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  1. #1
    The Randomist
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    what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    i give up. i tryed to ignore the random spots that have been showing up on my pictures, but it's getting annoying. i never take my lens off, because i only have one, but the dust still makes it's way in there.

    anyways, has anyone used one of those sensor cleaning pens? i see them for $20 (the ones with a little brush on one end and some cleaning liquid and pads). i'm kinda nervous about touching anything on the sensor though.

    how delicate are sensors? if i buy one of these sensor pens and gently brush the sensor, what are the chances of me damaging it?

    and if you don't recommend these cleaning pens, what other options are there? i don't want to send the camera away just to get cleaned. and there aren't any big camera stores where i live.

    any help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Oh that's a long topic, and we've discussed it here before.
    You can find the previous threads using the Search option in the menu mar, next to New Posts.

    i'm kinda nervous about touching anything on the sensor though.
    Wise to be cautious.

    how delicate are sensors?
    Very.

    if i buy one of these sensor pens and gently brush the sensor, what are the chances of me damaging it?
    High.

    if you don't recommend these cleaning pens
    Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

    what other options are there?
    i don't want to send the camera away just to get cleaned
    Ah, you just ruled out my #1 option.
    I'm off to a Canon Pro dealer next weekend to get all 3 of mine cleaned.

    (1) Rocket blower
    Works very well for loose dust, and is cheap.
    But you can get stickier dust that won't blow away.

    (2) canned air
    Do NOT use this.
    It's usually not air but liquid gas.
    It is very cold as it sprays, and may cause damage.
    It blows any dust in the air at your sensor at terrific speed.
    If any liquid comes out with the gas, it makes it worse.
    It blows so strong, you might be able to damage the focus sub-mirror or even shutter.

    (3) Brushes
    Tried it, no use.
    Worst thing is if you have a little grease contamination off the mirror hinges, the brush spears it about everywhere and it gets worse not better.
    Been there, done that, chucked them.

    (4) pec pads
    NOT rated for cleaning sensors, great for cleaning lenses.
    I use them with Eclipse fluid for cleaning lenses and they are great.
    I also used them for months for cleaning my 20D sensor

    (5) sensor swabs
    My preferred method, if I absolutely have to do it myself and the blower doesn't work.
    I admit I'd rather remove spots in Lightroom than touch the sensor on my 1D bodies.

    (6) sticky things
    Makes me cringe at the thought, but some companies sell sticky things that are meant to pull off the dust.
    Obviously if it's a greasy spot it won't work, and just make it worse.
    A friend of mine swears by one, you want to put something sticky on your sensor?
    I don't recommend it.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  3. #3
    Moderator Didache's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    I find a brillo pad works well - if the spot is sticky just give it a good scrub.

    JUST KIDDING!!!

    Sensors are very delicate. A rocket blower brush is all that is needed 99% of the time, especially if your camera has a sensor cleaner (as most do these days).

    Very, very occasionally (I think three times in two years of heavy use), I have used the pec pads - they worked fine. The ones I used were "one time only" and came packed individually in sterile packs. I would have no hesitation in using them again, but I emphasise that I used them very occasionally.

    Mike
    Mike Dales ARPS
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  4. #4
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Canon 40D??

    Hummm. According to your profile you have a Canon 40D which has a sensor shaker built-in.

    Now I'm not saying that the Canon system is perfect but normally it does have some effect.

    Are the spots always in the same place or do they move around?

    - If they move around then it looks like the shaker is working but you are getting new dust on the sensor from somewhere. If you never take the lens off then a trip to the repair shop for a cleanup might be a good idea.
    - If they are always in the same place then the sensor shaker is not able to get rid of them. It might not be dust, it might be oil. A trip to the repair shop is not a bad idea

    If you want to try to cleaning your sensor first then the only method I use is a sensor swab with the cleaning fluid. This is what usually happens to me:

    1. Do a photo of a blank white area to record where the dust is
    2. Very gingerly use the sensor swab swish-swish to clean the sensor
    3. Do another photo of a blank area. The dust has moved but the result is worse
    4. Cycle "sensor swab - test photo" again with continually mounting anger and much less gingerly. Repeat. Repeat etc.
    5. After using 6 sensor swabs I get a result which is almost perfect

    BTW when you use a sensor swab you're not cleaning the sensor, you're cleaning the anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor, probably less delicate then the sensor itself
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  5. #5
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Like SmartWombat said DO NOT use caned air!!! It can bow stuff into the view finder! This happened with me! It was a paint flack.

    Before you start make sure your battery has a full charge, then lock up the mirror.

    Us the special sensor swab just moistened with cleaning fluid. The sensor is behind the IR filer and you are cleaning the IR filter That is why the dust disappears at low F stops and with wider lenses. Make sure you don't leave smudge marks on the surface, if you see them you have too much cleaning fluid on the swab. Dry the swab and clean of the smudges.
    GRF

    Panorama Madness:

    Nikon D800, 50mm F1.4D AF, 16-35mm, 28-200mm & 70-300mm

  6. #6
    The Randomist
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    thanks to everyone for the replies.

    i do have a rocket blower which was working before, but now there are some spots that do not move even after using the blower.

    and there are no canon dealers near me, so i'll probably end up ordering some sensor swabs. are they all pretty much the same? or are there some brands that seem to work better?

  7. #7
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Sensor Swab is the product name.
    http://www.photosol.com/swabproduct.htm
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  8. #8
    The Randomist
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    Sensor Swab is the product name.
    http://www.photosol.com/swabproduct.htm
    i see. thanks again.

  9. #9
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Has anyone got experience of the ArticButterfly? I have heard good reports.

    Roger R.
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  10. #10
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by photoman66
    there are lens cleaning solutions available in the market. You can try them or just take a tissue and clean the sensor with it.
    I would not use anything but the stuff recommended by the manufacturer for the specific camera:

    - there are several sizes of sensor out there. A swab for Nikon does not fit Canon
    - there are at least two varieties of sensor-cleaning fluids, which I believe are alcohol-based. Some sensors have an anti-alias filter, some don't, some have anti-static stuff deposited on them, some don't
    - I would not use lens cleaning solution which is basically detergent (for washing dishes)
    Charles

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    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  11. #11
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by photoman66
    there are lens cleaning solutions available in the market. You can try them or just take a tissue and clean the sensor with it.
    A TISSUE?:yikes: :yikes: I'd think that would leave all kinds of little fibers in there and many tissues have lotions and whatnot in them.
    Keep Shooting!

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  12. #12
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    A TISSUE?:yikes: :yikes: I'd think that would leave all kinds of little fibers in there and many tissues have lotions and whatnot in them.
    I think he's just a spammer selling card readers. - TF
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  13. #13
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    I think so too but random one and others might take it serious
    Keep Shooting!

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  14. #14
    The Randomist
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    I think so too but random one and others might take it serious
    i may be new(er) to photography, but i do know that taking a tissue to your sensor wouldn't be a good idea. or would it?...

  15. #15
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Definitely 110% bad idea.
    Not just leaving more bits of fluff in than when you started, that's annoying.
    But also microsocopic pieces of stuff in the tissue itself.
    But how many have a good microscope to look at that kind of thing?

    You will find small wood chips, and pieces of harder material, that will scratch the surface.
    That's why you use lens tissue on glasses, ordinary tissue scratches them up pretty fast.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  16. #16
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Maybe we can get Don to shoot a tissue with his microscope.
    Keep Shooting!

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  17. #17
    Starting to think outside of the box icicle's Avatar
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    Re: what's the best way to clean your sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    Maybe we can get Don to shoot a tissue with his microscope.
    Frog, I agree.

    Here is my Attempt with my older microscope with a make shift T-mount eye piece holder, tripod.
    this is a single layer of a Kleenex tissue paper with lotion.
    62.5 X magnification
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails what's the best way to clean your sensor?-_mg_0266.jpg  

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