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Rumors => EOS Bodies => Topic started by: branden on January 02, 2012, 05:11:22 PM

Title: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: branden on January 02, 2012, 05:11:22 PM
It doesn't seem like AutoClean does anything on my 5D2. Maybe I just don't know what to look for, but from the dust I do notice, it doesn't seem like AutoClean has the slightest effect on it.

Anyone have any insight?

Thanks
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: katwil on January 02, 2012, 05:41:27 PM
My experience with auto clean on any of the Canon bodies with this feature is if you see any dust or lint on your shots, it’s too late for that feature to work.  My guess would be that auto clean only works on the smallest of spots on the sensor.  Having said that, I must admit I never pop the mirror up to look at the sensor unless I see something on my images.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: neuroanatomist on January 02, 2012, 05:44:55 PM
It works for some dust, but I haven't found it to be very effective.  Canon seems to agree, since the 1D X is getting an improved self-cleaning system.  I have to manually clean my 5DII every couple of months (I use a Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly 724 Superbright).  Conversely, I've never had to manually clean my 7D's sensor - not sure if it's the smaller size per se, or the self-cleaning is just more effective with a smaller sensor.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: TexPhoto on January 02, 2012, 06:39:18 PM
It's not perfect, but it really helps.  Canon is improving it in a new $$$ camera?  Yes they are improving everything they can.  That does not mean it does not help.

I used to clean my sensor every 2-3K images, with the 5DII, I go 10K+

Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: Canon-F1 on January 02, 2012, 07:18:59 PM
It doesn't seem like AutoClean does anything on my 5D2. Maybe I just don't know what to look for, but from the dust I do notice, it doesn't seem like AutoClean has the slightest effect on it.

how do you know?

because you see some dirt you may say.. mhm.. how can you say it would not be much more dirt without auto cleaning?!
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: branden on January 02, 2012, 08:29:32 PM
how do you know?

because you see some dirt you may say.. mhm.. how can you say it would not be much more dirt without auto cleaning?!
That's why I made this thread.

I end up having to clean the sensors on all my cameras at about the same rate, auto-clean or no, but the 5D2 is my only full-frame sensored camera. Today when I was cleaning it, I noticed an option to disable the auto-clean feature, and was wondering why I would ever want to do that, and if I'd notice a difference.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on January 02, 2012, 08:59:23 PM
how do you know?

because you see some dirt you may say.. mhm.. how can you say it would not be much more dirt without auto cleaning?!
That's why I made this thread.

I end up having to clean the sensors on all my cameras at about the same rate, auto-clean or no, but the 5D2 is my only full-frame sensored camera. Today when I was cleaning it, I noticed an option to disable the auto-clean feature, and was wondering why I would ever want to do that, and if I'd notice a difference.

If you want to save your battery, and/or speed up the camera startup, turning it off is a huge help.  That does not mean its off forever, perhaps just while you are away from power and need all the battery you can get.

Missing a money shot while waiting for the self clean could cost you $$$$
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: pwp on January 02, 2012, 10:41:27 PM
It must do something. There was a definite reduction in the number of sensor cleans per year with the 5DII over the 5D Classic. The Classic is a dust magnet. My Mk4 only needs 1-2 cleans a year. These stats are way lower than with the pre-clean bodies.

It's not a magic bullet, but every bit helps.

Paul Wright
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: neuroanatomist on January 03, 2012, 12:10:30 AM
Missing a money shot while waiting for the self clean could cost you $$$$

During the start-up self-clean, if you press the shutter release or AF-ON button, the cleaning is immediately halted, and you can take your money shot.   :D
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: branden on January 03, 2012, 01:00:44 AM
It must do something. There was a definite reduction in the number of sensor cleans per year with the 5DII over the 5D Classic. The Classic is a dust magnet. My Mk4 only needs 1-2 cleans a year. These stats are way lower than with the pre-clean bodies.

It's not a magic bullet, but every bit helps.

Paul Wright
All, that explains it then. Thanks!
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: candyman on January 03, 2012, 02:04:24 AM
The autoclean is a nice feature. But I have learned not to depend on it. Though I always take care of my 7D when exchanging lenses, the sensor still caught dust. I was able to use a blower to clean that dust. I still believe you have to use the blower now and then. And, maybe even a more thorough approach of cleaning.
Some comparisons of cleaning tools are given here: http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/methods.html
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: JackSw1ss on January 03, 2012, 02:59:40 AM
In my personal experience (7D) the auto clean did sh*t...
I got spots everywhere, but that was also because of continuos lens changing in bad environment (cycling events), so i can't blame it.
Though I found that using whenever I remember my trusty rocket blower helped incredibly!

I usually blow some air whenever I change the lens, or in case i forget, whenever I remember.
From that moment onwards I got almost little to zero dust spots  ;D

cheers
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: willrobb on January 03, 2012, 03:16:41 AM
It must do something. There was a definite reduction in the number of sensor cleans per year with the 5DII over the 5D Classic. The Classic is a dust magnet. My Mk4 only needs 1-2 cleans a year. These stats are way lower than with the pre-clean bodies.

It's not a magic bullet, but every bit helps.

Paul Wright

Again I am finding myself agreeing with Paul, my 5D classic was a dust magnet and it was one of the reasons why I ended up upgrading to the 5DmkII. I remember after a month traveling in the UK and France a few years back and when I got home and started editing my images for my travel agency and I honestly felt that more than half my time was spent deleting dust spots from my photos. After several trips with my 5DmkII in the UK, Hong Kong, Korea and all over Japan I didn't really have that issue much at all. The sensor cleaning function doesn't keep the sensor 100% clean, but I think it does help a lot.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: pwp on January 03, 2012, 06:57:48 AM
Sensor cleaning, sensor dust and the techniques to manage it have been a perennial topic since digital DSLR's first started shipping.

The sensor-clean function found on most new DSLR's really is a useful feature, but keeping professional sensor cleans to a minimum means good habits and techniques. In some shooting environments I'll take three or even four bodies so I won't have to take any lenses off in dusty windy conditions. Sometimes I'll do a lens change in the car.

Some people swear that you'll pick up less sensor dust if you switch off the camera before taking the lens off because there is an increased static charge across the sensor while the camera is on. I don't know about this one but I do it anyway. Clean/blow the rear lens elements and the inside of back-caps in the studio before a location shoot.

I keep the sensor aimed towards the ground while I change lenses...and give it a shake while it's open. I do the same with lenses. The time that the body is lens-free is kept to a smooth, highly practiced almost military minimum.

But on location unexpected things always happen. If something incredible is unfolding in front of you that needs the 300 f/2.8 while you've got the 24 f/1.4 attached, and you're in a gusty dirty air environment you just do the lens change as quick as you can to get the money shot. First things first! You can always clean the dirty sensor later on but you got that shot of the day.

Paul Wright
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: TexPhoto on January 03, 2012, 08:33:41 AM
One thing Canon could do is make auto clean work a little more often.  How about after every lens change, and every couple hundred photos if there has been no change.  Give the junk less time to weld itself on.

If you never had a DSLR that had no lens cleaning technique, I can see how you might think the current system is not working.  But what we have is way better than no cleaning.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: epsiloneri on January 03, 2012, 10:53:39 AM
One thing Canon could do is make auto clean work a little more often.  How about after every lens change, and every couple hundred photos if there has been no change.

How about every time you switch your camera on/off? That's the default on the cameras I've used.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: epsiloneri on January 03, 2012, 11:00:22 AM
It doesn't seem like AutoClean does anything on my 5D2. Maybe I just don't know what to look for, but from the dust I do notice, it doesn't seem like AutoClean has the slightest effect on it.
Since the "auto-cleaning" feature is nothing more than the normal ultra-sound self-cleaning done every time you power on/off your camera (albeit for a bit longer duration), the dust not removed by the 'normal' sensor cleaning is not likely to be removed by the 'auto-clean' either. Most of the dust grains the 'auto-clean' feature is able to remove have likely already been removed by the regular 'self-clean', so it's not entirely fair to say it's ineffective...
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: awinphoto on January 03, 2012, 11:45:09 AM
Perhaps it's hard to tell if it's doing anything IF there's dust already on there that's visible, however from what I remember on my 10D and 30D days (pre-autoclean) I'd have to regularly clean my sensors every few months because I would get these white flying snakes floating in my scene and other crap... It was hard to miss... Since i've moved to the 50D and subsequently the 7d and 5d2, which all had the feature, I haven't noticed any glaring dust in my scenes... And i could say I've been using my cameras more now than back then...  So it's hard to say... Perhaps the dust is still there but especially the 7D with the magnification of details, I'm sure it would have stood out like a sore thumb...  Could be coincidence but as long as I dont have problems then I'll pretend in my feeble mind that it's working like a champ. 
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: epsiloneri on January 03, 2012, 07:38:41 PM
Since i've moved to the 50D and subsequently the 7d and 5d2, which all had the feature, I haven't noticed any glaring dust in my scenes...
Maybe you're using faster lenses now than you did back then :) With faster f-ratios, the dust particles tend to get much less visible. If you really want to see some dust in your image, use the smallest available aperture (say f/22) and shoot a de-focused image of the sky (without worrying about motion blur). I promise you'll see some annoying dust specks...
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: awinphoto on January 03, 2012, 08:16:56 PM
Since i've moved to the 50D and subsequently the 7d and 5d2, which all had the feature, I haven't noticed any glaring dust in my scenes...
Maybe you're using faster lenses now than you did back then :) With faster f-ratios, the dust particles tend to get much less visible. If you really want to see some dust in your image, use the smallest available aperture (say f/22) and shoot a de-focused image of the sky (without worrying about motion blur). I promise you'll see some annoying dust specks...

Very well could be... I just have not noticed them at all since they added the feature... that being said, I do have to ask... Dust on the sensor, much like the annoying dust on film, especially large format film, was not apperture specific... if the dust was there, it would be seen whether shooting 1.4 or f22...  Couldn't it suggest the F22 dust is more dust in the lens because I would think dust on the sensor would be same hard outline of light not getting to the sensor either way...
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: neuroanatomist on January 03, 2012, 09:14:24 PM
[Dust on the sensor, much like the annoying dust on film, especially large format film, was not apperture specific... if the dust was there, it would be seen whether shooting 1.4 or f22...  Couldn't it suggest the F22 dust is more dust in the lens because I would think dust on the sensor would be same hard outline of light not getting to the sensor either way...

Nope. Sensor dust is aperture sensitive - it becomes progressively more evident at narrower apertures.  Lens dust, for all intents and purposes, is invisible in the final image.  The difference from film is where the dust is in relation to the light recording medium. With film, the emulsion is right out there for the dust to settle on. But when we say 'dust on the sensor' we really mean is 'dust on the dichroic filter on top of the low pass filter on top of the IR cut filter on top of the phase conversion filter on top of another low pass filter on top of microlenses on top of the actual photosites of the sensor'. 

In fewer words, unlike film, dust 'on the sensor' is not at the image-forming plane, but some distance in front of that plane, so diffraction partly determines the size and darkness of the blur spot.

Or, in as few words as I can manage: sensors aren't film.  :D
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: awinphoto on January 03, 2012, 09:30:15 PM
[Dust on the sensor, much like the annoying dust on film, especially large format film, was not apperture specific... if the dust was there, it would be seen whether shooting 1.4 or f22...  Couldn't it suggest the F22 dust is more dust in the lens because I would think dust on the sensor would be same hard outline of light not getting to the sensor either way...

Nope. Sensor dust is aperture sensitive - it becomes progressively more evident at narrower apertures.  Lens dust, for all intents and purposes, is invisible in the final image.  The difference from film is where the dust is in relation to the light recording medium. With film, the emulsion is right out there for the dust to settle on. But when we say 'dust on the sensor' we really mean is 'dust on the dichroic filter on top of the low pass filter on top of the IR cut filter on top of the phase conversion filter on top of another low pass filter on top of microlenses on top of the actual photosites of the sensor'. 

In fewer words, unlike film, dust 'on the sensor' is not at the image-forming plane, but some distance in front of that plane, so diffraction partly determines the size and darkness of the blur spot.

Or, in as few words as I can manage: sensors aren't film.  :D

I'd have to take your word, but just thinking of it logically, the dust on the film would be in rough proportion to the dust on the sensor... it's not like the dust on the sensor is floating in front of the sensor and a narrow beam of light would make it in focus, plus if i remember right, the light leaving the lens elements (lens assembly) to the image plane (sensor/film) is channeled and designed to bend the rays to meet at a specific point to obtain focus... It shouldn't be scattered light bouncing all over the place inside the camera so the channeled light, to me, should show the dust at any aperture, but I haven't spent much time looking into it and thinking out loud... Anyways as long as i dont see dust in my images, i'm good.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: awinphoto on January 03, 2012, 09:47:56 PM
neuro,  after re-reading your post again, you're saying the camera sensor dust settles on the filters infront of the sensor and not the sensor itself, am I getting this right?  How much distance is inbetween the area the dust on the filter in relation to the sensor?  thinner than a fingernail?  still seems awful close to be similar to dust on film, but I'll take your word and go from there... 
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: neuroanatomist on January 03, 2012, 09:51:53 PM
Actually, it is sort of like the dust is floating in front of the sensor, except rather than floating, it's stuck what amounts to a piece of glass covering the sensor. You're not seeing the dust, you're seeing the shadow of the dust.  Try this - take a light source a good distance from a surface (light over a dining table, for example).  Put your hand right next to, but not touching, the table. That dark, hard-edged shadow that's about the same size as your hand is dust on film. Now, lift your hand a few inches. That lighter, softer-edged shadow is dust on a sensor. That's a simplified case, obviously, but similar in concept. That extra space between the dust and the photosites, unlike film where there's no space, means diffraction operates on sensor dust, and wider apertures literally allow the light waves to bend around the dust speck and fill in the shadow cast by the dust.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: neuroanatomist on January 03, 2012, 10:06:09 PM
neuro,  after re-reading your post again, you're saying the camera sensor dust settles on the filters infront of the sensor and not the sensor itself, am I getting this right?  How much distance is inbetween the area the dust on the filter in relation to the sensor?  thinner than a fingernail?

Exactly.  Depends on the sensor and the design of the filters, but in general the stack of filters over the sensor is ~2.5mm thick (about as thick as 6 or 7 fingernails stacked up).  In fact, there's even more space in cameras with the self-cleaning system.  The sensor itself isn't shaken to remove the dust, it's the first/horizontal low-pass filter that vibrates.  So, that would need to be separated a bit from the remainder of the filters (IR cut, quarter-wave plate, and second/vertical low pass filter) to allow it room to vibrate.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: awinphoto on January 03, 2012, 10:10:57 PM
Actually, it is sort of like the dust is floating in front of the sensor, except rather than floating, it's stuck what amounts to a piece of glass covering the sensor. You're not seeing the dust, you're seeing the shadow of the dust.  Try this - take a light source a good distance from a surface (light over a dining table, for example).  Put your hand right next to, but not touching, the table. That dark, hard-edged shadow that's about the same size as your hand is dust on film. Now, lift your hand a few inches. That lighter, softer-edged shadow is dust on a sensor. That's a simplified case, obviously, but similar in concept. That extra space between the dust and the photosites, unlike film where there's no space, means diffraction operates on sensor dust, and wider apertures literally allow the light waves to bend around the dust speck and fill in the shadow cast by the dust.

I guess I always assumed for the most part the sensor I see with the mirror locked up and in the self cleaning mode was the actual sensor itself but if the filter is separating the dust from the filter, then it makes sense I suppose... As I've always said I'm not too geeky into pretending to know every nuance of the makings of the camera, just how to shoot manually and have it work when i need it how i need it... thanks for the insight. 
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: epsiloneri on January 04, 2012, 01:22:05 PM
awinphoto, just try the experiment I suggested (taking empty sky with the smallest aperture). And prepare for a shock :) Then take the same image with fully open aperture and watch the dust disappear...
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: katwil on January 05, 2012, 12:27:50 AM
awinphoto, just try the experiment I suggested (taking empty sky with the smallest aperture). And prepare for a shock :) Then take the same image with fully open aperture and watch the dust disappear...

I can vouch for this.  Be sure to switch off the auto focus on your lens. ;)
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: TexPhoto on January 05, 2012, 01:29:48 AM
One thing Canon could do is make auto clean work a little more often.  How about after every lens change, and every couple hundred photos if there has been no change.

How about every time you switch your camera on/off? That's the default on the cameras I've used.

Why would I switch my camera off?  It won't take pictures that way, and does not extend battery life.  The only reason I do shut it off is to run the cleaning cycle, but that's not really automatic.
Title: Re: Does Autoclean on the 5D2 do anything?
Post by: epsiloneri on January 05, 2012, 11:20:28 AM
Why would I switch my camera off?  It won't take pictures that way, and does not extend battery life.

That's interesting, how habits are different. I always switch a camera off when I'm not using it, not so much for autoclean, but to lock buttons and avoid accidently activating various functions. I also would have thought that it does extend the battery to not be in stand-by mode, but that's nothing I have tested so if you say differently, I'd just have to take your word for it.