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05-19-2009, 07:15 PM   #1
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To clean or not to clean

Today I got my first DSLR, a used *ist DL that I bought from B & H. I was really happy about getting this camera until I took some pictures of the sky. There was "stuff" all over the sensor. When I looked at the sensor itself, it looked as if someone had sneezed or spat on it. Sorry about being gross, but I can't think of a better way to describe the stuff on the sensor. My disappointment is huge.

So now I come to you folks for advice. Should I try to clean the sensor myself, or should I just simply send the camera back? Any words of wisdom will be appreciated.

05-19-2009, 11:09 PM   #2
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Extremely disappointing for you, mate. I'm surprised an outfit with such a good reputation as B&H didn't check it out before they sold it to you.

If the sensor is as bad as you say, I'd think twice before cleaning it myself, unless you're very confident. It's a very delicate operation - the sensor is fragile and easily damaged. If you're keen on this particular camera model and as it's your first DSLR, I'd have it properly cleaned and checked by a professional. It'll cost you a few extra dollars, but then you'll know it'll be good for many years. That's my opinion, but be aware that others on this forum regularly clean their own sensors, using special kits you can buy. Wait a bit and someone is sure to respond to this post and tell you how to do it.

Hope it works out positively for you in the end. Lots of people seem to have a real soft spot for the *ist and once you've got this sorted out I'm sure you'll get years of pleasure from it.
05-19-2009, 11:13 PM   #3
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What Wombat said...

If you take it to a camera shop to be cleaned, see if they'll let you watch. That way, you'll be able to do it yourself in the future.

It might be worth a call to B&H first - they may offer to pick up the cleaning tab.
05-20-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for your replies, folks. I've decided to return the camera because it was not what I had actually ordered. I had ordered the *ist D, not *ist DL. There are a couple of things about the DL that I don't like so I figured I'll just send it back.

Also, I think that even if it had been what I ordered, I'd send it back due to the sensor "gunk." It wasn't listed in the description and I'm not sure that it would make a good first-time sensor cleaning project.

05-20-2009, 08:21 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by K1000_Ron Quote
Thanks for your replies, folks. I've decided to return the camera because it was not what I had actually ordered. I had ordered the *ist D, not *ist DL. There are a couple of things about the DL that I don't like so I figured I'll just send it back.

Also, I think that even if it had been what I ordered, I'd send it back due to the sensor "gunk." It wasn't listed in the description and I'm not sure that it would make a good first-time sensor cleaning project.
Ron, I think they should have cleaned the sensor for you before they sent it.

But, be aware that eventually, whatever DSLR you end up with, if you end up using more than one lens you will sooner or later end up with dust on your sensor and probably need to clean it. Don't be daunted by this...sensor cleaning may sound scary but as long as you do it properly and with common sense it's fine. (Remember that when you are cleaning a sensor, you are not actually cleaning the sensor itself but the filter that sits on top of it which is made out of a hard glass).

There are several links on the web that can provide advice. Personally, I use Eclipse cleaning fluid and PecPads. I've been cleaning sensors with every DSLR I've had since the *istD and not once have I seen any problems from this.
05-21-2009, 11:51 AM   #6
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Often "cleaning" is completely safe and is just a matter of a few puffs from a rocket blower. Much of the time, this is all that's required. You're probably going to want one of these or something similar. Using canned compressed air is not recommended...though some camera shops will probably be willing to subject your camera to one if you ask them to clean your camera sensor...a shop in Italy volunteered to do this but I declined.

If you didn't already figure this out, there's a menu option in all Pentax D-SLRs to lock the mirror up and expose the sensor for the purpose of cleaning.
05-22-2009, 04:34 PM   #7
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Thanks for the further thoughts. I sent the camera back and had hoped to get a K100D body that was only $10 more but the thing was gone the day I shipped the *ist DL back.
05-24-2009, 05:07 AM   #8
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Hi,

Whatever you buy, don't be afraid of a dirty sensor.
Our local camera shop cleans my sensor professionally for 15 and you can wait for it.
It happens to every camera. Its a fact of life we all have to live with I guess.

- Bert

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