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05-21-2011, 08:52 PM   #1
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Cost effective sensor cleaning methods?

I've got a bit of dust in the centre of the sensor in my new K-5. I'm very sure it's not a sensor stain as it doesn't have the dark centre in the spot like the sample 'stained' images i've seen. Plus there is only one spot, not several.

So I've been doing some reading on the forum and it seems there are several tools for the job: the official Pentax cleaning kit, Arctic Butterfly, Sensor Swabs/Pads/Wands, Lens Pen/LenaKlear, rocket blowers and so on.

My rocket blower didn't remove this dust, so I'm thinking a more 'direct' cleaning method is needed. But what is the most cost effective solution out of all the above? The actual purchase price doesn't really concern me per se, as long as it is good "bang for buck". I may also try a more powerful air pump first to see if that helps.

Something that has refills or replacement supplies would also be ideal.

Cheers

05-21-2011, 08:56 PM   #2
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the Arctic butterfly gets my vote - I have had one for several years and it hasn't let me down. Though for "welded on" particulate matter the sensor swabs and an appropriate alcohol based cleaning solution is very effective.
05-21-2011, 08:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nandystam Quote
I've got a bit of dust in the centre of the sensor in my new K-5. I'm very sure it's not a sensor stain as it doesn't have the dark centre in the spot like the sample 'stained' images i've seen. Plus there is only one spot, not several.

So I've been doing some reading on the forum and it seems there are several tools for the job: the official Pentax cleaning kit, Arctic Butterfly, Sensor Swabs/Pads/Wands, Lens Pen/LenaKlear, rocket blowers and so on.

My rocket blower didn't remove this dust, so I'm thinking a more 'direct' cleaning method is needed. But what is the most cost effective solution out of all the above? The actual purchase price doesn't really concern me per se, as long as it is good "bang for buck". I may also try a more powerful air pump first to see if that helps.

Something that has refills or replacement supplies would also be ideal.

Cheers
Have you thought about Eclipse and PecPad? Check it here
05-21-2011, 09:06 PM   #4
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Pentax lollipop is very effective. Sensorklear pen less so.

05-21-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Pentax lollipop is very effective
FYI - Leica uses the Pentax sensor cleaning tool when they service their camera bodies.
05-21-2011, 09:50 PM   #6
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For dust spots, I use Faber Castell Tack-It bought from art store. Squeeze it then tip the dust spot lightly, done. Just make sure you wash your hands first or the grease will be transferred to the glass.
05-21-2011, 11:08 PM   #7
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3rd vote for the official pentax cleaning kit - I haven't had a single dust spot return on my K-7 or K10d since cleaning them with this last year.

Either that, or take it to get cleaned by your local camera shop. Trying to save a few bucks when cleaning your camera could be a very regrettable decision.
05-21-2011, 11:48 PM   #8
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Another vote for the Pentax kit..

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-camera-articles/121739-those-...ml#post1259109



05-22-2011, 02:03 AM   #9
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ANd another one for the Pentax kit.

Sensorklear is a waste of money, the head pen is curved, but not in the good direction ...
05-22-2011, 02:26 AM   #10
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Unfortunately the foot pump didn't do the trick..
05-22-2011, 03:08 AM   #11
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What about the Dust Aid Platinum? Seems very similar to the official Pentax cleaning kit, a little cheaper and more readily available locally.
05-22-2011, 09:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
the Arctic butterfly gets my vote - I have had one for several years and it hasn't let me down. Though for "welded on" particulate matter the sensor swabs and an appropriate alcohol based cleaning solution is very effective.
I'll second this suggestion.

I've had the Arctic Butterfly battery operated brush for 3 years and it has kept my sensor 100% clean with very little effort. I think I've only used the sensor swabs once only in that 3 years for a stubborn "stuck on" spot.
05-22-2011, 10:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nandystam Quote
What about the Dust Aid Platinum? Seems very similar to the official Pentax cleaning kit, a little cheaper and more readily available locally.
Don't know about it. It may be exactly the same thing. I know I've read here that people use other similar products with success. Consider this though. How much did you pay for your camera? How much is it going to cost you to replace the sensor? I don't think any camera company covers, under warranty, a damaged sensor filter (the part you're really cleaning) due to 'touching it'.

05-22-2011, 08:10 PM   #14
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I found an eBay seller in Taiwan selling the official kit for $50. So I brought that.

Based on what I've read, you put the tip on the sticky pad, then onto the sensor, and thats it? Then repeat for cleaning other areas of the sensor.

How much pressure do you apply? Just enough to make contact with the sensor? I guess that's as good as a dab

Thanks.

@JeffJS - Are you suggesting not to worry about cleaning it at all?
05-22-2011, 08:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by nandystam Quote
I found an eBay seller in Taiwan selling the official kit for $50. So I brought that.

Based on what I've read, you put the tip on the sticky pad, then onto the sensor, and thats it? Then repeat for cleaning other areas of the sensor.

How much pressure do you apply? Just enough to make contact with the sensor? I guess that's as good as a dab

Thanks.

@JeffJS - Are you suggesting not to worry about cleaning it at all?
No. I'm not saying to not clean it but I Will say, or rather ask, how much affect is the dust really having on your photos? What I am saying is one should use proven methods for cleaning the sensor because A: The camera was expensive to begin with and B: Replacing the sensor because of poor cleaning methods or materials will far exceed the savings of a few $$ on the supplies. As I said, the 'other' kit you asked about may be identical to the Pentax kit, I just don't know.

As for how much pressure... You want to apply enough pressure to make contact. As I state in my article (linked above in another post), dab, wipe dab, wipe. That's what the instructions say to do.

Some have mentioned the Arctic Butterfly. I had one and found that all it did was move the dust around on the sensor. Most wet cleaning methods were met with the same result for me. If they work for you (or anyone else) great. Use them. I didn't see the value of the $90 spinning paintbrush and I had the one with the light on it for easy viewing. The exception here (for wet cleaning) would be a liquid spot of some sort that has dried on the sensor screen.

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