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08-12-2014, 08:29 AM   #1
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Kx reflex mirror has spots on it-replace?

My 4 year old Pentax kx has spots or dirt on the mirror and no one can seem to clean it. I spent 50.00 and some were still there afterwards. Now there are more. Should I just replace the mirror?? Where do I get one and can I do it myself? No one in Syracuse works on Pentax cameras.

08-12-2014, 08:35 AM   #2
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Is this a k-x or a kx?
For a Film SLR the best resource is Eric Hendrickson https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/8-pentax-film-slr-discussion/105296-penta...ndrickson.html

For a Digital SLR your best option is to call Ricoh/Pentax and find out who they recommend for cleaning services.

Note that sometimes what appear as spots on the mirror may actually be on the viewfinder instead.
If there are no spots on the pictures themselves, which would indicate a dirty sensor, then best option is to learn to live with it and practice safe lens change techniques.
08-12-2014, 08:48 AM   #3
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Sorry it's a DSLR. No, the spots definately appear on the pictures which is a pain to keep fixing them. Like an idiot I changed lenses on the Empire State Bldg last year- very windy up there! So I will have to send it away I guess. Any idea what it would cost??
08-12-2014, 08:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by boopersmom Quote
Sorry it's a DSLR. No, the spots definately appear on the pictures which is a pain to keep fixing them. Like an idiot I changed lenses on the Empire State Bldg last year- very windy up there! So I will have to send it away I guess. Any idea what it would cost??
I think you are confused with the dirty sensor or dirt on viewfinder/mirror. If it appears on the photo (same position) then you have some dirt on the sensor; usually a jet-blower will fix the minor problem.

08-12-2014, 09:01 AM   #5
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You're right, that is what I did have cleaned for 50.00! Why didn't they get all of the spots?
I'm just worried there is something more serious wrong with the camera.....
I'll try the blower.....
08-12-2014, 09:22 AM   #6
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As noted dust on the mirror or focusing screen is annoying but does not appear in your images. Dust on the sensor however does appear in the image and not in the viewfinder. Dust in a DSLR is a fact of life. Does not matter if you never change lenses, you will still get dust inside. Every time you zoom your lens it sucks in air. There is no way to prevent it, so you need to learn to manage it. Even after a professional cleaning you will have dust again in a short time.

Dust removal procedure in order:
1) Use the camera dust removal system. There is a menu setting to turn on/off. If you have dust run this several times in a row and then check for dust again. I leave mine on "run on startup" and I think that is best so you don't have to worry about it.
2) Use a 'rocket blower' or equivalent to blow off anything the shaker will not get rid of. Do not use compressed air or canned air. Some folks report it is OK to use canned air if you are careful, personally I'm not taking any chances but YMMV.
3) Use a wet cleaning kit. This is the last resort, and on two cameras with over 25,000 actuations in all kinds of environments I've never had to use one yet. Get this if all else fails but don't go there unless you are sure you need it.
4) Send in for professional cleaning. Pentax extended warranty (in the US) includes one 'free' cleaning. Not sure about anywhere else.

Easiest way to check for dust is to set your aperture to f/22 or so and take an image of the sky. Dust on the sensor is more visible at smaller apertures.

The k-x dust removal system is not as good as the ones on later cameras but it is quite capable. But for it to work it has to be turned on. Turn it on and leave it on so it runs every time you turn on the camera.
08-12-2014, 09:32 AM   #7
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What if the spots are in your view finder? I see the black spots when I actually take the picture. I try to avoid them
as best I can. Is that a different problem?? Both answers aluded to it..
08-12-2014, 09:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boopersmom Quote
What if the spots are in your view finder? I see the black spots when I actually take the picture. I try to avoid them
as best I can. Is that a different problem?? Both answers aluded to it..
As a rule, any spots you see through the viewfinder (i.e focusing screen or possible mirror) won't end up on the photos. If spots ends up on the photos they are either on the sensor or possibly on the rear element of the lens.

08-12-2014, 10:12 AM   #9
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You might have dust in both places but they are totally unconnected. Anything you see in the viewfinder is annoying but does not show in the image.
08-12-2014, 10:40 AM   #10
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So you possibly have two problems.

1.) Spots on the pictures.
As described above this means the sensor has dust, so you can follow @jatrax recommendations.
The other option is to just clean the spots in your photo editing process.
Regarding the cleaning you had done, if after the $50 cleaning the camera came back clean of spots on the images, then they did what you asked.
If not, I would tell them it was not thorough enough and to re-do it for free.
If time has elapsed since the cleaning and spots have re-appeared, then it is most likely due to normal changes of lens/zoom usage in dusty environments.

2.) Spots you can see in the viewfinder
This is dust on the viewfinder and does not affect pictures.
If you are comfortable attempting DIY approaches, you can remove the viewfinder and try blowing it clean yourself.
It does require care to avoid scratching so you may just decide to live with the spots.
My own k-x accumulated some dust in the viewfinder over time but I learned to look past it.
08-12-2014, 11:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by boopersmom Quote
What if the spots are in your view finder? I see the black spots when I actually take the picture. I try to avoid them
as best I can. Is that a different problem?? Both answers aluded to it..
If you're seeing the spots on both viewfinder and the actual photos then it's more than likely the contaminant(s) are on your lens elements - perhaps rear as suggested above. Have you tried other lenses and see if the spots are still there? Could you post sample photos?
08-12-2014, 11:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
If you are comfortable attempting DIY approaches, you can remove the viewfinder and try blowing it clean yourself.
It does require care to avoid scratching so you may just decide to live with the spots
I think you mean the focusing screen, not the viewfinder. The viewfinder in a DSLR refers to the combination of eyepiece, pentaprism (or pentamirror), focusing screen and mirror.
08-13-2014, 06:59 AM   #13
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Correct.
08-15-2014, 05:45 AM   #14
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If the spots are on the pictures the dirt is on the sensor or the lens.

Look very closely at the lens, you should see any dust which can affect pictures.

Verify the service cleaned the sensor, not just the mirror and focus screen.

Go to your camera menu and select the sensor cleaning or mirror lock-up. (I don't know what this is called in the K-x). You should be able to see any dust which can seriously affect images. A blower usually can dislodge this dust. Not blowing with your mouth, but a "rocket blower" which is meant for this purpose. If it's more stubborn, a solvent cleaning is required.
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