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04-12-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
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Fotodiox Extension Tubes may stain sensor!

I have a K-x and wanted to try shooting macro pictures. So I bought a set of Fotodiox extension tubes through the Fotodiox eBay store. The pictures I took came out fine and the tubes seemed to be working great. Until .... spots started appearing on my pictures. As near as I can tell, the paint on the inside of the extension tubes flakes off and eventually gets on the sensor. Most spots came off the sensor with the use of a Rocket blower. I had one spot that wouldn't go off from a blower and then tried the Pentax recommended Image Sensor Cleaning Kit, O-ICK1 with the sticky ended stick & paper. After repeatedly using that I reached a point where it would remove no more of the spot. But the spot remained! I then had to get swabs and a wet solution to remove the remainder of the spot.

After this first started I found that if I assembled the extension tubes over a clean sheet of paper I could see black specks fall onto the paper. I have since soaked the tubes in soap for a day and then scrubbed them vigorously. I still get a few spots when I screw the tubes together but nowhere near as many as I originally had. Nevertheless, I am not sure whether these tubes will ever get mounted on my camera again. I just wanted to share my experience so others can be careful with these tubes.

On the plus side, I now have had an education in sensor cleaning and know how to do it if/when required.

04-12-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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Stains aren't the same thing as residual dust or dirt. A rocket blower should be able to solve your problem!

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04-12-2011, 09:07 PM   #3
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Yes, as I said, MOST spots came off with a rocket blower. But one large one remained even after repeated uses of the Pentax Sensor Cleaning Kit. Only after I used a wet solution did it come off. I called it a stain since I believe it resulted from paint but you can call it whatever you want. As near as I can tell, it is paint chipped off the inside of the extension tube when one tube is screwed into another or into the end pieces. My point is that my sensor shouldn't get spots on it from using correctly manufactured extension tubes and obviously these weren't.
04-12-2011, 09:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Stains aren't the same thing as residual dust or dirt. A rocket blower should be able to solve your problem!
I agree with Adam. I have a few products from them, including the Fotodiox extension tubes. Fotodiox does use a black paint on some of their adapters.

However, from the advice I've gotten here, it's a good idea to always give any adapter or lens a quick look over, and wipe clean around the threads.

At the same time, I give it a few rocket blows as well. I do that now on every adapter and lenses no matter who makes them.

04-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #5
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Thanks for the heads up on this - I have some of the tubes on their way. They are cheap and now I know one reason why they are cheap - poor quality materials! I think I'll have to wipe them out with thinners and if necessary, repaint the interiors with flexible lacquer paint, like stove enamel. If properly done, they'll be usuable forever!
04-12-2011, 09:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jlaubza Quote
Thanks for the heads up on this - I have some of the tubes on their way. They are cheap and now I know one reason why they are cheap - poor quality materials! I think I'll have to wipe them out with thinners and if necessary, repaint the interiors with flexible lacquer paint, like stove enamel. If properly done, they'll be usuable forever!
Personally, I don't think they really that bad at all on quality for the price. I wipe down my Pentax adapters and lenses the same as I do fotodiox. But I think you got the right idea for sure and they'll last a life time and then some.
04-15-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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Fotodiox bellows

Thanks for posting this on the extension tubes. I just got a Fotodiox macro bellows unit from Amazon. The metal components are painted black. I will use extra caution and really examine it before attaching lens and camera! I have a small vacuum attachment that I use for my sewing machine. I will be sure to clean out the inside of the bellows unit too, just in case there is anything in there. I'll be sure to follow up here to let everyone know if there are problems with the Fotodiox bellows too.
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