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Author Topic: Discofilm - an in-depth review  (Read 6599 times)

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« on: April 30, 2008, 07:02 »
Well my bottle of discofilm has arrived.. and here goes my little experiment to see if this stuff is the be all end all of camera cleaning techniques.  I am going into this a little skeptical that it will get ALL the dust... so I feel that if it DOES work then well... it really does.  If it leaves 5 or 10 or 30 dust spots.. then well... the other methods are just as effective, less time consuming and less dangerous.

I have taken a test shot for the before picture.  I haven't looked at it yet (it is still in the camera) - I like suspense.

I have made myself a coffee, opened the bottle of disofilm, put a little in a film cannister and applied it to my 10D sensor (discofilm that is).  How much did I use... umm.. I didn't notice I used any significant amount from the film canister.  I think the 1/2 full film cannister could last me about 20 cleanings or more.  So if it works, it will be a cheap method of getting the camera clean.

Applying the discofilm to the sensor was a 'little' trickier than i thought it would be.  It WAS a little hard to get in the corners without getting it off the sensor edge.  I was working with a little 1.6x 10D sensor though, so a full frame sensor would likely be a little easier to maneuver around on.  Additionally I could have used a smaller brush.  I just grabbed a very small paint brush I had kicking around... probably 2mm where the brushes come out of the 'body' of the brush.  I wonder if a spot touching brush would work better??

 Anyhow, I am now waiting the 30 minutes for the discofilm to dry.  I used the lens cap to stop dust from floating in instead of a kleenex like they suggested.
ok.. bad idea.  i think the reason they used a kleenex or some other thing similar is to provide airflow so that the discofilm can dry.... when i opened the camera chamber up 30 minutes later to apply the 'pulling tab' thing, the discofilm was still a little wet.  Now I have replaced the lens cap with a pec pad to stop dust from settling inside.

more updates to come..
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 06:25 by leaf »

« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2008, 07:44 »
after about 40 minutes I gave the camera house a good blow with giottos rocket blower then decided to try and remove the discofilm... only half came out :(  The discofilm that I was able to remove was around the edges, but the middle part stayed stuck.  I am guessing that the film wasn't quite dry (perhaps due to using a lens cap for the 1st 30minutes)  I have since reapplied a nice thick layer again... restart the stop watch.

« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 08:25 »
Hope it works.  I would think that the room temperature and humidity might change the time it takes to dry.  If I was going to use this, I might try a bit of sticky tape to remove it instead of the pulling tab, that takes too long.

« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 08:32 »
yeah, that humidity thing is probably right.  It is a little rainy here today and Norway in general is pretty humid.  Just did a little check and put on the little tab thing.. and it is pretty wet still.  I think i might have to just let it sit for an hour or so to make sure it is dry this time.  the battery still shows full so no problems there.


« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 15:26 »
Is it dry yet?

« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 15:30 »
yep it is dry and it tried to pull off the slip of paper, and it was stuck too much to everywhere (i didn't get a corner) beacuse it was too wet when i put it on.. and the paper ripped.

Stuck a NEW paper on and THAT time i finally go the film off.  it looks like it all came off nice and smooth.  And the results.......

It got rid of tons of dust, but there are still a few spots!

not too surprising I guess.  Since it is water based it is going to have a hard time getting rid of the oily dust from inside the camera.  It wasn't too bad to start with.  So i guess my conclusion would be that it is a good tool in the arsenal of cleaning cameras.  Good for VERY dirty cameras, or perhaps it would be effective after a few swipes with eclipse to remove the grease dust and it is just regular dust that is floating around and impossible to get rid of.

I can post pics soon.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 15:32 by leaf »

« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 06:15 »
ok.. all is said and done now.

Final opinion.. it did actually work really well.  When I look at 100% zooms of the corners they are really spotless... something that I have never been able to achieve with other cleaning methods.  What it did not do was remove a few of the grease blobs here and there.

With the swab method I would generally manage to remove 75% of the dust and just move the last 25% around the sensor so the corners would end up being quite full of dust.  Like 10 spots after a good clean.  With discofilm the corners were actually SPOTLESS.  The entire sensor had perhaps a few larger spots, which was disappointing but better than anything else... and it was very nice to see the corners clean.

And finally a few pictures.
a full view of the sensor, before and after

full sensor view

when you mouse over the image it will flip between before and after (wait a few seconds if it doesn't happen right away)
On that image you can see the spots that stay.  What is disapointing though is that view isn't a 100% zoom and you can't see all the little tiny dust spots that it managed to get rid of.  So here is a 100% crop of the top left corner (100px X 800px.. about 1/4 of the sensor)

100% crop

there you can see it DID actually manage to get 100% of the dust in that area...

Final Verditc:
Would I use it again?
Yes, especially on really dusty sensors

Was it worth my $$?
yes, i think so

What would i do different next time
Perhaps I would try using a sensor swab first, then discofilm second.  Sensorswab to get the grease away, then discofilm to pic up the loose dust that the sensor swab just loves to push around the sensor.

Was it difficult
A little.. and I WOULD be nervous with that gooby brush reaching inside of a 1DS mark III trying not to touch anything but the sensor.  There is definitely danger of things going wrong, more so than sensor swabs or brushing, but there is also chances of things going right :)
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 06:21 by leaf »

« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 06:50 »
Cheers, will keep it in mind, just had some marks appear on my 40D sensor that I was about to swab away.

« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 09:20 »
newbie question --- how did you take the pictures that show the sensor dust?  In other words, I do I know if I need to clean mine?

Thanks in advance...


« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 10:27 »
1. put your camera if Av mode
2. set the aperature to f/22 (or the highest amount it can)
2. set it to over expose by 1 or 2 stops
3. take a picture of a white wall or fridge or anything light colored (it doesn't matter if it takes 20 seconds shutterspeed you can still hand hold it, because the dust is on your sensor not on the wall :))
4. take the image into photoshop and open curves
5. click 'auto' in the curves menu and click ok (or find some other way to increase contrast drastically)
6. view the image at 100%


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