Help please, could be dirt on my image sensor

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by lamina, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. lamina macrumors 68000

    lamina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    Niagara
    #1
    I have a Nikon D50, and I've recently been trying my hand at HDR photography. I've noticed that there seems to be dirt somewhere in my camera, since every HDR has dots in the same place in each photo. Here is one for an example:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/mikejrisi/NewHDR/photo#5185223838494517586

    I looked closely on both ends of the lens, and on the CCD itself, but I can't see anything. Is it possible to tell where the dirt is by looking at the photos?

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. cutsman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #2
    That's dust on your sensor alright. Unless you have some crazy Superman vision, you won't be able to see the dust on the sensor. Get yourself a blower and see if that works first... then if it fails, resort to other methods.

     
  3. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    toronto
  4. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #4
    Also… knock down the ISO! There's a ton of noise in that image. Find a tripod and use long exposures for landscapes–the sun ain't moving fast enough for you to notice.
     
  5. Piercey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Why are you shooting at such a high ISO? Landscapes should always be shot at the lowest speed so you can loose all that digial noise. A couple other tricks: If the tripod does not have a built-in bubble level cary a small 6 inch level with you. Use the self-timer so you finger does not bump the camera

    If the blower brush does not remove the dirt the Nikon D50 does have a a "dust off" feature. If you are shooting jpeg format it works. If not Photoshop's clone stamp tool should take care of it.

    Try taking a photo of the blank sky at lower ISO. This is a pretty good test for dirt on the sensor. If yu have the one spot then you may have more.

    Where is the dirt on the sensor? Easy. Just remember that the lens projects and upside down and left/right reversed image onto the sensor
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    For dust on the sensor I highly recommend Gittos Rocket Air Blower best you'll find without actually taking a swab to the sensor.
     
  8. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    hmm, and here i was actually coming to ask for advice on an air blower, thnx Jessica, I'll get that one...
     
  9. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #9
    Dust on the AA filter of the sensor is pretty much a fact of life of owning a dSLR, but cleaning it is pretty simple. My particular step-wise approach is Giotto Rocket blower -> sensor brushes -> swap with Eclipse 2 using Pec Pads using the Copperhill spatula method depending on how stubborn the blob on the sensor is.

    A good background, tutorials, and equipment can be found at
    http://www.copperhillimages.com/

    The Pec Pad wrapped around a spatula works well and only takes a few seconds once you get the hang of it. I only use a drop or two of E2 on my D3. Sensor Swabs are great, but they are really expensive - like $45 for twelve of them.

    The pitfalls of sensor cleaning or instrumenting behind the shutter are mainly related to the shutter closing while you have something in there. That would be a disaster. My D3 has a specific cleaning mode that won't let you do it unless the battery has enough charge. Previous Nikons, you'd need to do it on bulb setting or some other mode of keeping the mirror up and shutter open long enough to do the job.
     
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #10
    Welcome. It's probably one accessory I use most often.

    Not that I have used the self-cleaning sensor engine on my D300, I was surprised the D3 didn't have one too.
     
  11. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 16, 2007
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    TX
    #11
    This was discussed at launch/tech spech details release. I believe the thought was that the larger sensor was more fragile and couldn't stand being "shaken up" like the D300's is.
     
  12. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #12
    I think the D300 is a great camera, but when I was considering it versus the D3, I confess the self-cleaning sensor thing wasn't part of my decision matrix. I just don't see manually cleaning the sensor as that big a deal.

    My rationale...if the dust is loose enough that it can be vibrated off, then it's likely to be loose enough that a Giotto blower will blow it off just as effectively. On dSLRs, I have always been more troubled by the stickier blobs that don't blow off, and from what I read on DPR, brushing or swabbing the sensor is still something that occasionally has to happen even with a D300. Thom Hogan has said that at the best, the self-cleaning sensor function might extend the interval between sensor cleaning, and I suspect that's true.
     
  13. coachingguy macrumors 6502a

    coachingguy

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Location:
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    #13
    I've got a Canon 30D, last Summer in Montana, during the wildfires, I got something on my sensor. Since I take a lot of nature/wildlife photography I noticed it immediately and it drove me nuts. I laid awake nights trying to figure out how to get it off. I tried my can of 3M dust remover, I tried Qtips w/microfiber cloths and cleaners. Finally I brought it to respected camera shop in Duluth. A kid salesperson went straight to the owner of store who looked at it, snapped some shots of the sky. Asked me what I'd done to try to clean it. He started shaking his head almost immediately as I went through all I'd done to clean the sensor. He blew some air in there and then basically told me I was screwed unless I wanted to send it into Canon and have them clean it for "many hundreds of dollars..."

    I change lenses often, like most people, from a 28 - 80., to a 70 - 300. I've almost stopped taking pictures with a large amount of sky in them because of the "gunk". I'll order one of the Gitmo Rocket things and hope that it's specific air direction will help.

    I never had this problem w/ my film cameras.:) I could clean those.

    Thanks

    Coachingguy
     
  14. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #14
    I don't get it..was he saying that you had damaged the AA filter with the microfibre cloth? If it's just a dust blob that would come off with Eclipse and a Sensor Swab, then he's not very knowledgeable if he didn't mention that cleaning option to you.

    My guess is it won't help if the 3M dust remover didn't do it. You'll need to swab the sensor. It's a trivial excercise.
     
  15. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    toronto

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