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02-10-2010, 12:39 PM   #16
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It's dust. If the shaker doesn't work and you cannot blow it off with a rocket (or similar) you'll need one of the touch the sensor methods. It isn't difficult and sounds scarier than it is.

02-10-2010, 05:39 PM   #17
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hi, I have similar problem, but the dust alert doesn't show any dust on the sensor, however on the pictures I see similar stuff..

is it possible that, dust alert system doesn't see the dust?
02-10-2010, 08:12 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mystic Quote
hi, I have similar problem, but the dust alert doesn't show any dust on the sensor, however on the pictures I see similar stuff..

is it possible that, dust alert system doesn't see the dust?
Anything is possible. I've seen occasion where I see dust in my photos but the alert failed to reveal them. Not always but it does happen. One thing that works for sure is to take a picture of a bright sky at f22 (smallest aperture). Do a quick auto-levels adjustment in the resulting photo and all will be revealed. Just remember that the image is flipped this way from the sensor orientation. The dust alert shows what you would see if looking inside the mirror box.

By the way, Don't mistake distant birds as dust specs (done that once or twice myself)

Myself, I've never actually seen a dust spec on the physical sensor but using the photos as a guide, I'm always able to remove it.

02-11-2010, 10:42 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Anything is possible. I've seen occasion where I see dust in my photos but the alert failed to reveal them. Not always but it does happen. One thing that works for sure is to take a picture of a bright sky at f22 (smallest aperture). Do a quick auto-levels adjustment in the resulting photo and all will be revealed. Just remember that the image is flipped this way from the sensor orientation. The dust alert shows what you would see if looking inside the mirror box.

By the way, Don't mistake distant birds as dust specs (done that once or twice myself)

Myself, I've never actually seen a dust spec on the physical sensor but using the photos as a guide, I'm always able to remove it.

thanks I'll do that!

02-16-2010, 06:08 AM   #20
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I bought a Kx for my wife back in November. Eventually, I noticed a soft 'j' shaped smear on the images, which really showed up in sky photos. Clouds etc. So, being in a remote little island nation with no camera shops, I looked at the sensor and could see what looked like a little grease smear. I dipped a q-tip into alcohol and tried to remove the grease. Not sure how well I did, because when I turned the sensor clean mode off the shutter stuck closed. I contacted Pentax, and they said to send it in. three to five weeks! OUCH.

SO, not to be without a camera for that time I just bought another Kx body and had it sent down UPS. the price of the camera, PLUS $ 176. duty and handling. OUCH again.

She just took some photos last night with it at sunset. Guess what....the new Kx has a similar greasy lookin smear in almost the same place as the other one.

this is two different Kx bodies bought three months apart from two different suppliers.

Now what. I cannot keep sending these things back to Arizona for five weeks and buying new ones...
02-16-2010, 10:26 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gringo Quote
I bought a Kx for my wife back in November. Eventually, I noticed a soft 'j' shaped smear on the images, which really showed up in sky photos. Clouds etc. So, being in a remote little island nation with no camera shops, I looked at the sensor and could see what looked like a little grease smear. I dipped a q-tip into alcohol and tried to remove the grease. Not sure how well I did, because when I turned the sensor clean mode off the shutter stuck closed. I contacted Pentax, and they said to send it in. three to five weeks! OUCH.

SO, not to be without a camera for that time I just bought another Kx body and had it sent down UPS. the price of the camera, PLUS $ 176. duty and handling. OUCH again.

She just took some photos last night with it at sunset. Guess what....the new Kx has a similar greasy lookin smear in almost the same place as the other one.

this is two different Kx bodies bought three months apart from two different suppliers.

Now what. I cannot keep sending these things back to Arizona for five weeks and buying new ones...


The spot you see on the left center (on the house) is a similar type dust bunny (you are looking at a poor attempt to blend it in, not my best effort, don't know what I was thinking that day). A rocket blower took care of it. Certainly a lot cheaper than a new camera.

The crap part of paying someone else to clean your sensor is that it will re-occur.
02-16-2010, 12:09 PM   #22
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What I am getting does not look like dust. It looks like someone fingerpainted with vaseline. And really small fingers.

Here is a sample of the 'smear' from the first Kx I bought, from B & P back in November. Its the questionmark looking thing to the left of the cumulous cloud:



When I saw this repeating, I tried blowing it out, but it didn't move. I was in the process of trying to get it off the sensor with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol when the camera shut itself off in Sensor Clean mode and the shutter closed, etc. And didn't open again. I am thinking maybe a fiber from the q-tip jammed in it? Anyhow, I sent it off to Chandler AZ via Fed Ex ( $ 60 to ship it) and when she said she didn't want to wait three to five weeks I bought another Kx body from a company called Fumfie, and we just got it on Monday. This sunset from last night with the totally new Kx body:



See to the right and up from the sun, aprox same area as in the other Kx.

She ran the dust removal mode, and nothing changed. the dust finder mode doesn't find this, either.

And so far, she won't let me even touch sensor cleaning mode if I am within fifty yards of a q-tip.

Any ideas?
02-16-2010, 01:57 PM   #23
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That's what dust looks like when magnified as you have done. Dust is rarely a round spec - it's usually skinny curved strand, just as you see here. Going to sensor cleaning mode and blowing it off with a bulb blower is the fix. Hard to say what went wrong before, but as long as you've got good batteries in when you do this, the mirror should stay up.


Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 02-16-2010 at 02:04 PM.
02-16-2010, 02:59 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gringo Quote
What I am getting does not look like dust. It looks like someone fingerpainted with vaseline. And really small fingers.

Here is a sample of the 'smear' from the first Kx I bought, from B & P back in November. Its the questionmark looking thing to the left of the cumulous cloud:

When I saw this repeating, I tried blowing it out, but it didn't move. I was in the process of trying to get it off the sensor with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol when the camera shut itself off in Sensor Clean mode and the shutter closed, etc. And didn't open again. I am thinking maybe a fiber from the q-tip jammed in it? Anyhow, I sent it off to Chandler AZ via Fed Ex ( $ 60 to ship it) and when she said she didn't want to wait three to five weeks I bought another Kx body from a company called Fumfie, and we just got it on Monday. This sunset from last night with the totally new Kx body:

See to the right and up from the sun, aprox same area as in the other Kx.

She ran the dust removal mode, and nothing changed. the dust finder mode doesn't find this, either.

And so far, she won't let me even touch sensor cleaning mode if I am within fifty yards of a q-tip.

Any ideas?
Yep, That's what it looks like. That's what the spot in mine started out as (I think I tried a healing brush rather than cloning in post process). It's probably stuck on there from static charge and the shaker will do little more than make it dance around a little. A blower should take care of that type. Caution, do NOT use Canned Air. If it spits the propellant onto the sensor, you'll be buying a third camera.

IF your bride lets you near the camera with a q-tip again, make sure you use the 91% alcohol. The 70% (so I've been told) has a degree of lotions in it. Remember, it's Rubbing alcohol. I still wouldn't suggest using alcohol but if you must, at least follow that advice..

02-16-2010, 03:38 PM   #25
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I didn't magnify anything. Those are straight from the camera but resized 50% . The ratios are all the same.

If grocery store rubbing alcohol is not good, can you think of any other commercially available ( hardware store or grocery store) cleaners that would be better? Acetone? Vodka? ether?

As for blowing it off....I have a compressor I can dial in to anything from 5-200 psi. Should I use that? I have all kinds of air tools, including tips for blowing dust off work benches, etc.
02-16-2010, 03:50 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gringo Quote
I didn't magnify anything. Those are straight from the camera but resized 50% . The ratios are all the same.

If grocery store rubbing alcohol is not good, can you think of any other commercially available ( hardware store or grocery store) cleaners that would be better? Acetone? Vodka? ether?

As for blowing it off....I have a compressor I can dial in to anything from 5-200 psi. Should I use that? I have all kinds of air tools, including tips for blowing dust off work benches, etc.
The problem with an air compressor is that it may spit water, and rusty water at that. If you have a good moisture trap on the compressor, it may be ok. I doubt you would be the first to do it. I use one to blow dust off of lens elements when I take them apart, prior to reassembly. Of course, I wouldn't shoot 100psi, not even 5. If you can control the flow of your blower, so air Just comes out of the tip, it should be enough.
02-17-2010, 11:37 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gringo Quote
I didn't magnify anything.
Sure you did. Your sensor is only 1" across. On my monitor, that image shows up about 6" across. So any spec of dust on the sensor is being magnified 6 times. More, since what you are actually seeing is a blurry rendition of the dust spec - already larger than the actual dust spec - being magnified six times. The fact that it's a blurry image of a dust spec is why it looks so fat; but the fact that it is being magnified 6 times is why it looks so long.

We've all seen dust many times before, and that's what it looks like. Google it is you need more evidence, but that *is* what sensor dust looks like.

QuoteQuote:
If grocery store rubbing alcohol is not good, can you think of any other commercially available ( hardware store or grocery store) cleaners that would be better? Acetone? Vodka? ether?

As for blowing it off....I have a compressor I can dial in to anything from 5-200 psi. Should I use that? I have all kinds of air tools, including tips for blowing dust off work benches, etc.
No and no. Get a simple bulb blower - $10 at the local camera shop. if that doens't work, you'll want to move to one of the commercially available tools designed for the purpose unless you want to risk ruining another camera. but chances excellent the simple rubber bulb will do the trick.

I'm moving this thread to the beginner's forum, because this is a common question among newcomers to DSLR's (and you'll see the topic has been discussed dozens of times before).
02-17-2010, 12:29 PM   #28
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sigh. okay, once again:

There IS NO "local camera shop" in this entire nation. Not one. None.

No camera shop. forget camera shop. Forget the "$10" bulb concept. It does not exist here.

This is why I am on this forum trying to find out what to use to clean this.

Would YOU pay $ 60 in Fed Ex charges to get a "$10" bulb down here? Oh, and another $ 3.30 in import duty. And a FedEx $ 10 handling fee.

Nah. You would look for alternatives, until the next time you are in a country with a camera shop, like I am doing.

If I could buy a ten dollar bulb, I wouldn't be asking about alternatives to alcohol and about using my compressor.

Which has excellent water traps, by the way. It's a $ 2000 installation.
02-17-2010, 12:33 PM   #29
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order a wet sensor cleaning kit online and go nuts

and if your camera shut off in sensor cleaning mode, you either pressed the off button or the battery charge ran low.
02-17-2010, 01:04 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gringo Quote
There IS NO "local camera shop" in this entire nation. Not one. None.
Well, the first thing is that you can "heal" this using freeware. I use The GIMP, and wrote a tutorial on this, so you can use that. Yes I know it's a bit of a pain, but it's available right now and will tide you over until you fix the problem or get the other camera back.

Next, look at the cheapest way to get either a dust blower or sensor cleaning from either the US or HK. There may be a slower form of transport that's more affordable or you may be able to wait until a friend or relative visits a place that has a camera shop.

I cleaned my K20D again with the Pentax sensor cleaning kit on Sunday evening after noticing a mark on the day's beach shoots (mark showed up against the nice blue sky) and I healed the blemish out - this time I used the spot remover in the Silkypix Pro raw converter.

Don't use your air compressor. Any small droplets of oily water on the sensor will make the situation much worse.

Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 02-17-2010 at 01:30 PM.
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