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05-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #1
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Cleaning the sensor?

Hi all,

I have an annoying piece of dust of my k200d sensor that will not come off with the Rocket Blower. I can see the bugger when I flip the mirror back in "Sensor Cleaning" mode but it does not budge. I have also tried the Dust Removal function that vibrates the camera. I am sure it is not on the focusing screen since the particle is only visible on the pictures themselves.

Given all of that, what is the best route? e.g.
- Swabs with isopropyl alcohol?
- The LensPen? (Amazon.com: LensPEN Lens Cleaning System: Camera & Photo)
- The DustAid? (Amazon.com: DustAid Platinum DSLR Sensor Cleaner: Camera & Photo)
- Have professionally cleaned?

Thanks,
Brock

05-05-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by brockj Quote
Hi all,

I have an annoying piece of dust of my k200d sensor that will not come off with the Rocket Blower. I can see the bugger when I flip the mirror back in "Sensor Cleaning" mode but it does not budge. I have also tried the Dust Removal function that vibrates the camera. I am sure it is not on the focusing screen since the particle is only visible on the pictures themselves.

Given all of that, what is the best route? e.g.
- Swabs with isopropyl alcohol?
- The LensPen? (Amazon.com: LensPEN Lens Cleaning System: Camera & Photo)
- The DustAid? (Amazon.com: DustAid Platinum DSLR Sensor Cleaner: Camera & Photo)
- Have professionally cleaned?

Thanks,
Brock
Don't use the LensPen - it is too abrasive for the sensor. Lens coatings are more durable.

You could have it professionally cleaned, but I would just use a set made for the purpose. As long as you are careful and wipe gently, don't scrub, you should be okay. I have not had to use mine yet, but I did buy one of the better rated ones for when I do need to clean it properly.
05-06-2009, 06:03 AM   #3
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I found this site VERY helpful in figuring out what to do: Introduction - Cleaning Digital Cameras - D-SLR Sensor Cleaning.

Jim
05-06-2009, 06:09 AM   #4
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The official Pentax cleaning kit is reasonably priced and incredibly quick, easy, and effective.

05-06-2009, 09:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
The official Pentax cleaning kit is reasonably priced and incredibly quick, easy, and effective.
Indeed. One needs steady hands and a well-lit work area, but the kit is great.
05-07-2009, 09:16 PM   #6
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Arctic Butterfly Brush. I had a piece of welded on pollen that would not come off with the large rocket blower. Second pass with the Arctic Butterfly brush and pollen gone, sky clear and no more cloning out the dust spot.
05-09-2009, 08:00 AM   #7
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I recommend the Arctic butterfly as well. it's quick effective, I use two passes using each side of the brush once across the sensor...and it's clean and clear.
05-09-2009, 08:03 AM   #8
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The Pentax cleaning system for the sensor is called the "Imagesensor Cleaning Kit O-ICK1". Not sure where to order it though, but probably through Pentax or their online store.

05-09-2009, 08:09 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
The official Pentax cleaning kit is reasonably priced and incredibly quick, easy, and effective.
Indeed very effective and quick.
No need to bring any strange substance inside the camera and you remove the dust, not sweep it arround.
05-09-2009, 08:22 AM   #10
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I also use the Pentax kit and recommend it highly. Adorama usually carries it though I see they are currently out of stock. I also suggest the Visible Dust Sensor Loupe, an LED magnifier. Easy to see exactly where the dust is located.

Richard
05-09-2009, 08:27 AM   #11
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Another vote for the "Cleaning Digital Cameras" site. They list all the methods and the pluses and minuses of each method. Personally I use the swab/methyl alcohol (Eclipse fluid) method. BTE do not use isopropyl alcohol, it sometimes can leave a very slight residue. Methyl alcohol (methanol) is much better. BTW that is what Eclipse fluid is...methanol.
Note that generally speaking a quick blow with a rocket blower or foot pump usually works pretty good, it's rare that you have to use more intensive methods.

NaCl(and it is not quite as difficult as they make it seem)H2O
05-10-2009, 05:08 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Old Timer 56 Quote
I also use the Pentax kit and recommend it highly. Adorama usually carries it though I see they are currently out of stock. I also suggest the Visible Dust Sensor Loupe, an LED magnifier. Easy to see exactly where the dust is located.

Richard
Fortunately the K20D already does that for us with Dust Alert.
05-10-2009, 05:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Fortunately the K20D already does that for us with Dust Alert.
Yes, but also odd that it recommends the sensor cleaning kit in the back of the manual. I wonder if this is a sign that the inner dust cleaner won't always keep working as the camera gets older.

I was a little nervous when I first got the K20D as I did the dust check and the sensor was loaded with specks. I then activated the little dust clean where the camera shakes vigorously and when I checked again, it was 100% spotless.
05-10-2009, 09:40 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Yes, but also odd that it recommends the sensor cleaning kit in the back of the manual. I wonder if this is a sign that the inner dust cleaner won't always keep working as the camera gets older.
Not at all - just an acknowledgement that there are some specks that simply shaking the sensor can't remove.

QuoteQuote:
I was a little nervous when I first got the K20D as I did the dust check and the sensor was loaded with specks.
An often-overlooked fact about Dust Alert is that you have to point at a completely blank featureless surface when performing the check. Otherwise, the system sees the texture of the surface you are point at and misinterprets it as dust on the sensor. The walls of my house are useless for this purpose - far too textured - but blue sky or a sheet of bright white paper are fine.
05-10-2009, 12:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Yes, but also odd that it recommends the sensor cleaning kit in the back of the manual. I wonder if this is a sign that the inner dust cleaner won't always keep working as the camera gets older.
No, it is an admission that dust removal by shaking will not eliminate some of the more sticky stuff. I am lucky enough not to have needed my cleaning kit yet. So far the shake on startup setting has kept my sensor clean. I've used a blower once or twice, but in a year and a half, that's not too bad. I am careful to always change lenses with the camera throat down, and switches off to cut down on static electricity while the camera is open.
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