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09-01-2016, 03:28 AM   #1
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Dust!

Noticed some dust for first time on K3. Think it's viewfinder related. It's visible through the viewfinder even when the camera is turned off which, I presume, eliminates the sensor as a possibility? Also, can't seem to see dust when using liveview on rear screen or when checking photo taken against white background etc. Tried dry blower inside, but dust persists. Also, tried viewing mirror and sensor with torch and magnifying glass and can't see where it is, though not got the best eyesight in the world. Based on what I've described, how can I tackle the problem. I know if it's viewfinder related, it won't affect the photos, but it irritates. Is it possible to clean/resolve myself and is it expensive to sort. It's about 5 dust specks.

Other thought - I bought the camera second hand (or 'pre(un)loved' in popular jargon) just under month ago. Is there any reason I should be concerned about the dust in the viewfinder. Might it indicate a future problem for me. There's a 30 day return window if I'm not happy for any reason so want to make sure all is ok before 30 days are up. Really like the camera so that's not something I'd easily do (not without sourcing a replacement k3 ir k3ii).

thanks

09-01-2016, 03:38 AM   #2
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Any visible dust is almost-certainly on one or both sides of the focusing screen. With the lens removed, you need to point the nozzle of your hand-blower at the focusing screen (*not* at the mirror), and give it a few good squirts of air, being careful not to knock the screen with the nozzle. Don't use canned air - just a normal bulb-blower. If that doesn't get rid of the dust, you're then looking at removing the focusing screen so you can blow dust from the hidden side of it. Only do this if you're confident in doing so, and whatever you do, don't touch either side of the screen with your fingers or any tools. You'll make it worse than it already is.

Dust in the viewfinder is going to happen at some point to virtually any DSLR camera, and any experienced photographer will tell you the same thing. It's absolutely nothing to worry about and - in all honesty - not worth trying to get rid of unless it's really, really bad (in which case, getting the camera professionally cleaned is the best option, as there will be plenty of dust elsewhere in the camera too). Five specks is nothing. I have three or four specs in my K-3 viewfinder, and a few in my K-5 as well. Years ago, it would have irked me and I'd have tried to clean the dust out, but these days I accept it as perfectly normal.

Enjoy your K-3 - there's nothing to worry about

EDIT: Oh, and whatever you do, don't start looking into your lenses (especially zooms) with a flashlight... you won't believe the amount of dust specs you'll find in those!!
09-01-2016, 03:51 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Any visible dust is almost-certainly on one or both sides of the focusing screen. With the lens removed, you need to point the nozzle of your hand-blower at the focusing screen (*not* at the mirror), and give it a few good squirts of air, being careful not to knock the screen with the nozzle. Don't use canned air - just a normal bulb-blower. If that doesn't get rid of the dust, you're then looking at removing the focusing screen so you can blow dust from the hidden side of it. Only do this if you're confident in doing so, and whatever you do, don't touch either side of the screen with your fingers or any tools. You'll make it worse than it already is.

Dust in the viewfinder is going to happen at some point to virtually any DSLR camera, and any experienced photographer will tell you the same thing. It's absolutely nothing to worry about and - in all honesty - not worth trying to get rid of unless it's really, really bad (in which case, getting the camera professionally cleaned is the best option, as there will be plenty of dust elsewhere in the camera too). Five specks is nothing. I have three or four specs in my K-3 viewfinder, and a few in my K-5 as well. Years ago, it would have irked me and I'd have tried to clean the dust out, but these days I accept it as perfectly normal.

Enjoy your K-3 - there's nothing to worry about

EDIT: Oh, and whatever you do, don't start looking into your lenses (especially zooms) with a flashlight... you won't believe the amount of dust specs you'll find in those!!
thanks BigMackCam. That's the reassurance I was after. For all I know they've been there since I got the camera and I was happily unaware till, one day, I just noticed them. Then I kept noticing. So, will relax and leave them be and get on with enjoying the camera. Trouble is now you've told me not to look into my lenses more carefully with a flashlight, I've the growing urge to do just that. lol
09-01-2016, 04:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by c_j_m Quote
Trouble is now you've told me not to look into my lenses more carefully with a flashlight, I've the growing urge to do just that. lol
Ha ha It happens to us all at some point... If you should ever do so, just be prepared for the shock. Even in new lenses it's not unusual to have a spec or two of dust and debris, and lenses a few years old you're pretty much guaranteed to have some, to a lesser or greater extent. Just how much can sometimes be horrifying (especially with old and/or heavily used lenses), but in most cases it has no discernable effect on images.

I'm not generally a huge fan of Ken Rockwell, but his article on dust and imperfections in lenses should be standard reading for all photographers


Last edited by BigMackCam; 09-01-2016 at 04:13 AM.
09-01-2016, 04:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Ha ha It happens to us all at some point... If you should ever do so, just be prepared for the shock. Even in new lenses it's not unusual to have a spec or two of dust and debris, and lenses a few years old you're pretty much guaranteed to have some, to a lesser or greater extent. Just how much can sometimes be horrifying (especially with old and/or heavily used lenses), but in most cases it has no discernable effect on images.
When I first got into photography I was really focused on dust in lenses. I thought a clean lens meant absolutely no dust in it at all. I thought if it did have dust it would affect the images even if it was in the most minuscule, insignificant way. I quickly realized that it doesn't. I mean you can have the front element covered in dust and smudges and dirt and it still won't really affect the image. I remember seeing an article where they broke the front element of a lens little by little until it was completely bashed in and it barely affected the images. So a few tiny specks of dust on the inside is nothing. So like BigMackCam said, dust is present in all lenses including new ones. It's unrealistic to expect a lens to have none in it at all.

Also I bought a couple used cameras that had dust in the viewfinder. My perfectionist OCD side was bothered by this, and I used a bulb blower to get rid of it. It removed some but not all of it. After some reading I learned the only way to get rid of it is by removing the focusing screen. I knew if I did this, there's a good chance things will get worse. I just left it as it is and it hasn't bothered me since.
09-01-2016, 07:47 AM - 1 Like   #6
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BMC - Interesting link to the Ken Rockwell site which does help to put things in perspective. Like you, I'm not particularly a fan of his style or tone (or photographs), but seems to know his technical stuff. The link will certainly have a bearing on my wariness of buying an old lens when the ad indicates dust in the lens.

a5m - I bought a Helios 44m 4 58mm on ebay the other day and, lo and behold, had fungus on front lens. Decided to have a go at dismantling and cleaning. Watched videos, read articles. Dismantled bit by bit. Cleaned element. Everything else looked good. Then focus wouldn't turn properly, so dismantled some more. Then unscrewed focus mechanism completely. Spent ages re-assembling, at least trying. Now I'm looking a nice white cloth covered in dismantled parts and a useless lens. Luckily didn't cost much and replacement sorted. I don't feel unhappy I had a go, but has made me wise to following the examples of youtubers in too cavalier a fashion. I'm one of those people who needs to deconstruct something before I feel I understand it properly, but it has its downsides :-(

Got to say really enjoying this forum. So many forums (fora?!) seem to be inflenced by egos that it gets in the way. I used to be an audiophile, so draw lots of comparisons between that and photography. The comparison holds up surprisingly well in many ways, and audiophiles used to get personally offended and annoyed by challenges to their beliefs and opinions. Also noticed some of this going on in another photography forum, but very impressed with the wealth of information and help on this Pentax forum.
09-01-2016, 08:10 AM   #7
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The only time I ever took action on dust in a lens was when my Canon 50mm 1.8 had something the 1/3 the size of a dime randomly show up internally. Watched a youtube and took it apart, nearest thing I could relate it to was pocket lent. I babied the lens like I do with all my gear, so this was probably from the original owner. The crazy part, this did soften the image, but not by as much as you would think! LOL.

So, unless it is as big as pocket lent hunk, just keep shooting and don't worry about it.
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