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09-16-2008, 06:15 AM   #1
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Dirt/dust problem. Suggestions please?

I have a K10D, I first started noticing dust problems on my pictures in June. It happens on several lenses, so
I think it's in the body. I bought a cleaning kit (rocket blower, brush, spray, swab, cloth) and used them on the
reflex mirror and focusing screen. I don't know if I can/should try cleaning any other parts of the camera. Oh,
I also tried the cameras dust cleaning vibration system, but only once or twice.

FWIW, the dust is much more noticable with smaller apertures. Heres an example: The first is shot at
f3.6 and the second at f22.

Anything else that I can try? Or should I take this to a camera shop? Or send it in to Pentax?

Thanks for any ideas,
-Larry


Last edited by Adam; 03-30-2011 at 08:58 PM. Reason: "malware"
09-16-2008, 06:54 AM   #2
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Thats a lot of dust in there.
Are you just blowing the mirror and screen or are you blowing the sensor as well.

You need to blow the sensor.

It will be more noticeable at smaller Ap's.

If blowing does not get it off, you'll need to wet swab it, and i leave that for a camera shop, ie Pentax or Nikon to do for me.

Dave

Last edited by pentkon52; 09-16-2008 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Spelling
09-16-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by spillway Quote
used them on the
reflex mirror and focusing screen.
I've seen more than one post saying you shouldn't touch the mirror. The posts mention the mirrored surface is on the top and easily damaged.

You might like to read this web site on cleaning the sensor. It mentions some products, but as you have already bought your supplies, you might want to read the manufacturer instructions about the proper use of their product.

Thank you
Russell
09-16-2008, 08:20 AM   #4
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Based on the DSLR diagram shown here, Wikipedia DSLR I was cleaning the mirror and matte focusing screen.

I wasn't cleaning the sensor. And it makes sense that its the thing that is dirty, because I never saw the dust through the viewfinder.
I'm reading the link that Russel provided now, and I see that the camera can be put into a special mode to clean the sensor.
I'll finish reading the section and determine if I feel comfortable doing the cleaning myself.

Thanks!
-Larry

09-16-2008, 08:23 AM   #5
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I recently had the same problem you had because it wasn't until a recent trip that I noticed that spots not unlike what you showed in the first shot (most of my shots were at more open apertures).

After the trip, I bought a cleaning kit and blew off the sensor (which didn't fully work) and then used the we cleaning method for the sensor. I also wet cleaned the mirror. I've never seen anything with regard to not cleaning the mirror, but I have seen things about not wet cleaning the focusing screen.

As it is, the focusing screen will not affect the actual photos. That is, the focusing screen is only something you see while taking a photo and not something the sensor sees.

Wet cleaing the sensor finally worked. You just need to make sure you buy the proper materials for the cleaning... for example the proper sensor cleaning tissues. You don't want to scratch that. I found that taking flash photos of something relatively blank and light colored afterward at a small aperture (like you showed originally) is useful for confirming that your sensor is clean.

Last, if you aren't comfortable cleaning it, you can always take it to a shop to be professionally cleaned. That isn't a bad idea of you have any worries about ruining your camera.

Last edited by emalvick; 09-16-2008 at 08:29 AM.
09-16-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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By the way, the best thing I got out of the dirty sensor is practice at cleaning the dust spots off the final photos that had them. I've never been much into fine editing photos, but there were many photos from my trip that I really wanted, so I took the effort to learn how to use the propert cloning and spot healing tools in my photo editors, and found that I could easily remove all those dust spots with only a little effort when the spots were near an item of detail.
09-16-2008, 09:02 AM   #7
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Just so everyone knows, there are some software programs that map out the dust spots (you of course have to tell them where the dust spots are) and they'll do a pretty good job at removing the spots from batches of pic's.

Just do a google search, and you might find one or more.

09-16-2008, 09:26 AM   #8
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I have been using the dust tool in Lightroom 2.0 to clean up images, and it's done a very nice job.
09-16-2008, 12:42 PM   #9
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Blowing off your snesor occasionally is part of DSLR ownership - don't think of it as something you need to send it in for serve to have taken care of. Only if blowing doesn't work (and give it several tries!) and you're faced with making physical contact with the sensor to clean it should you be considering whether it's something you want to do yourself.

FWIW, I find the sensor shake things work sort of pretty well - if I run it several times in a row with the camer upsdie down, several seconds betwene shakes, it cleans most of the stuff off at least half the time.
09-17-2008, 05:20 AM   #10
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Success!

Thanks for the tips. Last night, I cleaned the sensor with a Rocket Blower, and the results were pretty dramatic. Here's a before & after crop of a white surface at f22.0. No flash, indoor light, hence the yellowish cast.

Thanks again!

Last edited by Adam; 03-30-2011 at 08:58 PM. Reason: "malware"
09-17-2008, 06:09 AM   #11
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Looks like you did a good job cleaning that up. I had a similiar problem and after looking at cleaning kits, blowers, etc, I opted to go right to a camera shop I trusted and paid them to clean it which worked great.
09-17-2008, 06:27 AM   #12
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Just to give some of you and idea of cleaning fees, I just got mine back from the repair shop and they would have charged $110 for the service I received.
We purchased the repair agreement along with the camera and lens but I aksed just out of curiousity and cleaning the body and lens to normal working conditions can cost $110 here in middle America.
I took this opportunity to put on lcd screen protectors as well and have cleaning tools on the way in the mail. My service agreement expires in 2010 so I certainly will have it cleaned by someone at least once more even though the camera was out of my hands for a little more than two weeks. It was moydah.
09-17-2008, 01:41 PM   #13
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shop

I don't ever touch the sensor! Air usually suffices, but if there's something really stuck I'll take the camera to the shop. I have a great shop (relatively) nearby and they'll do it for fifty bucks, and have it back to me the same day, with the whole camera sparkling. My problem now is my Sigma 100-300 4.0 has dust IN IT. I don't wanna' send it in, but I guess it's that time!
09-17-2008, 01:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcleoud151 Quote
I don't ever touch the sensor! Air usually suffices, but if there's something really stuck I'll take the camera to the shop.
That's the way I was thinking. If the blower didn't work, I probably would have taken it to the local shop. The problem is,
I usually walk out of there having bought something that I didn't intend to!
09-17-2008, 03:51 PM   #15
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I actually did something that was totally outside of the box. On the bottom of the shutter box on the K10D there is some fluffy fabric that had loads of dust in it. Dust that wouldn't dislodge despite how hard I hit it with an air rocket. Dust that would somehow find it's way onto my sensor.

My solution was a popsicle stick with some double sided tape, and on top of that double sided tape some low tack tape (as not to damage anything). Gave it a couple of taps with the contraption and all of the stuff came off.

Hadn't had a problem with dust since.
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