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08-15-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
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Sensor Cleaning Question: Send it out or try to do it myself

Hi all,

I've been a member for a while but this is my first post. I've had a KX since December and have not been shy about using it. I recently got back from a trip to the Philippines and Hawaii during which I noticed a persistant spot in photos at small apertures. I didn't have my good blower with me so i just dealt with it until I got back (i had a smaller blower with me that got rid of other dusty bits). Long story short is that I tried cleaning it with my big blower and the spot remains. Thusly it would seem to me that this piece of dust is stuck and would need a more thorough cleaning than a blower can accomplish.

The question here is should I send it out to get the sensor cleaned or should I attempt it myself. As an example of my "mechanical" ability, I swapped out the focusing screen with no ill effects. I'm just a little nervous about permanently damaging the sensor.

How do you folks handle a persistant speck?

Ian G

P.S. Does anyone know of a place near Philly where i can have a cleaning done if I should decide to?

08-15-2010, 02:20 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian G Quote
Hi all,

I've been a member for a while but this is my first post. I've had a KX since December and have not been shy about using it. I recently got back from a trip to the Philippines and Hawaii during which I noticed a persistant spot in photos at small apertures. I didn't have my good blower with me so i just dealt with it until I got back (i had a smaller blower with me that got rid of other dusty bits). Long story short is that I tried cleaning it with my big blower and the spot remains. Thusly it would seem to me that this piece of dust is stuck and would need a more thorough cleaning than a blower can accomplish.

The question here is should I send it out to get the sensor cleaned or should I attempt it myself. As an example of my "mechanical" ability, I swapped out the focusing screen with no ill effects. I'm just a little nervous about permanently damaging the sensor.

How do you folks handle a persistant speck?

Ian G

P.S. Does anyone know of a place near Philly where i can have a cleaning done if I should decide to?
Ok, here is how I have handled such problems so far.
In my little town there is a camera shop that does professional cleaning of DSLR's for 20 ($25).
Normally that's my preferred way to go.
They do not swipe, cleaning is done with a special vacuum cleaning device for camera's. There is no touching of the sensor (AA filter) surface.
Three times they have not been able to get rid of all particles, in that case I don't need to pay for the service.

In two cases I've been very succesful cleaning with wet swipes.
I'm using the Green Clean system, see also: SENSOR CLEANING SYSTEM: GREEN CLEAN for fine technics
That has done the job.
I guess it is less difficult than swapping a focusing screen....
It is just, so expensive.

Last time I've used a suggestion found on this forum: bought a soft, small make-up brush. Washed it in soft soap, dried it.
Then gently dry swiped the sensor, used the blower and ... all gone!
And that for 0.50!

Cheers,
- Bert
08-15-2010, 03:17 PM   #3
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I live 100 miles from the nearest camera shops that performs such service, and they're not cheap. I use an Official Pentax Imagesensor Cleaning Kit O-ICK1, which cost less than one (1) cleaning. It works great. Yes, I also use canned air and brushes for the mirror, but only the O-ICK1 touches my K20D sensor.
08-15-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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I've only ever had to use a blower, and the cleaning services locally seem to be very expensive. Have seen plenty to people using the wipes with no problems, if you follow the instructions I would think it'd be all fine.

08-15-2010, 03:28 PM   #5
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the O-ICK1 is cheap, easy to use and safe. It will probably last a long time too
08-15-2010, 05:26 PM   #6
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The screen is far more delicate than the sensor. Put fresh batteries in the camera and clean it yourself.
FWIW, I use Dust-Off canned gas for routine sensor cleaning. The nervous nellies have kittens about this, but it works and so far I haven't wrecked a camera, so I think it's quite safe.
08-15-2010, 05:29 PM   #7
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/109456-dirty-sensor.html

08-15-2010, 06:22 PM   #8
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I've cleaned my own twice and had no problems with it. If you buy a good cleaning kit and follow the instructions explicitly you'll be just fine.

if you are uncomfortable with that, then send it in. There's nothing wrong with doing that either. I cleaned my own because a kit (with about 20 cleanings) was much less than a single cleaning by a professional (aka I'm cheap!). lol

08-15-2010, 06:44 PM   #9
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I had the same problem once with my K100D super and cleaned it myself with lens cloth.
Tried it with a blower first but can't get it off so I cleaned it myself but i had to find out first where exactly the dust is on the sensor so that I just wiped that spot and not wipe the whole sensor itself!
It was actually easy and not worth the professional cleaning expense if it is just a simple dust spot.
You can also try to get the "dust-aid", it is like a band-aid that you stick to the sensor and it lifts whatever dust is on it but that would also set you back around $20 if I remember right.
08-15-2010, 06:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The screen is far more delicate than the sensor. Put fresh batteries in the camera and clean it yourself.
FWIW, I use Dust-Off canned gas for routine sensor cleaning. The nervous nellies have kittens about this, but it works and so far I haven't wrecked a camera, so I think it's quite safe.
I've seen dust-off regularly used for movie film cameras but never heard of it being used on SLRs or DSLRs.
I guess from your experience it works too.
08-16-2010, 01:31 AM   #11
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For a good treatment of this topic you can also check out the following ... while camera references may be specific, the information is generic enough to be useful ...

Cleaning sensors by Thom Hogan
08-16-2010, 02:48 AM   #12
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Thanks

Thanks to everyone who posted. My fears have been alleviated. I think I'm going to order dust-aid since it seems similar to the Pentax cleaning kit but more readily available .All the sites that don't indicate that it is out of stock seem kinda sketchy save for adorama which seems odd unless they keep a head stash.
08-16-2010, 06:11 AM   #13
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In the four years I have owned DSLRs, I've had frequent dust issues, but only one time was the problem not resolvable without a wet cleaning. The wet cleaning swabs are expensive, but you do risk damage so it is worth it. You also void the warranty by touching the sensor yourself.

Most of the time the small rocket blower works well. In fact, the small, round blower seems to put out a stronger stream that is more effective on sensor dust than the larger one. Repeated dustings are also needed, and sometimes shake and air together accomplish what neither will do by itself. Once, I used a lens pen plus repeated blowings. If all else fails, then the wet systems from Visible Dust or Sensor Swab/Eclipse seem to work well for most. Almost no one seems to think that sending the camera off is worth it.
08-16-2010, 11:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian G Quote
Thanks to everyone who posted. My fears have been alleviated. I think I'm going to order dust-aid since it seems similar to the Pentax cleaning kit but more readily available .All the sites that don't indicate that it is out of stock seem kinda sketchy save for adorama which seems odd unless they keep a head stash.
This is the most like O-ICK product I've seen. Eyelead Sensor Cleaning Kit Dust-sticking Bar & Papers - eBay



Something new to me. http://cgi.ebay.com/Sensor-Cleaning-Set-Canon-Pentax-Nikon-Sony-Olympus-/320563728291




Thank you
Russell
08-16-2010, 02:46 PM   #15
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@Ian G: Is the spot very noticeable? Is it the only one? I have wet cleaned my sensor before and I can tell you that it's a breeze. It's a bit nerve bending at first, but it feels better after a few times.

However, what I've found out is that most of the times I don't even need to clean the sensor. I have a couple of spots on my sensor and I just ignore them because, honestly, I never see them in my pictures unless I'm shooting the sky or a blank wall with small aperture. If your spot is very apparent and shows up often enough to bother you, then go ahead and wet clean it. If not, then save the money and the anxiety. My 2cents
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