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09-05-2010, 12:36 PM   #1
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Location: Indianapolis
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Dust in focus screen

After some rushed lens changes today, I noticed a couple of dust specs in the K-x focus screen. No problem, I thought, mighty blower to the rescue...Several more specks later, I decided to check the forum. Hopeless...sounded like I would learn to live with a horrible VF picture or send it in. SO out of despair, I decided to clean it myself. I downloaded the installation directions from KatzEye as I was totally unfamiliar with the focus screen mechanism. According to these, there is an intermediate position for the retainer of the focus screen before it is wide open. I carefully (with some instruments from the bathroom, small scissors etc) open the latch and let the retainer fall with the focus screen. I then used the blower BEHIND the focus screen and after repeated efforts, SUCCESS! All the specks except for the original one were gone. I decided to call it a day and repositioned everything, although the final click was not as convincing. Everything seems to be working fine, and I can certainly live with one speck (and should have done so from the get-go...)
Anyone ever used this modified cleaning technique? I think it is fairly safe for the FS as you only need to touch the tab to gently push it down. I am not sure if a blower vs a hairdryer or a minivacuum would be better.
One potential problem is that now I may be tempted to change my FS to a Katzeye - I dont use much MF but it may be a reason to start...

09-05-2010, 06:34 PM   #2
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on my K7 its very weird..
I've let the 2 dust specs be, but then I've tried blowing it,
tons of dust came in!

shocked I was, and the dust is on the other side!
now how did that get in there?
09-06-2010, 07:34 AM   #3
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Location: Detroit MI, USA
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QuoteOriginally posted by redeleon Quote
on my K7 its very weird..
I've let the 2 dust specs be, but then I've tried blowing it,
tons of dust came in!

shocked I was, and the dust is on the other side!
now how did that get in there?

Many folks will recommend a blower (a regular Rocket Blower) but not me. All environments are different and recommending a blower is a blanket statement that can cause harm in some environments. My area is one of them. The more I use a blower the more dust gets inside my dSLR and that's at home, at work, at friends, its just this area. So the right thing to do is recommend a method that will work in any environment. But the big problem is only one company (that I know of) makes equipment to deal with dust on your focus-screen and whole camera in any environment, and that's Visible Dust. I have no connection with them at all other than being a normal customer. I wished I got a discount or something .

The below is a copy from another post I made so its speaking to another poster but applies to you as well. I have answered this question so many times I need a folder of answers to common questions.

All of my dSLRs had differing tendencies to collect dust in the OVF or really on the bottom/top of the focus screen or bottom of the prism (right above the focus screen). To make this (somewhat) short somehow there is differing static charges on the surfaces that makes your focus-screen or glass plate above the focus screen collect dust like a magnet; or(!) it could be a sticky area; dust or really other floating debri can contain oil (Pentax dSLRs have grease in them as well). Some form of oily substance got smeared on your focus screen or bottom of the prism.

How do I know? I have been through what you have been through for years. I live in a sever dust environment (smoggy Detroit area) with wet oily dust, pollen, you name it; every morning there is a layer of dust on my car ever since they put the new 696 freeway through 25 years ago as I live only a few hundred yards from it so??.... Its been a constant battle. But the battle has been won! Visible Dust makes all you need to keep your dSLR clean. And not just clean but stop or slow down your K-7 from collecting so much dust.

My K20D at first did not collect much dust at all on the focus-screen then it seemed everyday I changed a lens dust would get in the OVF. I cleaned it with my special brush made just for the focus-screen, prism and mirror but still was just cleaning all them time. I decided to give the focus-screen a wet clean with Visible Dusts recommended liquid and swab. Guess what it really worked!!! It put a anti-static barrier on my focus-screen and I don't get dust spots on it like I was everyday, now its back to normal (occasional it may get a small spot).

I have no connections with them at all, 0, none. Its just I don't of any manufacture that takes the time to make quality products that work, and work to clean everything possible in your dSLR. For a spotless sensor and view through the OVF. Also keep bulb blower use to a minimal. Use it softly, to blow off the bottom of your focus-screen and perhaps your sensor if it works for you. Me I only use it to occasional clean the bottom of my focus-screen and clean my lens and other things with it. Its a cameras worst enemy IMO because in some areas all your doing it blowing in more dust. People must assume others live in a very dusty area when giving advice. Its also why Visible Dust makes many products. You can use any method to clean you sensor, but only Visible dust can keep your whole dSLR clean that I know of.

OK no lie I have had my K20D since Feb 2009, I have (way too many) 39,000 clicks on it. I don't have any spots in the OVF. I have a clear view. Because I can clean it anytime I need to (yes sometimes it needs it). I don't have dust on my sensor ever (99.5% of the time).

BTW my Samsung GX10 bought some years ago was a dust magnet this is why I bought the ArticButterfly Travel kit, and special brush to clean the focus-screen and mirror (don't worry about the mirror) and bottom of the prism. This GX10 failed and Samsung had to send me a new one. Would you know it hardly every got dust in it compared to the first which was like a vacuum. At the time I could not figure that out.

My personal believe is when situations as yours occur its because some form of oily/sticky contamination is smeared across (but invisible to you!) the focus-screen of the bottom of the prism. Or there is a static charge built up, pulling dust in.

2nd BTW: All dust spots you can see in the OVF is on the focus-screen top or bottom (probably top if its sharp) and or on the bottom of the prism. That's the glass plate right above the focus screen and is completely safe to clean. Be warned the focus-screen is made of the softest plastic I have every seen. I have years of experience, but to get here I ruined my fair share. Its just how can you live with big blobs of dust cutting 40% of your view through the OVF? You have been warned (and others).

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