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05-03-2014, 12:20 AM   #1
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Fiber Optic Cleaners For Sensor

I have a new to me K200 that I just got this week. In playing with it I find this when I do the Dust Alert check. I have ran the dust removal shaker a few times with no effect. I even tried a couple of different lenses to make sure that wasn't the issue.

Now I happen to work in the telecom field and have a bunch of fiber optic cleaning gear in my kit. Would something like the Cletop sticks pictured along with the solutions and pads from a Rainbow Fiber Optic Cleaning Kit work on the sensor?

This is my first DSLR so I'm still learning. If these things won't work I may just take it to the camera shop in Oklahoma City and have them clean it.

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05-03-2014, 04:10 AM   #2
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I don't think I would risk it.. First get yourself a Rocket Blower or something similar.( I used to use an Ear wax removal bulb, not as efficient) and an appropriate Sensor cleaning kit. I would first try to blow the dust off of the mirror while the camera is in Sensor Cleaning mode. Take a few shots on white paper and see if that takes care of the dust. If not then you can take it to a camera shop for cleaning or if you want to attempt it yourself then get a sensor cleaning kit.

A. you don't know if those swabs would scratch the sensor surface as I would imagine fibre optics are a bit more tough than a delicate sensor.
B. You don't know if the chemicals would damage the sensor
05-03-2014, 05:44 AM   #3
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That's why I was wondering if anyone had used them before. I don't want to take a chance on messing this up. I do need to get a blower of some sort. I'll swing by Wally World today and see what I can find.
05-03-2014, 05:48 AM   #4
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If the particles are too sticky for a blower, use the Pentax Sensor Cleaning Kit.

Pentax O-ICK1 Image Sensor Cleaning Kit 39357

05-03-2014, 08:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
If the particles are too sticky for a blower, use the Pentax Sensor Cleaning Kit.

Pentax O-ICK1 Image Sensor Cleaning Kit 39357
+1 that's a very valuable kit, and no risk to scratch the sensor with it

My procedure when I have dust particles on the sensor
first use the rocket blower
if it is not sufficient, for dust particles sticked on the sensor, I use the Pentax cleaning kit
05-03-2014, 08:47 AM   #6
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In 7 years of ownership, a rocket blower has always been adequate on my K10D.


Steve
05-03-2014, 10:16 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
In 7 years of ownership, a rocket blower has always been adequate on my K10D.


Steve
Same here, although it sometimes takes multiple attempts, especially when the humidity is low.
05-03-2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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Well it looks like I will have to either order a blower or hit the camera shop next time I'm in the city. I haven't been able to find on out here in the styx.

05-03-2014, 06:30 PM   #9
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In our EXFO cleaning kits, we had blowers that would work on a DSLR. I swear by my rocket blower, it does pretty much all I ever need for cleaning.

I would think that the cleaning swabs for an EXFO or Fluke tester would work on a DSLR, but I would not want to be the one to try it first. Generally, the EXFO or Fluke tester is the companies, so who cares if it gets damaged? The DSLR is your hard earned money from the company and they won't replace it if anything happens to it.
05-03-2014, 08:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kdf9511 Quote
In playing with it I find this when I do the Dust Alert check.
BTW...I forgot to ask...Do you see these same specs in your photos? Shoot the sky and look for them. The reason I ask is that the dust alert feature may be prone to false positive. My K-3 showed "dust" in the dust alert brand new out of the box.


Steve
05-03-2014, 10:17 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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Hi

I very much doubt a blower will do you any good. It is an old camera (I guess bought second hand) which means the previous owner had not (never?) cleaned the sensor for a long time and by now the crap is stuck and has, by way of climatic conditions, (humidity) welded itself to the AA glass filter.

I don't know of the fibre cleaners you have but if you want to find out whether it will scratch the sensor AA glass filter take a new CD or DVD and stab/wipe it with it and if it does not leave any marks behind then it will be pretty safe to use. How you would use it though I could not tell.

The cleaning fluid you have (IPA DI) is 99% IPA, 1% deionized water which means 99% IsoPropyl Alcohol and 1%DeIonIzed water. In other words the cleanest IPA you can get, exactly the same stuff sensor cleaning vendors sell. (Sometimes they sell Propanol which is similar). 100% Isopropyl is not possible as it will always absorb some water even in manufacturing under the best conditions but even if you could, the moment you open the container it will absorb water from the environment around you. But deionized and also distilled water will not harm the sensor either.

So if this is truly what you have and it is in pristine conditions I would be pretty sure to say you will be safe.

P.S. I have cleaned many sensors with just distilled water as sometimes Propanol, Isopropyl or Ethanol does or cannot do the job.
I have previously posted on this matter as under:

If you are confronted with crap on you sensor that is seemingly unwilling to be shifted with a wet cleaning procedure it may just simply be a case that the wrong cleaning agent (fluid) is used.

Consider this:

In simple chemistry terms the solubility of a substance is determent by its so-called polarity. Molecules with many polar bonds are soluble in polar solvents. Molecules with none or few polar bonds are soluble in non-polar solvent.

Polar substances for example are water, alcohol or ether. Methanol/Ethanol/Propanol (which are the most common sensor cleaning fluids) are none polar. (I hope I remember this correctly) This simply means that none polar substances can't be solved with polar fluids and vickie versa.

So, if you don't know the makeup of the crap on you sensor, you may have to try to solve the problem (pun not intended) by using or experimenting with different fluids.

If your attempt to remove the crap with none polar fluid was unsuccessful it means the crap could be of polar nature. Since water is polar I would get some distilled water, moisten a sensor swipe with it liberally (without dripping) target the crap, hold the swipe over it for a while to give it a chance to soften and then wipe it off with a gentle swipe. Distilled water will not harm your sensor! (As long as you don't drown it). You can do this several times until everything is clear (Use a new swipe every time) and the distilled water won't leave marks on the AA Filter. Distilled water will still have traces of Magnesium, Calium, Calcium, Chloride, Sulphate, Phosphate in it but they are of such minute level not to be of importance. I know from reports on this forum here that distilled water has worked well for a lot of people. Of course sensor cleaning vendors don't want you to know this because the can't sell you 10ml distilled water for $40.00.

For non-polar crap I use 98% pure Ethanol which I buy from the chemist for a Dollar. 100% pure Ethanol is not possible and the 2% is just water. In fact an open Ethanol bottle will absorb further water from the ambient air. No problems here as the extra "polar water" will help in removing polar crap from the sensor and it also makes it slower evaporating which further helps the cleaning process. In fact I add a wee drop of distilled water to the Ethanol for this purpose.

Good luck. (Actually you don't need luck, as sensor cleaning is a simple task only made important and dangerous sounding by vendors who want to sell you cheap stuff at 2000% inflated prices.)

Greetings
05-04-2014, 07:54 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
Methanol/Ethanol/Propanol (which are the most common sensor cleaning fluids) are none polar. (I hope I remember this correctly)
All on your short list are alcohols and good examples of polar solvents. Naptha (lighter fluid) would be a good example of a non-polar solvent.


Steve
05-04-2014, 10:47 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
BTW...I forgot to ask...Do you see these same specs in your photos? Shoot the sky and look for them. The reason I ask is that the dust alert feature may be prone to false positive. My K-3 showed "dust" in the dust alert brand new out of the box.


Steve
I don't know if they show up yet. I just got it on Wendsday and took it out yesterday for the first time. I will have to check my photos.

QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
Hi

I very much doubt a blower will do you any good. It is an old camera (I guess bought second hand) which means the previous owner had not (never?) cleaned the sensor for a long time and by now the crap is stuck and has, by way of climatic conditions, (humidity) welded itself to the AA glass filter.
Yes it was second hand, I got it off of Ebay for $150. I would say your probably correct that it has never been cleaned. When I got it I shot a pic and checked the shutter count and it was only at 1900 activations. I was quite surprised that it was that low.

QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
I don't know of the fibre cleaners you have but if you want to find out whether it will scratch the sensor AA glass filter take a new CD or DVD and stab/wipe it with it and if it does not leave any marks behind then it will be pretty safe to use. How you would use it though I could not tell.
That's a good idea. I've got a whole stack of new CD's here and will have to take one to work this week and test all my fiber cleaning stuff. I have some other size swabs and pads as well. The ones in the pic just happen to be the ones I had at home that I was using for cleaning some jewelry and old radios.

QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
The cleaning fluid you have (IPA DI) is 99% IPA, 1% deionized water which means 99% IsoPropyl Alcohol and 1%DeIonIzed water. In other words the cleanest IPA you can get, exactly the same stuff sensor cleaning vendors sell. (Sometimes they sell Propanol which is similar). 100% Isopropyl is not possible as it will always absorb some water even in manufacturing under the best conditions but even if you could, the moment you open the container it will absorb water from the environment around you. But deionized and also distilled water will not harm the sensor either.

So if this is truly what you have and it is in pristine conditions I would be pretty sure to say you will be safe.

P.S. I have cleaned many sensors with just distilled water as sometimes Propanol, Isopropyl or Ethanol does or cannot do the job.
I have previously posted on this matter as under:

If you are confronted with crap on you sensor that is seemingly unwilling to be shifted with a wet cleaning procedure it may just simply be a case that the wrong cleaning agent (fluid) is used.

Consider this:

In simple chemistry terms the solubility of a substance is determent by its so-called polarity. Molecules with many polar bonds are soluble in polar solvents. Molecules with none or few polar bonds are soluble in non-polar solvent.

Polar substances for example are water, alcohol or ether. Methanol/Ethanol/Propanol (which are the most common sensor cleaning fluids) are none polar. (I hope I remember this correctly) This simply means that none polar substances can't be solved with polar fluids and vickie versa.

So, if you don't know the makeup of the crap on you sensor, you may have to try to solve the problem (pun not intended) by using or experimenting with different fluids.

If your attempt to remove the crap with none polar fluid was unsuccessful it means the crap could be of polar nature. Since water is polar I would get some distilled water, moisten a sensor swipe with it liberally (without dripping) target the crap, hold the swipe over it for a while to give it a chance to soften and then wipe it off with a gentle swipe. Distilled water will not harm your sensor! (As long as you don't drown it). You can do this several times until everything is clear (Use a new swipe every time) and the distilled water won't leave marks on the AA Filter. Distilled water will still have traces of Magnesium, Calium, Calcium, Chloride, Sulphate, Phosphate in it but they are of such minute level not to be of importance. I know from reports on this forum here that distilled water has worked well for a lot of people. Of course sensor cleaning vendors don't want you to know this because the can't sell you 10ml distilled water for $40.00.

For non-polar crap I use 98% pure Ethanol which I buy from the chemist for a Dollar. 100% pure Ethanol is not possible and the 2% is just water. In fact an open Ethanol bottle will absorb further water from the ambient air. No problems here as the extra "polar water" will help in removing polar crap from the sensor and it also makes it slower evaporating which further helps the cleaning process. In fact I add a wee drop of distilled water to the Ethanol for this purpose.

Good luck. (Actually you don't need luck, as sensor cleaning is a simple task only made important and dangerous sounding by vendors who want to sell you cheap stuff at 2000% inflated prices.)

Greetings
Very interesting information. I wondered what was sold for sensor cleaning solution was the same as what I have. I'll try the blower first but like you first mentioned I don't think it will help as the shaker didn't budge it. I've got access to gallons of both DI and Distalled water at work as well as we use those for our Wet Lead Cell backup batteries.

Sounds like I need to take my camera to work one day and sit down at my fiber table on my lunch hour and just see what I can do. I wish I could use my fiberscope to look at the sensor. That would make it easier to identify the particles.

Thanks for all the info guys. I really appreciate it.
05-05-2014, 12:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
All on your short list are alcohols and good examples of polar solvents. Naptha (lighter fluid) would be a good example of a non-polar solvent.
Steve
Thanks, my memory is failing me I got lazy in thinking because Isopropyl, alcohols can dissolve non-polar substances therefore thinking they are non-polar also. Dumb
05-10-2014, 08:54 PM   #15
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I went by Bedford Camera today and picked up a blower. They looked at my sensor with the loupe and hit it with the blower and a lot of the dust was removed. She said if I blow it out a few more times it should be dust free. I was glad to hear that as they charge $99.00 for a sensor cleaning.
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