sensor cleaning question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by shortpballer, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    Hey my sensor is extremely dirty. it is very visible at small aperture settings. Do you guys clean your own sensors? or do you take them in to your local camera shop and pay them to do it? I'm going to hawaii in the next few days and I need to go with a clean sensor so those sky shots are perfect. Please let me know what you guys recommend I do.

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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  3. ocular

    ocular TPF Noob!

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    Well if a blower doesn't work, then buy a microfiber cloth (in cam stores), it works very well. You need to hand wash the cloth in cold water with no soap when it gets dirty.
     
  4. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    Ive read online that you can't just simply use a lens microfiber cloth. If you clean it you are supposed to use a sensor cleaning kit...
     
  5. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Here are some sample pics...

    After I had my XTi for 6 months...shot cloudless sky at f/22...
    [​IMG]

    After I blow out the dust with my Rocket Blower...shot cloudless sky again at f/22...
    [​IMG]

    After wet swabbing using the Copper Hill Method...again shot cloudless sky at f/22...
    [​IMG]
     
  6. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the pictures samanax. Are you suggesting that the blower is good enough as it is? I still see a dust particle or so on it.

    Eric
     
  7. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Just showing the progression from dirty to clean...dirty sensor, Rocket Blower and then web swabbing using the Copper Hill Method. Since I live in a humid environment the dust here is moist and really sticks to the sensor so the Rocket Blower doesn't get everything. To get the sensor really clean I gotta wet swab. I don't even use the Rocket Blower to blow the sensor anymore, I just go straight to the web swabbing.
     
  8. jess28

    jess28 TPF Noob!

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    Personally, I take mine to my local camera store. I'm not comfortable enough to be sure I wouldn't just make it worse. Mine has a deal where you pay for a cleaning kit (I think it was about $40 or so) and you get 2yrs of as needed cleanings. I like being able to support them, it is a local small business that has been here for decades, in any small way I can to repay them for the priceless level of customer service and advice I have been given there.

    If you have any doubt on your ability to do it I would suggest having someone else do it, just to be safe.
     
  9. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    LensPen SensorKlear, works like a charm and probably what your camera store uses anyway, takes all of 30 seconds.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I use this kit:

    Amazon.com: Digital Survival KIT - Sensor Swab Type 2 (w/E2): Everything Else

    Here are some sample pics of a cleaning I did last weekend.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I personally wouldn't use a LensPen on my sensor. I've read too many bad stories about people misusing it. Using a kit like I linked too above it's difficult to apply too much pressure to the sensor. The pad is the exact same size as your sensor (make sure you get the right kit) and it only takes a single pass or two to completely clean it. Total time? About 3 minutes from mirror lock-up and lens removal to clean sensor.
     
  11. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I certainly understand your point of view and I can't fault you for taking your camera to the store. If you're uncomfortable, have someone else do it that's insured. :)

    But it's not difficult and it's not dangerous to your sensor if you do it correctly. Using the kit I provided a link to is quick, simple and safe. I see no reason to pay someone $40 or more for two minutes of work. Honestly, you might need to clean your sensor several times in a month if you're shooting outside a lot and are doing lens changes and for me running back to the camera store each time would be a hassle. It's a good idea to learn how to do it yourself at some point I believe.
     
  12. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    You should use something like Eclipse cleaning solution. Putting a dry cloth on your sensor and dragging the dust around may damage the low-pass filter by scratching it. Liquid will reduce the friction and also cause the dust to cling to the cleaning swab vs pushing it off to the side of the sensor.
     

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