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07-12-2010, 01:12 AM   #1
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After removing dirt, what is this?

I recently swabbed my K7 sensor to remove two stuborn specks of dirt. I had to do it 3 times before one of the specks was gone, the other one remains. However where the one dark speck was, there is now an artifact that looks the same size but instead of being darker than the background, it is slightly brighter. I am attaching two images (both magnified). I'll bet when the speck of whatever it was dislodged, it took some of the sensor coating with it! Sombody please tell me I'm wrong. So, I guess I will have to send it back to Pentax for cleaning, repair or waranty voiding. If the sensor is damaged, can it be repaired or replaced or have I spent $1000 for a camera that is now damaged 3 weeks after I purchassed it. Any info or advice is appreciated.

--Jim

P.S.; To be clear, the top image is of the frame with the speck still on the sensor. The bottom image is after it was removed, but note what remains where the speck was. What is that? I used American Recorder swabs and Ultrapure TO.

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Last edited by Jimmymack; 07-12-2010 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Further clarification
07-12-2010, 03:09 AM   #2
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did u use brush or blower only? Cos for me it looks like remains of dirt, which made it's way to your sensor as wet substance, not as dust (maybe saliva while tried blow dust out of sensor?). similar, like when u're cleaning mirror in the bathroom with dry cloth, u remove inner dirt but leave there outer rim of stain... i guess if you take it to to your camera store, they can either confirm that right there on the spot

Last edited by Bulldogface; 07-12-2010 at 03:11 AM. Reason: adding info
07-12-2010, 03:15 AM   #3
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Looks like the dirt shifted around or something, as that's most definitely another speck. I've had my camera for a year now, and not a single speck yet. Are you using start-up dust removal?

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07-12-2010, 02:03 PM   #4
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Looks like something got left behind. The worst case would be a damaged anti-aliasing filter, not the sensor.
What swabs did you use?. I use sensor-scope on my K100D, had the K-7 for some time and no need to clean it yet. And I change lenses a lot.

07-12-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
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The K20D and the K7 not only have the sensor shake that shakes off the dirt but a coating that makes it harder for the dirt to stick. I have not had to do more the blow off (like only 3 times) my sensor on my K20D. That said if the dirt is somehow wet it can stick and be harder to get off. If the dirt is something like diesel exhaust soot it can have oils (and all kinds of other nasty stuff) in it. This could not only make it hard to get it off but damage the coating or even the glass under it.

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07-22-2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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I have the same type of spots on my KX. I had the body exchanged and now my second one has the same spots in a different area. I tried to clean the mirror and sensor with no luck. I am new to digital SLR's but used to have 35mm SLR's in the 70's. I don't remember having this issues back then.

What is the best way to clean a mirror and sensor? I don't want to scratch anything but a puffer bulb does not seam to help.
07-22-2010, 09:41 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Phil T Quote
I have the same type of spots on my KX. I had the body exchanged and now my second one has the same spots in a different area. I tried to clean the mirror and sensor with no luck. I am new to digital SLR's but used to have 35mm SLR's in the 70's. I don't remember having this issues back then.

What is the best way to clean a mirror and sensor? I don't want to scratch anything but a puffer bulb does not seam to help.
We did not have dust on the film problems because the film is only exposed to the inside of the camera when the shutter is open, and a fresh piece is moved into place for every picture. What we did have with film is scratches from the camera rails, the felts on the film canister and the idiot processing our film. We also ended up at times with dust on the negatives and/or slides that got there while the film was still wet.

Same/same only different.
07-23-2010, 07:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Phil T Quote
What is the best way to clean a mirror and sensor? I don't want to scratch anything but a puffer bulb does not seam to help.
Well, pointing at the mirror won't help - nothing on the mirror can affect the picture in any way. Are you flipping the mirror up when cleaning the sensor? Are you working in an area where can you *see* the dust you are trying to remove?

Assuming you have the mirror up and can see the dust and are aiming right at it with the blower but it won't move, you need to use on of the other cleaning methods. Search this forum for the many existing threads on the topic to help you decide which of the commonly recommended products (canned air, arctic butterfly, etc) you would like to try. They all have their advocates.

08-19-2010, 10:56 PM   #9
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Here is an update on my situation. I sent my K-7 back to Pentax for this problem. I was hoping that a professional cleaning would eliminate the problem. As it turns out, it needed more than just cleaning. I received the camera back from Pentax today and they replaced the image sensor under warrantee at no charge to me. Now, test shots reveal an absolutely clean image. No spots at all. The documentation stated that they had replaced the image sensor, adjusted to manufactures specifications and a general check and clean. The turnaround time was about 5 weeks because they did not have the replacement sensor and it had to be ordered from overseas. I was afraid that the warrantee might be voided since I had done a wet cleaning. Apparently the anomalies were not dirt at all but some sort of sensor defect. So, I am a very happy camper. I couldn't be happier with Pentax and now my pictures are flawless.
08-19-2010, 11:12 PM   #10
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Wow I never would have thought!
Great to hear a happy ending though. I can't imagine the sinking feeling of having to pay out of pocket to have a sensor replaced!

Happy shooting!
08-22-2010, 02:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
...I've had my camera for a year now, and not a single speck yet.
Wow, that's impressive. I have had dusts twice on my sensor since I got the camera (about a year also). Wet clean them all each time.


For the OP, I highly doubt you damaged the sensor (actually what you cleaned is a protective barrier in front of your sensor). Pentax probably just replaced the whole thing for convenient purpose, or probably for the sub-contracted repairing company to make more money off Pentax (Pentax don't fix your camera, they sub-contracted to some repair facility). Either way, congrats on having a clean and awesome camera.

Last edited by pentaxpup; 08-22-2010 at 02:58 PM.
08-23-2010, 11:46 AM   #12
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I am having a similar problem with one of my K-7's. Mine got dust under the low pass filter so swabbing did nothing to remove it.

It has been at CRIS (Pentax's contract repair center) for a month and has been put on "parts hold backorder" three times. I called Pentax today to ask for a replacement and was told that the supervisor was on vacation so they couldn't help me.

Great camera. Bad customer service.
08-23-2010, 04:13 PM   #13
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Got the same type of spots as in the first post on my K-7, but it was completely gone after i did a sensor swab (Photographic solutions.

Probably oil from inside the camera, it does not look like the usual dust spots.
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