Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: Robert Ardill on January 28, 2016, 03:44:04 am

Title: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 28, 2016, 03:44:04 am
Hi,

I've recently changed over from Canon to Sony and there's no doubt that the mirrorless camera sensors (or perhaps just the Sonys?) are much better at accumulating dust than the DSLRs.  With the 1DsIII I just didn't bother cleaning the sensor as the amount of dust was pretty easy to deal with in Lightroom or Photoshop... but not the case any more with the Sonys.

I've tried blowing air and this is OK for loose dust but does nothing for dust that's stuck a bit.  I bought an Arctic Butterfly which I am returning because it leaves as much dust behind as it removes (I guess I'm exaggerating a bit) - but at any rate it leaves dust behind and also moves it around quite effectively (which really isn't what I want).

So far I've balked at a wet clean using Eclipse and Sensor Swabs as I'm a bit concerned about damaging the glass coating.

The one useful tool I've bought is a Photographic Solutions Sensor Check loupe which is really excellent.  I tried the Visible Dust Quasar Sensor Loupe and didn't find it good at all with the Sony as the lights are spaced too wide apart ... but that could be a question of technique I guess.  At any rate the Sensor Check loupe is cheaper and shows up every spec of dust perfectly.  Getting rid of the dust it shows up is another matter though!

So I would really appreciate some advice and some do's and dont's.  I've seen Brian Smith's recommendations, but I haven't tried the Sensor Gel sticks (the very thought of using a gel stick gives me the creeps) and I haven't gone to step X, which is the wet clean.  The other steps haven't done the job.

Taking the camera back to a camera shop isn't an option for me except occasionally as I am often in places where these facilities are not available.  Also I don't much like forking out $100 a pop, only to get dust back on within a few days.

Robert
 
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Jens Peermann on January 28, 2016, 06:45:37 am
I've had my A7 for about a year and a  half now and it needed exactly two sensor cleanings so far. That's about as frequent as my 5D3 needed it and I live in dusty Nevada.

It's not completely dust free, for sure. But the occasional spot is easily removed in Capture One or Photoshop and I don't see why there should be a problem with doing it in Lightroom.

I can understand your instinctive reaction to the idea of sticking something on the sensor's filter in order to clean it, but it is absolutely safe as long as you use the one that is specifically marked for use with Sony cameras (don't buy any of the ones offered at Amazon, even if they say it's OK for Sony. It's not and many found out the hard way).
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: ctz on January 28, 2016, 07:43:14 am
A7R II, having the sensor stabilizer working with the help of a magnetic mechanism, I guess is more prone to caching more dust.
Indeed, I also see a lot of dust, al ot more compared to Canons or Phase One P45, the only recent cameras I worked with.
I also tend to clean the sensor as late as possible :)
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 28, 2016, 09:12:54 am
I've had my A7 for about a year and a  half now and it needed exactly two sensor cleanings so far. That's about as frequent as my 5D3 needed it and I live in dusty Nevada.

It's not completely dust free, for sure. But the occasional spot is easily removed in Capture One or Photoshop and I don't see why there should be a problem with doing it in Lightroom.
Have you checked your sensor by taking a shot at f/22 or thereabouts?  A lot of the small stuff doesn't really matter unless you have to stop down a lot and then it can be pretty ghastly.  Of course the same applies to all digital sensors, but the mirrorless ones seem worse, probably because the sensor is so exposed.

I can understand your instinctive reaction to the idea of sticking something on the sensor's filter in order to clean it, but it is absolutely safe as long as you use the one that is specifically marked for use with Sony cameras (don't buy any of the ones offered at Amazon, even if they say it's OK for Sony. It's not and many found out the hard way).
What gel stick do you use? looking at this thread it seems that there's a lot of confusion about which are OK and which are not (or even if any are OK to use): https://community.sony.com/t5/Alpha-SLT-DSLR-Cameras/Sensor-GEL-cleaner-Stick-quot-sticks-quot-to-ONLY-SONY/td-p/292092

I'm also getting a Koh Hepa Jet Air Blower ... which seems like a good blower as it filters all the air (after all, there's not much point in trying to clean a sensor by blowing dust into it :) ).
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Jens Peermann on January 28, 2016, 09:39:56 am
What gel stick do you use? looking at this thread it seems that there's a lot of confusion about which are OK and which are not (or even if any are OK to use): https://community.sony.com/t5/Alpha-SLT-DSLR-Cameras/Sensor-GEL-cleaner-Stick-quot-sticks-quot-to-ONLY-SONY/td-p/292092

https://photographylife.com/product/sensor-gel-stick-for-sony

There's a lot of stuff you will find in an an image that was taken at f/22. But unless you need an image rendered in soft focus there's no need for f/22 or f/16. I rarely use f/11 and usually don't go beyond f/5.6. Keeping the sensor clean is important, no doubt. But there is a point where you move from being a photographer who occasionally cleans the sensor to being a sensor cleaner who occasionally takes photographs. I try to stay in the first category.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 28, 2016, 09:52:21 am
https://photographylife.com/product/sensor-gel-stick-for-sony

There's a lot of stuff you will find in an an image that was taken at f/22. But unless you need an image rendered in soft focus there's no need for f/22 or f/16. I rarely use f/11 and usually don't go beyond f/5.6. Keeping the sensor clean is important, no doubt. But there is a point where you move from being a photographer who occasionally cleans the sensor to being a sensor cleaner who occasionally takes photographs. I try to stay in the first category.
Yes, I've just had a look at the Vimeo clip referred to in this link at it's very interesting.  So really it's air, followed by gel stick, followed by a bit of wet cleaning using isopropyl alcohol if there's any hard dust that doesn't come off with the gel stick, followed by more gel stick.

Leica obviously have a clean air compressor which I don't, but the Koh Hepa Jet blower should do the job as well.

I take your point regarding obsessing about dust ... but there are times when it is necessary to stop down to f16 or more and then the dust can be a real nuisance.  With my 1Ds3 I once spent nearly an hour removing dust spots, which wasn't much fun.

At any rate, what I want is a safe and effective method of removing dust.  As far as I can see, the Arctic Butterfly is really a waste of time and money and may make the sensor worse. Blowing with clean air on a regular basis (and especially blowing out dust on the lens before changing lenses) seems to be a good way of keeping dust down to a reasonable level. Then, as and when needed, to use the gel stick and some wet cleaning for tough dust. 
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Jens Peermann on January 28, 2016, 10:06:18 am
Lens changing technique is a very important factor indeed. Holding down the camera so that nothing can fall in during the procedure is very helpful. So is removing dust from the lens' rear element before attaching (I use a Lenspen for that).

"Hard dust", as you call it, comes from heating up the sensor. It can be reduced significantly by turning off the camera whenever you don't use it, including between shots. And as a side benefit, a cool sensor produces less noise.

Developing dust preventing habits can be very effective in reducing the need for cleaning.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 28, 2016, 10:14:00 am
Lens changing technique is a very important factor indeed. Holding down the camera so that nothing can fall in during the procedure is very helpful. So is removing dust from the lens' rear element before attaching (I use a Lenspen for that).

"Hard dust", as you call it, comes from heating up the sensor. It can be reduced significantly by turning off the camera whenever you don't use it, including between shots.

Developing dust preventing habits can be very effective in reducing the need for cleaning.
Yes, for sure ... the best solution is not to get dust in in the first place.  I didn't know about the dust getting 'burnt in' by the sensor getting hot.

Regarding the gel stick, this (from PhotographyLife) is pretty scary:

"Sony A7 II, A7R II and A7S II advisory: Please be extremely careful when using the product with the A7 II, A7R II and A7S II cameras. Since the cameras have in-body stabilization, the sensor will move during cleaning. Instead of picking the Sensor Gel Stick straight up, we recommend to detach it gently from the side and be attentive during the process of cleaning, so that the IBIS system does not get moved too much. We have tested the product on the A7 II and A7R II successfully, but one must perform the procedure with extreme care on such moving sensors. If the gel sticks a bit too much, please detach it slowly from the side instead of moving it straight up, as shown in the videos."

Not at all sure I want to go there (I have an A7II and A7RII).  Have you used the gel stick on any of these cameras with the IBIS?  I suppose one option would be to do the gel-stick cleaning with the camera powered on.

Beginning to sound like camera sensor clean, air ... and occasional wet clean.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Jens Peermann on January 28, 2016, 10:29:31 am
I have not yet used it on an A7II (mine is scheduled to arrive on Friday), but I won't worry much about using the stick on that camera as well. After all, while working on a sensor you always have to be careful, IBIS or not. But this disclaimer by Photographylife is certainly a "cover your butt" kind of note. Sony must have been aware that sensors need cleaning. So when they designed that thing they probably made sure it will not come apart when cleaning, even with a gel stick. Reputation can get damaged faster than a sensor during cleaning.

Wet cleaning, by the way, is not as bad as it's reputation as far as scratching the sensor filter is concerned. I actually did once scratch a sensor and it wasn't easy to do that. It takes effort. From there I conclude that accidental scratching is very unlikely.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 28, 2016, 02:38:21 pm
I would very much like to hear from anyone who has used a gel stick on an A7II or A7RII.  Also from anyone who knows the construction of the IBIS and would know if it can be damaged by being pulled on.

I'm sure that the disclaimer is a bit of CYA, but still, I'm not about to try the sticks on either of these cameras.  I think that there is a real risk of dragging the stick when it is pulled off by twisting it sideways and this could result in smearing or marking.  They are normally used up and down and the twisting off sounds to me like a poor workaround.  If pulling the stick can in fact damage the sensor then so can twisting it off, unless great care is taken.

Much better and safer, IMO, to use nothing but air (preferably clean air :) ); and for the bad stuff to use sensor swabs with Eclipse or isopropyl alcohol.  At least with these I know that I can clean the sensor and not damage it.

If you look at some of the comments on other forums (DPReview, for example) there is a litany of disasters ... and having to replace one of these sensors would not be a cheap job!
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: ErikKaffehr on January 28, 2016, 02:51:46 pm
Hi,

My favourite is the Sensor Brush Arctic Butterfly. I have used this since 2006 on all my cameras and never needed wet cleaning.

Is it overpriced? Yes! Is it practical? Yes!

http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=3

Best regards
Erik


Hi,

I've recently changed over from Canon to Sony and there's no doubt that the mirrorless camera sensors (or perhaps just the Sonys?) are much better at accumulating dust than the DSLRs.  With the 1DsIII I just didn't bother cleaning the sensor as the amount of dust was pretty easy to deal with in Lightroom or Photoshop... but not the case any more with the Sonys.

I've tried blowing air and this is OK for loose dust but does nothing for dust that's stuck a bit.  I bought an Arctic Butterfly which I am returning because it leaves as much dust behind as it removes (I guess I'm exaggerating a bit) - but at any rate it leaves dust behind and also moves it around quite effectively (which really isn't what I want).

So far I've balked at a wet clean using Eclipse and Sensor Swabs as I'm a bit concerned about damaging the glass coating.

The one useful tool I've bought is a Photographic Solutions Sensor Check loupe which is really excellent.  I tried the Visible Dust Quasar Sensor Loupe and didn't find it good at all with the Sony as the lights are spaced too wide apart ... but that could be a question of technique I guess.  At any rate the Sensor Check loupe is cheaper and shows up every spec of dust perfectly.  Getting rid of the dust it shows up is another matter though!

So I would really appreciate some advice and some do's and dont's.  I've seen Brian Smith's recommendations, but I haven't tried the Sensor Gel sticks (the very thought of using a gel stick gives me the creeps) and I haven't gone to step X, which is the wet clean.  The other steps haven't done the job.

Taking the camera back to a camera shop isn't an option for me except occasionally as I am often in places where these facilities are not available.  Also I don't much like forking out $100 a pop, only to get dust back on within a few days.

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 28, 2016, 04:32:59 pm
Hi,

My favourite is the Sensor Brush Arctic Butterfly. I have used this since 2006 on all my cameras and never needed wet cleaning.

Is it overpriced? Yes! Is it practical? Yes!

http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=3

Best regards
Erik

Hi Eric,

I'm interested that you find the Artic Butterfly good ... because I have one here that I'm about to send back.  I haven't had much luck with it at all ... the persistent dust it doesn't remove and the loose dust I can get rid of just as well with air. But maybe I'm not using it correctly?

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: ErikKaffehr on January 28, 2016, 04:47:10 pm
Hi,

It works by static electricity. Very well possible that it is not better than clean air. But it has solved all my problems for ten years.

I never needed wet cleaning.

Best regards
Erik


Hi Eric,

I'm interested that you find the Artic Butterfly good ... because I have one here that I'm about to send back.  I haven't had much luck with it at all ... the persistent dust it doesn't remove and the loose dust I can get rid of just as well with air. But maybe I'm not using it correctly?

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 28, 2016, 05:26:03 pm
Hi,

It works by static electricity. Very well possible that it is not better than clean air. But it has solved all my problems for ten years.

I never needed wet cleaning.

Best regards
Erik

I must give it another try. Do you change lenses much Eric?  Part of my problem is that I mainly use prime lenses so I'm always changing them, and it's quite difficult not to let dust in.

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Telecaster on January 28, 2016, 05:50:36 pm
I've had one noticeable dust spot with my A7r2 so far. I was actually able to shake it off with a few rounds of sensor vibration. I needed to clean my older A7r a couple times with a Sensor Swab, once after seriously gunking it up via my own stupidity. I doubt I'd lean on the r2's sensor as forcefully as was needed to remove that gunk, but I've wet cleaned various "floating" micro-Four-Thirds sensors over the past 3 years with no ill effects. Gently & carefully does the job.

-Dave-
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: dwswager on January 28, 2016, 07:05:15 pm
Hi,

It works by static electricity. Very well possible that it is not better than clean air. But it has solved all my problems for ten years.

I never needed wet cleaning.

Best regards
Erik

As a mirrored shooter, I typically

1)  Use proper lens changing techniques
2)  Blow out the chamber anytime I plan to lift the mirror with a lens off.
3)  Use a Rocket blower for the sensor, if that doesn't work then
4) Use a Dust Off Anti-Static brush, if that doesn't work then
5) Use a Sensor Swab and Eclipse Fluid.

I have only done a wet cleaning 6 times in about 14 years.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: ErikKaffehr on January 29, 2016, 01:14:35 am
Hi Robert,

I am changing lenses quite often. I only had the A7rII since September and was shooting A99 before that.

Don't have a lot of problems with dust on sensor, partly because I seldom use small apertures, so it doesn't really show up.

Best regards
Erik

I must give it another try. Do you change lenses much Eric?  Part of my problem is that I mainly use prime lenses so I'm always changing them, and it's quite difficult not to let dust in.

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 29, 2016, 02:21:49 am
As a mirrored shooter, I typically

1)  Use proper lens changing techniques
2)  Blow out the chamber anytime I plan to lift the mirror with a lens off.
3)  Use a Rocket blower for the sensor, if that doesn't work then
4) Use a Dust Off Anti-Static brush, if that doesn't work then
5) Use a Sensor Swab and Eclipse Fluid.

I have only done a wet cleaning 6 times in about 14 years.

Yes, that sounds good although I personally wouldn't do step 4.  My reasoning is that a brush is likely to do more harm than good. I assume your brush is earthed?  If so that would at least ground the sensor glass so that further air blowing would be more likely to remove any previously-static-clung dust.  But on the other hand, unless you wash your brush well in isopropyl alcohol before use, there is a good chance of smearing on whatever stuff has got onto it since you last used it.

I mount some of my pictures under perspex, with the print stuck to the perspex, and it's incredibly hard not to get trapped dust.  The print & perspex can be totally dust-free but dust can still sneak in between the print and the perspex even in a very clean room.  Earthing the perspex definitely helps, but it can build up charge really quickly.  So I would think that the sensor glass coating is not so different.  I wonder if earthing the camera would help?  But the sensor probably isn't earthed to the camera case ... it would be interesting to find out.

Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 29, 2016, 02:40:25 am
Hi Robert,

I am changing lenses quite often. I only had the A7rII since September and was shooting A99 before that.

Don't have a lot of problems with dust on sensor, partly because I seldom use small apertures, so it doesn't really show up.

Best regards
Erik

Thanks Eric.  Yes, on the whole I think a good recommendation is not to worry too much about dust unless it becomes a real problem on the images.  I bought my last camera in 2010 and never did one single clean, not even blowing air.  Certainly dust was visible at very small apertures, but only a nuisance in some areas, like sky ... and it was usually easy enough to get rid of in LR or PS.

Still, the mirrorless cameras do seem to be a lot more dust-prone, so taking care with lens changing, keeping the camera in a clean bag, and so on, is a good idea.  I'll try a regular clean-air-blow into the sensor to try to minimize hard dust, but if that doesn't help I'll just back off and do a wet clean when it gets too bad.

I just came across this article, which seems pretty sensible: http://content.photojojo.com/tutorials/digital-slr-sensor-cleaning/

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 30, 2016, 09:00:48 am
I've spoken to the manager of a repair center and he tells me that Sony are OK with wet cleaning with Eclipse and sensor-swabs, and that as long as it's done carefully that it will not void the warranty.

Secondly, he has some gel sticks provided by Sony for removing tough spots.  These are not designed to be used on the whole sensor, but just to pick off the odd dust spot that's causing a problem. I will be getting some from him and I'll let you know how they work.

I have done a bit of practising with wet cleaning as I don't want to be in a situation where I have to do a wet clean and my hands are shaking from nerves.  Using the Sensor Check loupe, it's very easy, using a small sensor-swab with a drop of Eclipse, to remove any stubborn spots. Because of the design of the loupe it can be kept in place while cleaning, making it very easy to see if the spot has been removed or not.  Then, I used a larger sensor-swab to do the final clean and the sensor is absolutely perfect both using the loupe and with an f/22 shot.

I think the pec-pads can well be re-used after being washed in isopropyl alcohol ... just my opinion :).

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: dwswager on January 30, 2016, 09:10:36 pm
Yes, that sounds good although I personally wouldn't do step 4.  My reasoning is that a brush is likely to do more harm than good. I assume your brush is earthed?  If so that would at least ground the sensor glass so that further air blowing would be more likely to remove any previously-static-clung dust.  But on the other hand, unless you wash your brush well in isopropyl alcohol before use, there is a good chance of smearing on whatever stuff has got onto it since you last used it.

Not sure what you're cleaning off your sensor, but I'm only removing dust.  As long as it is not "welded" on, then a blow or a quick flick of a light brush is usually all it takes.  The key with a brush is to only work the sensor face and not get the brush into other areas where there may be grease/oil.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 31, 2016, 09:46:36 am
Not sure what you're cleaning off your sensor, but I'm only removing dust.  As long as it is not "welded" on, then a blow or a quick flick of a light brush is usually all it takes.  The key with a brush is to only work the sensor face and not get the brush into other areas where there may be grease/oil.
In general it's only a bit of dust that can be got rid of quite easily with a blower, as you say. 

But there could also be 'welded' on dust, there could be salt spray or some other spray, oil ... who knows?  With the sensor so close to the surface and no mirror, the chances of getting gunk on the sensor glass increases, so my interest at this point is in knowing what the best and safest and easiest solution is to any of these issues.

I have used a brush before and it's very easy to end up smearing grease from the brush onto the sensor, so for me this is not a solution.  I know that taking care to put the brush away in a clean case and washing it with isopropyl alcohol will reduce the risk ... but it can happen.  If the brushes were really effective then I would put up with that risk, but I haven't found them to be (I'm talking about Arctic Butterfly), so there's no point in using them, IMO.

On the other hand, a blower (especially a clean air one like the Hepa Jet) and wet wash for stubborn dust, smears etc., appears to be both safe and easy ... so I'm happy with these solutions.  I would still be interested in the Sony gel sticks for the odd dust spot that won't blow away and doesn't warrant a wet clean, so I'll give these a try.

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Rhossydd on January 31, 2016, 11:08:35 am
I'm interested that you find the Artic Butterfly good ... because I have one here that I'm about to send back.  I haven't had much luck with it at all ... the persistent dust it doesn't remove and the loose dust I can get rid of just as well with air.
If you can get your money back DO. I bought one, fully read the manual, followed the instructions very carefully and it made a complete mess on the sensor(Canon 1Dsii). Tried a couple of times more, including using all their expensive cleaning materials for the brushes, but it always made things worse.
Probably the worst bit of photo kit I've ever bought.

Using swabs and cleaning solution is the best way to do a 'deep clean', but my Canon 5Dii has only ever needed that sort of approach once in five years.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on January 31, 2016, 12:45:33 pm
If you can get your money back DO. I bought one, fully read the manual, followed the instructions very carefully and it made a complete mess on the sensor(Canon 1Dsii). Tried a couple of times more, including using all their expensive cleaning materials for the brushes, but it always made things worse.
Probably the worst bit of photo kit I've ever bought.

Using swabs and cleaning solution is the best way to do a 'deep clean', but my Canon 5Dii has only ever needed that sort of approach once in five years.
I entirely agree.  I think the Arctic Butterfly is an expensive gimmick that is more likely to do harm than good.  What has disappointed me is that there are pretty reputable photographers who strongly recommend products like these (and on whose recommendation I bought the Arctic Butterfly, for example). The fact is that these people are not all unbiased as they make money from referrals (15% from Amazon, 2-8% from B&H, 5% from VisibleDust, for example).

It's hard to know who to trust these days.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: dwswager on January 31, 2016, 01:05:13 pm
In general it's only a bit of dust that can be got rid of quite easily with a blower, as you say. 

But there could also be 'welded' on dust, there could be salt spray or some other spray, oil ... who knows?  With the sensor so close to the surface and no mirror, the chances of getting gunk on the sensor glass increases, so my interest at this point is in knowing what the best and safest and easiest solution is to any of these issues.

I have used a brush before and it's very easy to end up smearing grease from the brush onto the sensor, so for me this is not a solution.  I know that taking care to put the brush away in a clean case and washing it with isopropyl alcohol will reduce the risk ... but it can happen.  If the brushes were really effective then I would put up with that risk, but I haven't found them to be (I'm talking about Arctic Butterfly), so there's no point in using them, IMO.

On the other hand, a blower (especially a clean air one like the Hepa Jet) and wet wash for stubborn dust, smears etc., appears to be both safe and easy ... so I'm happy with these solutions.  I would still be interested in the Sony gel sticks for the odd dust spot that won't blow away and doesn't warrant a wet clean, so I'll give these a try.

Robert

Oh, I get it.  I think in my original post, I qualified that I shoot only mirrored DSLRs.  The opportunity for sensor pick up is much higher if there is no mirror protecting the sensor from environmental contaminants.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on February 22, 2016, 03:22:54 pm
I've now received information from Sony on sensor cleaning.  Blowing is #1 obviously and a wet clean with Eclipse is #4.  In between these Sony use the Cleaning Stick I (part number J-6082-712-A) and Cleaning Stick II (part number J-6082-726-A). These are available commercially, from Amazon, for example.

The Cleaning Stick I is like a very small sensor swab, about 5mm wide.  To remove dust gently slide the tip of the stick over the surface. To clean the tip quickly shake the stick a few times up and down (as per tech bulletin below). So ... no liquid, just a gentle dry rub. (I guess followed by further blowing).

The Cleaning Stick II is like a VERY small Sensor Gel Stick. The tip is about 2mm wide and it is designed to lift off individual bits of dirt or stuck dust. Sony call this pin-point cleaning.  It works particularly well with the Photographic Solutions Camera Sensor Magnifier as it's possible to use the stick with the magnifier/loupe in place.  This stick is suitable for use on IBIS sensors according to my source.

If a wet clean is needed then to remove any smears that may be left behind, blowing gently with the mouth onto the sensor followed immediately by wiping with a dry swab should do the trick (to get some dampness on the sensor, just like blowing on a lens and then wiping it with a cleaning cloth).

Cleaning the sensor in a high humidity room is a good idea (for example a bathroom after a shower) as it will minimize the amount of dust in the air; and a slight humidity on the sensor is useful.

I now have the Hepa Jet blower and it is really excellent as it delivers a good strong blast of dust-free air onto the sensor.

Hope that's of use to you :)

Robert

(http://www.irelandupclose.com/customer/LL/SonySensorClean1.jpg)

(http://www.irelandupclose.com/customer/LL/SonySensorClean2.jpg)
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 19, 2016, 02:02:14 am
The one useful tool I've bought is a Photographic Solutions Sensor Check loupe which is really excellent. 
Can You give mor info about type and so on, please.

So I would really appreciate some advice and some do's and dont's.  I've seen Brian Smith's recommendations,

Where can I find his recommendations?

Regards

Jochen
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Robert Ardill on July 19, 2016, 05:04:53 am
Can You give mor info about type and so on, please.

Where can I find his recommendations?

Regards

Jochen

For the loupe: https://www.amazon.com/Sensor-Check-Cleaning-Loupe-CHECK/dp/B0010CM0D2

For Brian Smith: http://briansmith.com/5-simple-steps-camera-sensor-cleaning/  However I would absolutely NOT recommend the Sensor Brush (or the Gel Stick, unless it's the tiny Sony gel stick).  I've tried the sensor brush and it was a disaster, putting more dust onto the sensor than it removed. I haven't used the Gel Stick, but I would be wary of using it on a sensor with image stabilisation.  The Sony stick is very small so you can precisely pick off stubborn dust spots that won't move by blowing or with a sensor swab.

I've used the 1. blow, 2. sensor swab (dry), 3. Sony gel stick for a season now and I haven't had to go for a full wet clean.  My sensors are very clean. Admittedly I don't work in a dusty environment.

Cheers

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 19, 2016, 08:42:38 am
@Robert

Thanks for quick!!! and helpful answer!!!

Regards

Jochen



Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: Colorado David on July 19, 2016, 10:36:33 am
I believe that most dust gets on the sensor from static attraction so I work hard to keep the outside of equipment as dust free as possible before changing lenses.  I will typically blow off the area and have used a damp cloth to remove dust before changing.  Even if you can't see any dust, do it as a matter of habit and the amount of dust that eventually gets on the sensor will be greatly reduced.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: razrblck on July 20, 2016, 04:06:02 am
Blow all the dust you can from the lenses. If the lenses do expose their interior space by moving the rear element (from zooming or focusing), blow inside them as well. All that dust is going to get sucked in the body if you don't remove it. The cleaner the lenses, the better.

Blow all the dust in the mirror box (if you have a DSLR) or the shutter chamber before exposing the sensor. If you have a mirrorless that has the sensor always exposed, find a way to close the shutter first.

Blow the sensor until it looks clean. Test it to see if it still has dark spots. If so, use a dry cotton swab (preferably with the stick made of paper instead of hard plastic) and gently pass it where you saw the spots (remember that the image is upside down on the sensor). If after all this you still have something left, put a drop or two of eyeglasses cleaning solution o the swab and repeat the process until it's all clean.

Usually if you blow your camera every time you go outside (even more so if there's wind), you should be fine. Leaving dust to settle for long will make it harder to clean with just air.

Never use compressed air, as it can blow away oil and other lubricants from the shutter mechanism.

The sensors usually have very thick protection glass on top, so damaging the sensor itself is hard. Too much cleaning, though, can remove any coating it might have and introduce unwanted reflections and other aberrations under certain light conditions.

If you have been in sandy environments and you suspect you might have sand grains (and not common dust) on the sensor itself DO NOT use a cotton swab or you'll grind it against the glass. Blow as much as you can, and if something is still there use a wet swab to pick it up (not push it to the side, but touch it and retract the swab to clean it on some paper or cloth).
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: TimoK on July 20, 2016, 08:21:01 am
Lensrentals´ Howto (https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/04/how-to-clean-a-camera-sensor/)
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 22, 2016, 03:57:42 am
@all

I think the best strategy to minimize the risk in which way come dust to the sensor.
You say it also.
a) Is the camera dustproof?
b) Is the lense dustproof?

In my case:

To a) I have Sony A7II. I don't know there dustproofness.
To b) I have Sony/Zeiss Vario-Tessar FE 4/24-70 ZA OSS. I don't know there dustproofness.

If a) and b) not dustproof both components should store in bag inside a clean plastic bag.
I do this with my Hasselblad 503 CW with PhaseOne digiback and will do it in future with my A7II.

Jochen

Edit: I found today in www in technical data.
Both components are dustproof and waterproof
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: ErikKaffehr on July 22, 2016, 05:19:26 am
Hi,

I use the Arctic Butterfly since 2006 and it works very well for me. I use it on both my Sonys and the P45+.

I never needed wet cleaning on a Sony (or Konica Minolta). Did wet cleaning on the P45+ once, in three years of use.

I am changing lenses a lot.

Best regards
Erik


Hi,

I've recently changed over from Canon to Sony and there's no doubt that the mirrorless camera sensors (or perhaps just the Sonys?) are much better at accumulating dust than the DSLRs.  With the 1DsIII I just didn't bother cleaning the sensor as the amount of dust was pretty easy to deal with in Lightroom or Photoshop... but not the case any more with the Sonys.

I've tried blowing air and this is OK for loose dust but does nothing for dust that's stuck a bit.  I bought an Arctic Butterfly which I am returning because it leaves as much dust behind as it removes (I guess I'm exaggerating a bit) - but at any rate it leaves dust behind and also moves it around quite effectively (which really isn't what I want).

So far I've balked at a wet clean using Eclipse and Sensor Swabs as I'm a bit concerned about damaging the glass coating.

The one useful tool I've bought is a Photographic Solutions Sensor Check loupe which is really excellent.  I tried the Visible Dust Quasar Sensor Loupe and didn't find it good at all with the Sony as the lights are spaced too wide apart ... but that could be a question of technique I guess.  At any rate the Sensor Check loupe is cheaper and shows up every spec of dust perfectly.  Getting rid of the dust it shows up is another matter though!

So I would really appreciate some advice and some do's and dont's.  I've seen Brian Smith's recommendations, but I haven't tried the Sensor Gel sticks (the very thought of using a gel stick gives me the creeps) and I haven't gone to step X, which is the wet clean.  The other steps haven't done the job.

Taking the camera back to a camera shop isn't an option for me except occasionally as I am often in places where these facilities are not available.  Also I don't much like forking out $100 a pop, only to get dust back on within a few days.

Robert
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: stamper on July 22, 2016, 06:34:04 am
I find it hard to believe that a quick full proof solution hasn't yet been found to solve this problem? Part of the problem is the fear by some, including myself, of damaging something in the camera.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 22, 2016, 09:00:26 am
Some users have problem with dust on sensor.
That's a fact.

Some users dont't have problem with dust on sensor.
That's a fact.

My dream would be that we found criterions what generate the differents.
The statements yes or no are not helpful

Otherwise we post yes or no in 10 years.

Jochen

 

Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: ErikKaffehr on July 23, 2016, 03:44:53 pm
Hi,

It depends on subjects and aperture. Small apertures show dust pots. You will note dust spots in smooth areas like sky.

Dust is easy to brush away. Wet spots need cleaning.

Some shutters spill oil dust on sensor, some don't…

Overdoing things may make them worse…

Best regards
Erik

Some users have problem with dust on sensor.
That's a fact.

Some users dont't have problem with dust on sensor.
That's a fact.

My dream would be that we found criterions what generate the differents.
The statements yes or no are not helpful

Otherwise we post yes or no in 10 years.

Jochen

 
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 23, 2016, 05:50:06 pm
Hi,

It depends on subjects and aperture. Small apertures show dust pots. You will note dust spots in smooth areas like sky.

Dust is easy to brush away. Wet spots need cleaning.

Some shutters spill oil dust on sensor, some don't…

Overdoing things may make them worse…

Best regards
Erik

Hi Erik

I don't understand Your answer in reference to my post.

Jochen
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning - gel stick for D800/E?
Post by: AFairley on July 26, 2016, 03:10:34 pm
Has anyone use a gel stick with success on a D800 sensor?  Are the sticks camera brand agnostic?
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: razrblck on July 26, 2016, 03:17:43 pm
They are, but I wouldn't recommend using a gel for cleaning. Liquid solutions are much better as they tend to evaporate quickly and leave no trace.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning - gel stick for D800/E?
Post by: dwswager on July 26, 2016, 07:22:33 pm
Has anyone use a gel stick with success on a D800 sensor?  Are the sticks camera brand agnostic?

While the swabs are based on sensor size, the gummy gel sticks are brand and sensor size agnostic.  I've been tempted by the gel sticks, but find I stay with blow, brush and swab if necessary.
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning - gel stick for D800/E?
Post by: spassig on July 28, 2016, 03:09:24 am
Has anyone use a gel stick with success on a D800 sensor?  Are the sticks camera brand agnostic?

What mean Camera Brand agnostic
I translate it in German language but nothing understand.

Jochen
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning - gel stick for D800/E?
Post by: Simon J.A. Simpson on July 28, 2016, 04:58:47 am
What mean Camera Brand agnostic
I translate it in German language but nothing understand.

Jochen

It means that, unlike sensor swabs which come in different sizes and so which one you choose is therefore dependent on the physical size of the sensor, they will work with every kind of sensor, thus camera brand.  So they kind of don’t know about the camera brand, as it were…  :-\

It is not strictly an accurate use of the English language to say that “X is Y agnostic”, meaning X will work with all of objects Y, but it has come into common use in the last few years.

Jochen, I hope this helps a little with our tortuous language !
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 28, 2016, 09:03:42 am
I regularly use the eyelead gel sticks on my Leicas without problem.

Strange company!!!

They have three adresses in Germany.

Webpage >
a) eylead Bluetech GmbH
Taunus Straße 28
50169 Kerpen
Deutschland
Tel: +49/2237-8299654

No connection via phone possible

b) Am Tarpfenufer 28, 22848 Norderstedt
Tel: 04038674028

c) Dürener Str. 2, 50226 Frechen
Tel: 04038674028

No connection via phone.

When You show adress in Google You find
Buffet mit mongolischem Grill und chinesische Küche à la carte im hellen Raum mit langen eingedeckten Tischen.

Info by Amazon that sticks are made in Germany

I'm not sure that is right.
I found a name of „manager" The name is asian name.

Strange company

Jochen
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 28, 2016, 10:00:06 am
eyelead products are available from many photo retailers or sites such as Amazon.

Amazon eyelead (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eyelead-SCK-1-Sensor-Cleaning-Olympus/dp/B0046VBEE0)

I know this. Do You read my post ;)
That's not a helpful answer to my post.
I will ask the „company" something.
I send an Email some days before. No feedback.
I cannot call.
Different adresses in Germany.

Very suspect company ;)

I assume that's not a company.
I assume that's only a men who buy the products in oversea (China?) an sell this in shops or Amazon.

I heard something about blue or red gel sticks. What is the different?
This should explain on the site from Eyelead.
But I don't find something.

Mysterious >:(

Jochen
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 29, 2016, 04:48:01 am
@KLaban

Thanks for detail feedback :)
My retailer in Germany say that are two gel sticks available.
a) With blue gel stick. I buy this some on 2016-05-20 via Amazon.de and use it for one time.
b) With red gel stick. This is for Sony A7II.

I'm wondering why this info isn't available on „official" website of Eyelead.

http://www.eyelead.eu

Jochen
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 29, 2016, 06:39:51 am
@Keith

Thanks for feedback.

I know Arca Swiss.
I use some Arca Swiss products.
I had in the past some calls with „Arca Swiss Shop".

To Eyelead:
a) Three different addresses in Germany.
One adress show a restaurant in Dürener Str. 2, 50226 Frechen, Germany.
I call and the men say he don't know Eyelead.
b) Two different phone number in Germany (nothing works)

I bought the blue gel stick via Amazon > Timetrends24.
I generate a query two days before to this seller.
I wait for anwser.

On site of seller is the statement.
Gel stick > Made in Germany.
I think it comes from Asian!!!

I don't find the product describtion on amazon.com.

Jochen
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on July 29, 2016, 08:00:13 am
Amazon UK eyelead info (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eyelead-SCK-1-Sensor-Cleaning-Olympus/dp/B0046VBEE0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469791777&sr=8-1&keywords=eyelead+sensor+cleaning+kit)

Thanks

Jochen
Title: Re: Sensor Cleaning
Post by: spassig on August 01, 2016, 11:15:01 am
I'm wondering.
Many users use very expensiv equipment and buy and use an item from an invisible company.
I found only something about Eyelead in Amazon.

Jochen