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Author Topic: Sensor Cleaning  (Read 15180 times)

dwswager

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #20 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.
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #21 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
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Rhossydd

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #22 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.
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #23 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.
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dwswager

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #24 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.
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #25 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



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spassig

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #26 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
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #27 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
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spassig

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2016, 08:42:38 am »

@Robert

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

Regards

Jochen



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Colorado David

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #29 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.

razrblck

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #30 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).
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TimoK

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2016, 08:21:01 am »

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spassig

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #32 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
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 09:34:57 am by spassig »
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #33 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
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stamper

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #34 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.

spassig

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #35 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

 

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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #36 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

 
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spassig

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #37 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
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AFairley

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Re: Sensor Cleaning - gel stick for D800/E?
« Reply #38 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?
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razrblck

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Re: Sensor Cleaning
« Reply #39 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.
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