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04-15-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
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Dust in Viewfinder

My sensor is clean, as confirmed by the dust alert and my photos. But when I look into the viewfinder, there's small particles and even a tiny piece of hair. Is there any way I can clean it easily?

04-15-2011, 11:30 PM   #2
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You should be able to just blow it off the focusing screen.

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04-15-2011, 11:34 PM   #3
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Doesn't work. I tried to blow inside with the mirror down but the dust is still there. I'm just afraid it might be dust that got in from the eye diopler adjustment area.
04-16-2011, 03:26 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by zephyrus17 Quote
Doesn't work. I tried to blow inside with the mirror down but the dust is still there. I'm just afraid it might be dust that got in from the eye diopler adjustment area.
It will be on the inside. The only way to clean it is to unlatch and or remove the viewfinder screen itself. Then you might get lucky and a blower could dislodge all the crap, or you might have to loosen it on the screen with a sable (preferred), or soft human hair artist's brush. Be very careful too because the VF screen is as delicate as a baby's bum and remember that it's a fresnel lens so brush with the direction of grooves.

Make sure you wear surgical gloves attacking this job and be extremely careful to not introduce any [more] static electricity. That is the biggest root cause of this problem, all that plastic in there is literally a magnet for charged static.

That small hair you describe might even be a light scratch, that's how scratches show up on the VF visually -- so it might be time to consider ordering a new screen.
And at least give the job to an experienced technician if you're not confident of having the aptitude to tackle it. It could save you a lot of money by avoiding mishaps.

Good luck. You'll need it.

.R.


Last edited by Hypocorism; 04-16-2011 at 03:33 AM.
04-16-2011, 03:47 AM   #5
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Hmm if I went to a Pentax authorised technician could I have this under warranty?
04-16-2011, 04:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by zephyrus17 Quote
Hmm if I went to a Pentax authorised technician could I have this under warranty?
Only an authorised Pentax service centre could answer that for you. Definitely worth a try though and I was considering claiming the same myself with my K-x (until I got disheartened with Pentax so couldn't be bothered pursuing anything with them - so do my own maintenance).

My K-r VF has only managed to horde small specks of dust (so far) but I agree with you that it must get in somewhere, and some of the solid black bits are obviously dislodged loose plastic chips and shavings, not simple airborne dust sucked in, so more likely are there from the factory I'd say.

I'm very fastidious with handling of my cameras from day one, and both K-x and K-r sensors were disgusting from brand new.
Fwiw; I documented my Pentax sagas:
Dirty Sensor #1 - brand new Pentax K-r [@ f/40] | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

They really must have their production line built on a dirt floor factory in The Phillipines. Look how their flagshit [sic] K-5 was an absolute train wreck. Glad I didn't buy that model.

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 04-16-2011 at 10:35 PM.
04-19-2011, 06:32 AM   #7
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Do you see the dust when using the Live View function and when using the View Finder?

I thought I had I had dust on the inside but found that it was actually on the exterior of the View Finder. Tried blowing it away and it was a no go then cleaned it with a Q-Tip and lens cleaner.

No more dust.
04-19-2011, 06:38 AM   #8
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It's definitely not on the Live View.

04-19-2011, 06:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by zephyrus17 Quote
My sensor is clean, as confirmed by the dust alert and my photos. But when I look into the viewfinder, there's small particles and even a tiny piece of hair. Is there any way I can clean it easily?
Sounds like its on your focusing screen.
Interestingly enough, dust can be extremely resilient in terms of blowing it off(no clue how but it is), and so its common to encounter a spec that can't be blown-off with a blower.

Have you tried looking at the focusing screen with a small flashlight?
I've cleaned many screens btw, as a result of swapping them with aftermarket versions. However... I wouldn't recommend it unless your familiar with the parts and materials involved. - its quite easy to introduce gobs of dust particles in a mirror box if you're not careful(trust me I've done it ).

Having said that, I wouldn't obsess over even a few specs of dust in your viewfinder if I was you. Granted.. it doesn't feel good to see your pristine view get dirty. But... it is an unavoidable fact that all DSLR's get dirty along with use.

Try to live with it and set your sights on an annual cleaning from an authorized service center.
04-19-2011, 06:59 AM   #10
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Yeah, I don't have any 'issues' with it, I just find it annoying. I guess it's my OCD perfectionist screaming
04-21-2011, 11:17 AM   #11
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If the dust shape is clear, then it is on the upside of the screen. If it is not clear, it is on the underside of the screen (the side you can touch from mirror).

For K-r, I'm not sure if you can remove the screen. If not, you would have to send to Pentax service center for cleaning if dust is on the upside.

The underside of the screen normally has tiny grooves (prisms) to make screen brighter. Once a dust sits in groove, it's hard to blow it off. I heard only high grade screens have grooves and Pentax is using them in its entry level DSLRs.

For focus screen, even a tiny dust will appear far larger than its actual size.
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