Water spots

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by tecboy, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. tecboy
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    tecboy Well-Known Member

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    $_MG_5115-01.JPG There are few water spots. Is the image sensor dirty?
  2. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    If you want to check for a dirty image sensor, set the lens to a small aperture like f/16.
    Take a photo of a light colored wall section that is just wall, or take a photo of a patch of blue sky since f/16 won't let in much light if you're inside.

    But yes. It looks like you have some dust bunnies on the image sensor.
  3. tecboy
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    tecboy Well-Known Member

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    Is there a way to clean the image sensor or do I need to send it to the professional to do cleaning?
  4. WesternGuy
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    WesternGuy Well-Known Member

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    Cleaning your sensor is relatively easy and a lot cheaper than sending it to a professional. There a variety of ways to clean your sensor, depending on how much dust is on it. If there is very little dust on it then simply blowing the dust away with a hand-held blower like the Giotto Rocket - Giottos Rocket Air Blower - (Large) 7.5" AA1900 B&H Photo is a place to start. If the dust is more stubborn, then you may need to go to something like the Arctic Butterfly - Arctic Butterfly sensor brush. Sensor cleaning, remove dust. , or use swabs as shown here - Sensor cleaning swab. . A detailed approach can be found here - Digital Camera Sensor Cleaning .

    Cleaning your sensor is not that difficult and you get better at it the more times you do - this doesn't mean that you should do it every day, or every week, just that the first couple of times may take you a little longer because you are still learning about the process. I do my own sensor cleaning and I have the Giotto Rocket, and a Visible Dust kit that includes the Arctic Butterfly and a set of swabs and cleaning fluids - all their products can be seen here - Camera sensor cleaning ? Arctic Butterfly sensor brush, loupe, swabs, liquids . There are others and I am sure that if you Google "sensor cleaning", you will find enough information to keep you going for weeks. Your camera manual should have some instructions about the process for cleaning your sensor. I would advise you to read these at least 3 times, just to make sure that you understand them. HTH.

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    WesternGuy
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  5. tecboy
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    tecboy Well-Known Member

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    I got it clean. Thanks
  6. TCampbell
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    TCampbell Well-Known Member

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    The sensor is protected by a filter in front of it. So you don't actually touch the "sensor" itself. It's not that fragile... just don't rough it up so much that if there's anything that you could scratch you end up dragging the abrasive offending bit all over the filter and scratching it.

    I go through progressions to clean my sensors.

    (1) easiest is to just remote the lens, point the camera at the ground, then force a self-cleaning. If there's a bit of dust on it then it may just fall off and out of the camera body.

    (2) I hand blower (rubber bulb) can give a few puffs of air and that'll usually clear the sensor if the self-cleaning cycle didn't work. Avoid cans of compressed air. If can spit fluid. Also if you blast too much air the rapidly decompressing gas has a freezing effect and that can just attract water condensation ... then you get water spots.

    (3) if that doesn't work I have a very soft brush and a few gentle swipes might just take off the offending bits of dirt.

    (4) if that doesn't work I INSPECT the sensor using a magnifier to see what's on the sensor that won't just fall off, won't blow off, and won't swipe off with a soft brush. I have a LensPen sensor cleaning and I also have Eclipse cleaning solution and PecPads or SensorSwabs (a few drops of Eclipse on the swaps or pads and a gentle swipe across the surface will generally do a perfect job cleaning it.

    When swapping lenses, tilt the camera downward to avoid debris falling into the sensor body.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  7. tecboy
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    tecboy Well-Known Member

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    Good tips. Thanks
  8. Jeff92
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    Jeff92 New Member

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    Also I have started to make it a habit to change lenses when my camera is pointed down, I believe this can also keep some dust out especially indoors. My camera is still only a few weeks old but I so far I have no dust inside it. Also the lens pen has a sensor cleaning end on it, but I would always try the air bulb or the sensor cleaning inside the camera before ever resorting to touching the sensor itself.
  9. tecboy
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    tecboy Well-Known Member

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    I use the sensor cleaning swabs more than twice and still get dusts in the image sensor. Is the image sensor far too dirty that I need to take to the professional to clean it?
  10. tecboy
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    tecboy Well-Known Member

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    I just found out I have to apply a little force on the sensor swap to wipe out the dusts. According to my manual, it says the image sensor is very delicate just like the focusing screen, and using a brush can scratches the sensor. It did not say anything about the filter layer that protects the image sensor. I have Canon EOS Rebel T3i. So which is it? Do I have a filter that protect the sensor, or is it okay to use other cleaning material than using sensor swabs?
  11. TCampbell
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    TCampbell Well-Known Member

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    Your T3i has TWO filters in front of the sensor. The first filter (the one closest to the front of the camera) is a low pass filter which also acts as the piezoelectric filter (it vibrates when a charge is applied -- that vibration is what causes dust to (hopefully) fall off the sensor. so when you see the camera flash the message that it's doing a sensor cleaning (either when you switch it on or off) that's actually referring to the piezoelectric filter). Behind that, there's an IR-Cut filter which blocks infrared light. Behind that is the actual imaging sensor.

    If there was a piece of sand on the sensor and you were to drag it around with a swap (pressing hard) you could theoretically put a scratch on the sensor. This is why you should treat it gently.
  12. Forkie
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    Forkie Well-Known Member

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    I never used anything other than a good blast with a rocket blower. Any remaining tiny dust particles can be removed in post. It would have to be positively Dalmatian before I would try cleaning it myself or paying someone else to do it. Maybe I'm just a tight arse!
  13. tecboy
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    tecboy Well-Known Member

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    I have a dump question. Let's say I'm stupid enough to the scratch the image sensor with a toothpick, and take my camera for a repair. Does the repair technician replaces the actual image sensor and the filters, or just replaces the first filter only?
  14. Solarflare
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    Solarflare Well-Known Member

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    Well its a computer chip.

    Basically a piece of extremely pure silicium with just some micrometers of something else on it.

    In short, you dont want to scratch that.
  15. tecboy
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    tecboy Well-Known Member

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    I called the camera repair shop, and they said they only replace the whole image sensor including the filters.

    I just a bit worry that I might scratch the sensor and would be a nightmare to spend a lot of money to replace it.
  16. KmH
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    Find a better camera repair shop if they are to stupid to charge you what for them is easy money for cleaning an image sensor.

    Thousands of people clean their own image sensor/filters every day without scratching them.

    In fact, I don't recall ever seeing a post on a photography forum where someone had scratched one.

    I've seen threads about scratched lenses, shutter that quit working, impact damage from dropping a piece of gear, but not a "I scratched my image sensor/filter btrying to clean it".
  17. tecboy
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    tecboy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, it is good to know.

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