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12-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #1
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Is it worth it to switch to K-5 II for the sake of ultrasonic dust removal?

Hi,

I am wondering about your opinions. I do know that K-5 II has a better dust removal system than K-30 but I am wondering if it actually prevents the dust from appearing.
I have been shooting K-30 for a few months and I have around 10 dust particles, which do show up in the sky at working apertures. This was never the case with my previous 4/3rds
cameras that use an ultrasonic dust removal... Is K-5 II's one just as effective?

12-16-2013, 04:18 PM   #2
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Have you done a physical dust removal yourself?
Going into settings, lifting the mirror up, turning the camera upside down, and using a rocket-blower (Giottos is great) to get rid of the particles?

Really, any camera can get dust in its sensor, and not all removal systems will be 100% efficient. If I have any stubborn particles left over, the rocket-blower usually does the job.
12-16-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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While I think the k-5 dust system is much better than the one in the k-x (no experience with k-30) I don't think it is enough reason to upgrade bodies. OTOH, if you are looking for a good excuse, then sure the k-5II is a much nicer camera. But roughly the same sensor so not a huge improvement in the IQ category.

Do you run the dust removal on startup? There is a setting in the menu for that. I used to have dust all the time on the k-x until I set it to run at startup, never really had much problem after that. And as Julie noted there are other methods of dust removal beyond the sensor shaker.
12-16-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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I ran the dust removal 20 times in a row at different angles. I removed maybe a quarter of dust particles. I haven't done any sensor blowing yet. It's just that when I had cameras with ultrasonic dust removal (olympus E-510, E-500, E-300) it was never a problem.

12-16-2013, 05:25 PM   #5
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Dust removal procedure in order:
1) Use the camera dust removal system. There is a menu setting to turn on/off. If you have dust run this several times in a row and then check for dust again. I leave mine on "run on startup" and I think that is best so you don't have to worry about it.
2) Use a 'rocket blower' or equivalent to blow off anything the shaker will not get rid of. Do not use compressed air or canned air. Some folks report it is OK to use canned air if you are careful, personally I'm not taking any chances but YMMV.
3) Use a wet cleaning kit. This is the last resort, and on two cameras with over 25,000 actuations in all kinds of environments I've never had to use one yet. Get this if all else fails but don't go there unless you are sure you need it.
4) Send in for professional cleaning. Pentax extended warranty (in the US) includes one 'free' cleaning. Not sure about anywhere else.

Easiest way to check for dust is to set your aperture to f/22 or so and take an image of the sky. Dust on the sensor is more visible at smaller apertures.

I think it is best to have the dust removal system on at startup so that it runs each time you turn on the camera, which is also generally every time you change lenses. This clears the dust as soon as it gets in the camera, the longer it is on the sensor the harder it seems to be to clean it off. I would suggest cleaning the sensor to get rid of all spots, and turn on the "at startup" dust removal to keep it off. Note, that all spots are not dust, you can get organic things like pollen on there as well that are slightly sticky and not easy to remove with the sensor shaker.

I wonder if the ultrasonic cleaners in the other cameras ran at startup or just manually?
12-16-2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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hi,

I run the sensor shaker after the camera is turned off, to allow for faster startup. I guess I could see how it could let the dust particles stick throughout the operation, before I switch it off, so maybe I will start running it at a startup as well.
12-16-2013, 05:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
I guess I could see how it could let the dust particles stick throughout the operation,
Possible anyway. I also wonder if you did not get some pollen or something in there. Anyway, I would try to get it completely clean, might even take a wet cleaning and then watch to see if you have trouble going forward. I honestly never had an issue after I set the k-x to on startup. I have not had problems with the k-5 or the k-3 either, but I set them to run dust removal at startup when I took them out of the box.
12-16-2013, 06:46 PM   #8
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If the dust is stubborn and won't come off with the dust removal system or rocket blower, I use the Cleanskies sensor brush set, available on evilbay. Basically they are acrylic paint brushes without the sizing material used to make paintbrushes point properly. You use a can of air to blow the brush clean, then take a single swipe across the sensor. The air blowing on the brush creates static electricity so the brush lifts up the dust. Works pretty well.

Living in Florida, I also get wet pollen stains on my sensor in the spring time. To clean those, I use zeiss lens wipes, followed up with cotton swabs.

12-16-2013, 10:56 PM   #9
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Eclipse sensor cleaner and Pec-Pads and spatula is pretty near foolproof; this is usually what they use when you send it into service. Just take a little care in application. That was the only good alternative for the several years before anti-shake mechanisms. I did dozens of times without incident (shot a lot in dusty conditions). Personally, I would never let a brush contact a sensor no matter how soft.

Most dust comes in during lens changes. It seems this makes doing the anti-shake more effective at the time you turn the camera off - although I can't figure out why. Since I switched to "off" cycle shake, it seems to me that I have gotten less dust on the sensor. I don't seem to need to clean (typically only using the blow system) hardly at all with the K-30/K-01 - and next to never have to repeat the process.
12-19-2013, 09:50 AM   #10
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My K 10 accumulated noticeable dust, despite the "shake, rattle and roll" removal. My K 5 has hardly any dust; the tiny amount it does have is easily removed in PP, so I haven't bothered to clean the sensor.
12-19-2013, 10:44 AM   #11
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In general use, wet cleaning should be an extremely rare event. I have had my K10D since 2007 and it has never required a wet cleaning despite regular use and frequent lens changes. The rocket blower has always been effective. The in-camera dust removal has been less so.


Steve
12-19-2013, 10:53 AM   #12
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All I can say is compared to other brands, I used to shoot Sony dslrs and it took much more blowing and effort to get dust off the sensors. Pentax advertises that they put a dust repellent coating on their sensors and I honestly believe this alone helps quite a bit because dust is much easier to blow off my K30 sensor. As for ultrasonic dust removal, I've never had a camera that had it and I am also curious if anyone has experience to how much better it works?
12-26-2013, 02:08 AM   #13
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It worked very well on olympus. I never saw any dust on my E-510 and I used it for years, switching lenses all the time.
12-26-2013, 05:53 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
If the dust is stubborn and won't come off with the dust removal system or rocket blower, I use the Cleanskies sensor brush set, available on evilbay. Basically they are acrylic paint brushes without the sizing material used to make paintbrushes point properly. You use a can of air to blow the brush clean, then take a single swipe across the sensor. The air blowing on the brush creates static electricity so the brush lifts up the dust. Works pretty well.
I use 'em too. They're cheap & work better than anything else I've tried.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Easiest way to check for dust is to set your aperture to f/22 or so and take an image of the sky. Dust on the sensor is more visible at smaller apertures.
Yep. You can also set the f-stop at f22 & take a pic of any blank white computer screen. (I use notepad for this.) I put the camera in manual focus mode, focus it to infinity & stick it right up to the screen to take the shot. That eliminates any chance of getting a "false positive" for dust. I prefer this method to the sky, because you can do it when it's dark or rainy out, less running in & out of the house, and you don't have to wonder if it's dust or a distant bird you're looking at.
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