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01-04-2016, 06:19 PM   #1
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K-30 sensor problem

I have had my K30 for about two years now. Suddenly, withing the past few weeks, I started seeing blemishes all over my photos. Tonight, under a good light, I looked at the sensor, using the sensor cleaning option to hold the mirror up. There are 3 spots that look like a mirror does when the backing comes off, and dark spots that are all over the sensor.

Is this something that is a common problem?
Is there a good repair center that can take care of a problem like this at a reasonable price?
Is it even worth the cost of a repair?

I am so disappointed and frustrated, that I don't know which way to go. The reason that I got this model was because it was supposed to be well sealed.

Thanks for any input.
LT

01-04-2016, 06:21 PM   #2
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Can you post a photo taken with the camera and a photo of the sensor?

Is it possibly dust?
01-04-2016, 06:55 PM   #3
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Sounds like a lot of dust. If you don't clean your sensor regularly (at least with a blower in addition to the in-camera DR system), chances are that the sensor is covered in dust. Dust is more visible at small apertures (i.e. F11 or F16), so take a shot of the sky at one of those settings, post it, and we'll likely be able to confirm.

The good news is that after a through cleaning, your sensor will be like new

Weather sealing does not prevent or reduce the ingress of dust, since you still have to swap lenses. Also, a little bit of air enters and exits the mirror box just about every time you zoom.

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01-04-2016, 06:57 PM   #4
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I hope this shot is sized right for the forum and comes through ok. I cannot send a pic of the sensor, but it does not look like dust looks when I have seen it on sensors.

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01-04-2016, 07:03 PM   #5
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Hmm, that's a little bit excessive but could be the result of a cleaning gone wrong. Looks like a lot of dust and smudges.

I'd get the sensor professionally cleaned and take it from there.

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01-04-2016, 07:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoomlens Quote
I have had my K30 for about two years now. Suddenly, withing the past few weeks, I started seeing blemishes all over my photos. Tonight, under a good light, I looked at the sensor, using the sensor cleaning option to hold the mirror up. There are 3 spots that look like a mirror does when the backing comes off, and dark spots that are all over the sensor.

Is this something that is a common problem?
Is there a good repair center that can take care of a problem like this at a reasonable price?
Is it even worth the cost of a repair?

I am so disappointed and frustrated, that I don't know which way to go. The reason that I got this model was because it was supposed to be well sealed.

Thanks for any input.
LT
It looks like dust. Dust infiltrates every time you remove the lens - weather sealing has nothing to do with it.
01-04-2016, 07:37 PM   #7
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I have used a blower to clean, but this one is beyond me.

Now to the other question, do you know of a reputable company that does this?

Also, any idea as to cost? I was looking at B&H and the K50 is slightly less than $300.
01-04-2016, 08:39 PM   #8
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Camera shops usually charge about $50 I think ($100 tops). Where are you located? They aren't doing anything you couldn't do yourself, they just have more experience and possibly steadier hands. That shot was at f/11 and it looks terrible (f/11 is usually when dust spots are just becoming visible). I'd like to see a shot stopped down as much as possible (f/22 or even smaller) -- anything on the sensor becomes more and more clear the smaller the aperture.

01-04-2016, 09:07 PM   #9
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I'll try to get out tomorrow and get the f22 shot.
We are in a rural area with the closest camera store 85 miles away. They charge $150. And they do not deal with Pentax. I was expecting to have to ship it somewhere
01-04-2016, 09:22 PM   #10
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Sensor cleanings don't really differ from brand to brand, so they should be able to do it- but $150 sounds a little crazy. Unless you can find somewhere that will do it for less including shipping, It would probably be a better idea for you to read a cleaning tutorial, buy a kit, and carry out the cleaning on your own.

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01-04-2016, 10:56 PM   #11
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Dear me, someone has been in there with a dry cotton bud me thinks.
It's not hard to do yourself with the proper kit. The particles themselves aren't actually sitting on the camera sensor's photosites, they're located slightly above the sensor, on the outermost surface of the sensor's filters. So do as Adam suggests and DIY.
01-05-2016, 12:49 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoomlens Quote
I hope this shot is sized right for the forum and comes through ok. I cannot send a pic of the sensor, but it does not look like dust looks when I have seen it on sensors.
That looks like just a cleaning job to perform on the sensor's surface. There are inexpensive kits with custom swabs and liquid cleaner, specially made for this type of job, that you can order on eBay and elsewhere. I'd do that first, perhaps even twice and then think about sending it for pro cleaning.
01-05-2016, 08:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Camera shops usually charge about $50 I think ($100 tops). Where are you located? They aren't doing anything you couldn't do yourself, they just have more experience and possibly steadier hands. That shot was at f/11 and it looks terrible (f/11 is usually when dust spots are just becoming visible). I'd like to see a shot stopped down as much as possible (f/22 or even smaller) -- anything on the sensor becomes more and more clear the smaller the aperture.
I took the f22 shot and it looks horrible. I will be ordering a kit today.

---------- Post added 01-05-16 at 09:51 AM ----------

Thank you to everyone of you for your help. This has been an eye opening experience for me.
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01-05-2016, 09:12 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoomlens Quote
I took the f22 shot and it looks horrible. I will be ordering a kit today.

---------- Post added 01-05-16 at 09:51 AM ----------

Thank you to everyone of you for your help. This has been an eye opening experience for me.
As Steve said, it does look like somebody has already had a go at wiping the sensor with something - did you loan the camera out?

That aside - it is what it is. In my opinion, this requires a thorough "three stage" cleaning - one, remove debris and dust on the sensor; two, wet clean to remove the smudges and dried moisture spots (looking at your photo, I think it will need at least a couple of passes of wet cleaning); and three, final dust removal to get rid of any remaining dust that has settled during the cleaning job. In your case I think it is essential you do all three stages - please don't perform a wet clean until you've got rid of the debris first, as you'll risk scratching the sensor.

You can get all of the items to do this yourself for well under the rather steep $150 your local camera shop wants to do the job for you. There are plenty of tutorials on how to tackle the cleaning, and it's actually easier than you might think - it just requires a little care. And when you've done it once, you'll never worry about a dirty sensor again.

If you decide to have a go yourself, I'd be happy to detail the items I use, and walk you through the process.
01-05-2016, 10:03 AM   #15
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Yeah, I wanted to see the f22 shots to see if any of the lines really looked etched/scratched. Hard to tell since there is so much, but nothing looks definitely damaged so hopefully it will all clean up. So whatever happened -- somebody did something rash or the camera was just left open and a spider went it there and set up shop -- don't let it happen again.
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