Sensor/mirror cleaning?

masquerad101

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When I first delved into DSLRs the biggest problem I faced was sensor/mirror dirt and the camera I had back then had no self cleaning technolagy, so I would have had to spend an hour or so just cloning off sensor dirt before I even started to edit my shots. Now I have this brand new D3200 and already I see a single speck of dirt in the upper right hand side of the viewfinder. I dont think is on the sensor as I took a photo of the sky and theres nothing in the image, I have cleaned the lens front and viewfinder so I suspect that the dirt is on the mirror!

I see that the D3200 has sensor cleaning. How often should I use this and also How should I go about cleaning the mirror?
Is it possable to bring it to a shop and have it cleaned professionally?
 

SCraig

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The built-in sensor cleaning will work well for free dust but not dust that has adhered to the sensor. All it does is vibrate the sensor to, hopefully, shake the dust off. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I set my bodies to clean the sensor each time the camera is turned on or off. It doesn't hurt anything and can help.

Keep in mind that dust on a DSLR sensor is not the end of the world. It is a fact of life and it happens regularly. Try not to change lenses in dusty areas, hold the camera facing down when you change lenses, and keep your camera in a bag to help reduce dust on the sensor. When it does get dirty just clean it, but do so properly.

Start with a bulb blower to see if the dust will blow off. DO NOT use compressed air or anything powerful, use a bulb blower. DO NOT use Q-tips or anything that could leave lint on the sensor. If that doesn't work you'll have to use wet cleaning. I prefer Photographic Solutions materials for sensor cleaning however there are others just as good. Take a look at the video on This Page, follow those guidelines, and you won't have any problems.

For cleaning the mirror I only use a bulb blower. Mirrors are easily scratched and expensive to replace.
 

Benco

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You also get dust behind the focusing screen where it's hard to get to, I understand that with some DSLRS you can quite easily remove and clean the screen if you are confident about dismantling bits of your camera. Bear in mind though that dust and such on the mirror, focusing screen and inside the viewfinder don't effect the image, it's irritating but that's all.
 

cgipson1

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If you do try to clean any dust on your focusing screen... be careful. Only touch the edges of the screen, and gently use canned air to clean it. They can be very delicate. There was a member on a here a year ago that ended up buying a new screen when he tried to clean his focusing screen with an alcohol swab.

You might also look at how you are changing lenses... because that is the most common time for junk to get into the camera, and onto the sensor, etc...

Minimize the time the body is open with no lens. Do it in the cleanest area you can find. It is a good practice to keep the body facing down the whole time. Use something like this Amazon.com: Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large - Black: Camera & Photo to blow out the body while it is facing down (carefully).
 
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KmH

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I recommend you select the D3200 option that activates the sensor 'cleaning' function when the camera is powered up and when the camera is powered down. See page 180 of the D3200 users manual.

You will still have to make manual image sensor cleaning a routine part of your camera gear maintenance/cleaning procedures.

You seem to understand that what you see in the viewfinder is not what the image sensor sees. In fact when you can see a scene in the viewfinder the image sensor can't see anything, because the shutter curtains and the main mirror block it from 'seeing' any light.
 
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masquerad101

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Thank you all vwery much. You have all been very informative. Its is very anoying when your camera gets full of filth. On my first dslr I let it get so bad It was unbearable but I was a lot younger and didnt really care for cleaning back then, That wont happen this time I can assure you. Thanks again
 

Gavjenks

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If you want to check dirt on your actual sensor, set it to f/22 or so, and take a photo of a sheet of white computer paper. The dust will show up very obviously.

Many DSLRs will also allow you to use an image such as this to automatically delete any such dust from all of your images as you take them. Which is always a convenient alternative to consider versus cleaning your sensor (or just to extend time until needing to clean it, because it's not perfect). Don't forget to remove the dust delete data if/when you DO clean it, or the camera will add negative dust in...
 
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masquerad101

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If you want to check dirt on your actual sensor, set it to f/22 or so, and take a photo of a sheet of white computer paper. The dust will show up very obviously.

Many DSLRs will also allow you to use an image such as this to automatically delete any such dust from all of your images as you take them. Which is always a convenient alternative to consider versus cleaning your sensor (or just to extend time until needing to clean it, because it's not perfect). Don't forget to remove the dust delete data if/when you DO clean it, or the camera will add negative dust in...

Im not sure what you mean by many DSLRs will allow you to use an image to automatically delet any dust from all of my images?
Also how do I remove the dust delete data? Sorr Im new to this.
 

480sparky

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If you want to check dirt on your actual sensor, set it to f/22 or so, and take a photo of a sheet of white computer paper. The dust will show up very obviously.

Many DSLRs will also allow you to use an image such as this to automatically delete any such dust from all of your images as you take them. Which is always a convenient alternative to consider versus cleaning your sensor (or just to extend time until needing to clean it, because it's not perfect). Don't forget to remove the dust delete data if/when you DO clean it, or the camera will add negative dust in...

Im not sure what you mean by many DSLRs will allow you to use an image to automatically delet any dust from all of my images?
Also how do I remove the dust delete data? Sorr Im new to this.


If you shoot Nikon, click here. Reading the manual will help as well.
 

hirejn

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Dust on the mirror does not show up in photos. Only dust on the sensor does. Use a sensor cleaning tool such as the Visible Dust sensor brush. Avoid liquids. You can have it sent to an authorized shop for cleaning but it costs money. When cleaning the sensor, use a full battery or AC adapter for the camera. Otherwise you risk the shutter closing while the brush is inside, leading to a costly shutter repair. Most pros send their equipment in once a year for cleaning and checking. If you can't do this, invest in a sensor cleaning system and use it whenever you find dust spots in images. For the mirror, you can use the Visible Dust brush, air, and clean the box with their swab system.
 

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