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Author Topic: Cleaning?  (Read 5405 times)

DigitalExplorer

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Cleaning?
« on: July 31, 2011, 12:50:40 AM »
Hi I was wondering what the best/most cost efficient method is to clean my T2i's sensor. I've had it for roughly a year now and although I've been very, very careful with it, I noticed I have 3 dust spots. Would it be best to go through Canon directly, a local camera store, or to buy a product on the internet and use it at home? I'm quite nervous using one at home since I have no experience doing so. Thanks so much for your advice!

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Cleaning?
« on: July 31, 2011, 12:50:40 AM »

UncleFester

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 01:43:19 AM »
I would use the custom cleaning function and something like the Giottos Rocket blower for your 1st attempt. If you're careful and the dust is loose enough, it may do the trick. Just be careful and follow your camera's sensor cleaning instructions to the letter. you don't want to touch the sensor with the blower tip or have the shutter slam down on it.

Someone else will have to chime in on cleaning services as I've never had to use one.

BTW, the T2i doesn't self clean?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 01:45:19 AM by UncleFester »

thejoyofsobe

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 02:04:10 AM »
yeah use self-cleaning, a rocket blower or Dust Delete Data if you can but sometimes those just aren't enough. i've had to clean my sensor more often than i'd prefer because i wasn't as careful as i should be whilst changing lenses.

people make sensor cleaning sound so scary but after you do once you quickly realize it's not a big deal at all as long as you use common sense. buy some Eclipse and some sensor swabs or sterile q-tips. be careful to follow the instructions on the bottle of Eclipse.

you just put a drop or two of Eclipse cleaning solution on a sensor swab or sterile q-tip and run it across the entire surface of the sensor applying just enough pressure to actually pick up the particles on your sensor. shine a light in there to check to see if you missed any spots and then do the standard maximum f-stop shot of a white wall as a final check for dust spots. if dust is still visible then repeat the process with a new swab that has a drop or two of Eclipse on it giving attention to where the remaining dust spots are.

don't squeeze drops of  Eclipse directly into your camera body.
don't soak your swab.
don't clean your sensor in a room with moving air because that'll carry dust into the body and it'll be more inclined to stick to the sensor as you're using a wet method.
don't do anything stupid like leave any open container of liquid near your open camera body where it could accidentally be knocked over.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 02:05:41 AM by thejoyofsobe »

dr croubie

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 03:13:28 AM »
yep, what everyone else said so far. I've cleaned my sensor maybe 2-3 times a month since i got my camera (but i use it all the freakin time).
I also shoot a lot of pinhole (f/170) which shows up every single speck of dust bigger than a pixel wide.
First step is just a blower, test shot at the smallest aparture you can get (long end of a zoom might get to f/44), ISO100 at a white wall or cloud, move the camera around a bit to blur the photo and the dust stays sharp, maybe repeat once with the blower.
If that doesn't work, I use Visible Dust Swabs (which is what my camera shop had in stock at the time). Try to avoid the temptation to use your blower to dry the sensor, it makes it worse in my experience. Normally it takes 3 or so shots with the swabs before it's properly clean. I've never used another brand, but these work perfect for me, i'm buying them again.

One thing to remember, microfibre cloths are great for the front of your lens. Never ever use it on your sensor (i know someone who had to get a new bayer filter on his sensor when his finger 'slipped' doing that).
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Stu_bert

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 06:56:08 AM »
Few comments, pretty much as others have written

1) You're only cleaning the AA filter, not the sensor. It's about £100 in comparison to the sensor.
2) When you use the blower, invert the body, otherwise the dust stays inside  :D
3) You may want to iterate the blow, test photo, blow some more. I use a loupe to check and normally this is sufficient
4) You might want to consider a Sensor "brush" with fine hairs to lift off some dust that the blower can't get to, before using a swab. This is to avoid rubbing dust across the AA filter
5) Once using the swab, I always need to go back over with a dry swab as I always get streaks.

There have been comments elsewhere, DPreview forums, that some fluids can have a detrimental effect on the AA filter - and alas different dSLR have different AA filters. So be careful where you buy from.
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motorhead

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 07:52:22 AM »
In the time I've had my 30D I've not yet had to resort to wet cleaning. Never say never, but I hope I can avoid it.

My method uses a can of compressed air and a sensor pen. The latter is the real star of the show and should not be confused with a lens pen (although it is produced by the same people).

I give the filter surface a quick blast of air, then carefully use the pen to loosen any dust and finally use the air cannister to blow the loose dust away.

Compressed air needs to be used with some care, but apparently Canon service centres use it so it's a legitimate method. The trick is to clear the nozzle of any fluid away from the camera, then press the can firmly against the table top so that its upright. Lastly - use very short sharp bursts. Don't use long blasts because the air tends to freeze and in effect you are firing ice crystals at the filter! 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2011, 10:51:29 AM »
You've been lucky with the compressed air.  There are often fairly large droplets of propellent that can be sprayed on the sensor surface and damage it.  It might only happen once in 200 times, but its playing roulette.

I've eventually had to wet clean all of my sensors, I am lucky enough to have a large commercial inspection microscope with a long working length objective and fiberoptic ring light.  I can always see junk on the sensor, even a few seconds after a wet cleaning, but getting the big pieces off is the important thing.

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2011, 10:51:29 AM »

Sunnystate

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2011, 11:20:05 AM »
In the time I've had my 30D I've not yet had to resort to wet cleaning. Never say never, but I hope I can avoid it.

My method uses a can of compressed air and a sensor pen. The latter is the real star of the show and should not be confused with a lens pen (although it is produced by the same people).

I give the filter surface a quick blast of air, then carefully use the pen to loosen any dust and finally use the air cannister to blow the loose dust away.

Compressed air needs to be used with some care, but apparently Canon service centres use it so it's a legitimate method. The trick is to clear the nozzle of any fluid away from the camera, then press the can firmly against the table top so that its upright. Lastly - use very short sharp bursts. Don't use long blasts because the air tends to freeze and in effect you are firing ice crystals at the filter!

Compressed air also may contain other contaminants like oils, greases from equipment like compressors etc.
A chunk of grease smashed to the filter under pressure may cause serious problems. If you ever manipulate your photographs in any extreme ways, deep saturation, extreme levels, darkening, dramatic contrasts, you will be surprised to find out how much damage your "perfect and easy cleaning" has done already to your sensor.
My experiences with sensor cleaning are spotty at best, even that, I have pretty good manual training in precision work like art restoration, there are always some surprises, and personally, I am avoiding cleaning as much as possible.
 

motorhead

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2011, 01:28:27 PM »
There is a lot of misinformation about compressed air canisters. These are sold for use by photographers for exactly this sort of use. As I have already said, Canon service centres do in fact use it themselves and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

I refuse to believe I've damaged the filter in any way at all. Once any fluid has been blown clear, then it's perfectly safe as long as the cannister is not tipped and tiny "stabs" of air are used.     

thejoyofsobe

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2011, 01:44:07 PM »
4) You might want to consider a Sensor "brush" with fine hairs to lift off some dust that the blower can't get to, before using a swab. This is to avoid rubbing dust across the AA filter
this is good as long as you don't get one of those el cheapo brushes. it's been my experience the cheaper ones while still good at sweeping away dust also have a propensity to shed some of their hairs inside the body and can be frustrating to get rid of.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2011, 04:16:07 PM »
4) You might want to consider a Sensor "brush" with fine hairs to lift off some dust that the blower can't get to, before using a swab. This is to avoid rubbing dust across the AA filter
this is good as long as you don't get one of those el cheapo brushes. it's been my experience the cheaper ones while still good at sweeping away dust also have a propensity to shed some of their hairs inside the body and can be frustrating to get rid of.

Blowing with rocket blower is indeed the first choice.  When it comes to swabs, pens and brushes, its very easy to make the sensor more dirty than when you started.  I learned by experience.  Everything must be ultra clean, wash your hands with soap, and then do it again.  Almost every thing has dust on it, and the oil from your skin can transfer to your sensor in mysterious ways.

Also be aware that there may be lubricant on the mirror mechanism, and its very easy to transfer it to a sensor pad, pen, brush, or whatever.  Once you smear oil or grease on the AA filter, you will be quite disgusted.  I've done that too.

However, after blowing $30 worth of supplies and buying a second set of swabs, I did get the job done, and the second camera went nicely.

Just one wet swab won't do it. Four or five seems to be a good number.  Throw the swab away after one swipe, The instructions say this, but I had to try a second swipe at first, and was dismayed to see all the dust re-appear.

chuckjr

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2011, 06:11:36 PM »
I've heard horror stories about compressed air because of the moisture and freezing temps. mositure and electronics don't mix.

I've had an arctic butterfly for years and love it. My blower gets the big chunks but still tends to leave dust on the sensor.

april

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 09:58:45 AM »
i also wanted to do some sensor cleaning to my camera but i never attempted to do so coz of static which is very strong in my place. i'm sharing this as i was hoping that someone might give me a solution if there is one.. i'm having problems with cleaning my gadgets thru wiping or brushing since static is very strong. one example is like when i'm cleaning the front element of my lenses or the camera's LCD, the surface becomes magnetized as it is charged with static current and therefore no what i do it keeps on attracting dust. I don't know if anyone notices that thing.

is there any demagnetiser being sold out there for this purpose?

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 09:58:45 AM »

LuCoOc

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2011, 11:55:54 AM »
My Sensor/AA-Filter has dust on it since my last phototrip. A dust blower doesn't help  :( .
I did a lot of research and found lots of blog entries and videos (lensrentals.com, the-digital-picture.com, etc.). I found a new method just a few minutes ago: Sensor-Film. Their homepage claims that 15ml(~15-20€) are good for about 50 cleanings wich is a very good value compared to other methods like visible dust swabs for example. Here is a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoWLoz4JKZI

Has anyone of you ever tried it? I'd like to hear some independent statements befor I order it  8)
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2011, 12:07:21 PM »
i also wanted to do some sensor cleaning to my camera but i never attempted to do so coz of static which is very strong in my place. i'm sharing this as i was hoping that someone might give me a solution if there is one.. i'm having problems with cleaning my gadgets thru wiping or brushing since static is very strong. one example is like when i'm cleaning the front element of my lenses or the camera's LCD, the surface becomes magnetized as it is charged with static current and therefore no what i do it keeps on attracting dust. I don't know if anyone notices that thing.

is there any demagnetiser being sold out there for this purpose?

There are a couple of ways to eliminate buildup of static electricity.  It gets worse as the air gets dryer, and can be bad below 30% RH.   

A humidifier will increase humidity in the room, and not allow static electricity to build up, but it might be uncomfortable to have 60% or higher.  You do not want a humidifier blowing right on or near your camera because water droplets may condense out of the air.

A ESD ionizer combined with humidity control is the conventional way to eliminate or at least control static electricity.  Beware, a EDS Ionizer is not the same as the home air ionizers which will not do what you want, and may make static worse.  Here is some info:  http://www.transforming-technologies.com/ionizers.html

They are $$$, so they are best for a shop that is using them every day.  I think a cheap one is $350, but you might be able to find a used one on ebay for less.




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Re: Cleaning?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2011, 12:07:21 PM »