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02-29-2012, 08:48 AM   #1
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Stained image sensor - on a K10D?

after shooting some years with my K10D, I noticed that in some pictures there were darker spots - always on the same place.
First I thought this would be dust on the lens, but after some testing I realised that this was no option, as it's happening with other lenses, too.
So my next thought was dust on the sensor. As I really didn't wanna touch my sensor with anything, I just kept shooting with the spots and removed them with photoshop later - at that time I had no idea about the stained image sensor problem that the K-5 had.
Now, as I've gotten the K-5 last november, I got in touch with the stained image sensor problem "for the first time".
After some testing I noticed my K-5 seems to have slight problems there,too, though it's got a serial number where this problem shouldn't occur anymore (40xxxxx), but will go to service soon.
But as I wanted my K10D to perform nicely as well, I finally cleaned my sensor but the dots still were there, so I asked the Pentax Service if there's something that could be done about this problem on this cam. Their short answer was: "There's no stained image sensor on the K10D."
So my question to all of you guys is:
What could be my problem with my cameras?

Caution - Full res. pictures! 20 mb and 23 mb!

Pentax K-5 with SMD Da 55-300. Processed to make the "dots" more visible.

Pentax K10D with SMD Da 55-300. Processed to make the "dots" more visible. A clear case of the famous problem that the K-5 had, in my eyes. The little circle on the top left seems to be remains of the sensor cleaning fluid - so that's my fault.


Last edited by rontz; 02-29-2012 at 09:01 AM. Reason: Fixed the second link
02-29-2012, 09:12 AM   #2
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That looks a lot like dust to me. How was your sensor cleaned?
02-29-2012, 09:18 AM   #3
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I used pre-wetted CCD swabs. (On the K10D)
What's also making me doubt that it's dust, is that you can't see ANYthing on the sensor, not even with bright light. The only thing I could see was the tiny drop that now visible on the top left.
I also tried a blower on both cameras with no effect.
02-29-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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THe K-5 is really dust. Dont have any of the patern of the stain like a donut

What f# are you using and cropping
Are any of these showing in real photo???

02-29-2012, 11:50 AM   #5
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there was no cropping at all.
thanks for the K-5 hint. Do you think it makes sense to send it service because of this dust? shouldn't the dust be visible on the sensor, slightly at least? why didn't the K-5's dust-removal system and/or the blower get rid of this? (so many questions, I know^^)
what i changed (in iphoto) was: tonal width, contrast, "definition" (don't know if that's the right english expression), highlights, shadows and sharpness.

Some of those spots are really showing up in real photos - that's why I started testing. Noticed it on landscape-photos (high contrasts), as I'm a lot into landscape photography.
02-29-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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Thank looks like a ton of dust to me. Get a rocket blower

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02-29-2012, 01:40 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Get a rocket blower
What he said. Use wet cleaning as an absolute last resort.


Steve
02-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #8
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Are you guys talking about the K-5 or the K10D?
For the K10D I think a blower wouldn't give better results in dust removal than wet cleaning - and latter didn't help at all :-/
But I'll gives the blower one more try on the K-5, thanks for the hint

02-29-2012, 02:38 PM   #9
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There's nothing "wrong" with your cameras, you simply have a lot of dust on your sensors, as well as residual on your K10D sensor.

If you do an "auto levels" adjustment on those images you'll see exactly how much dust you have.

Wet cleaning should have been the last resort. Start with a blower, then use something like an artic butterfly or sensor brush, and only if that doesn't work should you do a wet clean.
02-29-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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Optitech lens cleaner would probably do the job. pour on peel off !
02-29-2012, 04:35 PM   #11
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Looks like dust to me as well.
1) Rocket blower
2) Pentax Lollipop (Pentax Image Sensor Cleaning Kit, O-ICK1)
3)Arctic Butterfly brush
4) Professional wet cleaning
5)Retest and repeat as necessary
02-29-2012, 05:36 PM   #12
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Ok, after some (looooonnnng) cleaning-testing I can say you were all kind of right.
A lot of it is dust. On the K10D, the main problem seemed to be invisible remains of my earlier wet-cleaning try. After some hours of different cleaning trys (blower, brush, dry swab, wet swab), I can say the blower doesn't do any good. It seems to blow micro-dust-particles onto the sensor while (re-)moving others. The brush wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but didn't help much either. The dry swab does a good job in removing some wet-swab traces, but brings new dust in as well. The wet-swab was a total catastrophe, partially. It leaves dust- or fluidremains on the sensor which are so tiny that you can't see them with the bare eye. But that's not the worst thing. If you're using one swab for to long, it starts to smear around.
Now as I've got rid of most of the stuff and know it's no sensorproblem, I think I'll invest in a professional cleaning - few dust is okay for some time, but I just don't want dust on my sensor.

Thanks to all of you for your advise!

One last advise from my side, when using wet-swabs:
If you see a remaining tiny drop on your sensor after cleaning - get it off!
The last time, I didn't. The result is the small white spot surrounded with black one the top left of the K10D image and it seems this can't be removed. Probably the alcohol damaged the sensor there because it stayed there for too long.
02-29-2012, 06:02 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rontz Quote
One last advise from my side, when using wet-swabs:
If you see a remaining tiny drop on your sensor after cleaning - get it off!
The last time, I didn't. The result is the small white spot surrounded with black one the top left of the K10D image and it seems this can't be removed. Probably the alcohol damaged the sensor there because it stayed there for too long.
Don't give up on that yet. Wait to see what the professional cleaning will get out. Remember, it's not really the sensor that's dirty, it's the filter in front of it.
03-04-2012, 07:09 AM   #14
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I cleaned my sonīs K10D and my own K20D by simply using mirrorlockup in the menue and carefully putting in the tube of our vacuumcleaner and start the cleaner.100% success!Why this fuss with blowers-where you just move the dust around- or wet cleaning.I wouldnīt hesitate using my method on my second Pentax-K5 if I had dust problems there.
Bertil
03-05-2012, 07:59 AM   #15
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If the blower seems to put MORE dust onto the sensor I'd think I'd assume that I had a REALLY dirty, dusty camera and keep working at cleaning it up. Of course, I'm no expert, but if blowing puts dust onto the just cleaned up sensor my type of logic says it has to be coming from somewhere!
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