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03-07-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
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K20D: Photos have spots and specs. Cleaned but stil there. Help!!!!

Hey guys,

I have a K20D and when I look through the viewfinder with my lens off I can see little spots and specs and what looks like a tiny hair. When I take a photos of the sky they are very noticeable. I got it cleaned at Sammy's Camera in LA. And the sensor looks spotless. WHAT COULD BE WRONG?

I can't figure it out for the life of me. Maybe my sensor is damaged?

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

03-07-2009, 09:38 PM   #2
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If they show up on your pictures (not just in the viewfinder) then ask for your money back from Samy's and do it yourself. Just use a RocketBlower, and if it still won't work, use one of the wet pads.

Are you sure it shows on the pictures? I wasn't sure from your description. You can also try the dust map feature, but you MUST shoot a totally blank wall or sky. Otherwise, the edges of the features in the frame will appear as dust spots or lines on the dust map.
03-07-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
gbialka: When I take a photos of the sky they are very noticeable. I got it cleaned at Sammy's Camera in LA. And the sensor looks spotless. WHAT COULD BE WRONG?

I can't figure it out for the life of me. Maybe my sensor is damaged?

Has anyone else had a similar experience?
Yes, my camera had spots on pics from brand new. I was able to fix with a Rocket Blower and the "Dust Map" feature explained in the K20 manual. If the spots show in your pics, as you say they do, you surely have dust on your sensor. You might want to return it to Sammy's and give them another try.

If you see dust when you look through the viewfinder, you can remove the focus screen and blow it off with the Rocket Blower as well. There are directions all over the web (and videos) on how to do this safely. Rocket Blowers can be bought at camera shops all over--best of Luck.

Edit: You might also want to use the "Dust Removal" tool in the K20--see Owner's manual.

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 03-07-2009 at 09:52 PM. Reason: more help
03-07-2009, 10:16 PM   #4
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I find it nearly impossible to keep my K20D viewfinder clean. Gotta stop changing lenses, I guess. And for the spotty sensor, I bought the official approved PENTAX IMAGESENSOR CLEANING KIT O-ICK1 awhile back, and just used it again a couple days ago. Now the only image problems are due to operator error, eh?

03-07-2009, 10:22 PM   #5
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If you can see gunk with the lens off, that's 90% probability that they're in the viewfinder, 10% on the mirror. Has nothing to do with sensor, and those should not show up in your photos.


Remove focusing screen (carefully), and blow into the view finder chamber. I just use compressed air (carefully) and it works wonders. Couple of blows (carefully) and all the hair and dust; gone.


Did I mention be careful when you do these things?

Last edited by RawheaD; 03-08-2009 at 12:20 AM.
03-08-2009, 01:00 AM   #6
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I find the dust map feature will show a totally clean sensor when I can see (in a photo) loads of very small specks when stopped down. When I bought the camera it had a large piece of dust that refused to be blown off and this of course did show in the dust map. The fact is that it only takes a microscopic piece of dust to be on the sensor for it to be clearly visible in the sky of any stopped-down photo - you will never see the dust by looking at the sensor. Even my large dot was only just visible to the naked eye.
03-08-2009, 07:31 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RawheaD Quote
If you can see gunk with the lens off, that's 90% probability that they're in the viewfinder, 10% on the mirror. Has nothing to do with sensor, and those should not show up in your photos.


Remove focusing screen (carefully), and blow into the view finder chamber. I just use compressed air (carefully) and it works wonders. Couple of blows (carefully) and all the hair and dust; gone.


Did I mention be careful when you do these things?
Actually, thats 100% on the screen, 0% on the mirror. It would gave to be a ginormous piece of grot on the mirror to be visible in the finder.
03-08-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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Yep - viewfinder dust, not sensor dust. You can't see sensor dust when looking through the viewfinder and viewfinder dust doesn't show on pictures. Be very careful with the focus screen - it is VERY easy to scratch. I've used my rocket air blower for it as well as the sensor and have been happy. While I looked at the various websites that show how to remove/change the focus screen, I couldn't quite figure it out for myself. Once someone showed me, I had no trouble, but put up with the dust for probably close to a year before that.

03-08-2009, 08:53 PM   #9
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My usually sensible nephew was complaining about the dust he was getting on his K10 sensor. After some discussion, it turns out he would keep the spare lens in a jacket pocket without a cap on the end. My brother patiently explained to him that dust on the lens can migrate into the camera the very next time its installed.

Obviously caps on both ends of the lens should be used every time its removed from the camera.
03-08-2009, 09:23 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtngal Quote
Yep - viewfinder dust, not sensor dust. You can't see sensor dust when looking through the viewfinder and viewfinder dust doesn't show on pictures. Be very careful with the focus screen - it is VERY easy to scratch. I've used my rocket air blower for it as well as the sensor and have been happy. While I looked at the various websites that show how to remove/change the focus screen, I couldn't quite figure it out for myself. Once someone showed me, I had no trouble, but put up with the dust for probably close to a year before that.
Second warning on taking the focus screen out since I scratched mine in the process. I couldn't get the screen holder to open until I read the katzeye instructions. In the process of failing to open the hatch I've scratched my original screen some. Good thing I'm satisfied with the chinese knockoff screen that I was going to put in otherwise I would be short 40$ =b

Oh and wear latex gloves if you can, definitely don't touch the screen other than the small bit that extends out (and dont use your hand, use some other kinda tool). I heard that fingerprints on the focusing screen is impossible to clean.
03-08-2009, 09:37 PM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
gbialka: When I take a photos of the sky they are very noticeable.
This sentence is the source of confusion. It could have at least 2 meanings:

1) Either you mean, you take pics of the sky and spots show up in the pics of them---In this case you have dust on your sensor

2) Or, you mean, when you are framing the sky, looking through the viewfinder, you can more easily see the spots---In this case, the dust is on the focus screen.
03-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #12
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Thank you everyone for your help. I bougth a rocket blower, and was able to remove all of the dust on my sensor. Checked with the dust alert feature, and it was flawlessly white. Woo hoo!!!
03-09-2009, 03:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbialka Quote
Thank you everyone for your help. I bougth a rocket blower, and was able to remove all of the dust on my sensor. Checked with the dust alert feature, and it was flawlessly white. Woo hoo!!!
So, what exactly did Samy's do for you, besides take your money?

Anyway, glad you've got a clean camera now.
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