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02-29-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
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sensor cleaning woes

So after failing to dislodge a dust spot with air I grabbed a box of old sensor wipes and tried wiping the sensor. They were probably drying out due to their age and curiously left residue as well as a bunch of fibers now sadly stuck to the filter. I'm hoping the methanol in my friends wet cleaning kit removes it tomorrow. At the very least I'm going to make a few tries at cleaning it properly. Taking some test shots I don't see any noticable scratches at least, just some lint and lots of residue on the center where I pressed hardest.let this be a lesson. Use the proper tools for the job. I could have done a lot worse. Of course that pesky dust spot is still there. Its large enough to see with the naked eye and it is stuck pretty well from what I can gather. So tomorrow I will be wiping the sensor down and cleaning my horribly filthy focusing screen and hopefully I will get the finger smudges off of it this time. I really wish tuere was a better solution to dust. I like the sigma system (I think it was them) where a sealed glass sits in front of the sensor. Oh well. I'm just going to hope and pray for the best tomorrow.....fingers crossed.

02-29-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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This experience is almost enough for me to want to pay the damned $50 the local con artist wants to professionally clean sensors. I change lenses a lot, so dust is a fact of life. I guess this will just be a good experience to learn from.
02-29-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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Warning!!!
There is a special anti static coating (Indium tin oxide) on the filter you just cleaned and that is not resistent to most fluids and METHANOL is one of them so don't use it....
02-29-2012, 09:07 PM   #4
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If that "con artist" works at a local camera shop he probably knows what he is doing. Pay the fifty bucks.

02-29-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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Hmmm...thanks. I will check what his kit uses. All the wet kits I see online use methanol. If I were to order one...what would you guys recommend? I have a k7. The kit I was looking at online had methanol in it and was said to be safe with nikon. Nikons don't have the tin oxide coating?
02-29-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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Lol...I've heard a lot of bad stories about the guy....I am quite tempted to pay the 50...lot cheaper than a sensor replacement at pentax.
02-29-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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Also I'm guessing that this coating is reactive to solvents? What is the purpose of the coating? Anti-static? My friend shoots canon and warned me to make sure what I get doesn't react to the coating. In the meantime, I think I might let a professional clean this mess up for me. It seems wisest...especially given my luck so far. I still need to find a cleaning solution that works because I know dust is going to be my biggest issue......
02-29-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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I use lab grade methanol on a pec pad wrapped around an old swab with no I'll effects that I have seen (Pentax or canon) but I would buy eclipse if a camera store was near(I've heard it is methanol) .I used the safe to ship crap once and it made things worse so I tried the methanol because I have a big bottle of it. DONT use anything on the focus screen!

02-29-2012, 09:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
Hmmm...thanks. I will check what his kit uses. All the wet kits I see online use methanol. If I were to order one...what would you guys recommend? I have a k7. The kit I was looking at online had methanol in it and was said to be safe with nikon. Nikons don't have the tin oxide coating?
Not all only the newer ones, it was not deemed save with the D300 and the D3 because of the ITO coating
That's why Photographic Solutions game with E2 fluid specially designed for it but it seems they have dropped it... so shoot me

QuoteQuote:
IIRC, the main difference is that Eclipse is pure methanol and E2 contains a mixture of methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol. The E2 fluid was developed in cooperation with Sony for cleaning tin oxide coated sensor assemblies because testing showed that pure methanol is more likely to react with the tin oxide coating basically because the oxygen in the tin oxide has the potential to go into solution in pure methanol. The fact that the eclipse fluid flashes off in a fraction of a second significantly reduces this to a very slight likelihood of actually being a problem and also once the methanol is no longer perfectly pure, the affinity of the oxygen to methanol which causes it to go into solution is greatly reduced. Apparently, the mixture that E2 uses essentially eliminates this problem.
So don't use pure Methanol is now the advice it seems.


ps. yes it's anti-static, i already wrote that in my first comment
02-29-2012, 09:41 PM   #10
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I was just going to wipe the focusing screen with alcohol. Its just a plastic piece. No solvents at all? I've read that alcohol doesn't seem to harm it. Hmm...I could just wipe it with a microfiber cloth. That's all I've ever wiped it with before. It has some oil on it from handling. I wanted to try to get that off.

Sorry I missed your comment about the anti-static. I am half asleep at this point.

Understood on the eclipse and the difference. Yeah I was told to find the e2, and now I see that it is discontinued. Hmmm. Maybe I will try eclipse instead. Thanks for the heads up. In the meantime, I think I'm about to make someone $50 richer.
03-01-2012, 01:19 AM   #11
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Why is evereybody always experimenting with those 'other' cleaning kits, Pentax has probably the word's best cleaning kit in house (the O-ICH 1)?
It's so good that LEICA is using it in their Solms factory.
What would we want more?
03-01-2012, 02:03 AM   #12
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What a horror-story! I would dread to have to do this. Luckily for me though, I haven't have to clean my DSLRS in all 4 years I own them. And yes, I change lenses very often too. So here's the free tip:

I'm pretty paranoid about sharpness and dust. So, I check for dust very often. When there's dust, I can always blow it away. (Knocks wood.) Probably, because with me, dust doesn't get the chance to 'ferment' stuck to the sensor. I check so often, that it's always still loose. Well, that's my theory, I could also just be lucky.

What I also never do, is change lenses in moist conditions, or rain, or dusty conditions, or when people are smoking nearby, or inside a smokers house, or when there are children near, or when my gut says it wouldn't be wise. And when I think I the conditions aren't lens-swap-friendly, or when I think I won't have the time to do my safe lens-swapping-ritual, I just take my 18-135 WR and forget my primes.
03-01-2012, 03:29 AM   #13
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Focus Screen and Lens Cleaning Tips, Any Comments - Photo.net Pentax Forum
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-r-forum/173735-dust-issues-my-k-r.html
Try researching a bit before jumping into the unknown, it might save you some money in the end.

Last edited by altopiet; 03-01-2012 at 04:55 AM.
03-01-2012, 03:56 AM   #14
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Visibledust makes some nice products for cleaning you camera. It's all pricey, but worth it if you have more than one camera to keep clean since bring your gear in a few times pays for everything.

Sensor cleaning system for digital camera.
03-01-2012, 04:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
So tomorrow I will be wiping the sensor down and cleaning my horribly filthy focusing screen and hopefully I will get the finger smudges off of it this time.
Just to be sure here, you wouldn't be the first person to think there was a fingerprint on their focusing screen, when they were actually seeing the textured grain on it. It looks something like a fingerprint at smaller apertures. In any case, the focusing screen is very soft and you will probably scratch it up by wiping it down with anything.

As far as cleaning goes, I haven't had to delve into wet cleanings yet. I use a soft artist's brush to loosen any dust, then a blower to (hopefully) remove it, and I repeat the process until it's clean. It can be a bit tedious, but it's very gentle on the filter.
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