Cleaning Camera Sensor. Help!!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by alexxk, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. alexxk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I have noticed some dirt on my camera sensor.. I have already tried to blow air into it but I got some persistent dirt.. some are darker than the others..

    Looking online, it seems like people talk in a way that makes me afraid to try to buy some online cleaning kit and do it on my own..

    Has anyone here done it? Is it really that dangerous to mess up the sensor?

    Do you guys know how much it would cost for Canon to do that for me?

    Thanks
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #2
    I wouldn't clean my own sensor with anything other than an air blower. Your sensor is a sensitive piece of kit.
    Rather than send it to Cannon, why not try your local camera club? Or lots of photography events and road shows often have free sensor cleaning as a way of attracting people.
     
  3. NeGRit0 macrumors 6502a

    NeGRit0

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    Las Vegas, Nv
    #3
  4. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    Apr 3, 2010
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    #4
    I've done it my self. It's a little scary at first but not really as hard as you would think. Look at this video. I have the Cooper Hill kit.
     
  5. filmbufs macrumors 6502

    filmbufs

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    Oklahoma
    #5
    We've done it successfully. We were extremely cautious, watched several videos on YouTube and decided to avoid blowing air into it which, if not done right or with the wrong product can make it worse. The foreign object appeared to be a lone eyelash that was easily visible, so we elected to carefully dab at the spot with a long, matted down QTip-ish item. It worked for us.
     
  6. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #6
    For what it is worth, I once needed a good clean on a Canon DSLR sensor and I had a bash myself. Cocked it up big style ended up costing me £200 to get sensor and focus screen replaced. Both VERY fragile components.

    Turns out the Canon service centre in Glasgow is just a third party company that does warranty repairs for Canon and Nikon. They said next time take it to them and they would clean it for £40 while I waited.... IMHO unless you are confident enough and not club fisted like I am then I think that would be £40 well spent...

    My 2 cents into the pot...;-)
     
  7. alexxk thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    #7
    I checked with Canon yesterday and It cost $49.00 plus shipping to do a 7-point system clean. I will send it once I grab my new camera that way I'm not left cameraless lol.

    Thanks everyone!!
     
  8. someoldguy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Location:
    usa
    #8
    I'll go along with Florian . I've cleaned the sensors on both my 5D2 and Leica a number of times . Its a bit scary the first cleaning ( and always scary on the Leica ) , but if you keep your wits about you it's certainly doable. I used Sensor Swabs and Eclipse solution .
     
  9. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #9
    The first time is scary. After that its a simple process. At least on Nikon's and Fuji's, I've bore down quite heavily on sensors with never an issue. You might look at the Sensor Gel Sticks. No liquid amount to worry about and they are very effective and easier to use.
     
  10. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    Big Sky country
  11. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    Los Angeles
    #11
    Why buy another new camera if you have a cell phone with built in camera?
     
  12. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #12
    Because cell phones take snaps not pictures.
     
  13. alexxk thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 29, 2010
    #13
    The user above responded for me!!
     
  14. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

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    Location:
    Toronto
    #14
    It can be tedious but is not difficult. As a former D600 owner and still constant lens changer in dusty/dirty environments, I've done it may times. Just don't go in with any sharp tools or implements of destruction.

    For me the key to doing it myself was having the right equipment and being able to clearly see inside. I picked a kit like this: http://www.henrys.com/73750-LENSPEN-SENSOR-KLEAR-LOUPE-KIT.aspx. It has a loupe with battery operated LED lights that lets you see exactly what you're doing while inside the body with a swab. Two sensor cleans by me paid for the cost of the kit vs. the camera shop doing it and I've done it many times since.

    ~ Peter
     
  15. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    It's really easy to clean them yourself. My first DSLR (a D70 a decade ago) seemed to leak in dust at an incredible rate so I'm glad I gave it a go. I still clean my sensor as needed (D810, and Nikons are more difficult to clean than Canons). Copper Hill kit -- but it looks like they've gone out of business. Luckily the consumable supplies (Eclipse solution and PEC pads) are readily available.
     
  16. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #16
    Some info:

    • the sensor is not exposed. there is a filter over the sensor and that's what you are cleaning
    • the material the filter over the sensor is made out of is scratch resistant
    • cleaning methods in ascending order of intrusiveness: air blower, brush, wet swipe
    • careful with 'photo clubs' and independent stores!! (i've witnessed people there brush sensors with brushes they took out of a dirty drawer)
    • DIY or Certified Nikon Service Center recommended
     
  17. Cheese&Apple, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015

    Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

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    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #17
    This is a really good point to remember. If I'm cleaning with anything other than a blower, I use a new swab fresh out of the wrapper each time. It's amazing how much dirt you can put on the sensor with a brush or swab you think is clean. And don't use a lens brush...they're not that clean.
     
  18. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #18
    While Copperhill Images is no more, their website (and great cleaning tutorial) lives on in the "Internet Wayback Machine".

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140411012109/http://www.copperhillimages.com/index.php?pr=tutorials

    It discusses blowers, brushes, gel sticks, and, of course, wet cleaning. FYI you also need to keep your lens mounts clean as well as the rear of the lenses (use the caps) because dirt there can get easily transferred to the sensor when you change lenses. The same Eclipse solution + PEC pads does a great job cleaning lenses, viewfinders, and your eyeglasses!
     
  19. swordio777 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 3, 2013
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    Scotland, UK
    #19
    As others have said above - doing it yourself is easy as long as you know what you're doing. If you're concerned then the sensor is tougher than you probably imagine. Buy an appropriate kit so you're definitely using suitable liquids/swabs, then watch a couple of youtube vids so you know what you're doing and you will be fine.

    Personally, I use Dust Aid's wet sensor cleaning kit. There are plenty of microfibre swabs in the kit - you might need to use 2 or 3 each time you clean your sensor, but the included pack will last for ages.

    If you're not completely confident and do get someone else to clean it, ask if you can watch - if you can see what they're doing, you'll probably feel confident that you could do it yourself next time. Care is required, but it's definitely not brain surgery.

    Best of luck!
     
  20. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #20
    Make that three. I agree that the first time is scary.
     
  21. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #21
    A cell phone camera may or may not be suitable as a temporary replacement. It's going to depend on what one needs in a camera, of course.

    But to say a decent-quality cell phone camera only takes "snaps" is to shortchange its possibilities. It's completely possible to take more than snaps, if you try to take more than snaps. It's the "nature vs. nurture" thing all over again. Is it the camera, or the photographer?
     
  22. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    Behind the Lens, UK
    #22
    Given that this is a thread about cleaning your sensor thread, I'm not really sure this is the place to discuss camera phones Vs DSLR. Try reading some of this thread iPhone camera vs DSLR
     
  23. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #25
    From an "Old Guy" as in retired, my camera cost me $1700. If it needs anything it goes to a professional.

    Dale
     

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