Cleaing the camera (sensor/lens)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Crimsonandwhite, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Crimsonandwhite

    Crimsonandwhite TPF Noob!

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    Can I get a quick break down from some of the vets on cleaning procedures?

    What to make sure I do and what to make sure I do not do :)

    Thanks
     
  2. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am no pro but I hear them saying it all the time.
    -DO NOT use compressed air on sensor!!!
    -I dont remember what its called but its a rubber thing you squeese and it pushes out air, use that on sensor, do a search for what its called...
    -For lenses, use microfiber cloth, gently rub in circular motions
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's right. Compressed air will often have either condensation or some sort of propellant in it, so you don't want to use that for cleaning the sensor. Also, the shutter and the mirror assembly are a bit fragile so you want to be careful with them.

    A simple way to lightly clean the sensor is to use a bulb blower...the 'rocket' type are some of the best. Simply activate the sensor cleaning mode and hold the open front of the camera downward while blowing some air into it.

    You could also use a 'sensor brush'...something like the Arctic Butterfly.

    If there are spots of dust that won't come off, you may need to do a wet cleaning. You will need somthing like sensor swabs and some cleaning fluid. Google sensor cleaning for more info.
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    When you use the Giotto Rocket, make sure you puff it out a few times before you blow it into your camera. I got some dust in mine somehow and blew dust all over everything -- had to bring the camera in for a professional cleaning ($45 at my local camera shop).

    Sensor repair/replacement is EXPENSIVE! Be careful!
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good point on the use (or rather non-use) of compressed air in any form, and as was mentioned, the Giottos rocket is ideal, particularily the new version with the angled nozzle.

    The first thing to remember is that you're not cleaning the sensor, you're cleaning the high-pass filter in front of the sensor. This is in fact, relatively hard to damage, despite what some people would have you believe. It is easy to streak however, so wet solutions should be used with caution.

    First, remove the lens, and lock up the mirror and open the shutter (if req'd). Then with the camera held upside down at an angle (so that the lens mount/opening is facing down, but not directly down, use your blower bulb to blow out the mirror chamber. Get the tip close too (but don't touch) the high-pass filter.

    If that doesn't work, then you will likely need to go to a sensor brush. Big Mike suggested the Arctic Butterfly (www.visibledust.com) which I highly recommend. I've used one for about three years now, and while expensive (~$100) it works VERY well. If that doesn't do the trick, then you need a wet solution. Once again, I recommend the Visible Dust products (No, I don't work for them, but their products have never failed me).

    The wet solutions are the ones to be used with care, and EXACTLY according to manufacturer's directions. Otherwise you may wind up with streaks and smears which will be an absolute <female dog> to get rid of.

    I have seen all sorts of suggestions on-line for using such things as masking tape, and other adhesives, isopropynol alcohol, and other 'creative' tricks. I strongly advise against using any of these.

    If in doubt take the camera in and have it done by a professional, but if your camera doesn't have a built-in sensor cleaning system, you should learn how to do it yourself, it's not difficult.

    Good luck!
     
  6. nynfortoo

    nynfortoo TPF Noob!

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    I've always wondered what people think of them, and searches don't really bring up any opinions. But it hasn't been a pressing matter to bother starting a thread about them.

    I have one that I got free with a magazine subscription, but am yet to need its use.

    Nice to hear they work well.
     
  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As long as you follow the instructions and treat it carefully, it works like a charm. Well worth the money if you have to buy one.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I know several people who use Actic Butterflys...they love them. I was surprised to find out that the company, Visible Dust, is based out of Edmonton.
     
  9. Miaow

    Miaow TPF Noob!

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  10. Crimsonandwhite

    Crimsonandwhite TPF Noob!

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    thanks for all the info guys!
     

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