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04-02-2011, 05:53 AM   #1
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Do I need to get my sensor cleaned?

I noticed that there is a little area in the bottom left corner that is a little burnt in pictures. It isn't that bad on still pictures but I noticed that it is extremely pronounced on video recently. Is this a dirty sensor or something else that I need to get warranty service on?

Here are a couple of snapshots from a couple videos I did with two different lenses to test and make sure it wasn't a smudge on my lens. The camera is a K-X and it is 7-9 months old.

Attachment 87521

Attachment 87522

Thanks in advance!


Last edited by mikemike; 01-25-2014 at 09:05 AM.
04-02-2011, 06:43 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Definitely looks like dust. Time to blow it off.
04-02-2011, 06:48 AM   #3
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That's sensor dust. This is not a warranty issue and you can clean this yourself. I use a Rocket Blower to clean my cameras with great sucess. First blow out the mirror box and then flip up the mirror (in the menu) to blow out the dust on the sensor.

There are swab and wet systems you can use, I haven't ever tried one so others may comment on this.

Finally you should take a shot of a bright blue sky with no clouds and around f16 or so. This will show you all the dust spots you have. I'll bet there are more to be found.
04-02-2011, 06:55 AM   #4
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I had the same issue

I had the same issue with my K-r and it was a wee bit worse than your dust. It appeared in the blue sky and looked as though it were a smudge mark on the sensor. I was about to go out and buy a rocket blower and instead I found a blower one uses for the ear in our bathroom closet. The blower had never been used so I gave it a go and it cleared out what dust remained on the sensor even after in system didn't get rid of it.

04-02-2011, 08:43 AM   #5
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Step one is to blow out the camera as described by Peter.
Step two is to dab the sensor with 39357 Pentax Image Sensor Cleaning Kit, O-ICK1 (Pentax O-ICK1) or similar.
Third is to wet clean the sensor (or have it cleaned by a local shop)

Personally I've never had the need to go past step 2.

P.S. See
for instructions. (It's always good to practice on some POS camera)
04-02-2011, 08:47 AM   #6
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Calicojack, Just curious why you think a wet cleaner is required? Or dabing at the sensor? If a blower will get the dust off the sensor, to me that's the best solution. Wet cleaners do an excellent job when needed but if I can clean it without touching it that's my course of action every time.

Since I shoot over 50,000 frames a year and have done so for several years, I've never had to touch a sensor once and the blower has always cleaned it perfectly. No risk of residue or making things worse.
04-02-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
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Do most people live with a bit of dust?

I received a K10d this week from keh.com that's in awesome shape (EX+). I did a shoot-at-the-sky-at-f22 test yesterday and saw one spot, so went at it with a blower. When that didn't work, I used a Lenspen Sensorklear pen on it. After the first cleaning, the original spot was gone but other new ones appeared.

After another hour of cleaning, blowing and testing, I finally got it down to one small spot really only visible at f22. I decided to quit while I was ahead, figuring I was being obsessive. The more time I spent in contact with the sensor, the worse I could make things.

How realistic is it to expect the sensor to be completely perfect at f22-25? Or is it one of those things that one rolls with, as it'd be unlikely to affect most pictures?

Last edited by davlee; 04-02-2011 at 10:36 AM.
04-02-2011, 10:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by davlee Quote
I received a K10d this week from keh.com that's in awesome shape (EX+). I did a shoot-at-the-sky-at-f22 test yesterday and saw one spot, so went at it with a blower. When that didn't work, I used a Lenspen Sensorklear pen on it. After the first cleaning, the original spot was gone but other new ones appeared.

After another hour of cleaning, blowing and testing, I finally got it down to one small spot really only visible at f22. I decided to quit while I was ahead, figuring I was being obsessive. The more time I spent in contact with the sensor, the worse I could make things.

How realistic is it to expect the sensor to be completely perfect at f22-25? Or is it one of those things that one rolls with, as it'd be unlikely to affect most pictures?
You know it probably depends a lot of where you live. Here in the desert, the air is constantly filled with large quantities of dust and it's a constant hassle for me watching my lens elements cling to them so readily. I'm sure there are similar quantities on my sensor, as I change lenses often, but I never notice them.

Unless you are using narrow apertures and shooting a pretty evenly lit, textureless scene, they can be very difficult to see. Most of the ones I've noticed are small enough to easily be cloned out, but even then, I find that my K-7's startup sensor shake seems to knock them off.

Basically I don't think it's worth going in there and fiddling with the sensor unless you've got some really tenacious particles that appear distractingly in an uncomfortably large number of your photos.

04-02-2011, 11:10 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
You know it probably depends a lot of where you live. Here in the desert, the air is constantly filled with large quantities of dust and it's a constant hassle for me watching my lens elements cling to them so readily.
Yeah, I'm also in a desert (the Arabian one), which is well-known for containing a certain quantity of dust and sand. I try to change lenses in a clean area, but that's a relative term.

QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
Basically I don't think it's worth going in there and fiddling with the sensor unless you've got some really tenacious particles that appear distractingly in an uncomfortably large number of your photos. .
That's the conclusion I've arrived at as well. "Clean enough" is much better than "permanent scratch down the low-pass filter". Thanks for confirming this newbie's thinking.
04-02-2011, 01:14 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Calicojack, Just curious why you think a wet cleaner is required? Or dabing at the sensor? If a blower will get the dust off the sensor, to me that's the best solution. Wet cleaners do an excellent job when needed but if I can clean it without touching it that's my course of action every time.

Since I shoot over 50,000 frames a year and have done so for several years, I've never had to touch a sensor once and the blower has always cleaned it perfectly. No risk of residue or making things worse.
Peter,
Maybe I wasn't clear. I intended it to mean first step, blow it out. If that doesn't get it then on to step 2 and dab it out. Then if needed the extreme is wet clean or (ultra extreme) professionally cleaned.
I suggest it because on my K10D, I routinely NEED to use my version of the O-ICK1 when I see the spots like the OP showed. My tool is actually marketted by DLC (Dot Line Corp) and is called Sensor Vu. It appears identical to the Pentax branded one. SensorVu Cleaner
04-02-2011, 01:34 PM   #11
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I had a plethora of spots on my K-x which just disappeared with some enthusiastic rocket blowing.
The K-x sensor seems to be quite amenable to just air blowing to remove the dust as opposed to previous entry-level models.
04-03-2011, 12:16 PM   #12
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I think an important habit to get into when using any squeeze bulb type blower/turkey baster is to squeeze the device a number of times before you use it all up in yo' mirror box. Just to clear anything that may be inside the thing. It could not possibly hurt and may help prevent something more substantial bring shot into the camera.
I just habitually squeeze my blower any direction away from me a half dozen times as soon as I reach for it, then point it at the camera and proceed.


And to answer your next question, yes I do check to make sure the oven is turned off seven times and touch light switches three times before I leave the kitchen. Just call me Clint Malarchuk.
04-03-2011, 12:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nowhere Matt Quote
I think an important habit to get into when using any squeeze bulb type blower/turkey baster is to squeeze the device a number of times before you use it all up in yo' mirror box. Just to clear anything that may be inside the thing. It could not possibly hurt and may help prevent something more substantial bring shot into the camera.
I just habitually squeeze my blower any direction away from me a half dozen times as soon as I reach for it, then point it at the camera and proceed.


And to answer your next question, yes I do check to make sure the oven is turned off seven times and touch light switches three times before I leave the kitchen. Just call me Clint Malarchuk.
I agree with this. I have unwittingly gotten small quantities of some sort of oily stuff on the tip of the blower and ended up spraying it onto my lenses before so be careful!
04-05-2011, 06:28 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by gtxtom Quote
Definitely looks like dust. Time to blow it off.
Worked great, thanks
04-05-2011, 05:34 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
Worked great, thanks
That is good to read mikemike and I am curious what did you use to blow the dust out.
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