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Author Topic: Cleaning your sensor.  (Read 5675 times)

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« on: October 24, 2008, 16:29 »
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How often does everyone have to clean their sensor?  Also, do you clean it or have the camera sent in for a professional cleaning?  I read on the internet on how to clean your sensor on your own.  I went to Wolf Camera to buy the supplys.  The salesman said they don't carry the sensor cleaning gear and does not recommend cleaning it on your own.  He suggested that he should have it professionaly cleaned for $75. 


« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 16:36 »
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I have done it tons of times myself and have been very happy with the results.  Using just a blower will fix 90% of the dust problems, so even that much is a vast improvement and you should do yourself and has basically 0 risk involved.

A brush gets another 5% of the dust and if needed a swab method.  Those two methods sometimes add more dust that they remove though, if you do them wrong.  It takes a bit of practice but not really too hard.

« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 17:15 »
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How often does everyone have to clean their sensor?


Whenever it gets so dusty I can't stand cloning the spots out of the sky.

Also, do you clean it or have the camera sent in for a professional cleaning?  I read on the internet on how to clean your sensor on your own.  I went to Wolf Camera to buy the supplys.  The salesman said they don't carry the sensor cleaning gear and does not recommend cleaning it on your own.  He suggested that he should have it professionaly cleaned for $75.


I clean it myself using the following:

1. Rocket blower. If that doesn't shift it then ...
2. Sensor cleaning brush. And if that doesn't shift it ...
3. Sensor swabs (But I've never got this far. Have bought a kit but not needed to use it yet).

I once took my camera into a shop for 'professional cleaning'. The sensor came out dirtier than when it went in. A total waste of money.

Just don't do what some people on the internet recommend, placing a piece of adhesive tape, sticky side down, on the sensor, then peeling it off. Yikes!

hali

« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 17:28 »
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not sure if your camera is like the E series of Olympus, but here is what they warn.
use only mechanical blower. careful not to touch the sensor.
use the AC adaptor, if you use the battery and it runs out, the shutter will close and it could break the curtain and mirror.
do not use high pressure gas or spray, it will freeze the sensor.

i haven't done it myself, and since i don't have the AC adapter, i probably won't do it until i get one.

there is one part i don't understand. NEVER PUT THE MECHANICAL BLOWER BEHIND THE LENS MOUNT.
IF THE POWER TURNS OFF THE SHUTTER CLOSES AND WILL BREAK THE SHUTTER CURTAIN.

anyone knows what that means?  and can explain to an old fashioned 35mm
person about this. ya, this is my first digital SLR.

« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2008, 17:44 »
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it means, never stick the nozzle of the blower inside the camera.

The lens mount is where you mount the lens on your camera... so they suggest not sticking the blower past that.  When you put your camera in cleaning mode the mirror flips up so you can clean the sensor but if the power goes off then the mirror will flip down.  if there is something in the way, it will flip down and smash against whatever is in there (perhaps the blower) and break.

hali

« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2008, 17:51 »
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thx leaf. now i understand. i was wondering, what lens mount? inside the camera  ;D

« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2008, 20:26 »
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I never clean my sensor; it cleans itself. The next time you consider upgrading your camera, you may want to check and see if the camera you want has an automatic cleaning system. It's very useful.

« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2008, 21:44 »
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Thanks for the responses!  My camera has the self cleaning but I just returened from a mission trip to Nicaragua and I am sure that all the garbage in the camera came from that dusty, muddy trip. ;)

RacePhoto

« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2008, 22:17 »
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Thanks for the responses!  My camera has the self cleaning but I just returened from a mission trip to Nicaragua and I am sure that all the garbage in the camera came from that dusty, muddy trip. ;)

I have a self cleaning camera and I have dust bunnies. The camera itself will generate some dust, because of the mirror and shutter. Even a new camera can have dust and is more likely to get dirty faster than after it's been cleaned the first time.

Rocket blower just like everyone else. It's good for all kinds of things, including blowing dust off a lens. If the Rocket blower won't do it, you have something a little harder to get at and the self cleaning cameras don't seem to move this junk either.

Coperhill kit, with fluid, pec pads, little spatula, that I used about every six months on my old cameras and it's time for the 40D.

I've seen guys that clean their 1D sensor with disposable swabs every morning. I think it's a bit over the top.

Here's the very, very short version. Wipe one direction, flip the wipe, go the other direction, and throw it away. No second wipes of anything you picked up will be spread or could scratch the filter over the sensor.

You don't have to have the camera plugged in, but you should have a fresh charged battery in there just for all the reasons listed above. If the shutter closes or the mirror flaps down, you could cause damage. A battery will keep the the camera in cleaning mode for a long time. It doesn't take more than a few minutes to clean a sensor and you are only in there for seconds. It isn't like you have tools stuck in the opening for a long time.  ;D

The filter over the sensor is usually glass on a good camera. You aren't cleaning the sensor, you are cleaning a filter in front of it.

Compressed air and some cans of pressurized gas, have "junk" in it. Compressed air has oil and dust in it from the compressor.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 22:21 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2008, 04:47 »
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Yeah i use the exact same method as you racephoto, but i don't even swab back and forth, just the one direction.  I was having problems with a few dust spots always remaining after i swabbed and found that on the second swab I was removing some, but leaving some new ones.  With the copper hill method it is so cheap that I just use a new swab every time I make a pass.

« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2008, 15:14 »
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I use a similar method, but I use the Arctic Butterfly by Visible Dust. It's a wonderful brush that builds up an electrostatic charge for cleaning away the dust. When that doesn't work I move on to their liquid and swabs to finish the job. There seem to be tons of good cleaning products for digital cameras on the market. It's  just finding the right one for your needs.

« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2008, 17:01 »
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Thanks for the responses!  My camera has the self cleaning but I just returened from a mission trip to Nicaragua and I am sure that all the garbage in the camera came from that dusty, muddy trip. ;)

From what you can gather these days there is no completely effective anti dust system on SLR's.
That's one good thing about Bridge cameras-that you dont have to worry about this.
But getting a superzoonm to produce the quality needed is another thing!

« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2008, 02:04 »
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From what you can gather these days there is no completely effective anti dust system on SLR's.
That's one good thing about Bridge cameras-that you dont have to worry about this.
But getting a superzoonm to produce the quality needed is another thing!

I have a BIG dust spot in my powershot S3 IS. It is a pain in the butt, but I have gotten used to trying to place it somewhere it won't show up. I am tempted to take it apart, but scared too.

With the SLR I get more dust spots, but so far I've been able to remove all the noticeable ones with either air or a brush. It seems to take 2-3 months to get enough in there that I start noticing them. (My camera claims to be self cleaning, but I don't know how much that really helps).

It is a bit scary to reach into the camera, but if you are careful, it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

--=Tom

RacePhoto

« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2008, 09:49 »
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I don't know if I'm allowed to point to the other micro forum, so I'll just add this. Before and after on a used 10D that I bought on eBay last Spring. Used a rocket blower and then the Copperhill kit. I don't have the others so I can't judge if anything is better or worse. Point is, cleaning does help. (big out of focus blobs are not sensor dirt)






 

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