Dust! All over your sensor!

valdore

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 9, 2007
1,263
0
Kansas City, Missouri. USA
I'm lousy as far as clone stamping skills are concerned, so that presents a problem. It seems like every time I switch lenses, the sensor gets sullied with a varied, sundry assortment of undesirables. Many of my photos have been practically ruined.

The lady in the camera shop I visit said in no uncertain terms that I am NEVER to EVER touch the camera's sensor, no matter what kind of genteel material I employ. So, they sold me one of those squeezable air pump doohickies - one larger than the one I already had. Last Thursday I sat on my couch and squeezed and pumped until my hand was sore ( :rolleyes: ), and then continually went outside to snap a picture of the sky for test purposes. Resultantly, I had to take a lens cloth and apply it to my sensor to get some lint off the thing. That air pump just wasn't going to do it.

Now, for just a standard photo, the crap is barely noticeable. But when I try and do an HDR, the sensor dust hideosity comes to full bear, and I'm yet again confronted with the yearning to take a cloth to my sensor again.

Please inform.
 

Cave Man

macrumors 604
I use a rocket blower first, then polyester swabs with methanol second. Remember, you're not touching the sensor, you're touching the protective covering that is over the sensor. It can still be scratched, which is why you need to use a rocket blower first, then swab.

There are other solutions other than methanol (but all use methanol as the principal ingredient) and a quick google search ought to put you on track.
 

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
5,514
2,465
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
A couple tips to help avoid getting dust in there in the first place...

Use your blower to remove dust from both the mounted lens (especially around the mount) and the lens you're going to be putting on the camera (ditto), before you take the lens off. Also, have the opening in the camera body facing downward while you're making the switch. Additionally, a lens pen or lint free cloth is a good tool to keep your lenses' free of dust inside the mount.

I've cleaned my sensor myself, using Eclipse and Pec-pads. However I cannot be in the position of recommending that you do it yourself - it has to be your decision. There are instructions out on the web, though.
 

Lovesong

macrumors 65816
Well, for one, the blower is hardly ever a decent solution to getting dust out. The main problem is that there is quite a bit of static electricity that accumulates on the sensor cover, and using the blower does little more than just blowing it around. If you're not into the whole organic solvents on expensive electronics thing (like me), I would suggest getting yourself an arctic butterfly brush from Visible Dust. The basic idea is that you use the soft brush and spinner to create a static electricity field on the bristles, and then you simply swipe the sensor to get the dust off. Unless there are smears or heavy deposits on the sensor, there is no reason to use solvents. Best $90 I've spent on my camera.
 

Cave Man

macrumors 604
Well, for one, the blower is hardly ever a decent solution to getting dust out.
You should always use a mechanical blower (i.e., not canned air) on your sensor cover before you touch it with anything. This displaces particulates that might otherwise scratch the sensor cover when you use a wiper of any kind. Not blowing dramatically increases the chance of damage to the cover.
 

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,944
191
Canada
Hi,

I use an 'arctic butterfly' and a manual blower. I've yet to buy a wet solution cleaner, but that's only b/c they were out of stock. the butterfly is neat b/c it's battery operated so it spins (without going inside the camera)...it creates electrostatic as it spins then you turn it off and brush the glass outside the lense.

some dust will be 'stickier', hence the need for a wet solution.

cheers,
Keebler
 

jerryrock

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
429
0
Amsterdam, NY
Avoid changing lenses in a windy or dusty environment. Never change lenses with the camera turned on. An electrically charged sensor attracts dust like a magnet. The Canon 5D is notorious for it's fragile anti alias coating on the sensor that scratches easily.
 

Kebabselector

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2007
2,819
1,135
Birmingham, UK
The Canon 5D is notorious for it's fragile anti alias coating on the sensor that scratches easily.
First time i've heard that, I guess all of the glass sensor covers are as easy to scratch. Though I will admit that the 5d does attract dust. I tend to clone it out on lightroom now so it doesn't really bother me.
 

jtblueberry

macrumors regular
Dec 20, 2007
111
0
Pismo Beach, CA

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,944
191
Canada
Me too. They also sell the static brushes and the Giotto Rocket blower.

http://www.copperhillimages.com/index.php?pr=Tutorials
i can't say enough about the copper hill pkg. fantastic! i bought the one with the sensor light which has proved invaluable. It's a great kit.

buy it. i have the arctic butterfly battery wand and i do a 1st pass with that any remaining dust is gone after using the CH stuff.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
Just do what I do: Try to clean the dust off the sensor, scratch the filter covering it, and buy a new camera. I just buy new cameras.....(like an idiot)

Be careful when cleaning your sensor. That's all I have to say. :eek:
 

Hmac

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2007
2,130
4
Midwest USA
The biggest dangers in cleaning IMHO is scratching the AA filter overlying the sensor, and having the shutter accidentally close while you have your brush or swab in there.
 

srf4real

macrumors 68040
Jul 25, 2006
3,000
26
paradise beach FL
I've changed lenses in some horrendous conditions over the last eight months with the Panasonic L1 and it's dust vibration mechanism has never let me down... it's a thin piece of film or something that catches the dust/sand/debris before it actually can get to the sensor. Activated every time I power it up.;) Olympus bodies employ the same technology.
 

Richard Flynn

macrumors regular
Sep 4, 2006
162
0
Sydney
Hi,

I use an 'arctic butterfly' and a manual blower. I've yet to buy a wet solution cleaner, but that's only b/c they were out of stock. the butterfly is neat b/c it's battery operated so it spins (without going inside the camera)...it creates electrostatic as it spins then you turn it off and brush the glass outside the lense.

some dust will be 'stickier', hence the need for a wet solution.

cheers,
Keebler
I really like my Arctic Butterfly, too. I've seen nothing but good reviews for it.
 

valdore

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 9, 2007
1,263
0
Kansas City, Missouri. USA
I ordered the Copper Hill kit - and although the dust situation has improved somewhat since using it frequently, it seems like most of the time all I'm doing is moving the dust around to different locations on the sensor, rather than totally removing it. Someone please help deliver me from this hell.
 

harcosparky

macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
2,055
0
I ordered the Copper Hill kit - and although the dust situation has improved somewhat since using it frequently, it seems like most of the time all I'm doing is moving the dust around to different locations on the sensor, rather than totally removing it. Someone please help deliver me from this hell.

As a last resort .. or maybe should be the first ... I dunno as I have not had a problem with dust YET!

Contact the manufacturer and see what they charge for cleaning, I believe they also re-calibrate the camera as well. Your camera dealer should know the costs.

It should come back as clean as new .... keeping it clean, that's up to you.
 

jtblueberry

macrumors regular
Dec 20, 2007
111
0
Pismo Beach, CA
Below is a good article on dust removal (first link). You will need to sign up for a free membership to view the website but they have tons of information...you won't regret signing up.

http://www.shootsmarter.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=166

Below is a link to the product that is recommended. I have it and use it...it works great!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/419619-REG/Visible_Dust_2654242_Econo_1_6x_Sensor_Brush.html
This product works good for me.
The theory is that it builds a static charge which causes particles to cling to the brush so that you remove them rather than just pushing them around.
 

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