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05-05-2022, 11:00 AM   #1
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Any hope for a K30

I moved into the DSLR era from a Spotmatic which Iíd had forabout 30 years to a K30. After a while the aperture block mechanism failedwhich cost a lot to get repaired. In the last few years it has lost the date/timeevery time the battery is replaced. And now it shows awful smudges (particularlyon blue skies). I have cleaned the sensor many times and there is no doubt itis perfectly clean. The smudges are irrespective of the lens attached. I concludethe smudges are between the sensor and the covering glass. I have seen someamazing teardowns on this forum to replace capacitors and things. The dedicationand effort required to share this knowledge is unbelievable. But I imaginenobody has, or wants to, replace a sensor on a K30. I hate to throw awayotherwise perfectly good technology after the Spotmatic experience. Maybe Ijust have to accept that we live in a largely throw-away age.

05-05-2022, 11:46 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Willi Hersch Quote
And now it shows awful smudges (particularlyon blue skies). I have cleaned the sensor many times and there is no doubt itis perfectly clean. The smudges are irrespective of the lens attached. I concludethe smudges are between the sensor and the covering glass
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Can you show us an example? A shot of the sky on a clear day?

Unless the smudges are so bad that they block most of the light, you could resort to the astronomer's technique of flat field frames. Basically, you determine the pixel-by-pixel gain, and then divide it out of the image. Sounds a bit complicated, perhaps, but there is lots of software that can do it.

It's a bit hard to believe that something can get in below the cover glass. In my experience (Converting (part of) a Pentax *istD Camera Sensor to a Black & White Sensor - PentaxForums.com), the cover glass is very tightly sealed over the actual sensor.

I wonder if the sensor has actually been damaged somehow by over exposure, such as a too-long look at the sun.
05-05-2022, 11:58 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
It's a bit hard to believe that something can get in below the cover glass. In my experience (Converting (part of) a Pentax *istD Camera Sensor to a Black & White Sensor - PentaxForums.com), the cover glass is very tightly sealed over the actual sensor.

I wonder if the sensor has actually been damaged somehow by over exposure, such as a too-long look at the sun.
or too much cleaning.

Iíve had my K-30 since June 2015, and Iíve never cleaned the sensor.
A few photos showed dust, but I regularly have the camera clean itís own sensor, and no problem lasts long.
05-05-2022, 04:13 PM   #4
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Smudges on K30 images

Thank you for replying. Here is a typical picture with thefault. It is consistent irrespective of the lens or settings of thecamera (together with the highlighted areas there are other spots where there are smudges). The smudges appear in the same place on every image. I have cleaned the sensor and know that it is absolutely clean.

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05-05-2022, 04:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Willi Hersch Quote
Smudges on K30 images
Most of those spots look like dust or pollen on the sensor. Have you done a wet cleaning yet?
05-05-2022, 05:04 PM   #6
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I agree - looks like a dirty sensor, despite your cleaning efforts.

What/how have you actually done to clean it?

If it is dust (or whatever) on the sensor, it should become more prominent at smaller apertures (i.e. f/16 or f/22).

Take your camera out on a more-or-less cloudless day, and take some shots of blank sky. Turn off autofocus (doesn't matter much for this, just set it on infinity), and take a set of shots of clear sky at various f-stops. Let the shutter speed respond appropriately to get a reasonable exposure. If it is gunk on the sensor, it will become more prominent at the smallest aperture sizes (i.e. biggest f-stop numbers).
05-06-2022, 01:28 AM   #7
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I am cleaning the sensor with these wipes which I think isprobably isopropyl alcohol. I have done this maybe ten times. There is goodcontact with the wipe and there are no visible marks on the sensor (the reflectionis from the flash obviously). These three images (auto enhanced to bring outthe gunk) bear out the dust theory but what I can do about it I don’t know.

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05-06-2022, 07:09 AM   #8
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Sure looks like stuff right on the surface of the cover glass.

Do you have a blower? Something like a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster, or even just a kitchen baster (make sure it's clean!). Try blowing off the crud. DO NOT USED CANNED AIR!

Does the K-30 have a start-up/shut-down sensor clean option? If so, make sure it is on. See pages 260-262 in the manual.

In your first picture there are what appear to be white/bright spots on the sensor. It's hard to tell at this resolution, but they sorta look like dust (unless they are artifacts of your lighting).

Do you have a local camera store? They might be able to help you with a good cleaning.

Or, you could just always shoot at f/3.5

Good luck!
05-06-2022, 07:41 AM   #9
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Yes it’s all a bit depressing. I will try your suggestionsbut I’m not hopeful. Looking at the F18 image, they almost look like scratcheswith dirt filling in part of the scratch. I am losing hope and might just dowhat you suggest – always shoot around F3.5. Thanks for your advice anyway.
05-06-2022, 07:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
Does the K-30 have a start-up/shut-down sensor clean option? If so, make sure it is on. See pages 260-262 in the manual.
Yes, it does.
They are on the third “tools” menu page {denoted by something that looks like a wrench}.
I set mine up so long ago I had forgotten that I have mine ‘clean’ itself when ‘shutting down’ as well as when ‘starting up’

Most likely I added ‘shutting down’ when a sharp-eyed observer saw a few dust spots in the sky of a photo I posted here {most likely in 2018} - I always had it clean when ‘starting up’ but apparently that wasn’t enough.

Last edited by reh321; 05-06-2022 at 08:01 AM.
05-06-2022, 07:59 AM   #11
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I have just examined the cover on the sensor again and cansee very faint scratches which correspond to the marks on the image. Can’t believeI made them but there is no one else I can blame.
05-06-2022, 08:20 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Willi Hersch Quote
I have just examined the cover on the sensor again and cansee very faint scratches which correspond to the marks on the image
Yep - they are a bit prominent in the f/18 image. You might have gotten some hard dirt/sand particles attached to your wipes somehow. It takes something pretty hard to scratch that glass cover. There are wipes intended specifically for sensor cleaning - I think they come well protected from the outside world until ready for use.

If you can get rid of the dust (try blowing it, not wiping, it off), I think you can live with those scratches. They won't affect lower f-stop images much, and in anything but sky-like (i.e. fairly featureles) areas, they won't be very noticable.
05-06-2022, 09:19 AM   #13
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The difference is vaguely interesting (but depressing) between the two extremes of f stop.
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05-06-2022, 10:53 AM   #14
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I am really starting to think that all those scratches and the alien invasion aredefects burnt into the glass cover as all my efforts (including blowing) changenothing. I don’t normally give in but I think I have to accept defeat on thisone. One does get attached to cameras though.
05-07-2022, 02:30 AM   #15
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You can keep this K30 for parts, most parts are identical to the K50 anyway.
The storage of the date happened because it was stored without the main battery for longer periods.
Only if the D-LI109 (or AA's) stays inside, can this tiny C-MOS battery (Lithium) keep up its capacity.

The dark-image-syndrome (ABF) is anyway easy to repair oneself, check my tutorials.

So if DIY is fine for you, get another K30 or K50 and keep this one for parts.

And learn about correct sensor-cleaning!

The double-action auto-clean as @Reh321 explained in post #10 is a good idea.
It cannot work wonders, pollen or other sticky stuff needs different cleaning.

Usually the sensorstick (lolly) works fine.
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