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11-02-2015, 10:54 PM   #1
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K-3 Persistently Dusty Focusing Screen

Minor issue here. Do you guys often get dust specks on your focusing screen, like all the time?

I just ordered another ML-60 focusing screen. It was $43 from Adorama. Because, once again, I've scratched the focusing screen while trying to clean it, and clean out that whole little K-3 viewfinder chamber above the mirror chamber.

How does Pentax clean cameras when you pay to send it in? Do they have like those sterile, dust-free clean rooms, like in a serious biology lab?

Or does everybody just live with the viewfinder specks? They're definitely not on the mirror or sensor. (BTW The K-3's sensor cleaning system works great - but unfortunatelty is of no help in this matter!)

Can you stick a small narrow vacuum nozzle in the camera? You know, to suck out any ambient dust in the air?

Too bad the little frame that holds the focusing screen in place doesn't have a gasket around it!

Any and all advice welcome!

Dave


Last edited by DavidSKAF3; 11-03-2015 at 12:15 AM.
11-02-2015, 11:52 PM   #2
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Like you, I had persistent dust on the viewfinder problems (on my K10d). I used to clean its sensor with a rocket blower. I stopped with the blower and switched to using the pentax gumby wand to clean the sensor on my later two cameras - K7 and K3. Those haven't had any issues with viewfinder dust.

The air going into the vacuum cleaner has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is outside the camera. Therefore, I would imagine the vacuum would actually pull enormous amounts of dust into the camera!
11-03-2015, 06:45 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by DavidSKAF3 Quote
Minor issue here. Do you guys often get dust specks on your focusing screen, like all the time?
Yes and that is with any dslr. Make sure when you do remove or change your lenses the camera face is facing down, that will help some what.
QuoteOriginally posted by DavidSKAF3 Quote
How does Pentax clean cameras when you pay to send it in? Do they have like those sterile, dust-free clean rooms, like in a serious biology lab?
Yes it is done in a dust free environment.
QuoteOriginally posted by DavidSKAF3 Quote
Or does everybody just live with the viewfinder specks?
Yes, I do until it gets to a point I feel it necessary to take it out and clean it. Even then I do that in as dust free area as possible.
QuoteOriginally posted by DavidSKAF3 Quote
Can you stick a small narrow vacuum nozzle in the camera? You know, to suck out any ambient dust in the air?
No that is a very unwise thing to do.
QuoteOriginally posted by DavidSKAF3 Quote
Too bad the little frame that holds the focusing screen in place doesn't have a gasket around it!
I have only scratched one viewfinder screen. If you use the tool that comes with the OEM viewfinder screens carefully then you shouldn't have much of a problem with scratches. But I do suggest not taking it out every time you see a couple dust or lint particles as that just increases the possibility of scratching it.
11-03-2015, 09:35 AM   #4
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Before I knew better, I foolishly tried to clean the focusing screen with an alcohol wipe and totally destroyed the screen.
I then bought a replacement screen for my K5 which accumulated dust from somewhere.

What I found got a lot of dust off was low tack masking tape. Take a piece of tape. Make a loop. Then dab it onto the screen. Loose particles should stick to the tape. Repeat a few times with new tape and never dab too hard that you actually embed the dust into the grooves on the screen.

11-07-2015, 01:50 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I owned a K-5 and I did the sensor cleaning myself. I'm talking from my experience and comprehension, I don't go for Youtube gurus that mix facts with publicity and tons of ego, I'm tired of that. They know there's an audience of consumers willing to pay everything for doing the sensor-cleaning trick. And no, camera service and stores aren't operation rooms.

That being said, I didn't scared to do it for myself and even tested the infamous scoth method. Nothing happens and the camera doesn't die because of that. If you accidentally touch the sensor, well try something non scracht and cheap, don't buy stupidity as magnification glasses that costs hundreds of dollars and do nothing but looking as a picky idiot zooming in and zooming out watching for one particle of dust. But there are people that buy this kind of stuff...
Well, I invested in the cheapest cleaning set out there and did it properly. The solution is perhaps 1ml and seems to be "magic stuff". For me, anything non abrasive should work ok. I kept the dirty cleaning stick for the next session, I don't see any reason to waste a new one even if the company encourage you to buy more and more. It's your money so fo it as you wish.

About the focusing screen... That is another story. It's too hard to clean and it's very sensible. It's a dust magnet. The dust will also strike that face of the pentaprism so everything will be worst. The biggest problem is that you don't have too much room to work so, meanwhile you think you are done with something, the other thing gets "dirty".

---------- Post added 11-07-15 at 02:00 AM ----------

Finally, no vacuum cleaner is recommended for that job, everything would be worst. I think that if someone creates a cleaning product 100% effective for that matter, it would look like as a magnetic cloth or something that attracts particles.
11-07-2015, 03:11 AM   #6
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I have stopped to care about the focussing screen..and for the sensor I use the lollipop with great success
11-07-2015, 03:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AldaCZ Quote
I have stopped to care about the focussing screen..and for the sensor I use the lollipop with great success
That is the short answer!!!! You did it good... Forget those small distracting details and concentrate in shooting nice pictures instead. Youtube gurus never show off their photos but waste a lot of superficial chatting, doing unnecessary/unfair comparisons or unboxings.
11-07-2015, 04:04 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChileanPentaxGuy Quote
That is the short answer!!!! You did it good... Forget those small distracting details and concentrate in shooting nice pictures instead. Youtube gurus never show off their photos but waste a lot of superficial chatting, doing unnecessary/unfair comparisons or unboxings.
yes! - youtube is a source of miss informations..such as never touch the sensor

and one can always use a quick remedy for the "spots" in the sky



11-07-2015, 04:41 AM   #9
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I have changed focusing screens on booth my K-5II and my K-3. This involves fine tuning front/back-focus with shims and therefore removing each focusing screen several times in order to find the right shim. During this operation the screens will collect dust particles and have to be cleaned.


I primarily use a rocket blower and a very soft brush. I also use powder-free vinyl gloves when I do this.


For persistent particles I use Kenro Kenair "compressed air". This should be done with grate care since it's not really comressed air but instead a flammable compressed organic gas (tetrafluoroethane). It works fine as long as you use short bursts. With prolonged bursts you risk getting condensation stains as the gas gets cold as it expands. The best way to find out how to use it is to try it on e.g. a glass surface that is easily cleaned.


It's almost impossible to remove all partcles and you will have to learn to live with some, but with careful handling and the above equipment it's possible to remove most of them.
11-07-2015, 03:23 PM   #10
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I noticed the same issue this morning on my K3, went to take a shot or two and decided to change lenses first. I noticed the mirror was a little dusty so I used my puffer to blow the dust off the mirror, put the new lens on and went on my merry way.

When I went to take the first shot I noticed the viewfinder was full of dust specks. Checked the mirror, it was clean, checked the bottom of the focus screen, same again. Took a couple of images to test and nothing shows up there, so I reckon the dust is somewhere in the optical path between inside of the eye piece and the inside of the focus screen.

It's annoying, I'm kicking myself for using the puffer because I reckon that caused it (only recently got one and thougt it was the best soluton!), but the question is what can I do about the dust? Is it feasible to remove the focus screen (by the posts above it is feasible) but what level of knowledge, skill and tools are required?

I'm a little miffed that the dust managed to work its way in there (on the assumption the dust is where I think it is), with all the weather seals on the outside of the K3 that the advertising talks about you would think there would be something to keep the dust out of the inner reaches!
11-08-2015, 12:03 AM   #11
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Dust gets in while changing lenses. When I had just one kit I hadn't dust problems..: D it's a part of live with ilc camera
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