I have big news!

If your K10D have problem with focus, you can adjust it yourself.

Someone in Korea figured it out himself.

He is not a employee of Pentax or related company.

He just found out by trial-and-error with key-set.

Of course, You yourself is responsible for doing something scribed below.

Here’s How-to-adjust-focus.

1. Your K10D’ firmware version must be 1.10.

2. Test shot for focus trouble.

3. Turn the camera OFF.
While pressing [PLAY]+[OK], Turn the camera ON.
You can see firmware version on LCD screen.

4. Firmware version is appeared,
then press [Fn]->[Fn]->[INFO]->[MENU] within 5 seconds.
You get service menu!!!

5. by pressing [right key]
then press [OK].
(save and LCD will be black out)

6. Press [MENU] and go to SETUP tab.
then, Press [Up key], you can see TEST MODE.

7. Select AF TEST menu. now you have AF correction menu.
If you have Front-focusing, reduce the value.
If you have back-focusing, increase the value.
after adjust some value, press [OK] and quit out of setup menu.

8. TEST for focus, find out that focus is correct.
(repeat this from 6 for correct focus.)
9. Go to service menu(step 3,4).
then press [OK].(save and LCD black out)

10. Go out and enjoy nice photos!!!

AGAIN, You yourself is responsible for any damage or trouble by doing this process!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I too can only say use it at your peril!

Improved AF Accuracy of the K20D (Under White Lights Only) courtesy of RiceHigh’s Pentax blog

* For a lens with significant aberrations (e.g. a consumer zoom at maximum focal length and minimum focus distance), stopping down to f16 may give optimum results. For a lens with less aberrations (e.g. a consumer zoom used at infinity focus), optimum performance is around f11, though both f8 and f16 are very similar. Source

Camerablues Richard Bolai copyright ©2009 All Rights Reserved

What I know is this, the principle of anything  that serves an industry should be capable of working flawless, if not at all.  Mistake occur if decisions are overseen too quickly, faced with the market, trying to compete with its competitor. The trouble is never the user of the product, I share this as a warning. Like attracts like…

Exposures Pentax K10D All Modes

Green line 60 at F1.4 Download

P mode 60 F1.7  Download

SV mode F60 2.0 – ISO 140 Download

TV mode 60 F1.7 Download

AV mode 60 F1.4 Download

T/AV mode 60 F1.4 – 140 ISO Download

M mode 45 F1.4 100ISO Download

Conditions: Handheld with Pentax 1.4 50mm lens. Anti-Shake system off. Speed ISO 100 Daylight Auto focus ARS

Camerablues Richard Bolai copyright ©2009 All Rights Reserved

The Letter

Fumio Urano,
Charmen of Pentax Co-operation
2-7-5 Naka-Ochiai, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Dear Mr. Urano,

I write to complain over the quality of a camera which is the Pentax K10. It has failed in many occasions to properly photograph in situations as simple as the camera shown in a case study on my website. You are as I am,dismayed.


Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your kind thoughts over an issue involving this Pentax product.The purpose of this study is to make manufacturers aware that buyers of their products are not guinea pigs when their equipment fails to take a simple photograph. How difficult is that?

We are then told by comments such as yours to stop complaining and download 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 firmware or get it repaired so the manufacturer can learn what flaws it had. Then they would make the corrections and urge fools to go out and buy the new and improved piece of…………… one month, glamorized in gloss. If this was a private jet, you bet they’ll make it fly.

Pentax may very well learn from all this and work diligently to produce a digital camera that would be admired for its reliability and ease of use, kept for many years. I am not here to plug anyone, I am here to show quality in one’s product.

Look at the industry, look at the losers, we have our flagship, they can't wonder when its time...People can't get enough, the biggest problems lies with currency...

C Moseley:

I bought a Canon 40D after it was introduced just under a year ago. Now I learn that Canon has replaced the model with the 50D selling at the same price point. I cant believe that this company is doing this. I feel both betrayed and swindled. Selling $1400 cameras with a half-life of six months without notifying consumers that the unit will be replaced in less than a year is dishonest. I have used Canon cameras exclusively for more than 30 years. When it comes time to replace my 40D I am purchasing a Nikon.

Camerablues Copyright 2009 ©

All photographs and accompanying quotes, articles appearing on site are the exclusive property of Richard Bolai unless otherwise stated in this report. All Rights Reserved Copyright 2009 ©

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