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Old Jul 21, 2006, 3:19 PM   #1
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Just got a SLR for the first time. Have taken over 3 gigs worth of pics.

When I was lookign at them on my PC, I noticed a dark speck on the top left corner....

Happens on almost every pic. Depending on zoom level, it will be more or less in focus.

I took the lens off, pointed directly at the sun and took a pic. It is pure white so Im sure the sensor is clean.

Looked at both sides of the lens in direct pov of the sun....

Front side is clean, but back side (where it goes into the camera) definitely isn't. theres a small speck on the tail end of the lens (last piece of glass). problem is, it looks like it's INSIDE the lens. On the inner surface, which means i'd have to disassemble it to clean it.

Any advice? It is a new camera, barely two weeks. Can I just take the lens back to the store and exchange it?

Is this a known issue that can be fixed?

Look at top-left in this pic to see what I mean. It really ruins every picture
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 3:37 PM   #2
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Looks like Sensor Dust to me. You have to have a lens on your camera - preferably at f 16 or smaller in order to spot the dust well. Try it and aim at the sky with F16 or smaller - not directly into the sun. A bright wall will work too.
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 3:39 PM   #3
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It's a very good picture! Take the camera and lens back to the store with some picture samples, they'll have to replace it. That kind of speck is not acceptable for a new lens, and to have it disassembled and cleaned is not cheap (and definitely not DIY). Also do like HogRider suggests, if possible with more than one lens to see if it really is the lens or the sensor. Sensor dust is something you get sooner or later and will have to learn how to get rid of. There is also a little risk that there is something wrong with the sensor, and your camera should be replaced for that reason.


Edit: Forgot, welcome to the forum!
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 4:01 PM   #4
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I am betting on dirt on the sensor and not the lens! Lock the morror up and look at the sensor with a flashlight and you should see a speck of dirt or dust that needs to be removed.

As Kjell mentioned, test it with another lens and you should see the spot if it is sensor dirt, but looking works just as well.

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Old Jul 21, 2006, 4:10 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forummongrelchild
my ds had a speck on the sensor from day one. i sent it to pentax , they cleaned it and sent it back all in 4 days. sensor dust is best identified by using a wide angle lens(kit lens @ 18mm) stopped down down to f16-32 and take a pic of the clear blue sky. open the image in a graphics progam at full size and scroll across and up and down to view the entire image. believe me you will see the dust. as new as it is i say, take it back and get another body and lens.

eventually tho, your cam will be out of warranty and you are going to have to learn how to clean the sensor shield. this is not if, it's when. no options except the camera shop. i usually end up cleaning mine about once a month.

great image BTW,
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 5:55 PM   #6
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I'm not sure that this is sensor dust. I had sensor dust on my DS (what I get for not turning my back to the wind while changing lenses - got caught in a gust while snowshoeing) and it didn't look like a speck like this - mine was blurrier.One thing I might suggest is to get a hand air blower of some type, and blow some air on the sensor (that's allI had to do with mine to clean thedust off) and see if that makes a difference. If it doesn't, then definitely take both the camera and lens back to where you got it.
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Old Jul 21, 2006, 7:37 PM   #7
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As the others have suggesgted it looks like sensor dust.

I regularly clean my sensor with a hand blower as part of normal routine.

I do mainly outside work in motorsprt and dust entry is inevitable.
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 10:30 AM   #8
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Hi guys,

Thanks for the compliments on the picture!

I removed the lens and sure enough, there is a tiny lil speck on the bottom-right of the sensor.

I sent an email to pentax requesting advice on what to do. I also mentionned the speck inside the lens, which may or may not be dust. i await their response.

How tough is the sensor? Is it just the raw surface or is there a hard/tough piece of glass or plastic covering it?

I'm not very good with my hands and I dont have a very clean environment to work in, so I do not trust myself to do it without destroying the camera.

As much as I love the camera, its picture quality, and the price I paid for it, i kinda wish i'd bought a minolta despite the much higher price. Reading up on their sensor cleaning tech and how simple+effective it is makes me pretty disappointed that other manufacturers dont have anything in place.

I live in Canada. Do you recommend just exchanging the entire kit for another or just simply cleaning the sensor or sending it to pentax?

I don't know how long it will take to send here, and being in the province i'm in, and having had bad experiences with specialty shops (ski shops and bike shops - have vistited over 10 separate ones and they were all extremely unprofessional) i don't think I'd trust a local repair center to work on my camera - I really love it and would hate to have to live with a botched repair/cleaning job.

Sensor cleaning is not something i though i'd have to deal with, to be honest.

Oh - and by hand blower, do you mean a can of compressed air? Looking at a box of old camera stuff my dad has I dound what looks like a supersoft brush that has a little ruber bulb at the end, but the bristles still seem pretty rough and the jet of air coming out of the thing is so weak/minute it's almost ridiculous.

PS: I have some really nice pics I could show you guys. I will start a new thread when I get home.... Mostly they put the above picture I posted to shame
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 11:39 AM   #9
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there are canned air products that can be used but i haven't seen them.

for a blower, i just use a basting blub. you know, the thing you use to baste a turkey. of couse it's very clean.. be sure to not touch anything inside the cam when blowing it out.

you are not actually cleaning the sensor. you are cleaning it's protective sheild and it's really tough..

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Old Jul 22, 2006, 12:21 PM   #10
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'you are not actually cleaning the sensor. you are cleaning it's protective sheild and it's really tough..'

That's very reassuring to know....Thanks


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