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01-31-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
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Dust Removal Process

Hola everyone...

I am wondering, as far as the dust removal process built into the K200D, how many times in a row is safe? Should you not do the dust removal process more than once or twice at a time, or is it robust enough to handle a dozen times or so if necessary? I do have it activated automatically at each start up.

The first thing I did after attaching the kit lens to the body last November was to run the dust alert test. I had some dust showing already on the sensor dust alert. Since that time the dust has been left, I had not tried to do anything with it since there was apparently so little on the sensor. However, today I noticed a spot on my shots in one portion of blue sky in landscapes. So, I ran the dust removal 4 times in a row. This eliminated all dust on the sensor according to the test. I'll check tomorrow to see if I have any further spotting.

Also, as an aside, do you folks feel the dust alert test is accurate?

01-31-2009, 09:48 PM   #2
Damn Brit
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You can probably do it as many times as you like but all you will do is run down the battery (and probably redistribute more dust).
It's best to leave a few seconds between activations and you should also do it with the lens off and the front of the camera facing down. If you do the cleaning with a lens on, the dust stays in the camera.
A Giottos rocket blower is also a useful thing to have.
01-31-2009, 10:18 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
You can probably do it as many times as you like but all you will do is run down the battery (and probably redistribute more dust).
It's best to leave a few seconds between activations and you should also do it with the lens off and the front of the camera facing down. If you do the cleaning with a lens on, the dust stays in the camera.
A Giottos rocket blower is also a useful thing to have.
Thanks... I have ordered mine and it is on its way. I will be sure to remove the lens next time.
02-01-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
It's best to leave a few seconds between activations and you should also do it with the lens off and the front of the camera facing down. If you do the cleaning with a lens on, the dust stays in the camera.
Interesting advice. Did you think of that yourself or was it recommended by someone else? I'd worry about dust floating in (even with camera facing down). There is supposedly some sort of a tacky strip inside the camera to catch dust shaken loose, but I don't particularly that to hold dust forever. So I'd be curious to know if Pentax has ever expressed an opinion on this.

02-01-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Not read anything about the lens-side down suggestion from dB but it certainly makes sense. Have always stuck it on a tripod and given it an upside down blow.
02-02-2009, 02:19 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
you should also do it with the lens off and the front of the camera facing down. If you do the cleaning with a lens on, the dust stays in the camera.
A Giottos rocket blower is also a useful thing to have.
I might be missing something, but what's the point of removing the lens? Unless I'm mistaken the mirror remains down when the mechanism vibrates the sensor so any particles will remain in the sensor area and won't get out. I don't think you are really creating an escape path for any dust by removing the lens while you do this.

I don't think of the shaking mechanism as a "removal" system. It seems more like it tries to manage the location of dust particles that happen to have snuck in while between cleanings. Cleaning is still needed and the blower and sensor scopes are very useful investments.

Typically, I do a sensor cleanning session the night before I'm shooting. Then if I'm worried about dust at the shoot I'll run the shaking mechanism. I run it four times rotating the camera 90 degrees between shakes. I don't have any particular hard science behind this, it's just the process that I've become comfortable with and its been effective for me.

Since I now shoot with multiple bodies, I do very few lenses changes in the field. When I do, its inside an over-sized ziplock bag that I pack along for this purpose to try to minimize the external exposure while the the lenses are off the body. (Obsessive, I'm sure! )

Alderfall:
I tried the Dust Alert feature early on but didn't find it particularly helpful. At least I can't see (with a sensor scope) what it's finding. The items visible with the scope are the ones that seem to match up with the ones I see in the photos.

Re-tom
02-02-2009, 05:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tpeace Quote

Alderfall:
I tried the Dust Alert feature early on but didn't find it particularly helpful. At least I can't see (with a sensor scope) what it's finding. The items visible with the scope are the ones that seem to match up with the ones I see in the photos.

Re-tom
Interesting! Well, my Rocket Blaster should be here any day. I did notice that one evening I was able to use the dust removal option several times and it cleared the sensor of particles (according to the display). Two days later and no lens change and suddenly there are at least 10-12 little black spots. Oh well, I'll wait for the ever so wonderful Giotto's tool.

Thanks!
02-02-2009, 07:28 PM   #8
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The Dust alert feature produces lots of false hits if you point at something with any texture to it - the texture gets interpreted as dust. You need to be pointed at something completely featureless (and I suppose it helps to be sure to be out of focus).

02-02-2009, 07:38 PM   #9
Damn Brit
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Interesting advice. Did you think of that yourself or was it recommended by someone else? I'd worry about dust floating in (even with camera facing down). There is supposedly some sort of a tacky strip inside the camera to catch dust shaken loose, but I don't particularly that to hold dust forever. So I'd be curious to know if Pentax has ever expressed an opinion on this.
I can't remember where I read or heard that Marc but I must have got it from somewhere because that's the way I do it. The way I explained it to myself (logically I hope) is, the mechanism must create some kind of air movement when it shakes and with the lens off there is somewhere for that to go, otherwise it is just going to move around within the confines of the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by tpeace Quote
I might be missing something, but what's the point of removing the lens? Unless I'm mistaken the mirror remains down when the mechanism vibrates the sensor so any particles will remain in the sensor area and won't get out. I don't think you are really creating an escape path for any dust by removing the lens while you do this.

I don't think of the shaking mechanism as a "removal" system. It seems more like it tries to manage the location of dust particles that happen to have snuck in while between cleanings. Cleaning is still needed and the blower and sensor scopes are very useful investments.

Typically, I do a sensor cleanning session the night before I'm shooting. Then if I'm worried about dust at the shoot I'll run the shaking mechanism. I run it four times rotating the camera 90 degrees between shakes. I don't have any particular hard science behind this, it's just the process that I've become comfortable with and its been effective for me.

Since I now shoot with multiple bodies, I do very few lenses changes in the field. When I do, its inside an over-sized ziplock bag that I pack along for this purpose to try to minimize the external exposure while the the lenses are off the body. (Obsessive, I'm sure! )

Alderfall:
I tried the Dust Alert feature early on but didn't find it particularly helpful. At least I can't see (with a sensor scope) what it's finding. The items visible with the scope are the ones that seem to match up with the ones I see in the photos.

Re-tom
Tom, see above. No you're not obsessive, you're just looking after your kit. Of course, if there had been potato chips in the ziploc prior to putting the camera in, that would still not be obsessive.
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