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Old Feb 11, 2011, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default Dust particles on sensor

Hello everyone.
It seems that I have a dirty sensor on my istDL2. I have taken it in to my local photo store were after purchasing a sensor cleaning kit they attempted to clean the sensor. However although cleaner than before particles are still present. They suggest I send the camera to Pentax for service. Does anyone have any idea of what the cost should be for this type of service. The camera only has 4600 actuation it works fine and serves the purpose. Should I just by a newer body or get the DL2 fixed depending on the cost of the cleaning.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 2:49 PM   #2
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G'day quaartz

A 'grease & oil change' will cost a damn site less than a new camera
I would be surprised at much more than $75 ~ and for that $75 they will probably do a couple of extra things too

Regards,Phil
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 4:04 PM   #3
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Hi Phil:
Thanks for your reply. I have E-mailed Pentax in regards to the cost of cleaning the camera, waiting for a response regarding cost. If it's below $100 I will have no problem getting the camera's sensor and other parts cleaned. Like you stated it's much cheaper than buying another yes it would be nice to get a more advanced version but since this one works just fine why bother.
Ross
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 7:08 PM   #4
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Just an update. Heard back from Pentax and the have a minimum charge of $125 just to look at the camera, the cleaning is another $ 65-to ? depending on what they find. So I guess that getting another new camera is looking more likely the way I'll be going.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 7:28 PM   #5
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I have to admit I'm surprised at Pentax's prices for such a basic cleaning operation. If it were me, I'd be inclined toward trying another cleaning done by myself. Perhaps you could try a different cleaning kit. I've never used this, and I have no idea if it might damage a Pentax sensor, but I know of someone who uses a commercial kit containing methanol and special swabs to clean a sensor on a Canon DSLR. He says it's a very simple procedure, and he says it gets all the dust particles off the sensor. Keep in mind though, that your Pentax camera has a different sensor, and I don't know if that cleaning kit would be well suited to your camera body.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quartz View Post
Just an update. Heard back from Pentax and the have a minimum charge of $125 just to look at the camera, the cleaning is another $ 65-to ? depending on what they find. So I guess that getting another new camera is looking more likely the way I'll be going.
If the sensor is so dirty tht it needs a cleaning by Pentax, given the cost and the age of the DL2, I'd put the money towards a K-R. Much better and enjoy the current generation of tehnology and Image Quality.

FYI, I've generally done cleaning myself: both using the dry method and wet method and successfully rid the sensor of any spots that are visible on images.

Jehan
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 10:28 AM   #7
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Jelpee:
Thanks for your reply.
We have attempted to clean the sensor twice , taking photos of a white sheet of paper afterward and nothing is visible no spots. Yet when looking through the viewfinder there is a few small black spots and what looks like very small pieces of hair. Could the black spots and hair be somewhere other than the sensor since they are not showing up in the photos taken after the cleaning of the sensor.
Ross
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quartz View Post
Jelpee:
Thanks for your reply.
We have attempted to clean the sensor twice , taking photos of a white sheet of paper afterward and nothing is visible no spots. Yet when looking through the viewfinder there is a few small black spots and what looks like very small pieces of hair. Could the black spots and hair be somewhere other than the sensor since they are not showing up in the photos taken after the cleaning of the sensor.
Ross
Hi Ross,

Sure can...there could be dirt & dust on the mirror which would explain why it does not show up on the image since the mirror only allows light to pass on the view finder. The mirror lifts up and out of the way when the shutter is pressed thus allowing light to pass through to the sensor. The other possibility is that there is dust/dirt inside the view finder itself. I'd try to air blow the dust off the mirror since it can eventually float back and settle on the sensor. But it is otherwise harmless to the image itself.

In the case of dust on the mirror, it can be dry or wet cleaned very easily. As for dust inside the view finder, not much that you can do at home. But if it does not affect the image, I'd simply ignore it since it will cost more to get rid of it than is probably worth. I had dust inside the view finder of my DL and I just let it sit there.

No matter how careful you are about not changing lenses or doing it in a "clean" environment, dust and dirt will find itself in to the sensor chamber. Dust is very pervasive and will penetrate even the smallest of openings. A bigger contributor however is that when you use zoom lenses, the zoom action creates a vacuum in the lens barrel that can actually suction dust into the lens and around the mounts into the body. The use of weather sealed bodies and weather sealed lenses (like the DA* series or WR rated lenses) will definitely mitigate the issue. Todays generation DSLR's have a ultrasonic (or similar) sensor cleaning systems that can be set to run whenever the camera is turned on. Here's another reason to upgrade the body!

Jehan
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 11:49 AM   #9
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If you don't see the dust on a picture but do see it when looking through the viewfinder, then the dust isn't on the sensor, it's somewhere in the viewfinder system.

NOTE - when I mention using a rocket blower, I'm talking about using a hand blower, NOT, NEVER, CANNED AIR! That basically leaves the mirror, the focusing screen and above the focusing screen, on the inside or outside of the viewfinder window. I've personally never had trouble with dust on the mirror, and it's easy to see if you have anything on it. I usually blow it off with a rocket air blower every so often, especially if I'm having viewfinder problems (which I do once in a while). The next thing is to carefully blow the focusing screen off. The focusing screen is very fragile and easily scratched, so I'll blow the bottom side off first, then check to see whether I've dislodged the offending object before going further. If it's still there, I'll carefully drop the focus screen down and then very carefully remove it and blow it off. I accidentally scratched one while changing it out once and I don't know quite when I did it, I don't remember being clumsy about doing it or touching it wrong. Often I'll try blowing off the topside without removing it from the camera, just to avoid removing it (I'm paranoid about it). Then use the rocket blower to blow inside the inside of the viewfinder, which will be accessible with the focus screen removed. The mirror will protect the sensor up to a point (it's going to be down, not in the up position for cleaning the sensor), but if you can manage to blow out the viewfinder with the camera more or less facing down, it's better (as far as I know, you can't remove the focusing screen that way).

Any dust that remains will most likely get ignored. I'm not willing to do try to use anything on the inside of the viewfinder window because I'm too much of a klutz. While you can wash off the focusing screen with something that won't leave marks when it dries (not water), I'm so afraid of scratching it I never do.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 1:33 PM   #10
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Thanks Jehan and mtngal for your advice. Since at this point my photos are not effected in any way I think I'm going to leave well enough alone . If the spots move or dislodge I think I will consider buying a new body.
Ross
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