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Author Topic: Sensor issues - how best to clean it  (Read 4793 times)

idenford

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« on: July 20, 2008, 09:27:10 am »

I have only had the new Nikon D3 for about 6 weeks. The photos are now coming up with all this wormy looking stuff in the corners and some splotches.
I assume it is the sensor. any suggestions as to the best cleaning technique?
I assume it is pollen adhered to the sensor as I have been doing a lot of bracketing.
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Paul Sumi

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2008, 03:22:39 pm »

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I have only had the new Nikon D3 for about 6 weeks. The photos are now coming up with all this wormy looking stuff in the corners and some splotches.
I assume it is the sensor. any suggestions as to the best cleaning technique?
I assume it is pollen adhered to the sensor as I have been doing a lot of bracketing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209525\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Is this the entire image and not a crop?  Those seem to be awfully big blotches, particularly since your aperture in the example is only a moderate f/8 (according to the exif).

Does the D3 have an active ("dustbuster") sensor cleaning mode?  If not, the first thing I would try is a hand bulb blower.

If that doesn't work, you may have to wet clean the sensor.  My concern is that the splotches could be some sort of lubrication or other wet contaminant.  If so, a brush like the Visibledust Arctic Butterfly will only smear it more (and contaminate the brush as well).

All the usual disclaimers - IMO, YMMV, etc, etc.

Paul
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 03:30:00 pm by PaulS »
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idenford

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2008, 05:11:24 pm »

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Is this the entire image and not a crop?  Those seem to be awfully big blotches, particularly since your aperture in the example is only a moderate f/8 (according to the exif).

Does the D3 have an active ("dustbuster") sensor cleaning mode?  If not, the first thing I would try is a hand bulb blower.

If that doesn't work, you may have to wet clean the sensor.  My concern is that the splotches could be some sort of lubrication or other wet contaminant.  If so, a brush like the Visibledust Arctic Butterfly will only smear it more (and contaminate the brush as well).

All the usual disclaimers - IMO, YMMV, etc, etc.

Paul
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209596\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

A partially cropped image. I think I may have to take it to Nikon. The issue started when I was in the UK shooting lots of HDR stuff.
I assume it is pollen. But I have no idea how it got this bad. I was always careful when I changed the lens.
There is no vibration cleaner on the D3 like there is on my Canon 40D.
I think a sort of wet cleaner may be the way to go but since the camera is so new, the answer may be to go to Nikon.
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Tony Beach

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 05:43:03 pm »

Start with a blower; then use the Copperhill system.
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Paul Sumi

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2008, 06:12:38 pm »

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I think a sort of wet cleaner may be the way to go but since the camera is so new, the answer may be to go to Nikon.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If the 40D was your first DSLR, it sounds like you may have never before had to clean your sensors?

I can respect that you may not want to clean your sensor yourself but you still may want to first try blowing off your D3's sensor with a hand bulb blower before sending it to Nikon.  You don't touch the sensor with anything except air, and as long as you exercise reasonable care and aren't all-thumbs it is easy to do.

Use a hand blower like the Giotto Rocket blower.  Do NOT put the tip too deep into the chamber or touch the sensor or the sides of the mirror chamber with the tip of the blower.

[a href=\"http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Giottos-Rocket-Air-Blower-Review.aspx]http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews...wer-Review.aspx[/url]

Your D3 users manual will tell you how to set the camera to clean its sensor.

Hopefully this solves your problem.

Paul
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Panopeeper

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2008, 07:10:39 pm »

After having used a Canon 20D for years, I have (have to have) planty of experience with sensor cleaning. Now the 40D is better, but it is not true, that it does not require cleaning, though not so often as the 20D.

The first important point is, that the blower does not help; sometimes the result is worse than before. The temptation is big, I started out many times with the blower, only to realize, that it did not help, in some cases it made things worse (not, that it matters, if one has to go wet).  Canned, clean air might help, but that's dangerous (too cold and may contain some chemical), I never tried it.

I purchased Eclipse with the tiny cloth and sticks. Horrendeously, unashemedly expensive. However, the cloth pieces are really lint-free.

1. The cleanser: 99% (NOT 60%) isopropyl alcohol is perfect. It is POISON.

2. The tool: I cut and filed it from hard rubber (actually, from a leftover piece of bendable baseboard). Large enough to be held comfortably; hard enough to remove any dirt; too soft to cause any damage. The tip is a 1/4" wide, sharp edge.

3. The cloth gets wrapped on the tip of the rubber. Alcohol goes in some tiny cap. Tip with cloth into alcohol, not too much. The cloth *must not* be touched by hand. I have a pair of cotton gloves (good for handling the prints as well), I do not touch anything around with bare hands when cleaning the sensor.

The place: *never* in a carpeted room (rugs too are bad), nor in an office and alike, where there is much paper. These create tiny particles, which are always everywhere in the air. Ceramic tile floor is the best. Even a washroom can be good.

Clean with the tip around, watch the result: the alcohol looks like streaks, but it vaporizes in seconds, and then it must be free of steeaks (or the step has to be repeated).

4. Verification: first through a magnifier with light on it. If you don't see anything, it pays to make a test shot, white wall or clear sky etc. with aperture 22 or so.
If you see only tiny, not really dark spots, you can stop; they won't show up with larger aperture.

Important: the battery should be well charged, to prevent the mirror from shutting down  during cleaning.

Of course, the best is to avoid (in reaity: to delay) all this. Do not change the lens in environment, where there are such particles. I go into the kitchen, or outside (rocky place, no dust) to change the lens, and always keep the camera with the lens mount downwards, while it is open. I remove the back cap from the replacement lens, remove the previous lens and immediately mount the replacement; the chamber is open only about three seconds long. Still, it gets dirty time and again.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 07:13:45 pm by Panopeeper »
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Gabor

Paul Sumi

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2008, 12:38:24 am »

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I purchased Eclipse with the tiny cloth and sticks. Horrendeously, unashemedly expensive.

[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Also a note on Eclipse - some sensors have tin oxide coatings which CAN BE DAMAGED BY THE ORIGINAL ECLIPSE FLUID and require the use of Eclipse 2 (E2).

I can't speak for Nikons, but I believe the Canon 5D, the Mark III's and probably all of the newer Canon DSLRs have this special coating.  Here's the manufacturer's list and you'll note the D3 requires Eclipse 2:

[a href=\"http://www.photosol.com/cameras_bymfg.html]http://www.photosol.com/cameras_bymfg.html[/url]

And the E2  page:

http://www.photosol.com/eclipse_e2product.htm

Paul
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Brad Proctor

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2008, 01:09:59 am »

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The first important point is, that the blower does not help; sometimes the result is worse than before.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209633\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The blower usually works just fine for me...
Although, your right it can make things worse by just blowing more dust onto the sensor.  I hold the camera so the sensor is facing toward the ground and then use the blower, this can help get the dust to fall out instead of just blowing around.
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Brad Proctor

idenford

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 07:21:06 pm »

problem fixed, I got swabs for the D3 and E2. Two goes at it and the sensor cleaned up. Also got a squeezy air blower so I am all set now to keep that sensor clean. I wonder why Nikon did not put the sensor dust remover on the D3 and put it on the D700?
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elkhornsun

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 07:49:41 pm »

The D3 has a full size sensor and a standard size light box opening which makes it especially difficult to clean as the swab tends to scrape the sides. The only sensor that is really effective and was designed for the D3 is the V-swab from Visible Dust.

The V-swab works with their solution or the Eclipse 2 solution. The material used on their swab is also better than any other I have used - especially the Pec Pads. The V-swab material is the most effective at pulling up all the debris on one pass.

I use their sensor loupe to spot dust and their Arctic Butterfly brush to remove loose particles but most of the time I also end up using the V-swab to get the sensor completely clean.
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peteh

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 08:24:53 pm »

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The D3 has a full size sensor and a standard size light box opening which makes it especially difficult to clean as the swab tends to scrape the sides. The only sensor that is really effective and was designed for the D3 is the V-swab from Visible Dust.

The V-swab works with their solution or the Eclipse 2 solution. The material used on their swab is also better than any other I have used - especially the Pec Pads. The V-swab material is the most effective at pulling up all the debris on one pass.

I use their sensor loupe to spot dust and their Arctic Butterfly brush to remove loose particles but most of the time I also end up using the V-swab to get the sensor completely clean.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I use this and have never had to wet clean yet.And I use a Rocket blower also.The loupe alone works great.Now they have 7X I have the 5X loupe.
[a href=\"http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=701]http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=701[/url]
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Tony Beach

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2008, 11:52:07 am »

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I wonder why Nikon did not put the sensor dust remover on the D3 and put it on the D700?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=210287\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It only delays the accumulation of dust.  It's a nice feature, but it is not a panacea.

I expect that someday my D300 will require a repair to the anti-dust feature.  I'm not sure, but this could be a durability issue as in you drop your D3 down a staircase and the only thing that breaks is the anti-dust feature.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 11:54:40 am by Tony Beach »
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framah

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2008, 07:06:19 pm »

Just to add something that no one else mentioned.  Always turn your camera off before you change lenses. The sensor carries a charge when the camera is on and that will draw dust into the chamber no matter how good your techniques are.
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idenford

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Sensor issues - how best to clean it
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2008, 05:28:27 pm »

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Just to add something that no one else mentioned.  Always turn your camera off before you change lenses. The sensor carries a charge when the camera is on and that will draw dust into the chamber no matter how good your techniques are.
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Good point but I always do for sure. Thanks
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