Help with Spots / Blotches on Pictures

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Newbie23, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Newbie23

    Newbie23 TPF Noob!

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    Hey all,

    I am new to this site and was wondering if anyone knew what causes black splotches on all my digital SLR pics. These black spots are in the same location on every image and I see them best when i take a picture of the sky.

    Thanks.

    I would post a picture, but I dont' have an external link to the picture.
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sounds like sensor dust.

    Your sensor needs a cleaning. You can take it to a shop and have them do it for you, or you can buy a kit and do it yourself.

    How comfortable are you with working near delicate components?
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, as mentioned, you most likely have dust on your sensor. To really check how much you have, set the camera to a small aperture like F22 and put it on a solid surface and take a shot of a blank wall. The resulting image should clearly show you how many dust spots you have.

    There are several methods to cleaning a sensor. It's not hard so I don't think it's necessary to have it cleaned at a shop (unless you are a total butter fingers ;))

    The first method is to use a blower bulb. (don't use compressed air or 'air in a can'). You can buy the bulbs at a good camera store. Read the manual about how to activare the cleaning mode. This opens the shutter and holds up the mirror, so that you have direct access to the sensor. Hold the camera face down and give it a couple blasts of air.

    If that doesn't get all the dust, you can use a brush. There are special sensor bushes. A company called Visible Dust makes a line of products including the Arctic Butterfly. They are a little pricey but you can use them over and over.

    Sometimes, the dust can be stuck onto the sensor, in which case you may need a wet cleaning. You uses a 'sensor swab' and a drop of cleaning fluid (eclipse). See here for more info.
     
  4. Eel Noob

    Eel Noob TPF Noob!

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    I would never trust myself to clean the sensor. Just got mines cleaned by camera shop here a few months back for $30. Only took two days too.
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Be careful! You can't use Eclipse on every sensor. That is all explained in the link Big Mike provided though.
    Ouch! For that price you could buy the equipment to do it yourself in two minutes, and repeat hundreds of times.
     
  6. Eel Noob

    Eel Noob TPF Noob!

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    Just don't trust myself to do it, rather not risk damaging it and pay that $30 to get it cleaned professionally. Besides it's not like you need to clean it every other week or months. I have owned my camera for 4 yrs now and that was the first time I got it cleaned. I know I should probably get it cleaned more often :blushing:.


    BTW when I noticed that my sensor was dirty, I noticed majority of the black spots were on the outer edges. Anyone know why is that?
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Static electricity is stronger at the edges.
     
  8. Eel Noob

    Eel Noob TPF Noob!

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    ahh that explains it.


    Thanks
     

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