1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

sensor cleaning

Discussion in 'Projects/Repair' started by Luke, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I used m43 cameras for a couple years and never once saw a spot of dust in my photos. I recently got a Pentax DSLR (brand new) and had problems with dust right away. I tried a blower several times after using the in camera sensor cleaner many times and was not having any luck. Then a used a very fine brush that did nothing. Finally, I used a cotton swab and some lens cleaning solution. That removed one of the biggest offenders, but there was still a few others. So I tried it again. This time most of the dust was gone, but the fluid had left a few smears (btw, one is actually cleaning a piece of glass in front of the sensor.....not the sensor itself). So I had another go at it....smears gone, but a few fine flecks of dust. These are much smaller than the ones I had initially and I've yet to take it out and shoot at normal apertures (testing was done at f22 to show everything) to see if they are big enough to be concerned about so I'm leaving it for now.

    What do you fine folks do about dust on the sensor? Is there some mystical product that does things better? Should I pay for a professional cleaning? Why did I NEVER have a problem with all the different m43 camera I used, but this K-30 is giving my troubles?
     
  2. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    1) Rocket Blower, holding the camera lens mount down for gravity. Blow out the entire insides. Inspect, if dirty then;
    2) Soft Nylon brush (I use the brush on a Lens Pen and/or a very soft artist/paint brush);
    3) Rocket Blower. Inspect, if dirty then;
    4) Senor Pen (like a Lens Pen but smaller with angles).
    5) Rocket Blower. Inspect, if dirty then;
    6) Eclipse (cleaning solution) w/ Sensor Swab (lintless);
    7) Rocket Blower;
    8) Soft Nylon brush (I use the brush on a Lens Pen and/or a very soft artist/paint brush);
    9) Rocket Blower. Inspect, if dirty then;
    10) Repeat steps 6 - 9.

    Often I'll brush with the camera held lens mount down.

    Gary
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    A minor, but topical point... A 20+ year old legacy lens comes complete with crud inside. Said crud will enthusiastically migrate to your sensor at every opportunity. DON'T leave a legacy lens attached for any length of time and expect your sensor not to need a good scrubbing. Use, by all means (I can talk!) but store and carry with your newest lens(es) attached.



    Sent from another Galaxy
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Sensor cleaning is a subject to which I had given little thought until very recently. When I had my Canon EOS 20D, I would clean the sensor every couple of months using a Rocket Blower, which seemed to do the job. Once I upgraded to the 50D, I never cleaned a sensor again, as it never seemed to need it. Apparently the built-in sensor cleaner did its job well enough. Same with the Rebel Ti and my m4/3 bodies.

    All was well until I got the Leica M9. I had to go back to using the Rocket Blower on a regular basis, until it developed dirt spots that would not budge. A few weeks ago, I took it to a local camera repair place for wet cleaning, but it seems that the dirt is behind the glass cover. So, off to Leica NJ it went. Fortunately, they will cover the cleaning under the warranty and will give the camera a full check-up. Hopefully, it will return to me soon.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    If you do have spots (well, not you, your sensor) and you use LR, here's a nice little video on cleaning up the photograph:

    [video=youtube;_gEHhavkLps]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gEHhavkLps&feature=player_embedded"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gEHhavkLps&feature=player_embedded[/video]
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    I like mirrorless because it is so much easier to lick it clean. I can just about get my tongue to the sensor on a DSLR. But don't do this if you have just finished eating yogurt.

    Beyond that, I use a blower and then Eclipse solution on swabs.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Blower and Lenspen Sensorklear (fancy name for a small lenspen with a different shaped tip).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Garry
    250 bar hot pressure washer with diesel burner. I find set to 120 deg does the trick.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    The only camera to give me problems has been the Sony A55 SLT. With a translucent mirror in front of the sensor you wouldn't expect dust.
    I used Giottos Rocket Blower but that seemed to make things worse.
    I then used Lenspen Sensor Pen which helped a little but in the end it was an Opteka cleaning kit used several times that cleaned things up.
    I've never had similar problems with m4/3 or previous DSLRs and was very cautious about touching the sensor. Actually the process was easy and the sensor took more cleaning than I'd expected.....probably oil from the camera itself as well as dust.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    As a follow up to my post above, I just got my M9P back from its sensor cleaning at Leica NJ. I can attest that the sensor is spotless now, as it should be, since according to the service invoice they replaced the entire sensor assembly! I'm glad this was done under warranty; otherwise, I would be a very unhappy camper right now.

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. teacat

    teacat SC Regular

    67
    Jul 27, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Maggie
    Hi Antonio - I have a 20D and am loathe to clean the sensor myself because I'm a little worried I'll damage something. It's absolutely filthy from my recent epic journey and I really need it clean before I can use the camera again. Can you tell me a bit more about this 'rocket blower' and how you cleaned your sensor?
    Cheers,
    Marg
     
  12. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    This is the Rocket Blower I own:

    Giottos Rocket Air Blower - (Large) 7.5" AA1900 B&H Photo

    What I do is hold the camera with the lens mount down and blow on the sensor with the Rocket Blower. Any loose dust should simply fall off. However, anything stuck to the sensor will probably require wet cleaning, which I am loath to do.

    Good luck!

    Antonio
     
  13. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    A rocket blower is just a big rubber bulb with a thin nozzle for blowing dry dust off sensors, but it won't dislodge anything that has become stuck there. That is where you need to use one of the wet or dry methods mentioned above. On my old Canon 350D (same sensor as your 20D) the sensor became very dirty after a few years of use but came up virtually as good as new after I used the Lenspen sensor cleaning pen on it.
     
  14. teacat

    teacat SC Regular

    67
    Jul 27, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Maggie
    Thank you both very much! If I have to get into it with cleaning apparatus it might be best if I take it to someone who knows what they are doing, then. I'm too afraid I'd stuff up somewhere :D
     
  15. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    Sensor cleaning advice from the best in the business

    [video=youtube;iRW9AmDPqr0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRW9AmDPqr0&list=TL6jx5H224vTI[/video]
     
  16. teacat

    teacat SC Regular

    67
    Jul 27, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Maggie
    Thanks Boid - I'll check it out :D