Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-11-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Iowa
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,269
One stubborn dust spot on the sensor

Hey there.

I have one fairly large and stubborn speck on my K-x sensor that I can't dislodge with the rocket blower. I've tried so many times my hand hurts. Would a light touch with a dry cotton swab on the sensor followed by a few blasts from the rocket blower be harmful? I'll buy the Pentax lolli if I need to, but I'd rather not spend $50 on 25 cents worth of materials if I don't have to.

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)

08-11-2011, 04:38 PM   #2
Veteran Member
Verglace's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 468
I tried that with my K-5 (dry cotton swab) it only made things worst. I ended up buying some of this: Opteka SSC-20 Pre-Moistened CCD/CMOS Sensor Cleaning Swabs for SLR Cameras (20 Pack) for $32 at e-bay and that fixed it, although I had to use 6 of them to finally get everything off, now its perfect again. Also used the cleaning swabs to clean my focusing screen it works really well.
08-11-2011, 05:29 PM   #3
Veteran Member
Philoslothical's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,723
I found this on Ebay, haven't tried it yet. Significantly cheaper, same principle and polyurethane material, so I think it should be fine. I haven't turned up reviews of it yet, however.
08-11-2011, 05:43 PM   #4
Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Central Ohio (formerly SF Bay Area)
Posts: 1,491
Interesting, that Opteka thing looks a lot like the Pentax lollipop (O-ICK1), but it's a lot less expensive.

If you try it, please let us know how it works for you -- one thing I like about the Pentax kit is the cleaning pad has a number of single-use removable sheets of adhesive to remove specks of crud from the sensor stick. I'm paranoid about re-using anything that touches the sensor. I can't tell whether the Opteka works the same way.

08-11-2011, 05:59 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Philoslothical's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,723
QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
Interesting, that Opteka thing looks a lot like the Pentax lollipop (O-ICK1), but it's a lot less expensive.
That's the idea. Whether it's as good, I can't attest to yet. I'll probably order one in the next week or so and try it, and will of course mention how it is on the board here.

The paper used with the Pentax kit for wiping it off can't be all that special, so something else could likely be substituted fairly easily. The reusable pad that comes with the Opteka one would probably be just fine though, nothing says you can't wipe it off periodically.
08-11-2011, 06:32 PM   #6
Veteran Member
borno's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: md-usa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,580
Sometimes a wet cleaning is the best thing I have found. A body I got used last year had a really dirty sensor and the only thing that worked was a cleaning swab I used to wrap with a pec pad (new pad each swipe)and apply a couple drops of lab grade methanol on it. The cleaner that came with the swabs didn't do squat. I got another body with a dirty sensor this spring and thought I'd try the pentax oick-1 thing because it looked like a great method but it wouldn't get the sensor clean either and had to use the swabs again. Now that the sensors are clean the lollypop may work OK, but it didn't work out too good for me, it made me a little nervous the way it would stick to the IR cut filter when pulling it back off on my FF body, I sure would hate to see that crack.
08-11-2011, 07:25 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,502
I have one spot on my sensor that no amount of wet scrubbing will remove.

I would probably try a (dedicated sensor) brush first (after the blower), then web swabs, then fix what's left with software.

Paul
08-12-2011, 04:53 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Iowa
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,269
Original Poster
As it turns out, I could easily see it with my naked eye & I decided to try a gentle touch with a dry Q-tip & follow it up with a few blasts from the rocket blower. I got it & it was luckily an easy fix.

and Philoslothical: That Opteka kit is a lot more in line with what I think a plastic stick with a little piece of sticky stuff on the end is worth. I may grab one of those.

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)

08-13-2011, 04:19 AM   #9
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,908
QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
it made me a little nervous the way it would stick to the IR cut filter when pulling it back off on my FF body, I sure would hate to see that crack.
You are not using the "lollypop" correctly, here is how to do it:

When applying the lolly press down firmly with A LOT OF GENTLE FEELING (I think you know what I mean). You will feel a very slight vibration and a little hum coming through the shaft of the stick. This is normal and I think it comes from the SR system.

Now when it comes to lift the lolly off, slowly tilt the shaft to one side and then lift off, do not lift the "lolly" off by moving it up straight as it will make it harder to disconnect. Do not drag the lolly head across the sensor surface either. Now dab the next unused paper square and repeat the process until you feel happy all trouble spots of the sensor are covered. Check for dust and if necessary repeat the process. (Sometimes you need to go over several times). If all this does not help a wet clean is called for. The reason? see next paragraph.

I use the PENTAX lolly when ever I discover dirt on the sensor. I check regularly and the reason simply is this; You never know what the particle that is stuck on your sensor actually consist of. It could be anything, from a piece of Salami, (just kidding) a sweaty piece of skin flake or (heaven forbid a piece of metal) a particle of a ferrous nature (which could rust with humidity) to just an ordinary bit of dust. The point is, since you do not know what it is, it is better to remove it quickly before it has a chance to "weld" itself to the sensor surface over time in which case a wet cleaning method will be the only way to get rid of it.

Greetings
08-13-2011, 04:35 AM   #10
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,908
QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I have one spot on my sensor that no amount of wet scrubbing will remove.
The crap was left on the sensor too long, it will come off (hopefully) but with great difficulty. See my post above for the reason it wont come off. I preach this a lot but very few people listen.

In your case it might be better to hand the cam in and have it professionally cleaned. They too will have the same problem to get the crap off (because they use the same method and tools that are available to you) but if in the process they leave damage behind it's on them. Mind you they will know how far they are prepared to go and may return your cam with - "cannot be removed". Its a shame really, most likely all you had to do is be prompt in the removal of dirt on the sensor. I am not saying this to belittle you intelligence, you simly did not know because it is a topic not often discussed and it is a problem most of us only disover through experience. Good luck.

Greetings
08-13-2011, 05:23 AM   #11
Veteran Member
borno's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: md-usa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,580
QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
You are not using the "lollypop" correctly, here is how to do it:

When applying the lolly press down firmly with A LOT OF GENTLE FEELING (I think you know what I mean). You will feel a very slight vibration and a little hum coming through the shaft of the stick. This is normal and I think it comes from the SR system.

Now when it comes to lift the lolly off, slowly tilt the shaft to one side and then lift off, do not lift the "lolly" off by moving it up straight as it will make it harder to disconnect. Do not drag the lolly head across the sensor surface either. Now dab the next unused paper square and repeat the process until you feel happy all trouble spots of the sensor are covered. Check for dust and if necessary repeat the process. (Sometimes you need to go over several times). If all this does not help a wet clean is called for. The reason? see next paragraph.

I use the PENTAX lolly when ever I discover dirt on the sensor. I check regularly and the reason simply is this; You never know what the particle that is stuck on your sensor actually consist of. It could be anything, from a piece of Salami, (just kidding) a sweaty piece of skin flake or (heaven forbid a piece of metal) a particle of a ferrous nature (which could rust with humidity) to just an ordinary bit of dust. The point is, since you do not know what it is, it is better to remove it quickly before it has a chance to "weld" itself to the sensor surface over time in which case a wet cleaning method will be the only way to get rid of it.

Greetings
Thanks for the tip Schraubstock!
It probably would come up a lot easier tilting it first. I suspect my sensors were hard to clean because both came from NYC. City air is full of nasty stuff. I'm going to give it another try next time I need to clean one. The blower is all I have needed since cleaning them good with methanol.
08-13-2011, 06:41 AM   #12
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,908
QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
The blower is all I have needed since cleaning them good with methanol.
Hi
I guess that proves the point about not to let the crap linger for too long.
As to blowers, here is a copy of part of another post of mine on this topic:

Actually I am not a fan of these blowers. Firstly, they don't reliably remove the dust and secondly if they do they just re-locate it somewhere else into the mirror box when it will re-appear again on your sensor the following week by virtue of turbulence created by the mirror slap and and pumping zoom lenses.

People say the dust will fall out of the camera if, while you blow you hold the mount opening facing down, well I am not do sure. My hunch would be with a decent blow the fluff, if it does come off, will go anywhere inside the mirror chamber and most likely will not fall out. There are too many surfaces inside the mirror box where the fluff, carried by a fair amount of air flow, can/will get stuck.

But here is another reason why I don't like or use these blowers;
Consider this: With every pump action of the blower you blow out and suck in air. It is sort of a throughput of air. Now, the air sucked into the rubber chamber of the blower is the air available to it from the surrounding area. Is this air free of dust? No of course not.

With regular use you will not be surprised to learn that actually quite a bit of dust can/will accumulate inside the rubber ball, and you know what happens when you blow the sensor with it. (I do have personal experience of this). It has also be known that the rubber of some blowers start to deteriorate over time and particles of rubber when you blow find themselves deposited on the sensor. (A really serious problem). Imagine where all these rubber particles will go inside your camera.

This is not a made up story to scare you, it has actually taken place. It only needs to happen once but it will put you off using these little buggers for life. But if you absolutely need to buy a blower make sure it is not made from rubber. Also you cannot be sure that the manufacturer (mainly Chinese these days) have done the right thing and provide you with a totally clean blower. Some use talcum powder, and even the tiniest amount of that is deadly. I have heard of people who have washed out their brand new blower before use because they had detected dust being blown out from it.

These are not made up stories to scare you, if you search for this on this forum I bet you find references to this.

So all in all, I find Blowers less than ideal for this job. This is my opinion based on personal experience and having cleaned many dozens of sensors for friends and family. All without the slightest amount of damage. I make my own sensor wipes, use Ethanol I purchase from the chemist (30mL) for three dollars (that's the price for the bottle, the chemist gave me the Ethanol for free) and as I said, never a problem.

Greetings
12-02-2011, 12:07 AM   #13
New Member




Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2
wipe material

What material do you use for your ethanol wipes?

David
12-02-2011, 04:27 AM   #14
Veteran Member
borno's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: md-usa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,580
QuoteOriginally posted by fsharp.au Quote
What material do you use for your ethanol wipes?

David
Most people use a pec pad, I wrap it around an old sensor swab. Some make a tool out of a cut down little rubber spatula or tongue depressor. I have used Kim wipes too and they worked fine. I use methanol, but would have bought eclipse if I had a camera store nearby. Just be careful and don't press down too hard. (and watch the dandruff! )
12-05-2011, 03:55 AM   #15
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Plymouth
Posts: 359
My brother managed to get sticky coal tar from an open fire on my sensor earlier this year (left the camera without a lens facing up on a table next to the fire...) and it was surprisingly easy to fix. I just used ethanol, a few lens tissues, and a pair of plastic tweezers. I rounded the tips of the tweezers off - they came with a split-screen kit - folded a tissue over a few times and gripped it, then dripped some ethanol onto the particles of tar. Left for a moment, dabbed off WITHOUT wiping to avoid smearing, and repeated with clean tissues until it was all gone. Then I moistened a tissue held in the tweezers and gave the whole sensor a quick left-right and up-down swipe to remove any streaking and it's been fine since. Was surprised at my brother, he's been using SLRs non-stop since the early '80s and been a pro photographer and documentary maker for the last fifteen or so years so really should have known better.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
blower, camera, dslr, photography, rocket, sensor
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stubborn dust on K-x sensor Quazimoto Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 15 08-08-2011 01:25 AM
Please help!! Lens dust or sensor dust? paperbag846 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 11-15-2010 09:25 PM
Stubborn Dust fra-zzr Pentax DSLR Discussion 6 02-24-2010 01:15 PM
dust on sensor or dust on lens 41ants Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 10-08-2009 10:28 AM
Help with Stubborn Dust Removal Looms Pentax DSLR Discussion 9 02-23-2008 11:18 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:08 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top