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04-13-2014, 06:17 PM   #1
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What is this on my sensor?

Its been there since I bought the camera used and I only just realized it, not a big deal to me since a bright blue sky or a few other bright uniform colored surfaces is the only way to see it and under those circumstances it would be easy to fix, even solid overcast almost totally hides it. You only can see any one of the 4 spots (usually the well separated 4th one near the top) in like 5-10% of the pictures I have taken and only when the conditions are right and you know exactly what to look for and zoom way in.

Its actually super well hidden in all my pictures like a watermark, at this point it almost amuses me though I was quite irritated when i first noticed it. There is the triforce of staindom over on the right side and a super hard to see spot up and slightly to the right of the moon (the one you can see most often) and all seem to be the exact same size. I dunno if this is K5 staining since it seems much larger and more diffuse than most I have seen but none of those spots have changed as far back as i can find them in pictures, and switching lenses doesn't effect it. I didn't think it was an object on the sensor since that tends to be more solid and smaller.
The perfect of size shape and configuration is just bizarre.
The serial on this K5 is in the 4023000 range which I thought was well after any staining so I am kinda scratching my head. Thankfully I only paid $390 for the body several months ago. Shutter count is slightly over 20,200.

04-13-2014, 06:35 PM   #2
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Dirt. Dust on the sensor makes blobs like that. Just needs a good cleaning.

First, try the built-in dust shake feature a few times. If that doesn't work, open the thing up and blow it out with a "rocket blower." In most cases, that will solve the problem. If not, then you need to look into sensor cleaning methods and tools or have your local camera store do it for a fee.
04-13-2014, 06:54 PM   #3
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OK, cool, I will give the rocket blower in lock up mode a try and if that's no good I can order the Pentax ICKY kit and give it a go.
All the dust I had seen in other peoples pictures in the past showed up as small dark specks and even tiny hairs were clearly hairs in pictures I didn't know it could appear large and fuzzy like this.

EDIT: Yup, all 4 specks of dust visible. The one off by itself wouldn't come off even when I ever so carefully nudged it with the clean foam tip of a new makeup applicator (I know how delicate sensors are). Oddly enough though all 4 spots appear to be gone so I will skip the wet cleaning unless it shows up again in a blue sky test later.

Thanks all.

Last edited by PPPPPP42; 04-13-2014 at 07:11 PM.
04-13-2014, 06:58 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Looks like the moon to me

04-13-2014, 06:59 PM   #5
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In my experience, the best way to clean it is to start with what abmj said, shake feature and rocket blower first. In my particular case, I live in Florida and have a big problem with humid pollen getting stuck to my sensor. In that case, the best thing I've found is the CleanSkies sensor brushes, available on e-bay for around $14. They're really just regular nylon brushes, but they're made at the factory without the sizing (a kind of starch). You used canned air to blow on the bristles which make them build up a static charge. Use the first brush to clean out the mirror box. I do this with the lens opening pointing down. Then put your camera in mirror lock up mode (sensor cleaning mode) and run the sensor brush across the sensor ONE TIME. Turn the camera off, put on a lens, shoot the blue sky at f22. If there's still a spot, use the canned air on the sensor brush again, and try running it again one time. BTW, if you rub the brush across the sensor a second time without blowing it, you'll redeposit the last bit of dirt back on there. Also NEVER EVER blow canned air into the camera. You will cause nothing but trouble, maybe ruin your sensor. Inside the camera, only use the hand powered rocket blower.
04-13-2014, 07:00 PM   #6
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If you can actually see the dust and hairs in a picture, the image is from a film negative. If its horrible splodges, it's on a digital sensor. Rocket blower should fix it (never use canned air though, that will make the problem worse!)
04-13-2014, 07:53 PM   #7
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Yep dust - a frequent problem with DSLRs unfortunately. I have noticed the dust removal on the K-5 to be better than the K-x though... its taken much longer to get to a required clean point than it did with the K-x with similar use pattern.

I have been known to live with a little dust for a while, partly because I'm lazy, partly because I avoid too frequent sensor cleans (always makes me nervous) and partly as an exercise in shooting with wider apertures (and faster lenses) for a while. Wider apertures tend to not show up the dust (not usually that noticeable at f5.6 and f4 + wider are good).
Blower is worth a go first (need to do this first even if you end up doing a wet clean anyway). Many people then use a good quality sensor brush as next step then wet clean if needed so I have now purchased one to try (being doing wet cleans till now).

BTW: if you want to see what dust there is more clearly find a lens with a very small aperture available (the DA 18-135 will do f38 at 135mm) and point it (ideally defocused) at ceiling or sky while moving it around (to blur anything else). This should show up dust very clearly.

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