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rhermans Dec 17, 2010 9:05 AM

panic - K-5 with stained sensor
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That describes my first thought when yesterday I checked how many dust bunnies had gotten into the camera.

The standard dust alert showed a nice white screen what normally is enough for me not to go further in search for dust.

But with all the posts running around about stained sensors I pointed the camera at the pc-screen, set the fstop high enough took a picture, dropped it into lightroom, set the exp +3, blacks at 100 and clarity at 100 and ...

You can see it below.

The stain is the V shaped thing a bit above the center.

Just to think none of the dustbunnies showed up in the dust alert, so the stain is really light.

I cleaned the sensor but the V thingy stayed.

Then I checked the pictures I had taken last month, and now that I knew where to search I found 1 where I could see the stain.

Now I really don't know what to do, the picture where I found the stain in had been pushed, pulled in any and all directions.

I'm quite sure that I'll never notice it in a normal picture.
So why do I feel so ... :(

I'll have to wait till pentax gives an idea what to do, and .... then decide if this is worth sending the camera in for repairs.

Now today was a nice and sunny (freezing) and I enjoyed a walk through the park (I'll post some shots in another thread later), the panic is gone and I still love the camera.

Just had to write this down to get it off my chest.



ps serial starts with 3832

Frogfish Dec 17, 2010 9:25 AM

That's a pity Ronny - but as it's not showing up in your shots ATM I'd wait until you hear from Pentax - you'll be able to send it in for repair once they've decided upon a course of action.

However the alternative is to return it (if you can) and specify exactly which series numbers onwards you are prepared to accept.

mtngal Dec 17, 2010 10:05 AM

My sympathies! A really tough question - to return something that has a fault that doesn't really affect you or keep what you have because it doesn't affect you.

I faced that very question with the K7 - mine had the green line. I only saw it after I had used live view and video after owning the camera for about a week. I read about what was known at the time and then the next day went hiking for several hours on a hot day, taking pictures as I normally would. I couldn't get the line to come back, so, while I was still in Amazon's return window, I seriously considered just keeping my camera, letting the dust settle and perhaps sending it in for repair at a later date. But then I thought that I had paid a whole lot of money and shouldn't have to "make-do" with something with a fault so I exchanged it, the replacement camera being faultless.

In the case of the K7's problem, it was ultimately corrected by firmware, so it didn't matter whether I had returned the camera or not. But I didn't know that at the time. Yes, I seriously considered keeping the camera as I wouldn't be likely to trigger the line's reappearance. But I didn't keep it. I'd make the same choice now - if I find myself in your shoes when I finally get enough money to buy the K5, I'd return it if I could. Pentax has already made it clear (at least according to those reporting on other boards) that they will exchange affected cameras, so all you'd lose by returning it is some time. And that's really a great thing to say about any company in today's world.

But you still have my sympathy and I do understand the dilemma. There's not a clear-cut answer that fits everyone.

Biro Dec 17, 2010 11:21 AM

Ronny... I share Harriet's viewpoint. If you can still swap the camera, I would do so. K-5's aren't cheap. But many Pentaxians wouldn't. Have you checked out these strings on a Pentax-specific forum yet?

Frogfish Dec 17, 2010 11:57 AM

Just to be sure - for anyone who's not sure - this is an excellent identification description (not just for stains but anything that may end up on your sensor - and how to clean them off - not stains of course).

Keltech Dec 17, 2010 12:28 PM

Ronny, I feel bad that you are having this problem with the K5 but it does not in any way diminish my jealousy.


snostorm Dec 17, 2010 12:48 PM

HI Ronny,

I was hoping that I wasn't opening up a can of worms with my comment about the sensor stain, but I think that ultimately, it's a good thing. I think that Pentax should set up and announce an expedited replacement policy to make the resolution of this as painless as possible. Owners should be able to e-mail them a pic that demonstrates the stain under conditions that Pentax specifies (to eliminate those that just have dust on the sensor), plus proof of purchase, then specify a protocol for replacement that is as quick and painless as possible.

I chose to purchase despite the possibility that I might receive an effected example once Pentax representatives acknowledged the defect (though not "officially") and it seemed that they were committed to correcting the problem instead of ignoring it.

It only became apparent that this was a legitimate problem less than 2 weeks ago IIRC, and it seems like Pentax is reacting fairly, but it takes a while to establish a worldwide policy to deal with it effectively.

The good thing is that the defect is usually not apparent in most images taken under normal circumstances, so you can still shoot the camera without any ill effects to your photography. The bad thing is that you know it's there, and even if you can't see it in the image . . . you know it's there. . .and if you keep it, this could effect resale, so you're pretty much forced into taking advantage of any remedy that Pentax comes up with.

I'd contact your dealer and see if they might offer an extended replacement policy for effected cameras. Unfortunately, Pentax Benelux, which I had heard was an exemplary organization, no longer exists.

I'm confident that things will turn out well.


Goldwinger Dec 17, 2010 4:47 PM

That's a bummer, Ronny. I certainly understand how you feel. Its kind of like buying a new car and finding out it had body repair work done on it already, it still looks and runs OK and nobody else would notice but, you know it, and that just isn't right. :mad:

nhmom Dec 17, 2010 6:58 PM

I was thinking along GW's line. When I got my new car a few years ago, within 3 days my husband had hit bottom on a driveway and scratched the underside of the front bumper. Unless you were looking you didn't even notice it. But, I knew it was there.

I agree with Scott that I'd be in touch with someone about getting it fixed or replaced.


Wingman Dec 17, 2010 7:45 PM

Sorry to hear about this issue Ronny!

It would be nice if Pentax did the honorable thing and offered customers the option of a refund for those who do not wish to wait for a fix. I'd press Pentax for it if I were you!


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