How hard to clean sensor vs spending $105 to camera store?


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Feb 7, 2009
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S. Idaho
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Going to Boise this weekend and am bringing my Canon 450D XSI - Called camera store to see how much to clean my sensor, and was advised that a professional would clean
it for $105.00.. I can get a sensor cleaning kit for about $35 and do it myself. When asked what the diff is between the $105 and a kit I can get myself, Iwas told that they
have "Professionals" that can do it .......... If I trust myself, I can do it myself, but she'd reccomend having them do it...

I'll bet..

Is it really that hard?? I have a pretty stable hand, and not afraid to do it myself - until talking to this store... If Im careful, can I do this myself? :confused:


Can you make toast? Can you fit the ignition key into the slot? Can you button your shirt? Can you tie a lure onto the end of fishing line? Can you read the directions on a box of macaroni and cheese, and successfully MAKE said mac and cheese? If you ***can do all those tough tasks*** you are READY to clean your sensor!!

I avoided it myself for quite some time, then I bought some Eclipse fluid, some Pec Wipes, and cleaned all my cameras' sensors. The easiest was the Canon 5D....the toughest was the Fuji S2 Pro. it was much easier than I thought. But then again...I've been able to button a shirt and tie a fishing lure on for 35+ years...
Professionals my butt! I've been doing it for years and havent seen any signs of dirty sensors. They just want your money.
Ya it is very easy as said but read up a few times and make sure you know what you are doing. It will take you ten minutes or less to do
If you screw it up, it's your own durned fault.

If the PROFESHUNNULS screw it up, they fix it for you. That's why they charge so much.
Sensors are EASY to clean yourself!

Reposted "John's How to Clean Your Camera's Sensor":

I agree with the others; while Nikon's sensor dust-reduction system does work very well, it's not infalliable, and occasionally you will need to supplement it with a real cleaning. It's also not enough of a feature, IMO, to base a purchasing decision on. Mleek's advice to consider the D5100 is excellent. That said, sensor cleaning is easy, and difficult to really screw up (That's NOT a shot at you bazooka!). IMO, it's one of those basic maintenance procedures, such as de-fragmenting your hard drive, or changing the oil in your car, that if you cannot do, you have no business operating that piece of equipment.

Here's my stock 'How to'...
Sensor-cleaning. It's easy to do and should be considered routine maintenance. Spending $50 - 75 for something that takes, literally five minutes, is foolish IMO. Do it yourself, save time and money, just be careful!

DON'T be scared of cleaning your camera! All you need are the right tools. I'll repost this just for info:

Contrary to popular belief, cleaning your own sensor is easy, and difficult to screw up. You should have a few tools though. My preference is for the Visible Dust line of products, in particular the Arctic Butterfly; it's a little pricey, but worth it.

Get a Giottos rocket, DO NOT use one of those cheap blower bulbs with a built in brush. They're dust/lint traps. Remove the lens, and holding hte camera at a 45 angle with the lens opening pointing down, thoroughly blow out the mirror chamber. Now, lock up the mirror and clean off the sensor. Once you've blown off the "big chunks" use the Arctic Butterfly to clean off the small stuff following the instructions provided.

If that doesn't work, then you may need to go to a wet cleaning system, which is a still easy to do. In ten years of digital photography, I've never had to use a wet cleaning system on any sensor.

Remember that you're not actually cleaning the sensor, you're cleaning the low-pass filter in front of the sensor which is usually made of mineral glass or other very tough material. It's actually quite difficult to scratch or damage. It is easy to get streaky if you **** up with a wet-cleaning system, but that's not permanent.​
Also, if you're gonna start undertaking DIY sensor cleaning, invest in a sensor magnifier. It's a special device that fits on the camera in place of the lens, and allows you to inspect the sensor first.

The advantage is.... if you don't see any dust, you don't need to clean it. This prevents unnecessary cleaning and possibly sensor damage.
A giottos rocket works well for me. It may take a few moments of repeated attempts but it cleaned the heck out of my d40 sensor.
easy.. just be careful! :)
Of course, you wouldn't be cleaning the actual image sensor. You would be cleaning a separate filter array that sets in front of the image sensor.
Cleaning a sensor? Every time I take picture with one of my cameras, I get a brand new sensor after each click!
Cleaning a sensor? Every time I take picture with one of my cameras, I get a brand new sensor after each click!

One summer I shot a $h!+load of Kodachrome 64 slide film and stockpiled it in the fridge after I exposed each 36-exposure roll...I was majorly torqued off when I got the slides the lower right hand corner of every friggin' frame was a curly black line!!!!!!!! ACK!!!!!!! I opened the back of my trusty Nikon FM...I couldn't really see much of anything, so I got down really,really close...and sure enough, there was a SMALL fabric fiber wedged in there, sort of BEHIND the focal plane shutter, right where the film crossed over the film was so damned small I had to get some tweezers to grab it. Dang, I was P.O.'d!!!

The next summer, that of 1986, I managed to shoot 22 rolls of K-64 , and had them developed all at once at the same lab....every SINGLE ROLL was scratched badly by the developing lab...I had some blue,some purple, and as I recall some red streaks running across EVERY, single frame. Basically, three scratches, on every roll, every frame. Oh, man, I was LIVID!!!!!!!!! ALl they did was refund my processing costs and gave me 22 rolls of Kodachrome 64. These two incidents toghether added up to a big lesson learned...always develop film promptly, and in small more "eggs all in one basket" operating procedures!

I miss Kodachrome 64...this spring I am readying the Bronicas for some 120 rollfilm action!!! Cleaned the 50,65, and the 80's up last week, got new batteries,etc.

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