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11-03-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
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How do I clean viewfinder on my K-x?

I understand a dirty viewfinder doesn't impact the photo, but my viewfinder has some really large distracting blemishes (dirt/dust, I don't know).

To clean the sensor I raise the mirror and use a blow thingy. Whatever those things are called. The bulb-like thing. Anyway to clean the viewfinder I've tried blowing air into the camera with the mirror not raised. I feel like this worked once but it hasn't worked since. The dirt won't budge.

Is there an easy fix or one that isn't too risky? Any suggestions?

Also: what is the difference between cleaning the sensor manually like I described and using the dust removal function? Is it the same thing via two different paths or are you cleaning different things?

Thank you.

11-03-2010, 01:13 PM   #2
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The generic term we use is Rocket Blower for the blower thingy.

If you are certain the dust is not on the mirror and on the outside of the viewfinder (where you look through, it may be on the Focus Screen. That's the part the mirror slaps against when you take the photo (in the top of the camera). Try blowing That off. If that doesn't work, you may need to remove the screen and continue blowing. Myself, unless it is REALLY annoying, I would just leave it alone (before taking anything apart). The focus screen is simple to remove however but you do need to be careful not to scratch it (THAT is Really annoying)..

Cleaning the sensor manually, and the dust removal function differ in that the manual method usually works, the shaker does not. That's been my experience anyway.

11-03-2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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I think it is on the focus screen. I can actually see the dust with the naked eye. It's on whatever is directly inside the camera when you take the lid off. It's not the mirror down below, or whatever is above that up top, it is straight forward in the back when you're looking directly into the camera. I can see the dust in the exact reversed position that I see it through the viewfinder (e.g. bottom right, top left).

Is that the focus screen? I don't really wanna mess with it if it's tricky unless it'll improve the photo and it sounds like it won't.
11-03-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DEWEY Quote
I think it is on the focus screen. I can actually see the dust with the naked eye. It's on whatever is directly inside the camera when you take the lid off. It's not the mirror down below, or whatever is above that up top, it is straight forward in the back when you're looking directly into the camera. I can see the dust in the exact reversed position that I see it through the viewfinder (e.g. bottom right, top left).

Is that the focus screen? I don't really wanna mess with it if it's tricky unless it'll improve the photo and it sounds like it won't.
hmm, it sounds more like a sensor to me. Did you try to take picture of daylight clean sky with lowest aperture speed and see if you can see any dust on photo?

11-03-2010, 02:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DEWEY Quote
I think it is on the focus screen. I can actually see the dust with the naked eye. It's on whatever is directly inside the camera when you take the lid off. It's not the mirror down below, or whatever is above that up top, it is straight forward in the back when you're looking directly into the camera. I can see the dust in the exact reversed position that I see it through the viewfinder (e.g. bottom right, top left).

Is that the focus screen? I don't really wanna mess with it if it's tricky unless it'll improve the photo and it sounds like it won't.
With the mirror Up or Down? You said you could see it on the viewfinder. There is NO way you could see dust on the sensor, through the viewfinder. The two are not even the same optical path. Did I miss something in your original question?

11-03-2010, 03:04 PM   #6
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I'm sorry. I think I was unclear. In fact I know I was.

When I described "looking directly into the camera" I meant removing the body cap and looking into the camera —*with the mirror down —*not through the viewfinder. When I look into the camera after removing the body cap, with the mirror down, I see dust on whatever is all the way in the back. When I look into the camera body I see the mirror on the bottom, something up top, and what I *think* is the focus screen all the way in the back. Whether that is the focus screen or not, that is where the dust or debris is.
11-03-2010, 03:04 PM   #7
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The focus screen is a piece of glass inside the camera right above the mirror when you look trough the lens mount hole with the lens removed. If the dust is on this you could try the blower to chase it off, with the lens mount facing downward so that it would fall out instead of getting blown some other place inside the camera.
11-03-2010, 03:12 PM   #8
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The general idea is that the mirror reflects the light upwards on the focus screen and from there the light ends up in your eye looking in the viewfinder (there is another mirror and assorted optics in between). When you press the shutter button, the camera raises the mirror briefly so that the light will end up on the sensor (behind the mirror most of the time).

11-03-2010, 03:29 PM   #9
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What you see directly above the mirror is the focus screen (it is not glass however and that's what makes it so delicate). If you see your dust ON that, inside the lens box then just give it a blast or three with the blower. If it is on the other side (will seem more of a blob than a defined piece of dirt), then the screen needs to come out in order to clean things up (again, with the blower). If I'm not mistaken, the K-x (k-r, K100, *istD, etc) are a Penta-Mirror. The K10/20/7/5 use a Prism instead and dust cannot (or should not be able to) get inside the optics. In the mirror case, everything is probably exposed once you remove the focus screen. I the case of the Prism, dust will either be on the bottom of it (where it meets the screen) or between the prism and the viewfinder. In the latter case, I'd leave well enough alone.


11-03-2010, 03:43 PM   #10
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K-x is pentamirror job (the pricier models have a prism).
11-23-2010, 08:01 PM   #11
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Curious if anyone has a diagram of how the glass slips off? I have the same problem and I am not the type who is scared to take something apart.
11-23-2010, 09:59 PM   #12
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I've replaced my focus screen and taken a few out before that for cleaning. It's a pretty simple procedure that only takes 1-2 minutes max. You just need a steady hand and courage. Opening up parts of your camera that you're not familiar with can be a little intimidating at first but once you do it you'll see how simple it actually is.
11-23-2010, 10:08 PM   #13
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Most of the time when I have tried to clean the focus screen, I've scratched it. I just live with the blobs. Sometimes they even go away on their own! But usually I just add more.
11-23-2010, 11:47 PM   #14
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Go figure!!! I take mine apart and put it together and then find the directions online after the fact...lol. Here is a link for removal for future reference. To make the job easy I used 2 micro flat head screw drivers and a pair of tweezers to pull the screen out by its tab.
Focusing Screen Installation Guides - KatzEye Optics
11-24-2010, 02:16 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by treue_photo Quote
Go figure!!! I take mine apart and put it together and then find the directions online after the fact...
Murphy's Law? I'm beginning to believe this issue was a free extra thrown in with the model, having read so many in the ether moaning about similar problems in theirs and begging for help.

My K-x is literally a magnet for rubbish, starting off straight after purchase with just a few black-looking specs, then slowly gaining more as the weeks went on, has even managed to collect a short fine hair now.

Can't understand why or how it can get up there in the enclosed space behind the VF screen so readily, but the camera does appear to be a nightmare of electrostatic charge and viewfinders seem so much more expert at showing little dust than they can large picture scenes!

Cleaned it a few times but "crud" just comes back, like a suction pump (yes I do use zooms, but......). Which probably makes a good case for Weather Sealed body, I really don't have the experience with one to tell.
And no, I'm not prepared to pay Pentax service to clean it regularly.

Anyone know of a proven working anti-static fix on the market - for reasonable cost? (Yeah I know there are industrial solutions, just want simple domestic)

.R.
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