Recommendations please for sensor cleaning.


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 08:51
My K500 seems to have some spots on the sensor which the normal in camera cleaning has not removed and the spots are in the same location on all my lenses so I need to clean the sensor.

What do folks here use for sensor cleaning? Can anyone recommend any particular make of cleaning system?



Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 09:16
First call is probably a 'rocket blower' with a valve & filter that stops more dust being blown out onto the sensor.

However, it sounds as though the spots are bit more stubborn. I use Digipads and Eclipse fluid (I think both are available from somewhere like WEX in Norwich - and elsewhere too). Ensure you get the right sized pad (1.5x crop sensor). I assume you know to go into the menu and find the sensor clean option that enables mirror up and shutter locked open for you to do this. Also to ensure your battery is fully charged; you don't want a battery failure that closes the shutter whilst you have a pad in there!

No doubt others will suggest their preferred method.

Hope this helps!

NB - just googled digipad and seems they have their own shop as well
Last Edited by alfpics on 18/04/2016 - 09:16


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 09:45
Sensor clean mode, full battery, lens mount pointed downwards to encourage blown dust to exit camera, and Rocket Blower. On K3 I have the ultrasonic motion sensor clean on for start up and shut down. I've yet to have to resort to wet cleaning kits. I had a lot of trouble with lier KX and KR models including dust blowing to penta mirrors. K5 and now K3 much less troublesome.


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 09:57
I'm with Bill - simple technique that works most of the time

And again - the K5 & K3 variants do seem to have far fewer issues due to the start/shutdown sensor shake


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 10:40
Thanks for the comments guys. My K500 does have the option of start/shutdown sensor shake but it has not solved the issue.



Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 11:03
You have to be careful with rocket blowers as the sensor on it's moveable mount is quite sensitive. I took mine to a local London Camera Exchange who cleaned the sensor for about 20.00 if I recall. Since then I have bought the Pentax sensor cleaning kit which works fine:
Better to use original than 3rd party products, and can be found cheaper if you shop around. This is a sticky pad on a stick which you gently touch the sensor with and then transfer the dust onto a sheet of which there is a pad in the pack, working your way over the surface. Because of the sensor mount you have to be quite light with your touch. I was a bit nervous to start but have done it a couple of times now and it works fine.
Last Edited by RobL on 18/04/2016 - 11:04


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 11:18
Having been looking at some of these suggestions what bothers me about the Pentax cleaning kit is that it is unlikely to remove stuff from the sensor which has not been removed by the sensor shake as it is a dry clean. Has anyone any experience of the Pentax cleaner with very stubborn spots which not be just simple dust?

I have 3 or 4 spots which seem to be on the sensor and have not moved at all with sensor shake which leads me to believe it may need a liquid clean to make sure it is removed, and so far I am leaning towards those systems which use a liquid on the swab.



Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 12:58
I rarely need to use it now but I always use my Arctic Butterfly brush for sensor cleaning.


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 13:17
Gwyn wrote:
I rarely need to use it now but I always use my Arctic Butterfly brush for sensor cleaning.


" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax DFA 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax DFA* 24 - 70 F2.8

Samyang 14mm F2.8, Pentax DFA* 70-200 F2.8

K3iii + K3ii + K5iis converted to IR, Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Pentax 55 - 300 F4.5 / F5.6 PLM


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 15:51
The Pentax sensor kit is quite sticky so will remove stuff that blowers and sensor shake won't. See what your manual says but the K50 manual advises against wiping the surface or using a brush as they could scratch. I don't understand why sensors aren't hermetically sealed behind a glass screen which would be much easier to clean or replace.

Ps I think some stuff sticks on by static which shaking won't shift. I had a real problem like that with tiny paint particles from a lens adaptor which even managed to get behind the focusing screen. And of course shaking doesn't get rid of the dust, just moves it around.
Last Edited by RobL on 18/04/2016 - 16:07


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 16:02
I have used the Artic Butterfly for a number of years and have found it works well.
However, a couple of years ago I had spots on the sensor which it would not clean so took it to a camera shop and they did the business. It transpired that some oil was on to the sensor.


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 17:41
I've owned and tried all of the methods above (!!). Best for me has been eclipse and wet pads. That actually gets off the stubborn stains that every other method wouldn't shift.
... just another middle-aged guy with a hobby. I have an extreme macro learning site at - Pentax-centric, your feedback and comments would be appreciated!


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 21:35
When I had to clean my K-5 sensor I did as you have done and asked for help on here. And David Storm very kindly described how I could do it myself - which I did very successfully.

See link...


Link Posted 18/04/2016 - 22:21

Sadly that link gave me a 404 not found error however removing the extraneous info from the end worked!

Last Edited by broadstairs on 18/04/2016 - 22:23


Link Posted 19/04/2016 - 00:57
As others have said, try the dry, blower method first. Rocket blowers are not expensive but they are very effective.
I hold the camera upside down at 45 degrees and rotate it in one plane to the opposing 45 degree point whilst blowing, then I do it in the other plane (i.e. side to side and then front to back) taking care to keep the nozzle well clear of the innards. This method will shift very stubborn stuff indeed.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.