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01-11-2013, 02:39 PM   #1
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Image Sensor Cleaning

Digging around to see what is involved with keeping the camera tuned up and ready to get the best that it can, I have been looking at sensor cleaning. I came across this video, in German, where this guy "paints" some stuff onto the image sensor to thoroughly clean the thing.

Has anyone else here ever seen this, and is it available in the US?



01-11-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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Looks like some sort of epoxy that dries on and grabs anything loose on the sensor. I'd be terrified of using this thing though - I have shakey hands.
01-11-2013, 02:54 PM   #3
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Stick with the Pentax lollipops, even Nikon owners and techs swear by them.

Pentax O-ICK1 Image Sensor Cleaning Kit 39357

B&H for some strange reason doesn't even list them.
01-11-2013, 03:00 PM   #4
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That darned lollipop is the cat's meow for cleaning. A lighted loupe is as well but that darned thing just get's it done.

01-11-2013, 03:22 PM   #5
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My cleaning method for K10D, K-x, and K-7 just involved a Giotto Rocket air blower. I used it a lot on the K10D in particular, because that was my legacy lens camera and I was using it with all kinds of lenses and adapters, so lenses got changed more often on it and the sensor gathered dust more often. I never had a problem removing dust this way. But I also no longer exchange lenses outdoors - you can get stickier stuff on the sensor by doing that.

Also, initially, I turned off the sensor shake on camera startup, but now I have it enabled on all of them, to reduce the need for cleanings.

I would not do any cleanup if I do not see dust spots in images.
01-11-2013, 03:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
My cleaning method for K10D, K-x, and K-7 just involved a Giotto Rocket air blower. I used it a lot on the K10D in particular, because that was my legacy lens camera and I was using it with all kinds of lenses and adapters, so lenses got changed more often on it and the sensor gathered dust more often. I never had a problem removing dust this way. But I also no longer exchange lenses outdoors - you can get stickier stuff on the sensor by doing that.

Also, initially, I turned off the sensor shake on camera startup, but now I have it enabled on all of them, to reduce the need for cleanings.

I would not do any cleanup if I do not see dust spots in images.
Turning on the in camera cleaning, particularly for the K-5, is a huge plus. I also use the Giotto Rocket air blower, but with the K-5 find I am not using it much at all any more. If there are stubborn specs then the lollipop, but that is as a last resort.
01-11-2013, 03:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Turning on the in camera cleaning, particularly for the K-5, is a huge plus. I also use the Giotto Rocket air blower, but with the K-5 find I am not using it much at all any more. If there are stubborn specs then the lollipop, but that is as a last resort.
That confirms a suspicion I had. With the K-7, Pentax moved to a different DR system that was vibrating the filter rather than shaking the sensor. I suspected that it was more effective, but I couldn't make a fair comparison, because I used the K10D differently than the K-7.
01-11-2013, 04:28 PM   #8
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I would not use anything but a little air or The Pentax tool. Luckily the K-5 IIs has very good dust removal.

01-11-2013, 04:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
That confirms a suspicion I had. With the K-7, Pentax moved to a different DR system that was vibrating the filter rather than shaking the sensor. I suspected that it was more effective, but I couldn't make a fair comparison, because I used the K10D differently than the K-7.
If I recall correctly, the K-x/r had the other system for dust removal. I did use the Rocket blower a LOT more regularly with them than with the K-5. I don't think I have changed lens changing habits or environments, so the newer system seems to be that much better.
01-11-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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Over the years, I've used all manner of blowers and such in my (mostly feeble attempts) to remove all the dust from my camera's sensor. Most of the time, I found that all I was really doing was to move the dust around inside the camera. And it always managed to find its way back onto the sensor.

I've also found the "sensor shake" features on the newer Pentax cameras may be a great Madison Avenue selling point, but it is nigh on useless in practice. It simply doesn't work.

In the last few years, I've had great luck with a thing called an "Arctic Butterfly" from and outfit called "Visible Dust" in Canmore, Alberta.

Their Arctic Butterfly thingie works by spinning a (specially designed, VERY soft) brush attached to a battery-powered unit which gives the brush a light static charge. Then, you pass the brush (gently) over the sensor and (quickly) pull it back out of the camera. The static charge on the brush sucks up the dust. You then spin the brush again. This gets rid of the dust you've accumulated on the brush during your first pass as well as giving it a "re-charge" if you want to go for a second pass. Usually one or two spins and passes over the sensor is quite enough.

This (dry) approach prevents inadvertent smearing of leftover solvent from other approaches on the sensor. As a result, my Arctic Butterfly has now become an essential part of my camera gear and goes with me wherever and whenever I shoot.

For those interested, here's a link to a You Tube video.

Last edited by KB1SFVE3; 01-11-2013 at 06:00 PM.
01-11-2013, 06:42 PM   #11
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Wow, that looks effective but terrifying (especially with Pentax floating sensor) and extremely time wasting. First two hours of wait for the first layer and half an hour for the second one if I heard correctly.
01-11-2013, 06:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by KB1SFVE3 Quote
Over the years, I've used all manner of blowers and such in my (mostly feeble attempts) to remove all the dust from my camera's sensor. Most of the time, I found that all I was really doing was to move the dust around inside the camera. And it always managed to find its way back onto the sensor.

I've also found the "sensor shake" features on the newer Pentax cameras may be a great Madison Avenue selling point, but it is nigh on useless in practice. It simply doesn't work.

In the last few years, I've had great luck with a thing called an "Arctic Butterfly" from and outfit called "Visible Dust" in Canmore, Alberta.

Their Arctic Butterfly thingie works by spinning a (specially designed, VERY soft) brush attached to a battery-powered unit which gives the brush a light static charge. Then, you pass the brush (gently) over the sensor and (quickly) pull it back out of the camera. The static charge on the brush sucks up the dust. You then spin the brush again. This gets rid of the dust you've accumulated on the brush during your first pass as well as giving it a "re-charge" if you want to go for a second pass. Usually one or two spins and passes over the sensor is quite enough.

This (dry) approach prevents inadvertent smearing of leftover solvent from other approaches on the sensor. As a result, my Arctic Butterfly has now become an essential part of my camera gear and goes with me wherever and whenever I shoot.

For those interested, here's a link to a You Tube video. You Tube video:
Sorry you think the sensor shake feature on the K-5 is just marketing hype. I know that I used to get all sorts of debris on my sensor when I had a K-x, but that with the K-5 I just don't have that problem any longer. Haven't changed where I take photos, how often I change lenses, or any of that and yet, somehow, I'm not finding schmutz on my sensors any more. Wonder why?

The brush sounds good and I'm glad you have found it useful.
01-11-2013, 07:51 PM   #13
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Agree with Docrwm. I went to a K-5 from a K-x and so far I'm very happy with the dust removal. Sure over time I'm seeing 2 or 3 very small persistent spots, but no where near the build up I was getting with my K-x. Given than my usage patterns are very similar (if not heavier K-5 use) then I assume this is down to better dust removal on the K-5.
01-11-2013, 08:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Agree with Docrwm. I went to a K-5 from a K-x and so far I'm very happy with the dust removal. Sure over time I'm seeing 2 or 3 very small persistent spots, but no where near the build up I was getting with my K-x. Given than my usage patterns are very similar (if not heavier K-5 use) then I assume this is down to better dust removal on the K-5.
Either that, or there's better weather sealing and/or quality control on the K-5 as compared to your K-x. Perhaps the technicians have now finally caught up with the marketing hype!

All I know is that it the "dust removal system" simply doesn't work on any of my DSLRs (K-100, K-10 and K-20). Oh, it shakes the sensor around all right, but the dust on the sensor absolutely doesn't budge unless and until I put the Butterfly to it. I know this for a fact because I also use a Visible Dust sensor loupe that helps me actually see all the dust clinging to my sensor. Simply shaking the sensor doesn't cut it...not when the dust is clinging to the sensor because it's statically charged.

My hunch is that, if you are using a zoom lens (particularly a long one) dust can't help but get sucked into the camera cavity from that action alone. If not, then I'll be darned if I know how I got dust on my K-20's sensor when I never (ever) swapped the lens! Only thing I can think of was that long zoom lens was sucking dust into the camera body every time I zoomed.

So, again, regardless of all the "sensor cleaning" and "weather sealing" hype the Pentax marketers like to talk about on these cameras, there's still going to be a great big, gaping hole where the lens goes. And because THAT hole isn't "weather sealed", dust and other crud (not to mention moisture) can still get into the innards of the camera.

Bottom line: Unless and until the techie types can figure out a way to get around that pesky problem, dust will continue to be an issue with these DSLRs.

Keith

Last edited by KB1SFVE3; 01-11-2013 at 09:03 PM.
01-11-2013, 08:59 PM   #15
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When I see dust on a pic I go into the menu and use the dust removal option a couple of times and almost every time the dust disappears. My brother even had a tiny hair on the sensor solved by the dust removal. later i found it on the sticky rim around the sensor and carefully took it out, the dust removal had forced it off the sensor glass and onto "dust collector", It surely works! Though I mostly use lenses without heavy airflow so maybe that's why the dust stays off for me.
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