Arctic Butterfly Disappointment

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by michaelnel, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. This morning I decided to try the f22 sky test on my 2 week old D80 to see how much dust there is on the sensor. The initial test showed LOTS of dust.

    [​IMG]

    I waited until Calumet opened and then went down there. I bought a Rocket blower, a Lens Pen, and an Arctic Butterfly 700.

    Came home, locked the mirror up and first held the camera upside down above me and blew out the chamber several times with the Rocket blower. I then carefully followed the instructions for cleaning the sensor with the Arctic Butterfly.

    Put the mirror back down, cleaned front & rear elements of the lens with the Lens Pen and put it back together. Took another test shot, this time using a blank white screen on my LCD computer monitor @ f22 with it all out of focus. This is the result after the first cleaning:

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm. Disappointing. It may even be worse than before cleaning it. Cleaned it again with the blower & Arctic Butterfly. Here's the result of the second cleaning:

    [​IMG]

    Different, but not better. Looks to me like all the thing does is move the dust around. Plus now I have some dust on my focus screen that wasn't there before.

    So, I spent 90 something bucks, and I'm worse off than when I started. Shoulda left it alone.
     
  2. 3rd Cleaning

    I cleaned the sensor a third time with the Arctic Butterfly, and this is the result:

    [​IMG]

    Looks like finally a significant improvement. I may try one more time.
     
  3. How exactly does the Arctic Butterfly work?

    I use the original simple Visible Dust brush which you clean/charge with either compressed air or, as I do, with a Rocket blower. I get excellent results every time. I have never needed anything else.

    Is the Arctic Butterfly supposed to clean and charge itself by spinning or have I got the wrong end of the stick? It certainly seems not to be as effective as the original product.
     
  4. ubetcha

    ubetcha

    Nov 12, 2006
    San Diego, Ca
    Similar result with....BRUSHOFF

    michaelnel, I had the same result with the Photographic Solutions BRUSHOFF Sensor Cleaning Brush http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...869&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation seemed to make it worse and I always have to resort to the "wet method" to get it all off and it's not difficult to do. I did wonder about the Arctic Butterfly but I'll pass on it after seeing your results. Thanks for posting your real world results.
     
  5. Apparently, not all that well. :wink:

    I actually wanted one of those, but they don't have them at Calumet in SF where I went this morning.

    Yes, that's the way it is supposed to work. You take the cap off, spin it three times for 5 seconds each, then take ONE wipe across the sensor. If you want to take another go at it, you have to do the 3x5 spin thing again for each wipe.

    Indeed. :mad:
     
  6. ubetcha

    ubetcha

    Nov 12, 2006
    San Diego, Ca
    Quote:
    Is the Arctic Butterfly supposed to clean and charge itself by spinning or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

    Yes, that's the way it is supposed to work. You take the cap off, spin it three times for 5 seconds each, then take ONE wipe across the sensor. If you want to take another go at it, you have to do the 3x5 spin thing again for each wipe.

    Maybe an incantation would help!
     
  7. I know this is frustrating. I use the blower and the copperhill method. It took me 3 passes to get from here
    [​IMG]

    To here
    [​IMG]

    I hope you come up with a satisfactory routine that suits you soon.
    Dave
     
  8. Brian-S

    Brian-S

    300
    Feb 10, 2007
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm not sure I really understand how so much dust can accumulate in just 2 weeks. I've had my D70s for almost 2 years now, nearly 6k pictures, I change lenses all the time, and my sensor looks like this with 0 cleanings. (this was using my LCD monitor set to the highest brightness, blank-white screen, f22 on my 50/1.8). Am I not testing it right or is my sensor just super clean? (i do notice one small spec middle right-ish, but I'm not going to sweat it.

    Brian

    459458390_eefcbef107_o.
     
  9. You need to do an Auto Adjust on the levels in Photoshop or The Gimp or whatever post-processing tool you use. Mine looks clean too until I run the levels on the image. For instance, this is the image of the sky I shot before any cleaning, and this is prior to running Auto Level on it in The Gimp:

    [​IMG]

    Looks clean to me, but when I run the Auto Level it shows the dust clearly:

    [​IMG]

    This also kind of points out how extreme the conditions have to be for the dust to be an issue in real photographs. You'd have to be shooting an image that has large areas that are bright and without detail at a very small aperture, and then process it heavily. Not that likely in the real world, and even then you can remove the dust in post-processing. Bigger stuff shows up under less extreme conditions, but then that stuff is probably also easier to remove.
     
  10. This is just my opinion, but I NEVER blow things around in the sensor box. Long time ago I tried with a blower, it was the first and the last time. In my opinion it just makes things worse.
    My true and tried method remains the Eclipse / Pec Pad method. Easy, cheap and very effective.
     
  11. I'm not going to do it anymore either. Yesterday at Calumet the sales guy was showing me The Digital Duster from Delkin that has a little vacuum cleaner:

    http://www.delkin.com/products/sensorscope/digitalduster/

    I don't know if that makes sense or not.

    That sure seems to be a widely used and accepted method. I will likely switch to it. Maybe I can sell my Arctic Butterfly as an Adult Novelty item.
     
  12. Brian-S

    Brian-S

    300
    Feb 10, 2007
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm not sure... so I did auto-levels on my jpg in photoshop and here's what I get.

    459993992_c2b8a18542_o.

    I still don't really see any dust, but it makes me think if my 50mm has a centering defect? Looks to me like the bigger blue rings may be vignetting but it doesn't look even to me in the upper left corner. :Confused:
     
  13. Maybe I'm missing something. But if it looks clean without PP tweaks whats the point of cleaning then? I mean, if I cannot see it in a normal picture why hassle with sensor cleaning until it's really necessary? I'm not going to search for the dust (I know it's there :smile:).
     
  14. Looks to me as though it even improved the weather a bit :wink:
     
  15. mallaig

    mallaig

    796
    Mar 12, 2006
    Have a look at this site, particularly the chapter on methods. I found it very useful.

    Cheers.
     
  16. *LOL* Now, THAT's what I call 'talent'!!!

    Bernie Heins of Nextphoto is a very good friend of mine. Highly technical guy, and we've both come to the conclusion that blowing does just that - blows the dust around. It's going to come back if you don't remove it completelyh. We both use the Pecpads and Eclipse method with 100% success each time. Only once did I need to do a second cleaning to get it all.

    Reminds me, guess I'd better do a test and clean before the kayaking season starts. :redface:
     
  17. When I bought my cleaning kit it came with swabs for also cleaning around the mirror cage. The more dust gone the better!
     
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