Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-21-2010, 12:35 AM   #1
New Member

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 4
Cleaning the Sensor on K100D

After 3 years of use my sensor finally had to much dust to live with. I elected to take it to the local repair shop for cleaning. They did a great job for $39.

If you're cleaning the sensor yourself what are you using?


04-21-2010, 12:37 AM   #2
Veteran Member
jct us101's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Rohnert Park, CA
Posts: 3,695
The rocket blower is usually the easiest and most used way to get rid of dust, since you're never actually touching the sensor, but it's also the least effective, because you're just blowing air on the sensor, which doesn't always get rid of all the dust. The only way that I have really heard of other than that though is the wet cleaning method, which I would be very hesitant to use myself since I've never cleaned a sensor before.
04-21-2010, 01:25 AM   #3
Veteran Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,563
I used to bring in my K10D to the local camera shop who would clean it for € 25.
Until half a year ago there were a few specs on the sensor that they could not get rid off.

The shop uses a special high pressure but absolute clean air pump, not touching the sensor.
They returned the camera without cost, but with still some specs on the sensor.

I bought a wet swipe cleaning set, watched the video on the Internet and gave it a go. And it worked extremely well.
The most important issue with swiping is the possibility of scratching with small sand particles.
Since the sensor was before treated with high pressure air, I thought it would be no problem.
Actually the procedure was simpler and easier then I thought it would be.

I read a post of somebody buying mascara brushes cleaning them with soft soap and using them to dry swipe his sensors.
Since it uses a soft brush scratching is less probable.
I have not tried it yet but found it a great idea.

If you decide to swipe, I advise you to first use a rocket blower to make sure to remove all larger (sand) particles.

- Bert
04-21-2010, 08:28 AM   #4
Veteran Member
rparmar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,783
I use the Arctic Butterfly, which is an electrostatic brush. Powered by a battery, you turn it on for a bit to get a charge going and then turn off the brush. It can then be softly dragged across the sensor and the charge helps pull off dust with no pressure required. I have found that this works perfectly! Though I change lenses often I only need to do this every six months or so with my K20D, but my K100D Super needed a lot more dust removal care for some reason.

The great thing about the Arctic Butterfly is it fits anywhere in the camera bag and requires no fluids or other mess. It can go on flights no problem.

The website might have several models and different kits but just get the cheapest one. It does the same job.

I do not use a blower as this might simply remove particles from one place and send them somewhere even more obscure.

Last edited by rparmar; 04-21-2010 at 07:56 PM.
04-21-2010, 09:14 AM   #5
Inactive Account

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,484
I had an arctic butterfly and couldn't make it do anything more than slide the dust around. I'm sure it was user error. The guy who bought it from me seems to be happy with it (though he still needs to contact me).. THE best thing I've ever used and swear by today, is the Pentax O-ICK1 cleaning kit. The blower, the AB, the Sensor Swabs, never got my sensor as clean as the cleaning kit. Yeah, it's a sticky lollipop looking gizmo with a pad of 'special' cleaning paper but I can't argue with what works for me.

04-21-2010, 09:52 AM   #6
Junior Member
Ember.'s Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Latvia, Liepāja
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 38
How much I have heard
Reidl Imaging The Digital camera Cleaing Expert
VisibleDust -- DSLR Sensor Cleaning
these kits are good for cleaning
04-21-2010, 01:32 PM   #7
Inactive Account

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: West Sussex UK
Posts: 235
I use an Arctic Butterfly as well. Absolutely spot on


04-21-2010, 02:16 PM   #8
Veteran Member
Tuner571's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ohio
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,550
I use the rocket blower for the really tough stuff; it works very well and normally removes the dust in three easy blows. I have yet to have a dust particle that I could not remove from my sensor. There have been times that I was concerned, but a few more blasts of air got them lose.

04-21-2010, 05:16 PM   #9
Veteran Member
GerryL's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 2,731
I use the rocket blower first then wipe the sensor with lens cloth that is new or very-very clean.
I got one dust that was very hard to remove by blowing alone with the "wiping" thing.
I did not wipe down the whole sensor though, just the spot were the suspected dust was.
04-21-2010, 07:03 PM   #10
Veteran Member

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 453
Chock another user up for the Arctic Butterfly! Love it to bits- I used to wet clean but those sensor cleaner swabs are EXPENSIVE (the fluid isn't really an issue)- for the same price as 2 sets of swabs I bought the cheapest Arctic Butterfly (as rparmar suggested).

I have a K100DS: really seems to be a dust magnet. Not sure why. So, the AB has been saving me tons in terms of cleaning costs! 3 charges/swipes later, and all the nasty blobs are gone gone gone... :-)
04-21-2010, 08:19 PM   #11
New Member
cheers's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9
i've used a rocket blower with great success. just turn the camera with the mount pointed down so that any dislodged dust particles tend to float downward. repeat several times, move the end of the blower so it's not blowing in the same location, then blow some more. let it rest in with the mount down, with the body cap on, then blow some more. you'll have a clean sensor with no risk of scratching.
04-23-2010, 11:35 AM   #12
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: south africa, johannesburg
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 228
blow job on camera sensor

That's the way to get your sensor to come clean.

I use a homemade blower - a plastic air pump with a long plastic tube and nozzle, the type that looks like a bellows - you squeeze it to inflate air mattresses etc.

I washed it out, let it dry, reassembled it and glued a piece of synthetic cloth over the intake valve, to act as a filter. The pump is foot operated and the nozzle is directed into the camera, held upside down. Clean air is sucked in through the filter, clean air is blown out at relatively high speed and much more volume than a Rocket blower or any other commercial blower.

Two blasts and the sensor was clean as an operating theatre.

Rubber blowers will deteriorate eventually and spit out tiny pieces of sticky rubber. Be especially careful of the pill shaped rubber blowers with brushes on the end - these are made to dust off lenses, not sensors.

Best thing I've made all year.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, photography, sensor
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Automatic Sensor Cleaning in k100d Super and k10d superfuzzy Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 11-19-2007 04:18 PM
K100D Sensor Cleaning Jimsi777 Photographic Technique 2 11-16-2007 01:19 PM
Sensor cleaning: Pec-Pads or Sensor Swabs gadgetnu Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 29 09-24-2007 10:52 AM
Sensor cleaning > Sensor Swab > void warranty? Twinky Pentax DSLR Discussion 2 07-28-2007 01:10 AM
Weird Sound of K100D (K10D 2?) in B/Sensor Cleaning Mode RiceHigh Pentax DSLR Discussion 13 01-05-2007 07:01 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:33 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]