Amazingly distubing dirt in my pictures


TPF Noob!
Apr 8, 2006
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Chihuahua Mexico
Hi Everybody:

I'm new at this thig, so please be kind.

Ever since i bought my first DSLR i've been haunted by dirt in my pictures, this is because of the fact that i change lenses very often during my journeys. My sensor is clouded by tiny dots and dashes that appear in my prize wnning pictures without exception.

Now i've been reading a lot of magazines and internet articles, none of them concur in a solution to my problem, so i gathered enough courage and i bought the sensor brush from Some of the articles i've read state that cleaning the sensor with dry methods is a mortal sin.

A friend of mine that also owns a Nikon D2X told me th he sensor has some sort of protective layer, can anyone confirm that?

My questions to you are the following:

1.- Given the fact that i don't own 3 or 4 bodies to have atached to all my different lenses, i will keep on changing lenses on the field, that is a fact of life i will have to live with. What method of sensor cleaning do you recomend? (sending my D2X body for profesional cleaning everey other week is not an option)

2.- Does anyone here know of a method to avoid dust and particles inside the body whilst exchanging lenses? (i have a trip to Egypt comming up very soon and i'm expecting sandstorms, so obviously i need some manner of safely and cleanly changing lenses)

Thanks to all of you
Carlos Carvajal
the dirt could also be in the lens. does the dirt always appear in the same place regardless of what lens you have on?
Welcome to the forum.
First thing to keep in mind is PM. (Preventative Maintenance.) You will never fully avoid dirt on the sensor, but always keep in mind that the old saying " An ounce of prevention is worth a Pound of cure" rings true here.
Living in an extremely dusty environment ( rural New Mexico) I have come to learn that when I am using the camera continuously, I need to check the sensor regularly for dirt. (Usually once a day at the end of the day.) I use a product called ‘Speckgrabber’ to get the dust off.
If any of this sounds familiar, I apologize:

First, set the camera to ‘Manual’ Mode. Then set the aperture to the smallest you can get. Aim the camera at a wall, standing approx. 3 feet from the wall. Set the flash to the maximum setting, and fire away. Then review the picture in magnification mode, and toggle through the entire image with the direction arrows. As you go through, start at the top or bottom, and scroll left or right, (whichever way you are going) and look for any spots. Then if you find any, go through the procedure of cleaning the sensor. The newer sensors have a protective layer of either plastic or glass that is designed to prevent color aberrations among other items. This protective layer is much like the layer of coating on a lens. (This layer is by the way why the newer digitals have a very hard time taking IR images.)
I will STRONGLY advise against any solvent or liquid on the CCD or CMOS. They usually have a mild solvent in them, and can destroy many of the coatings, and/or adhesives that are used to assemble the sensor. So beware!
To avoid getting dirt in the camera in the first place, point the camera down and away from any directional wind. Change your lens, and continue on. Keep the rear element clean, and keep your lens caps!!!
Lens caps are our friends.
Outside of that, just try to keep either a lens or cap on the body. Good luck.
I've also read that the camera should be turned off during lens changes, to prevent a static charge on the sensor attracting dust. Don'y know how true this is, but it is in the instructions for my e500 to turn it off before changing lenses anyway.

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