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07-23-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
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Kx dust removal success story

Recently on a trip I was changing lenses on my Kx a lot more than usual, and in outdoor environments (dusty dry climates mostly). On the last day of the trip I did my routine dust check after swapping lenses and saw probably the worst artifact I have ever seen on my sensor.

It showed up at nearly every aperture, and resembled a giant dust bunny in every picture. It was very large, and clearly visible in every picture I took. I was horrified, and worse I thought that my O-ICK would only make it worse because the object was so large that it could be ground into the sensor.

I ended up using the dust removal feature in the Kx menu, engaging it over and over again. After about 15 shakes I did another check, the object had clearly moved down the sensor, a few more shakes and it was gone completely. My last sensor check yielded an extremely clean sensor even at f/40 or so, saving me from having to touch the precious sensor.


Last edited by future_retro; 07-23-2010 at 08:31 PM. Reason: few typos
07-23-2010, 03:17 PM   #2
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Thank you for sharing your experience. It is worthwhile and very useful to those of us working outdor frequently.
07-23-2010, 05:13 PM   #3
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Yes, thanks for sharing! I haven't had to remove dust from my K7's sensor yet, but when I do, I'll remember this...

Thanks!
07-23-2010, 08:34 PM   #4
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I've had the K7 for a little while now and I firmly believe that the dust removal and prevention system is much better than the Kx's, especially when using sealed lenses.

I haven't done much swapping on the K7 but the sensor has been crystal clear since day one. I check often and am amazed at how it stays consistently clean, even when I do change lenses.

07-23-2010, 09:55 PM   #5
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Sorry for the bad news -- that bunny is most likely still inside waiting to jump onto the sensor again. The good news is in cleaning mode with front pointed down, a blower can dislodge it & make it fall out.
07-24-2010, 07:15 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by future_retro Quote
Recently on a trip I was changing lenses on my Kx a lot more than usual, and in outdoor environments (dusty dry climates mostly). On the last day of the trip I did my routine dust check after swapping lenses and saw probably the worst artifact I have ever seen on my sensor.

It showed up at nearly every aperture, and resembled a giant dust bunny in every picture. It was very large, and clearly visible in every picture I took. I was horrified, and worse I thought that my O-ICK would only make it worse because the object was so large that it could be ground into the sensor.

I ended up using the dust removal feature in the Kx menu, engaging it over and over again. After about 15 shakes I did another check, the object had clearly moved down the sensor, a few more shakes and it was gone completely. My last sensor check yielded an extremely clean sensor even at f/40 or so, saving me from having to touch the precious sensor.
Congratulations! Good for you

But Not all have it so easy. With my K20D last night for the first time in about 2 months of regular use I had a big dust spot show up on a pic. I used the dust mapping feature and sure enough it picked up the dust and showed me it on the LCD. I used the K20D less advance dust removal system (its still suppose to be good) and could not get the dust off even with 10 presses of the dust speed function. I had to use my Arctic Butterfly. Many people as myself get dust that can't be removed easily. Why I don't know exactly but for sure it has something to do with how large this planet is, and how each of our environments is different. My dust around here sticks hard. It gets on my focus screen once per month often... So I have to have a whole kit to remove dust, not blow it around in the camera. Blowing dust with the camera upside down will not have it just come falling out, there are too many other places for it to stick.

The best way is as you did, now you know that dust did not go up or anyplace but drop down, and that's what the two large pieces of sticky tape are for on the bottom metal chassis it will more than likely catch that dust and hold it for the life of the camera.

BTW its old news about cleaning the delicate sensor; the new news is your not even touching the sensor. Look at the pic below you can see the two screws on top and the hinge on bottom. You can also see the frame that holds the glass plate as it does not completely go around the plate. just the sides not corners. Now for the shocker; Pentax service manuals tell the tech not to use a blower trying to clean the sensor, the manual tells and shows them how to make and use a wet swab. The reason given in the service manual is there is potential to blow dust right under that window over the sensor. If that happens the service manual tell the tech to take it apart and clean it, or replace the whole thing yep I could not believe it myself. Manufacturers don't want to be liable for you touching the sensor. So they are putting a lot of money into solving the dust problem on sensors. The best methods are wet swabs or the Visible Dusts Arctic Butterfly. Really Visible Dust who I have no connections with at all. Don't even know anyone who works there sells the brush you use first, and wet swabs. They also sell bulb blowers but I think they should not have as it goes against there whole system of cleaning and again "Pentax tells the techs not to do it!".

Pentax also sells a lens-pen type cleaning product in the sensor cleaning kit. Note it does not give a blower! I highly recommend a lens-pen if your K-x can map the dust for you on the LCD. If not the second choice would be a high quality wet-swab cleaning system. Note I do have and use a bulb blower on my focus-screen, mirror and lens many time. But I squeeze it gentle. You can gently try to blow dust off your sensor IMO. But if gentle blowing does not work don't try to remove it by squeezing harder go to another method. This is IMO.

That's the AA filter (lets just say tinted glass) and has the super protect coating. Its a super hard and durable cover relative to how delicate you think it is. Obviously care should still be taken to use the right tools the right way. But a wet swab, Arctic Butterfly... just won't hurt it, if used properly. It would be like hurting the coating on your Pentax lens with the Super Protect coating; not likely to happen. How many complaints have you read of people scratching the sensor? Its true...I am willing to type out all I know because dust was a huge and very frustrating problem for me when I bought my first dSLR the Samsung GX10 some years ago, so I hope I helped those who have stubborn dust

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