dust on sensor?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MACollum, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    Can you see dust on the sensor by looking at the sensor itself? It seems that I have lots of dust on mine but I couldn't see it by looking, nor is it in any way affected by blowing. I've read a lot about this but I can't tell if it's on the sensor or somewhere else (at first I had a problem with dust on the AF screen, before I knew where the sensor was). I'm not comfortable with the idea of cleaning it myself yet (I'm still too much in love with my camera to risk it:( ). I can't seem to see it in my pictures though, which is why I'm asking. Do you have to magnify them to more than 100%? It could be that my aperture is too wide most of the time to see it. Any ideas would be appreciated. It's not really a big thing because I did the dust delete data so maybe that's why I'm not seeing it on my pictures (DUH!!).
     
  2. shorty6049

    shorty6049 TPF Noob!

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    first off, blowing is probably not a good idea. I do it every once in a while though. but i sort of learned my lesson when i acidentally spit on the sensor of my 3 month old sony alpha.:drool: (well not spit, but got some drops of it in there) So now i'm really careful if i ever blow in there becasue it was hard to get that out, and really really scary doing it. All the people who know what they're doing recommend one of those rocket blowers, and i should really think of getting one of those, because otherwise i'll probably end up doing it again:lol: . As far as telling if its on the sensor, i believe (and someone correct me on this if i'm wrong) one way to figure it out, is to put the apeture all the way up to like f22 or whatever your highest is. if any spots that you saw in photos before become a lot sharper and darker, then its probably dust on the sensor. Otherwise maybe try cleaning the lens . Otherwise theres always sensor cleaning kits, but those are usually a little expensive (but i'm sure they're worth it) and by a little expensive, i mean for ME, not necessarily for you, if you can afford 50 bucks, (dont remember how much they actually are) then go ahead and buy one, i'm sure i'll end up doing it some day, but i'm in college right now and everything is sort of an expense for me...;)
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    That's right, you will be able to see dust spots (on the image) much clearer when the lens is stopped down. So put the camera on a tripod and set it to F22 and shoot a uniform subject like a blank wall or a clear blue sky.

    Yes, a rocket blower is a nice easy way to give it an easy cleaning. It may only move the dust around and maybe even put more on the sensor, so I always to it with the camera facing down. There are plenty of sensor cleaning products and it's not really that hard to do...and the sensor isn't as delicate as you may believe.
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    If you don't see dust in your images, than DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT.

    When you do, go and pick up a giottos rocket blower and blast it out. DO NOT USE CANNED AIR and just blowing in it with your lungs is just an idiot move in the first place and will just be detrimental.
     
  5. shorty6049

    shorty6049 TPF Noob!

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    thanks Sw1tchFX..... haha, whatever, i learned my lesson, the wierd thing, is there are still some water spots from where i cleaned it, but nothing shows up in my photos so i dont think i'm going to touch it unless i get real equipment for cleaning
     
  6. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Waterspots from cleaning? You use WATER?? :confused:

    Blowing with your mouth??? Spitting? :confused:

    I am terribly shocked what some people do to their cameras ...
     
  7. shorty6049

    shorty6049 TPF Noob!

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    no, i didnt use water, sorry, i should have been more specific. I have a feeling people are going to go nuts about this, but here's what i did- I read on a website that a way to clean the sensor was to use a cotton swab. By just breathing (not blowing) into the camera body, you cause moisture to condense on the sensor. then you swab it with the cotton swab . it wipes up the moisture and whatever you have on the sensor. Before you get crazy now though, it didnt scratch the sensor at all. I was very surprised that this worked, but it seemed to. And i've heard that those things are tougher than people make them out to be....
     
  8. This is why I don't buy used cameras.....

    Ok, the sensor (or the glass right in front of the sensor) is really not THAT sensitive, but introducing breath vapor into the camera is NOT a great idea. Nor is using Q-Tips.

    Dust on the sensor comes off easily, but condensation stains do not. Certain specialized cleaning liquids have a light alcohol content which makes the moisture completely evaporate. Breath and spit do not.

    Q-Tips and other non-specific cotton swaps are good for ears, but they possibly (probably) leave little cotton threads in the body of the camera, and on the sensor surface. When you wipe the sensor glass you might take these microscopic filaments and scratch the surface.

    Use a specific liquid, and a swab that was designed not to fray. Then it is easy.
     
  9. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly! I might buy used lenses, but not used digital cameras ...
     
  10. shorty6049

    shorty6049 TPF Noob!

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    well, in all fairness, i DID use one that was designed for cleaning cameras. I'm sure not for sensors, but it was with a camera cleaning kit that i have. they're called "digital care tips" on the box, but they're not as loose as a regular cotton swab. And its not like i can UNDO what I did. I'm sure you've all done things that you regretted. Whats done is done, and i dont need everyone repremanding me for what i did. Sure, i wish i would have had better tools, but i sure wasnt going to just leave the spit on there.
     
  11. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, I didn't make myself clear ;) , I do use a rocket blower to "blow". (I'm not as dumb as I look, LOL). I forget that there are lots of people who do awfully stupid things, but I like to think that I'm not one of them (most of the time at least). I'm not terribly worried about it at this point but I was kind of wondering if sometimes you can see it, say, reflected in the mirror or something. I suppose if it gets too bad I will probably have someone else clean it for me. I can't imagine it needing done too often and I'd rather not take chances, I'm quite the klutz and not very good with my hands.
     
  12. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    I guess the reason I'm asking is because I took some pictures of some flowers the other day (they were white) and they had spots on them. I couldn't tell if it was because the flowers themselves had specks on them or if it was dust on the sensor. I already know my sensor has quite a bit of crap on it. Amazing how dirty it gets after just 4 months! I do change lenses a lot though, and the risk of a little dust isn't going to change that.
     

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