Dirt in photos, not sure what's up...

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Epanoi, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Epanoi

    Epanoi TPF Noob!

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    Okay, so I noticed some of my images lately had some dirt in them ... and not just a little ... A LOT!

    I'm trying to figure out where its coming from, here's thing things I have tried so far.

    1) Cleaning the sensor by lightly blowing air on it.

    2) Cleaning the lens by lightly blowing air on it.

    3) Cleaning the front of the lens with a mildly damp mico-cloth with warm water.

    So none of those did anything to help out ... and then I started to notice something, and here's what I think is super important.

    I've tried taking pictures without the lens on and I can't see the dirt. Now this doesn't mean its not there, because maybe its just so blurred I can't see it ... but that's a good sign.

    AlSO, the dirt is very very sharp at f/16 and then when I open it up to f/1.4 its near unnoticeable.

    Given those facts is it possible to nail down whether the dirt is on the sensor or the lens? I'm hoping its on the sensor as its a rather expensive camera to get sent in for repair and I don't know if I trust just *any* photoshop to work on it. If its the lens I can easily figure something out.

    Any help?
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sounds like sensor dust. Did you clean the rear element of the lens too, or just the front?
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with Mr. Willys-Overland; it sounds like sensor dust; if you post an example picture someone can probably nail it down for sure.

    For cleaning your lenses, get a good quality lens cleaning cloth, and clean them. The constant humidity, and other "stuff" in the air eventually covers them with a layer which while invisible holds dust like it's welded on, as does static.

    Dust on the sensor is nothing to worry about; it's easy to clean (Don't forget, you're not cleaning the sensor, but the high-pass filter in front of it). You have to be careful, but there are hundreds of 'How to' articles on the net about this.

    As long as you don't have any actual "goo" on the filter cleaning is straightforward, but just blowing air on it may not be enough as static can be very strong.

    I am a big proponent of this company: http://www.visibledust.com/ especially their 'Arctic Butterfly' sensor brush, which while pricey does excellent work.
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The sensor of my camera had collected HEAPS of dust in the course of time, and I was too chicken to go about cleaning it myself, but thankfully, Alex_B did the job for me while he was here for the Germany Meet-Up.

    The amount of sensor dust was not to be seen at wide open apertures here, either, so in order to check where there was the dust (and you'll see that there was LOTS of it!), he set the camera to f29 and took "a photo" of the white ceiling at a 2 second exposure, turning the camera in circles all the while, to make sure nothing would stay focused other than the dust.

    This is what he (me too, and I went all :oops: over the sight!) saw:

    [​IMG]

    He then cleaned it for me with a pick-up tool whose name he later gave me once more and again I forgot, and at the end he stopped when the f29-2second-photo looked like this.

    [​IMG]

    He knew he had not really got each and every "dust bunny", but my, I am so grateful he did what he did!
     
  5. Epanoi

    Epanoi TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your help.

    I've discovered the cause and it is in fact on the sensor.

    The worst part of it is is that its not dust. I used a brush and it didn't come off, so I was able to get a look at it in better light and there appears to be some weird spots on it, like water spots or grime of some sort :( :( :(

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sounds like it needs a "wet" cleaning.

    Some people prefer to have a "pro" do it for them, others are fine doing it themselves...

    Search "Sensor Cleaning" here and I'm sure you'll get tons of results. If you decide to do it yourself, it's not that hard - once you do it the first time you'll wonder why you were scared. If you decide to take it to a "pro" to get cleaned, that's fine too - just much more expensive.

    I'm not going to tell you one way is better than the other (but you can probably tell, I just do it myself) - just know that taking it to a camera shop will cost you significantly more in the long run.
     
  7. osirus

    osirus TPF Noob!

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    Question, when you blew on it with air.. did you use a really cheap blower?

    I did that once.. dollar store camera cleaning kit with a blower..
    sensor looked much worse after cleaning.

    i realized the blower blew little rubber specs all over the sensor..

    i treid with a bruch and it made lil streaks on the sensor..
    damn rubber crap.


    i read and searched on the net for 2 days.. then decided to give it a go and clean it myself..
    i felt mush better after i found out that you are not actuall touching the sensor. but theres a piece of glass in front of it.
    so its pretty similar to cleaning a lens.

    so, i used lens tissues folder and wrapped around the eraser end of a pencil., with some masking tape to hold it in place. then a lil bit of cleaning fluid. and went at er...

    at first it wasnt getting it off..
    i had to puch harder to revome the gunk..

    But it worked great and its totally clean now, still works perfect :p
     
  8. taracor

    taracor TPF Noob!

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    Hmm, I had some stuck on sensor dust a while ago and I just went and got it professionally cleaned. It seems people have good results in doing it themselves, but I didn't want to risk it, considering that it isn't something you have to do very often at all. (2-3 years for me)

    It was also nice because the shop that did it for me guaranteed their work.
     

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