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Thread: sensor cleaning

  1. #1
    Account Closed ozdevil's Avatar
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    sensor cleaning

    Gday all

    How easy is it to clean the sensor on a camera as i am sick of taking it and getting it cleaned by a camera shop?

    cheers
    ozdevil

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    Amor fati! ving's Avatar
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    dead easy... I use dust aid. works well on anything but stains on the sensor. for that a wet cleaner is best.

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    A good site:

    www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com

    Is quite a few posts on AP about doing it also
    Cat (aka Cathy) - Another Canon user - 400D, 18-55,75-300mm Kit Lens,50mm f1.8, Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro, Sigma 28-70 f2.8-4 DG, Tripod and a willingness to learn
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    The short answer, Ozdevil, is that it is straightforward and not difficult, but you must follow the procedure carefully. Follow the instructions step by step: no hu-hu. Skimp or get sloppy: potential disaster. Just go step by step and you will be fine.

    Great link, Cat!
    Tony

    Edit and critique at will. Tokina 10-17 fish, Canon 10-22, 24-105, 100-400, TS-E 24, 35/1.4, 60 macro, 100L macro, 500/4, Wimberley, MT-24EX, 580EX-II, 1D IV, 7D, 5D II, 50D.

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    I can understand the trepidation, I for example wouldnt dream of cleaning my own sensor - but one day I must

    I do agree with Tony that I have heard once you have done it once it's a no brainer - but the best way first time is to watch another do it.
    Darren
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    Ozdevil
    How often do you need to get it cleaned?

    Apart from the occassional blow out with a rocket blower, I only needed to clean my old D200 once and the D700 has never been cleaned.

    Maybe you could look at where and how you change your lenses and where you store your kit?

    Things like chenging lenses with the body pointed down or inside a clean shopping bag if needed. Also making sure the lens your fitting is clean before installing, and keeping the dust caps on as long as possible all goes to help keeping the dust at bay.

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    mark, the d700 has a dust cleaner doesnt it ?

    my d300 gets zero dust, my d3 i might as well sneeze on it every time i change lenses in the field

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    Yeah it is a great site Tony - gives all the pros and cons on the different methods as well as how to do - Heaps of detail and info

    I've got a sensor brush but have to clean it after the last effort which required a trip to a camera shop cause something smeared all over the sensor Stuff is prob still on the brush so not game to use it at pres - Air is my friend at pres lol (note 400d has the ultrasonic sensor cleaning but the 350d doesnt)

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    Ain't dat da trufh.

    My {400D, 40D, other 40D, 50D, 1D III} get zero dust

    My 20D I might as well sneeze on it every time i change lenses in the field.

    Guess which one doesn't have a self-cleaning sensor? This trip just gone, I cleaned the 20D sensor just before I left, mounted the 100-400 on it, and left it there for the whole damn 4 week trip! Result: not one spec of dust on my 20D sensor. First time I have ever done a whole trip with a 20D and not had dust problems.

    Cleaning is no big deal, but it's a pain to have to do, and you never know you need to do it until you have stuffed up some shots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    mark, the d700 has a dust cleaner doesnt it ?

    my d300 gets zero dust, my d3 i might as well sneeze on it every time i change lenses in the field
    Yea it has

    But I have only ever used it once - a quick puff with the rocket is better than some fancy contraption that I don't have a lot of faith in. Once the dust is in there then using the electronic dust remover wont do a great deal of good unless there's no lens on the front to get rid of the dust completely. Once the lens is off then I might just as well use the blower.
    Last edited by MarkW; 11-12-2009 at 7:18pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
    Yea it has

    But I have only ever used it once - a quick puff with the rocket is better than some fancy contraption that I don't have a lot of faith in.
    By default though my D300 does a sensor clean at start-up. Maybe yours is too ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    By default though my D300 does a sensor clean at start-up. Maybe yours is too ?
    The setting is there but again whats the point unless the lens is missing and for that matter I never turn the camera on without a lens - unless I'm doing a sensor clean with the shutter curtain raised.

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    Mark your fears do not apply. Trust me on this, I have considerable experience with self-cleaning cameras (many hundreds of thousands of actuations, 5 different self-cleaning cameras) and it does work. Inside your mirror box, there is some adhesive. Nikon placed it there specifically in order to catch the dust that the sensor self-cleaner throws off. Now unless you believe that Nikon can't get something right that Canon, Pentax, and Olympus have been doing successfully for years ....

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    Agree Kiwi, the D3 is the biggest dust hog I know. The D200 can happily go along for months without a clean, the D3 needs em all the time. My guess is bigger sensors, more static electricity..

    But it is easy once you have done it once you will wonder why you thought it was hard to do.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    Mark your fears do not apply. Trust me on this, I have considerable experience with self-cleaning cameras (many hundreds of thousands of actuations, 5 different self-cleaning cameras) and it does work. Inside your mirror box, there is some adhesive. Nikon placed it there specifically in order to catch the dust that the sensor self-cleaner throws off. Now unless you believe that Nikon can't get something right that Canon, Pentax, and Olympus have been doing successfully for years ....
    Not scared of cleaning the sensor - only ever needed to do it once.

    I didn't realise there was a sticky patch in the 700 to catch the thrown off dust particles - I thought that they would continue to circulate around the mirror box without any way to get out so that there was a 1 in 6 chance of hitting either the sensor again or the mirror.

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    Big reminder to people when do it (as the canon manual says lol) is always make sure your battery is FULLY charged before do anything so don't get the mirror and shutter snapping closed in the middle of a clean

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    Sorry Mark, I expressed myself badly - I meant your fears that the system would just move the dust around and not actually do anything useful. I shpuld read over what I write to see if it makes sense.

    A couple of points to note:

    1: You are supposed to operate the self-cleaning system with the camera held in a normal (horizontal) position. This (Canon say) helps the dust find its way to the sticky patch. I image it's the same with Nikon.

    2: Self-cleaning is brilliant for DUST, useless for OIL or GREASE. Only wet cleaning can remove oily marks on the sensor. In general, you shouldn't have problems with oil. But we do hear of issues - Canon over-lubricated a batch of new cameras a while back and had to offer everyone a free sensor clean as a result. AP member Dan40 had something similar happen on his new ... er ... was it a 50D?

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    Antipod jev's Avatar
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    Last month, a guy from chipclean visited our camera club. He showed the difference between a self-cleaned and a professionally cleaned camera. We didn't believe the difference and 'accused' the guy of showing us an exceptionally bad example. That is, until he showed us the camera's we had cleaned ourselves. The difference between a professionally cleaned sensor and a home-cleaned sensor is mindboggling. Mind you, we had a couple of camera's that where cleaned by several professional service centres and the difference in quality is enormous.

    So, even though I have always said that you could easily do it yourself, I'm now thinking otherwise. Home-cleaning, with whatever product commercially available, is not level par to a professionally cleaned sensor. Not by a long shot!
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

  19. #19
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    Depends what you are using. I use big rocket blower and a SensorKlear by Lenspen. Never needed to use wet cleaning and it couldn't be easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miaow View Post
    Big reminder to people when do it (as the canon manual says lol) is always make sure your battery is FULLY charged before do anything so don't get the mirror and shutter snapping closed in the middle of a clean
    Funny story, i needed to clean the sensor midway through a cricket game and my mirror would simply not lock up - drove me nuts, until I read the manual and on the D3 anyhow it will not let you lock it when the battery power's below a certain %, 50 I think.


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