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03-12-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
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Advice from my local camera store.

First off, Hello! I check the site regularly, but I just registered and it's time for my first post.

I went down to the only camera store in town yesterday looking for a cleaning kit for my K100D. I left empty handed with some 'tips' from the worker. Being ill experienced, I'll run them by on here.

I asked if they had any kind of sensor cleaning kit. The worker let out almost a chuckle. He told me that it was a joke of the industry to sell canned air. He says that that could push the dust into the RGB filter, which would be rather costly to repair and if this happened I might was well buy a new camera. He went on to explain the insides of the camera, which was way above my head. I asked if there was nothing I could buy, but he said the item they use in the store costs roughly $800.

This worker told me that the safest way for me to clean it myself was to take a goose feather, rub it on a wool sweater to create static, wave it above the sensor, and the dust will jump to it.

Oh. I picked up a new lens for an early birthday present, so I've been switching them out constantly. Checking differences, comparing image quality, what not, which is how the dust got there. This worker said they recommend a wide ranged lens (example he gave: 50-200) in order to reduce the amount you change lenses. Surely I can't be the only person changing out my lenses constantly

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Now... I may be relatively new to tinkering with the insides of my camera, but I feel there's something missing here. I doubt I'll be returning to the store, for anything. Customer service is thumbs down.


03-12-2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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he is right, blowing canned in the body is a BIG no no.
2.....there are sensor cleaners available, several in fact out in the market. i havnt looked into it much, but i have seen ads, and stuff in the store...(check the big places, adorama, bh, calumet)

the good ones do cost more....
one good thing to have is the giotto rocket blower.....gets stubborn dust out of the sensor...but gentle enough not to damage it....

if it's THAT bad, id rather send it out and get it cleaned by pentax or a pro shop

to reduce the constant changing of lenses is not to get an all in one lens, but....
of to instead get multiple bodies...

at least thats what I did...LoL...

dust will get in there, no matter how careful, or how seldom you change your lens.
are you seeing it in your shots? (the dust in the sensor).....

matter of fact, I shot a few shots today w/. the k10, and at f11, saw a hair like spec...and a blotch....
then at f/'s right smack in the middle..too

got home, put her in cleaning mode, got the rocket blower out, a few puffs, and more..(retested a few shots @ f/22....)

the built in sensor cleaning didnt get it out...
03-12-2008, 07:56 PM   #3
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No built-in sensor cleaning for me

Viewed at 100% the dust sticks out, fitted to my monitor I have to search for them. It only takes a few seconds to Photoshop it out, but I'd rather just remove it.
03-12-2008, 08:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgsullivan Quote
No built-in sensor cleaning for me

Viewed at 100% the dust sticks out, fitted to my monitor I have to search for them. It only takes a few seconds to Photoshop it out, but I'd rather just remove it.
There are a number of good cleaning kits out there, and the Pentax one is probably the best because it does not involve wiping the sensor - it uses adhesive to pick the dust up. I have another version that does involve wiping - very carefully and very lightly. I have not yet had to use it.

I always keep the lens mount of the camera down when changing lenses indoors, and have not yet changed outdoors. In the case of an outdoor lens change, I plan on using my dark chanrging bag to keep the dust to a minimum. If you have never worked blind, it might be a better idea to use a transparent bag rather than risk sticking a finger where it should not go.

03-12-2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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I would take advice from my local camera store (Wolf Camera) as soon as I would have a plumber perform brain surgery on me.
03-12-2008, 09:49 PM   #6
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I have 8 lenses with my K100D I think (I lost count) and I'm switching between lenses all the time. I have some dust on my sensor and I'm planning to take my camera to a repair service and they should probably clean the sensor for about 30 euros.
03-12-2008, 10:01 PM   #7
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The Goose feather method is interesting, although I use a nylon artists brush not a feather, blow canned air through it for a bit and then it becomes charged and dust does jump to the brush from the sensor.

Cleans the dust off the sensor, and you never touch the sensor!

03-13-2008, 12:11 AM   #8

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Start out by going here, read it just don't look at the pretty pictures.
Cleaning Digital Cameras - Introduction
These guys make brushes and wipes, plus they explain a little of the why.
VisibleDust - DSLR Camera Sensor Cleaning
Try these guys out also
Copper Hill Images

Never touch the sensor, never use canned air, never use cotton swabs.

As for me - I have never had to wet clean my sensors (*ist Ds and K10D). I do have a rocket blower that I have used on the *ist Ds many times, but I think on the K10D only once. Just can't remember. Personally - I would stay far away from feathers.

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL

03-13-2008, 04:02 AM   #9
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I'd have to echo PDL above. In addition the first link he mentions is also included in our link directory:
Other Resources - Links Directory
The article errs on the side of caution, but its a really good place to look at first. It was from there that I got the idea to use a foot operated air pump rather than a rocket blower (or other hand held blower) Basically I use a the above mentioned foot pump, if that doesn't complete the job (90% of the time it does) I use methanol (eclipse fluid is nothing but methanol) and a sensor swab. In the 3 years I've been shooting regularly, I've had to swab the sensor maybe 3-4 times, and I change lenses quite frequently. Usually the foot pump/rocket blower does the trick.

NaCl(hope this helps)H2O
03-13-2008, 05:13 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ennacac Quote
The Goose feather method is interesting, although I use a nylon artists brush not a feather, blow canned air through it for a bit and then it becomes charged and dust does jump to the brush from the sensor.
Is using static electricity on a CMOS sensor safe? Ok, there is a protective glass plate but static electricity is known to kill CMOS circuits.
03-13-2008, 05:29 AM   #11
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From one Sullivan to another, Welcome to the forum.

I will NEVER rub anything against the censor PERIOD, and thankfully I've never had to. On the other hand, any cleaning I've had to do was the mirror, and for that I used a small hand bulb.

And yes, the assistant was correct, never use canned air - don't forget, canned air creates condensation.
03-13-2008, 06:46 AM   #12
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Giottos Rocket Blower works for me!
03-13-2008, 09:19 AM   #13
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I've used a blower and usually that works but on one occasion I had some stubborn spots that wouldn't come off with just the blower so I got a Green Clean Kit. It's a tiny vacuum that you hold above the sensor to get dust particles off. It got the spots without having to resort to a wet/dry swabs that they have too. I do not want to touch my sensor so I was pleasantly surprised that the Green Clean vacuum worked for me. Saved me from having to ship my camera off before a trip to England for my brother's wedding.

Good luck!
03-13-2008, 10:01 AM   #14
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I use this kit from Amazon and it works great. If the rocket blower doesn't get the dust off, then out come the Pec Pads and Eclipse fluid.

In the summer I was needing to clean my sensor about every 600-700 shots. Which was about once a month. But with winter and wetter weather I have not needed to clean the sensor since about last October.
03-13-2008, 10:27 AM   #15
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This whole sensor cleaning nonsense if funny.

I was in a jam, downtown Granada, Spain, don't speak a lick of Spanish but to order my morning coffee and my evening booze and I had so much dust on my K10D sensor that I thought I left a ND filter on the lens, and a bad one at that. I wasn't looking for dust specks, I was looking for clear spots where there was no dust!

So, I had a laptop and managed to swipe some bandwidth and logged onto the web in search of a camera shop. Well, that lack of knowledge of the Spanish language completely put the kabosh on that idea. So, I started reading about methods for cleaning the sensor and how I might be able to do it with what I had laying around when I came across an interesting bit of information... You never clean the actual sensor, you only ever clean the GLASS covering the sensor!!! That's right, the GLASS covering the sensor.

So, armed with this information I grabbed a cotton swab (AKA - Q-Tip) and proceeded to drag/wipe the dust off the sensor with the camera tilted downward while blowing across the mount (blowing across the mount creates a vacuum and draws the floating dust particles out of the camera). I did this for a while. Took a few shots and it worked! I was left with a few strands of cotton fiber but after two more attempts I had all the dust AND the cotton fibers removed and not a single scratch or anything on the glass covering the sensor..

Look into what i'm saying and see if you don't come to the same conclusion

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