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Dust Inside My Camera Lens - Solved


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I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 and I love it. Unfortunately over the last six months or so I've been having problems with tiny bits inside the lens which are very visible on the eventual image. This is a photo of a blank background to show the extent of the problem.

 

61f354d1-1b13-481a-a783-3f9462f33214.JPG

 

The camera is five years old, the service would be at least £60 and they won't say if they would clean the inside of the lens or if they will suggest fitting a new one (££££££). So I have decided that I would rather pay for a new camera rather than spend a lot on something that could go kaput soon after the service. I've had a look around and read many reviews and the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS seems the most suitable for my £300 budget.

 

Reading online it appears that dust in the lens is particularly prevalent in Panasonic cameras with zoom lenses, but does anyone have any experience as to which cameras are less prone to this problem?

 

Please don't suggest using the camera on my phone – I prefer cameras for photography.

 

Thanks for taking the time to look.

 

Gorby

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I use a Fuji FinePix S5600.

I keep it dedicated for my modelling photos

It has all the regular features one needs for model photos

It is an old model and they can be picked up for under £70.

Just last month I had to get another as my usual one has mould growing on the inside of the lens. I got a very good 2nd hand one for £38

I have a Canon 50D for all my other photos but the Fuji is so much handier for the model photos, especially w-i-p ones

Never had a problem with dust inside the Fujis. I think the mould growth was due to the conditions in my flat this spring/summer

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Thanks for the reply @Black Knight  (Frank ?).

As photography is as much my hobby as modelling, taking pictures of models would be one of it's less frequent jobs. I do use some of the fancy features and manual modes on the more expensive models and also feel that the build quality and lens quality are worth paying a bit extra for. So I'm happy to pay for 'new'.

 

I'm looking at the Canon range mainly because the 'Which?' mag shows them as the most reliable camera brand.

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I have a Powershot SX50HS.  I have had it for around 5 years I think.  I love it.  Back in the day I used to tote my Canon A1, AV1 and a couple of lenses.  Eventually I got fed up carrying the weight around.  The Powershot just makes it all easier and you can override most things.

 

The only problem with it is the time between pressing the shutter button and the image being captured, not a problem with most things but I like taking pictures of birds where time is of the essence...

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Most zoom lenses behave like a trombone and suck air in as they extend and retract. If I hold some of my lenses in my hand and rotate the zoom collar, I can feel the puff of air on my face! Dust is therefore inevitable, although I've seldom seen anything as bad as this, however. 

 

As for which camera is best for ~£300, how long is a piece of string? I'm sure the Canon is a great camera for the money, but I would take a long, hard look at the original Sony RX100. Argos have it for £329 at the moment, which is a really good deal. The Canon has a much bigger zoom range, but the Sony will win hands down for image quality and low light performance thanks to its larger sensor. For that price you also have to look at some of the lower-spec mirrorless cameras. The Fujifilm X-A10 and Sony A5100 are both within range. They will absolutely monster the Canon for image quality, but you'll miss the massive zoom. It all comes down to this: what do you want to photograph?

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What Paul AH said- all zooms suck air in, and with it comes dust. High end (ie muy expensive) DSLR lens are weather sealed and that minimises the dust issue, but that's not an option lower down the scale.

 

'Which' magazine is full of it. If Canon are 'more reliable', it's by 100ths of percentage points- every brand on the market is reliable as a whole, with some models being more prone to issues than others are. Electro-mechanical stuff is like that these days.

 

Assuming that you want new, do the research to find out what abilities and features are available, at what price point you can find them, and then which camera you can buy for that money.

 

www.dpreview.com

 

has a number of useful search and comparison features to aid you in your quest.

 

As for your current camera - they can't clean inside the lens, it's a non-servicable part. The whole lens module is replaced, as that's more efficient than having someone play around aligning all the bits in a dirty workshop somewhere. I had a Fujifilm compact repaired a number of years ago (at Australian prices, which are usually excessive) and it wasn't that expensive; they replaced the main board and the lens module, and the camera is still going today. While they're in there, they should test and inspect everything, because allowing an incorrectly functioning camera to go back out to a consumer is anathema to brand perception- I know that Nikon won't send a body back until they've repaired it, even if you say not to- that includes the cosmetic parts that aren't mission critical. If you do get your Panny repaired, it'll be as reliable as humans can make it be. Might be worth the squids (unless you have been given a price for a lens module and it's stupidly expensive. Usually, a manufacturer won't repair if the repair is a significant part of a new camera's price). I'm assuming that you're using Panasonic's UK repair facility rather than a local yokel?

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15 hours ago, Grey Beema said:

Back in the day I used to tote my Canon A1, AV1 and a couple of lenses.  Eventually I got fed up carrying the weight around.  The Powershot just makes it all easier and you can override most things.

That's exactly why I prefer a decent compact camera now.

 

12 hours ago, Paul A H said:

I've seldom seen anything as bad as this,

I suspect it may have been fluff from my new camera case. Any subsequent cases will be getting a thorough clean before use.

 

12 hours ago, Paul A H said:

I would take a long, hard look at the original Sony RX100.

Thanks for that. I read about the Sony RX100 after your suggestion and it looks exceptionally good, plus John Lewis has it for £329 with a £70 cash back offer.

 

11 hours ago, Rob G said:

As for your current camera - they can't clean inside the lens, it's a non-servicable part. The whole lens module is replaced, as that's more efficient than having someone play around aligning all the bits in a dirty workshop somewhere.

Thanks for the link.

It is the Panasonic approved repair place – the £60 is for the service, any parts would be extra. I've had a look online and the replacement lens unit, plus service would probably be more than half the price of something new, and possibly better. So I'd rather go down that route.

 

 

Thanks for all your replies.

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Good news everyone! (That's just for the Futurama fans).

 

Whilst thinking about suction, I wondered that if dust had been sucked into the lens, if it would be possible to suck it out (and certainly not in the way you were thinking – dirty boy).

Using my workshop vac, as it's much more powerful than the puny domestic jobiess, I gave the lens mechanism a good sucking while turning in on and off, flicking the lens vigorously to dislodge any foreign bodies.

This is the result:

0a443940-2881-480a-9be7-09408a076c87.JPG

 

(I think I've won the prize for the most boring photo ever posted on Britmodeller).

 

So thanks for your interest, but now don't need to buy a new camera.

 

:smile:

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What a great result. In theory, that shouldn't work but it just goes to show how big the gaps were between the lens elements to enable the dust to get out.

 

Andy

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13 hours ago, Red Dot said:

What a great result. In theory, that shouldn't work but it just goes to show how big the gaps were between the lens elements to enable the dust to get out.

 

Andy

I agree. I've also hoovered out the camera case very, very carefully.

Because the fix was quite traumatic for a delicate mechanism (my flicking finger is still a little sore), I had to sort of accept that it was doooomed and had readied my self that I would have to lay out a significant wedge of cash. Well pleased that I don't have to (yet).

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A very good result :) I'll have to remember this trick next time the dust bunnies pay a visit!

4 hours ago, Gorby said:

I had to sort of accept that it was doooomed and had readied my self that I would have to lay out a significant wedge of cash. Well please that I don't have to (yet).

You say that now, but I have a feeling your head may yet be turned by that shiny new Canon/Sony! :lol: :wicked:

 

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8 hours ago, Paul A H said:

You say that now, but I have a feeling your head may yet be turned by that shiny new Canon/Sony! :lol: :wicked:

You obviously don't know what a tight grip I have on my money. 

 

Plus – I won't feel as guilty splashing the cash at Telford! :thumbsup:

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1 hour ago, BIG X said:

OK - so what are we spending this £300 that we 'saved' on instead :wicked:

Excellent application of man-maths :lol: Let's head over to Hannants/dpreview/autotrader to see what takes our fancy!

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5 hours ago, BIG X said:

OK - so what are we spending this £300 that we 'saved' on instead :wicked:

We? :hmmm:

 

Me! :nod:

 

SMW:penguin:

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3 hours ago, Paul A H said:

Excellent application of man-maths :lol: Let's head over to Hannants/dpreview/autotrader to see what takes our fancy!

A large box arrived for Mrs Gorby today from John Lewis.

I said “I know I saved £300, that doesn't mean that you need to spend all of it on shoes.” 

 

Already in the doghouse so what the hell.

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For what it's worth nikon only charged me £32 inc carriage for removing dust from a zoom lens. Quick & simple service. I paid by PayPal & have my work address set up as a delivery address so it was nice & easy.

 

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10 hours ago, roys said:

nikon only charged me £32 inc carriage for removing dust from a zoom lens.

That's a very good price. Was that for a compact or an SLR?

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