How often do you clean?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Lord Blackadder, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #1
    I'm getting to my one year anniversary with my Canon Rebel XT and it has gone everywhere with me....I've taken over 8000 photos with it (most not very good I'm afraid, I'm still a newbie) and so far the honeymoon continues. But how do you guys clean, and how often?

    I've noticed that it is very easy to get dust on the outside of the filter (I have filters on both of my lenses), and I always check that before I shoot, something I learned the hard way. I have gotten some rainwater or spray on the lenses, and let that evaporate rather than wiping it off. Once, I had three spots of dust on my sensor. I was able to blow that off with an air bulb. I have used a camera cleaning kit brush to remove dust a few times, but as yet I have avoided using cleaning fluid on anything.

    I actually took the camera with me to the field this summer and an archaeology dig is not a clean environment for a camera. I avoided any mishaps, though the kit lens sucked since I was always focusing manually and my 50mm was not wide enough for the shots I was taking.

    Finally, how many of you have had to have your camera's shutter replaced? Canon lists 50k shots as the Rebel XT's shutter MTBF. I've not read of this ever being a problem, but was curious.
     
  2. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #2
    With lenses, I clean as I see a need to. I make sure I've always got a lens pen with me - that seems to be good enough, most of the time.

    With my sensor, I've only cleaned it once. The way to check, of course, is to shoot the bright blue sky at f/22 - any sensor dust will show up. The dust I had on my sensor was not bad enough to affect my real pictures (yet); but I'd think it's better to deal with it prior to that point. :p

    For cleaning the sensor I bought a kit from Copperhill.

    I'm curious to see how it'll be with the D700. Some people report the D3 is a dust magnet.

    One thing I try to do routinely (learned it listening to Derrick Story): prior to changing lenses, I try to blow off any dust that might potentially be lingering around the camera mount. I do the same with the lens I'm about to put on the camera, blowing any dust off prior to removing the rear end cap. Also, change lenses with the camera facing down, since dust falls easier than it rises. It does seems to help quite a bit.
     
  3. sargent bannana macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #3
    LOL i could not help but click on this thread the title made me LOL.
    I shower everyday i like to clean myself everyday lol
    i dont know amything about photogrophy
     
  4. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #4
    I rocket blow all the time and I get a formal cleaning once in a while, usually after I return from a vacation. I've never replaced a dead shutter because it doesn't strike me as cost effective. When my XT died, it was either get it replaced for almost the cost of another XT or upgrade; so I upgraded. Moved to a D80 and took a lot of great shots with it.
     
  5. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #5
    Thanks for the tips Westside guy. When I was in the field I decided to leave my 18-55 zoom on rather than borrow a couple better lenses so I could avoid swapping lenses in the field. By some miracle I avoided getting any dust on the sensor all summer (so far).

    I figured out the shooting the sky at f22 trick by accident, when a bunch of landscape shots I took showed dust on the sensor. It was so obvious I could see it on the camera's built in screen.
     
  6. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #6
    I dust the filter and lens' glass as needed.

    The only thing I clean are smudges on the lenses left there by my fingers, and I would also clean anything that sticks to the glass or filter. However, I never clean glass unless I remove all dust from it first. I brush the dust off with a lens brush, and then put a drop of lens-cleaning solution on a lens cloth, and wipe the glass with a circular and gentle motion.

    I would never use a lens brush or cleaning fluid on the sensor. Instead, I would use a Rocket Blaster first to blow the dust away from the sensor. If there was the need to wet-clean (wipe) the sensor, then I would use a method that has been approved by the camera manufacturer. For an expensive camera I prefer sending it to the manufacturer for cleaning. I have never had to clean my Rebel XT sensor in four years now, but I do have a cleaning kit I bought for it. Copper-Hill (or something like that). It comes with the swabs and cleaning fluid designed for the XT's sensor.

    I bet you could have had a nicer time taking your photos with a Tokina 12-24mm f/4. Did you have to use the camera's flash, or was there enough light available? Isn't the kit lens one of 18-50mm?
     
  7. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #7
    I have a rocket blaster and that, so far, has fulfilled 90% of my cleaning needs. I also have a cleaning kit with fluid and cloth for lenses, but I only used it once to remove a fingerprint from a lens filter.

    The filters I am using are cheapish UV filters, so if one got really dirty replacing it wouldn't be a big deal.

    If the sensor ever looked like it needed physical cleaning I think I'd send it to a professional.
     
  8. thr33face macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    #8
    If Sensor dust starts to pile up in a fashion that it annoys me i simply blow it away with a blower.
    The intervals i do this vary wildly, just like the weather.

    If the lenses get dirty I first use the blower and a brush to remove any solid things. After that i wipe the lenses with a micro-fiber cloth.
     
  9. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 7, 2003
    #9
    I wouldn't let rainwater dry on the lens. Rainwater can be very hard or acidic and permanently etch the soft AR coatings of the lens.
     
  10. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #10
    Oh I use my stuff at the beach most of the time. The sand and salt air pretty much get anywhere they want, I am extremely careful while changing lenses out there tho :eek:(yes I do):eek: I frequently have to wipe salt spray off the front element, (always wear a cotton t-shirt) but use a u/v filter when it is very bright also. I have given the gear a thorough cleaning once, just a couple weeks ago after getting a larger pack as my lens collection has grown... that is after one year since getting the Lumix L1 kit. I have never seen a dust spot on the sensor, the dust vibration mechanism activates every time the camera powers on, which does take an extra fraction of a second from startup times but as I said sensor dirt is not an issue. I bought a blower brush to remove sand from the cracks and crevices of everything... I should probably use it more often. Saving up for that weather sealed E-3 so I can really abuse my gear lol.:D
     

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  11. brendanryder macrumors 6502a

    brendanryder

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary
    #11
    just a tip, never use something twice to clean your gear. especially a lens pen. it could pick up a little rock and stay in there and next time you use it to brush it could scratch something. lens paper is the best and a rocket blower.
     
  12. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #12
    Having used a lens pen for quite a long time - how the heck can a lens pen pick up a small rock? I don't think that's possible.

    A lot of pros use them so I'm not going to loose sleep over this.
     
  13. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #13
    My camera cleans itself every time I turn it on :p
    If you shoot at wider apertures for landscapes you'll be needing to clean more often than those who shoot portraits. I generally use the fastest aperture possible so any dust that doesn't get removed doesn't show up.
    I have had the camera for 1 year now, change lenses a lot but haven't really found a need to get it cleaned.

    srf4real, you must be very brave taking your Olly too the beach, I'm scared even with my weather sealed K10D.
    Salt has got to be the worst thing for electronics.

    Hehe I laughed when I read that :)
    Not exactly a small rock, but a grain of sand could scratch and corrode your sensor.
     
  14. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #14
    Lenses-- before every shoot I check 'em. Before a big shoot I clean them all. If I'm relaxing after a shoot I'll clean my gear.

    Sensor-- only when I have to. Borrowed a friend's blower.

    Screen-- T-Shirt, too often to count

    Body-- give it a good wipe when I'm cleaning the rest of the stuff off. But a K10D is pretty nicely sealed... no worries yet.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #15
    Thanks for the tips all...my Canon 350D obviously doesn't have any weather sealing, but I've been able to keep the body pretty clean just by being careful.
     
  16. brendanryder macrumors 6502a

    brendanryder

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    Calgary
    #16
    ya i meant like realllllly small, i should of just said sand haha
     
  17. grizzlybrice macrumors regular

    grizzlybrice

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    Playa Del Rey, CA
    #17
    churches? :p
     

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