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10-28-2018, 11:52 PM   #1
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Sensor cleaning - what do you use?

For my K3 & K5 I have used Visible Dusts EZ sensor cleaning swabs and liquid with good results. The swabs need to be selected for sensor size, so for my K1 II I must buy new ones.
But before doing that I would like to have your experience with different sensor cleaning gear.

What do you use and what are the results? Have anyone compared eg Pentax sticky O-ICK1 to swabs? Do dry methods like the Arctic Butterfly work?

10-29-2018, 12:42 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by marmitse Quote
What do you use and what are the results? Have anyone compared eg Pentax sticky O-ICK1 to swabs? Do dry methods like the Arctic Butterfly work?
I use a bulb style blower and the O-ICK1 Pentax Image Sensor Cleaning Kit. Works perfectly for me. I've never used swabs so I can't make a comparison.

10-29-2018, 01:05 AM - 3 Likes   #3
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I have use Pentax DSLRs for over 10 years and have never needed to clean any sensor (other than using the cameras built in sensor cleaning or a rocket blower a couple of times a year).
10-29-2018, 03:39 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I use a bulb blower. It works on almost all dust spots for me. When I had quite a few spots years ago on my K-50, I tried the in-built sensor cleaning function. It got rid of none of them. For me, it was useless.

10-29-2018, 04:27 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I used the swabs once. It made a mess of my K100D I had at the time, and I never used that method again. I bought the Pentax O-ICK1 stick and used that after on my K-x and it worked great. For my K-30s, and K-50, the internal dust remover works fine. i have them both set to remove any dust at up and when I turn off the camera. My new to me older K-5 is going to get the ICK stick treatment soon because it has a spot of dust on the lower middle of the sensor. I've just been cloning it out, but that's getting to a point where sometimes I forget to do so.

Btw, internal cleaner, and the blower didn't touch the dust bunny on the K-5 either.
10-29-2018, 06:36 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I got the O-ICK1, after I had some not going away from sensor shaking or rocket blower. I can't compare it to swabs, but it's highly recommended; really simple to use.
10-29-2018, 01:02 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I have used digital cameras for nearly 13 years now and never cleaned the sensor. I swap lenses a lot. Rocket blower works fine on the occasional dust bunny.
12-02-2018, 10:21 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I use Lenspen:

12-05-2018, 04:26 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I haven't found the need to do any cleaning beyond what the camera does automatically -- when enabled, it cleans the sensor every time you turn it on -- but for my K100D (which doesn't have a self-cleaning sensor) I found the Pixel Sweeper approach to work very well.
12-05-2018, 11:33 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Why use something else than Pentax??
Pentax Image Sensor Cleaning Kit, O-ICK1 reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
Grip / Remote Controls and others | Accessories | Products | RICOH IMAGING
12-05-2018, 11:42 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Most of the time I use a loupe to find the offending dust and then give it a precise blast from a rocket blower. I also have the sticky O-ICK1 and Eclipse fluid and swabs. I only resort to wet cleaning if everything else fails. I've found in some cases wet cleaning can leave streaks and I have to go back again to clean those.

Last edited by mattb123; 12-06-2018 at 08:37 AM.
12-05-2018, 11:55 AM - 1 Like   #12
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If the built in cleaning routine doesn’t shake it off, I lock up the mirror and give the sensor a shot from a bottle of canned gas (cue the mewling kittens). If that doesn’t do it, then I wet clean. It’s been so long since I’ve had to wet clean I can’t remember what I use.
12-05-2018, 12:48 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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you just have to clean it once....
12-06-2018, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #14

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Oh, the one time I tried wet cleaning (I think this was on my K-5) it was a disaster. It just moved the sticky objects around and left streaks all over the sensor cover, even using the special Eclipse-type alcohol solution. Ugh.

So now on my K-1 it's basically:
1) use the camera ultrasonic method, a few times in a row if necessary;

2) rocket blower (but not usually with much precision - just turn the camera upside down and blast away);

2.5) I will admit to occasionally having used some of those cans of gas - they're OK if you keep them upright and don't let them spray liquid.

3) an Arctic Butterfly-type soft static cleaning brush; then

4) the O-ICK1 lollipop. Oh, how I love that name.
I haven't had to do any wet cleanings with that regimen.

Oh, I omitted a step: 0.5) curse at all the diffuse blobs in Lightroom and having to remove them on every single shot where there's low enough contrast to notice. (Lightroom makes this fairly easy, until you find that one of them straddles an object with interesting detail.)
12-06-2018, 07:21 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I've got a bunch of "microfiber" cloths, I forget what they were sold as, but dustrags or washcloths, or some such thing. Like very short-nap terrycloth probably polyester. I roll one of those up into a cone and then stick the pointy-end into the camera with the mirror locked up while wearing my head-set illuminated magnifier (sort of like a low-power binocular microscope). Anything the shakey-shakey doesn't fling off, I can identify by sight and remove with the corner of the cloth. Then I use a big-arsed squeeze bulb to shoot the air in to get out any lint (the cloth doesn't generate any, but does cause a bit of static - and I worry about the bits the shakey-shakey left in the bottom of the chamber. No liquid on the sensors. I wash things like lens filters and eyeglasses with palmolive and water, as in the video Neal_Grillot posted, though without the use of a toothbrush.

I've been thinking of using a regular air compressor (such as I normally use for cutting off exhaust systems, working the lug nuts, etc.) with a blower attachment, but I'm afraid that might be too much pressure that would knock some fragile whatsit loose.

What's really funny is that I'm so picky about every little speck of dust, but my eyesight is going and I can't seem to focus the camera worth beans anymore, anyway.

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