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06-22-2013, 01:21 AM   #1
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K-30 sensor scratches - real or malarkey?

Hi,

So: I bought a K-30 a few months ago (like a champ, it's a great camera), and I've had to wet-clean the sensor a couple of times, being big into landscape photography, and having to swap lenses between 28 and 24 mm.

A few weeks back, I suspect I managed to scratch the sensor, or whatever filter (I assume either a high- or low-pass filter) is in front of it. I used cleaning swabs and solution, but there's now 2 decent-sized lines at the edges of the frame, and a less-linear, shallower (though still annoying) line in the middle. I shoot a lot at low apertures, so this is a problem.

I've got a (scary) quote for a sensor replacement, but since I have to send the camera to the UK (I'm in Ireland) to get it serviced, projected costs are approaching camera replacement.

My question:
I'm trying to get a handle on how likely it is that I've actually scratched something. I haven't seen many threads on the subject (with any DSLR), and I've seen posts form people in service centres stating that it's a pretty rare issue (i.e. the sort of thing that happens to people that clean with pen knives). I've seen mention that the first surface you hit in a DSLR is generally optical glass, which is pretty hard, and therefore should be hard to scratch. I can't believe that I'd have managed to put 3 scratches in it in one go. Is this the case in the K-30, or is the first surface you hit when cleaning the sensor plastic? Anyone with any service experience?

If it turns out that I haven't actually scratched the sensor, and have instead just spread something over it in a thin line, I'd be a very happy bunny. However, if it really is a scratch, I'd rather try to sell the camera for astro work (the high-ISO performance should be attractive, and the purchaser would probably be handier at removing the IR filter than me), and buy a new one.

Any advice?

Ta,
Rob

06-22-2013, 06:00 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by moodus Quote
Hi,

So: I bought a K-30 a few months ago (like a champ, it's a great camera), and I've had to wet-clean the sensor a couple of times, being big into landscape photography, and having to swap lenses between 28 and 24 mm.

A few weeks back, I suspect I managed to scratch the sensor, or whatever filter (I assume either a high- or low-pass filter) is in front of it. I used cleaning swabs and solution, but there's now 2 decent-sized lines at the edges of the frame, and a less-linear, shallower (though still annoying) line in the middle. I shoot a lot at low apertures, so this is a problem.

I've got a (scary) quote for a sensor replacement, but since I have to send the camera to the UK (I'm in Ireland) to get it serviced, projected costs are approaching camera replacement.

My question:
I'm trying to get a handle on how likely it is that I've actually scratched something. I haven't seen many threads on the subject (with any DSLR), and I've seen posts form people in service centres stating that it's a pretty rare issue (i.e. the sort of thing that happens to people that clean with pen knives). I've seen mention that the first surface you hit in a DSLR is generally optical glass, which is pretty hard, and therefore should be hard to scratch. I can't believe that I'd have managed to put 3 scratches in it in one go. Is this the case in the K-30, or is the first surface you hit when cleaning the sensor plastic? Anyone with any service experience?

If it turns out that I haven't actually scratched the sensor, and have instead just spread something over it in a thin line, I'd be a very happy bunny. However, if it really is a scratch, I'd rather try to sell the camera for astro work (the high-ISO performance should be attractive, and the purchaser would probably be handier at removing the IR filter than me), and buy a new one.

Any advice?

Ta,
Rob
I have a K30 but I've never had to do a wet clean on the sensor. However, I did do something very similar to what you're describing to my K100D and used the incident as a reason to upgrade. I have no idea how similar their construction is, but I later had the K100D converted to an IR camera and that totally fixed the scratch issue, suggesting it wasn't a scratched sensor at all. Good luck getting it fixed!
06-22-2013, 06:02 AM   #3
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I also spread something on my Kr sensor while cleaning that showed up at small apertures, it turned out (after more cleaning) just to be dirt moved to the edge of the sensor in a straight lines. Try to re-clean your sensor what do you have to loose.

Hans
06-22-2013, 06:11 AM   #4
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I agree with Hans, you've got nothing to loose, clean it again, I've cleaned mine quite a few times, and sometimes you only get it perfect after a few times, every time with new swabs, very frustrating...while sometimes once is enough. Do you have any images that show the lines?

06-22-2013, 02:50 PM   #5
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I found the brush end of a lenspen is all that's needed to move stubborn dirt, followed up by a blower. I would have to be desperate to use anything wet, but as you've used it already then use it again. I'm a vinyl LP user of long standing, and I know people that used to use wet cleaning to deal with noise had to carry on with it once started. It's best not to start.
06-23-2013, 03:10 AM   #6
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Thanks very much for the responses guys, they're much appreciated. Here's the offending lines:



Yep, cleaning vertically is also a bad idea.

The hell of it was that I felt that I was being very gentle cleaning the sensor, but if I managed to get a nice hard bit of grit under the pad, and the first surface is plastic, then I can see how easy it would be to get a scratch.

Anyhoo, I reckon I'll get myself a big ol' bag of supplies and give it a good clean. After all, what have I got to lose, right?

Thanks again folks,
Rob
06-24-2013, 11:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by moodus Quote
Thanks very much for the responses guys, they're much appreciated. Here's the offending lines:



Yep, cleaning vertically is also a bad idea.

The hell of it was that I felt that I was being very gentle cleaning the sensor, but if I managed to get a nice hard bit of grit under the pad, and the first surface is plastic, then I can see how easy it would be to get a scratch.

Anyhoo, I reckon I'll get myself a big ol' bag of supplies and give it a good clean. After all, what have I got to lose, right?

Thanks again folks,
Rob
Gah! Those look nasty. Hope everything turns out all right.

If it doesn't though, new K30's are super cheap these days. Plus, you'll get some extended warranty with it too.

Good luck.
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