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01-26-2011, 03:21 PM   #1
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Pentax K100D Dis-eased Sensor?

Hi there!

I am very inexperienced in maintaining a DSLR. I have read applicable threads here and information on oodles of other sites... and got a little confused. I live in Hawaii--far, far from any decent camera repair places and over the ocean so that eliminates the ability to have the correct cleaning solution shipped to me.

But, really, I haven't a clue if my camera is beyond needing cleaning.

What I do know is that there are these flecks in my pictures. It's been like this for a little while now. When I went to use it this morning I figured that I would mirror up to clean the sensor just by blowing on it (those blow things likely get just as much moisture from the air out here) first. It did not work, and what I did see made me wonder if it was even hard dust...or some cankers!

Sorry, there are no completely blue skies today, but here's one shot:



This is what I saw after I cleaned blew at the sensor this morning, and zoomed in a bit on my pineapple lamp:




I have seen other threads here with sample shots and this looks different to me.

So, before I even think about how to go about handling the task of cleaning it, I am wondering if you folks can help me figure out what it is.

Thank you!!!

01-26-2011, 03:45 PM   #2
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It looks like you've gotten some moisture on there at some point. I had this once, but only 1 or 2 spots. For better or worse, I used a Q-Tip with some alcohol to clear the spots, followed by a dry Q-Tip to remove any excess moisture, followed by some passes with a SensorPen.
01-26-2011, 03:57 PM   #3
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Hawaii is nice for weather but not so great for equipment. I used these on my *ist DS, once every few months.

Photographic Solutions Sensor Swab Plus with Eclipse PE2C B&H

It looks like you'll have to use some sort of wet-clean method or get it professionally cleaned.

When I moved to Denver, I only had to blow the dust, and way less often. With the newer cameras, the sensor shakes the dust off pretty well.
01-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jodokast96 Quote
It looks like you've gotten some moisture on there at some point. I had this once, but only 1 or 2 spots. For better or worse, I used a Q-Tip with some alcohol to clear the spots, followed by a dry Q-Tip to remove any excess moisture, followed by some passes with a SensorPen.
Thanks for popping in to help! When I mirror up, I can see little flecks of what looks to be like solid...stuff. I tried taking a pic of it with another point and shoot but it would not focus.

01-26-2011, 04:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Hawaii is nice for weather but not so great for equipment. I used these on my *ist DS, once every few months.

Photographic Solutions Sensor Swab Plus with Eclipse PE2C B&H

It looks like you'll have to use some sort of wet-clean method or get it professionally cleaned.

When I moved to Denver, I only had to blow the dust, and way less often. With the newer cameras, the sensor shakes the dust off pretty well.
Thanks for your help, too! The Eclipse I cannot have shipped here. I'd like to know if there is a way to wet clean it frugally, if at all possible, then how to go about doing it. I have never done it before. I tried finding someone to show me in person, but had no luck. I am hesitant to send it to the manufacture or another repair shop off-island due to current budget limitations...and fear. If it's going to be 'broken' I want to be the one doing it, sort of thing... I did blow at it this morning, but nothing came of it.

Last edited by AmberFellows; 01-26-2011 at 04:08 PM.
01-26-2011, 04:02 PM   #6
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Did you use a rocket blower or did you actually blow in it. Looks like bunch of spit on the sensor. Could possibly be fungus growing but hope not.
What ever the case, it is time for wet cleaning. There must be a camera store near you that can perform this simple task or order you a proper kit.

I use Delkin Devices Sensor Scope kit. I fail to see how that could not be shipped by UPS or USPS.Delkin Devices SensorScope 2 Cleaning Kit DDSS-SCOPE2 B&H Photo
Should be available locally?.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 01-26-2011 at 04:16 PM.
01-26-2011, 04:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AmberFellows Quote
Thanks for your help, too! The Eclipse I cannot have shipped here. I'd like to know if there is a way to wet clean it frugally, if at all possible, then how to go about doing it. I have never done it before. I tried finding someone to show me in person, but had no luck. I am hesitant to send it to the manufacture or another repair shop off-island due to current budget limitations...and fear. If it's going to be 'broken' I want to be the one doing it, sort of thing... I did blow at it this morning, but nothing came of it.
I forgot about the other problem with Hawaii: shipping. I believe I got mine from Micro-Tools but they don't have it in stock. I can't recall how I got it shipped - maybe parcel post? The regulations may have changed.

Eclipse is just methanol; if you can get that from some other source it would probably work.
01-27-2011, 10:10 AM   #8
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Ex Fin, thanks for directing me to the kit! After reading what you typed I thought that it could be spit, but it's in the same spot in the frame it was before I opened the body and if you look closely there is a pattern to it that is more characteristic to something alive-like a mold or fungus. I want to try and get another photo like that one. Where I live in Hawaii we simply do not have access to many things--camera-related stuff included. We have...WalMart.

Dave, from what I recall anything flammable cannot be delivered via airplane to your average citizen--but I could be wrong or it may only be USPS. I am gravitating toward the q-tip and alcohol concept at this point. I mean...it's only so many molecules away from methanol???? I do have lens cleaning cloth. Would that be better strapped to a popsicle stick than a q-tip?

Also, is this part I am about to fiddle with replaceable?

Thanks!

01-27-2011, 03:17 PM   #9
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You're not on Kauai, are you? If so, I'd stop at Photo Spectrum (Umi St. in Lihue, next to Aloha Furniture Warehouse) and ask them for some recommendations.

The kit that Ex-Finn linked to is airplane safe, so it should be shippable. Q-tips shed fibers which can be annoying. I don't know if there's any reason not to use alcohol, but can't really recommend it either. You're cleaning a glass filter just in front of the sensor, theoretically replaceable, but it's like setting your own broken limb. You probably don't want to put yourself in that position.
01-27-2011, 04:46 PM   #10
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That stuff does look like something growing on the surface. Doubt there is a way to get rid of it completely.
The silly thing is that I bought the cleaning kit, used it twice with my K100D, then bought the K7 and have not needed it yet. This is after little over 10k shots and lot of lens changes.
I think the kit will dry-rot before i need to use it again.
01-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #11
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Yes, the Q-tip will shed some fibers. That's why I had to finish up with the LensPen. It's not a method I recommend on a regular basis, but in a pinch, it can get you through. It will also tell you if it's just some spotting or worse.
02-02-2011, 04:47 PM   #12
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It took me a while to gain the courage to do it, but I was able to clean the sensor. It did end up being rubbing alcohol that was used. I also used a clean lens cleaning cloth wrapped around a flat-ended fork to clean the bulk of the surface area, then the cloth around a wooden hair pick for the margins. I did not use a brush of any kind.

YAY!

The body hums when you touch the surface of the sensor--odd!
02-02-2011, 05:03 PM   #13
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That should be the sensor plate electronics being active, keeping the sensor "suspended". Does it sound and feel like a "little angry bee"? while touching it?
02-04-2011, 09:08 AM   #14
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Yes! bzzzzEEER bzzzzEEEEER! ...thought my camera was trying to say something to me.

Looking back, Finn, I do believe that the specks in the tungsten shots had to be spit because if it were flora then it definitely would not have come off as easily. I mean, on other surfaces even bleach won't fully get the mold stain left behind after the organism's dead. I was trying to do a dry blow! I guess my spit has patterns to it.

I will say,even though I am uber proud of my frugality, that it would have been nice to have a brush while in there.... The metallic red 'dust' that was on there would have been easier to get off.

Last edited by AmberFellows; 02-04-2011 at 09:18 AM.
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