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Is this Dust?

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by Monobod, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    I am shocked and a bit concerned. My new K10D is showing a circular fuzzy spot, just like clicking with the soft clone tool, in one place on all of my photos.

    Is this the dreaded dust on the sensor, I have feared since leaving the 'safe high ground' of the Olympus E-500?

    Should I buy a Rocket Blower, or do I need something more drastic?

    Help required here. :D

  2. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Yes, it is dust on the sensor.

    No way of knowing in advance - you just have to try something and if it doesn't shift it try something more substantial. Or just cut to the chase and swab it - it's a quick, easy, and highly effective procedure.
  3. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    I'm suprised at this. I have only changed lenses three times since buying the camera, always indoors and I have been most careful each time. I must say I am a bit dissapointed that the Pentax 'shake the sensor' dust removal has failed so blatently and so soon!

    I have been used to much better things on the Olympus E-500. Not a sign of dust after over a year's use and plenty of lens changes 'in the field'. Perhaps I should take a long look at the E-510! It does make one feel a bit superior having such a good dust removal system and it is easy to take it for granted and forget how good it is. After all, it was one of the deciding factors towards buying Oly in the first place. Such a shame all cameras cannot share this technology.

    And if only the lenses were a bit more affordable!
  4. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    I've never used a DSLR with a dust removal system, so I can't speak from direct experience, but I have seen a couple of magazine tests (or rather I've seen reports on the net of them) that compared the effectiveness of the various systems, and they both concluded that only the Olympus one worked reasonably well - all the others they regarded as basically ineffective. One of the magazines was Chasseur d'Images, which Nick rates very highly for its tests.
  5. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    That's the trouble with magazine tests, they're basically one user's view arrived at over a very limited period. Then statements the reviewer makes, right or wrong, get passed into folk law, handed out and spread about by others who've never used the item in question.

    For instance I've had a Sony A100 since they were first released, almost a year, I've NEVER had to clean the sensor and I change lenses frequently. My experience, as an extended user, is that this camera's anti-dust method works extremely well.

    So who gets believed, someone who's had a camera for a few days or someone who's had one for many months?

    The magazine reviewer of course - it's in black and white so must be true :)
  6. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    One problem, of course, with any totally new camera such as the K10D is that it has not been around long enough for a real assessment to be made of how effective the thing is.

    We learn the hard way from bitter experience, or we wait until the camera is almost 'out of date' before buying. Perhaps my fear of cleaning the sensor is unfounded and it may be easier than I think, but I would really prefer not to have to do it, especially on a regular basis.
  7. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Well a test is what it is - a test. Like all experimentation, you design a procedure to shed light on a specific question, you carry it out, and you report what happens. In this case each mag got the sensor good and dusty, and then tried out the dust removal systems to see what happened, reporting their findings on the basis of before and after comparisons, and multiple trials. Both tests found that only the Olympus system effectively removed the substantial majority of the dust. That's valid data, how ever much anyone might want to dismiss it.

    "I don't have a dust problem with my Pentax" is a perfectly valid bit of data too, but it cannot - no matter how many people express the point - tell us anything about how effective the dust removal system is, because it's not a test of the dust removal system. Almost no-one except the magazines and their on-line equivalents actually does side by side testing. Virtually all user reporting is uncontrolled and anecdotal, and so has questionable validity, however convinced the user might be in their own mind of what they have concluded.

    For example, I finally got around to cleaning the sensor on my D2X the other week for the first time in 18 months of ownership. I just hadn't had any significant problem with dust until then. Was that because the Nikon's dust removal system was highly effective, or because it simply hadn't accumulated a lot of dust, and what there was was rarely obtrusive? Well, the D2X has no dust removal system, so I'd guess it must be the latter. But if it did have a dust removal system I could quite easily have reported my 'finding' that it was highly effective, when in fact, it might have been completely useless.

    That's the real problem here - many of us have been reporting for years that the dust issue, for us at least, simply wasn't half the problem it was cracked up to be by some others. Not many users deliberately get their sensors dirty to find out how well the built-in removal system cleans them, but if you want to actually answer the question as to whether the removal system works, that, or something very much like it, is what you have to do.
  8. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    Hi David,

    unfortunately what Huw has said seems to be the case, that said I've used a DSLR without a sensor cleaning system prior to getting one which does have. Yes I had dust on my previous camera, one obvious spot to begin with then it seemed to deteroiate quite rapidly. The good news is that it only needed a quick blast from a Giottos Rocket to clear it (much to my surprise) Obviously having sold the camera I can't comment on the long term effect but I would be surprised if the sensor needed a wet clean more than once a year.

    As I've said before, I didn't switch systems because of the Sensor cleaning issue but I would say that it is nice to have when you get used to it (as long as it works)

    In any case the K10D seems like such a nice camera it's worth putting up with the dust if/when it occurs.

  9. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Okay, I'll give it a whirl, I'll dust the sensor in a Sony and see how effective the removal system is or isn't.

    More anon ;)
  10. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Er......indoors is probably one of the worst places for dust; all those skin flakes, carpet and clothing fibres, food preparation dust such as flour, vapourised oil from frying..... need I go on. Just ask She Who Must Be Obeyed about dust and dusting!!!.....

    Depends on the nature of the contaminant. If the offending particle carries a bit of static or is a bit sticky, eg a soot particle or similar, then it will stick to the sensor and probably adhere too firmly to be merely shaken loose. It could be that you just got unlucky is all...
  11. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Brave man! :)
  12. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Yes, I agree with what has been said and I will try the Rocket first. Hopefully it will be all that is needed. Yes, the K10D is such a good camera that I am prepared to put up with a bit of dust occasionally. Your conclusion that indoors is not the best place to change a lens is probably valid, but we do not live in such a greasy sooty environment as you describe, so I'm still unsure why this has happened.

    I will report back as to how I get on. After all, if we can put men on the moon, we should be able to clean a sensor, shouldn't we?

    I may do this in the garden, just incase I introduce more dust than I get rid of! :(
  13. john60wales

    john60wales Well-Known Member

    Funny enough I had the same problem with my K10D & I only ever changed the lens [at the time] once. Since then I've changed the lenses many times with no problem - a forum in the USA [if I remember correctly] indicated that a fair few DSLR's are shipped with dust already in them [from the manufacturing proceedure] & its only a matter of time before it ends up on the sensor - even if you never remove the lens!
    I eventually bought a rocket type blower - but before that I successfully used a Henry Vacum cleaner [as mentioned on these forums several months ago] :)
    &... no... I'm not joking ;)
  14. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    You have to bear in mind that such dust as does get onto the sensor may well come not from outside but from within the mirror box itself - it's packed full of moving parts which inevitably wear with use and generate a supply of small bits and pieces that obviously can end up on the sensor. There are also moving parts in the back of many lenses.
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Indeed. Canon's approach to dust reduction is to address shutter and body cap materials as much as the sensor shaking - strikes me that attempting to engineer the problem out, even up to a point, is better than any cure.

    But unless you really can't clone it out for any reason, it's not that much of an issue, and certainly not worth dumping an excellent cameras like the K10D for.
  16. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    ... and does everyone religiously check the rear end of the lens for dust before installing it ?
  17. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    Of course.
  18. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    I do - well, not religiously, but I do check them. The more particular habit I have in respect of dust precautions is that I tend always to blow out the rear lens and/or body caps. I'm not sure it actually helps, but it's a habit I've formed (since long before DSLRs) and I imagine I'm stuck with it now. :)
  19. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    I suppose good practice / habit is always worth keeping up even if any good results can't actually, positively, be proved. We all do things "just in case."
  20. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Must say I've long kept the rear of lenses dust-free. In fact when I originally tried out a 5D and asked if I could use one of my own lenses, the shop assistant wasn't happy - until he saw how clean my rear was. It's fair to say it was cleaner than the lens they had in the shop, not that that was bad. Nothing more than the blower, but I use it at least at the end of each day's shooting - same for the front end, although I'm less worried about that.

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