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Help with Dust Spots ..... info please

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Ken-L, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Up to now I have not had a "dust" problem......but

    Someone pointed out to me that this picture shows some dust spots.
    I locked-up my mirror and looked at the sensor and could not see anything on it. I was not using a magnifier, just my eyes (with glassses on).

    For those of you who have been there, done that, is this "normal" that the dust is not "visible" to the naked eye? (I accept that all "naked eyes" are not the same - especially over the age of 30)

    I did a Dust Reference Shot, have any of you found that to work okay for general purposes? I used NC with the Dust-Reference image and it did "remove" all but one spot, wich I removed with PP on my JPG copy.

    I have been "putting off" getting any sensor cleaning apparatus....and if I can find a local shop that will clean the sensor for me, I'll go that route before doing it myself - maybe a quick shot of Gun-Scrubber will do it.... :lol:

    I just called a local shop - they will clean the sensor for $30.

  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Got to say I do see a few... :<((

    Haven't done mine either. I Remove the in PP.. D100 is now 1 1/2 years old.

    I also do not feel comfortable doing this.. Not with these hands.

    Maybe I can talk Harry B into doing it for me. :>)))
  3. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Thanks Gale, one "spot" is actually a bird - on the original NEF and the JPG at full size I can tell.... the others are certainly "dust" but I can't see it on the sensor.....oh well, I'll get it cleaned next week.

    Another item for the OFWC.
  4. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    It is normal not to be able to see the actual dust bunnies on a sensor. They are only a few microns across, so they're invisible. If you can see the bunny, then the spot on the picture is gonna be HUGE!

    Get a blower bulb - you'd be surprised how much of that junk 10 seconds of bulbing can get you.
  5. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Thanks Chris.
  6. joecolson


    Jan 28, 2005
    Cary, NC

    In most cases you won't be able to see the dust particles with the naked eye. In many cases you won't be able to see them on your photo. For them to be visible at all in your photo they need to appear in a part of the photo like the sky that should be free of freckles.

    I use this article as a reference on cleaning the sensor:

    Thom Hogan's article on cleaning a sensor: http://www.bythom.com/cleaning.htm

    Once you do this, it won't seem so daunting a task. I use a blower and a sensor brush, both of which Thom refers to.

  7. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Keeping the above in mind, the price of the cleaning materials, and in due consideration of Murphy's Laws, I'm going to bring my D70 to a local shop for cleaning. If, in the future, I find that I have to do this too often (more than 3x per year) I might start doing it myself. I can just picture myself sneezing into the cavity of my camera, or something worse..... :lol:


    Apr 30, 2005
  9. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    In the words of Ron Popeil, "And it really, really works!"

    One of the most used and valuable pieces of photo equipment I own. Ken, I think you owe it to your self to give this thing a try - hey, at the very least, you'll get a good way to dust your lenses without contact.

    At best, it could save you $20 on your first cleaning.
  10. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    RFC and Chris - That's a good idea....and I will find one of those after my first cleaning....

  11. BUT WAIT!..There's more!

    I've used the rocket blower successfully; however if the dust bunny is charged you may just wind up moving it (them) to a different spot on the sensor. Now what?

    Get a 3/4" wide synthetic bristle (soft) artitst's paintbrush ($10.00 - $15.00). Wash it thoroughly with a cleaner (to get store gunk off) and rince for a VERY long time. You can see if the brush is dry by wipng it across the surface of an old filter. There should be nothing visible left when you swipt it 20 times across the filter.

    Now either use the blower or a can of compressed air across the brush tip,
    remove the lens, hold the mirror up and swipe once, and once only, across the sensor. If you want to do it a second time blow the air/compressed air and repeat the process. I used this twice when the dust bunny did not want to move. It works very well. Or you can buy a special purpose photograph brush for about $150.00...same thing.

    But several of the circular spots look like dried water evaporation to me. Then you need the fluid and wiper.....then you take it in.

  12. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    I Disagree????

    Any time that I've had a dust bunny in any of my photos, I have ALWAYS been able to visually locate it on the sensor and my eyes suck up close.

    Never once have I had a spot that I wasn't able to see.
  13. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Re: I Disagree????

    Your eyes are pretty good then. I can't even read the LCD without glasses. According to this page, (and some quick calculations) the average eye can resolve things that are roughly 45 microns in diameter. That's about 8 or 9 D2x pixels across.

    When I was younger, I swear that I could 'zoom' my vision into see very tiny things, but alas, whith age, I'm getting more and more farsighted. I hate it.

    Oh well, I guess that's why I have a macro lens - to see what I'm missing. :shock:
  14. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    Hi Chris...

    All you have to do is hold the body so that the sensor is angled to the light and they stick out like a sore thumb....at least to my eyes?
  15. Our local Nikon service place charges something like$65 for basic sensor cleaning.

    My experience:

    Puffs of air remove 90%... the 10% + 10% + 10% of stubborn non-blowable stuff accumulate over time.

    I tried a dry brush...some unexpected contaminant made a major streaky mess.

    I got eclipse and pec pads...works great if you are brave.

    Sensor swabs are expensive but your confidence will go way up with the right tools that they are.

    If you are a klutz get professionals to do it.
    If you are the right kind of cautiously steady, brave soul self cleaning is very easy. Screw ups are costly. Read, think, prepare. Embrace Murphy!
  16. joecolson


    Jan 28, 2005
    Cary, NC
    One more contribution for those brave enough to do their own sensor cleaning. This website/gallery has one of the best illustrated step-by-step guides to sensor cleaning that I've seen. I bookmarked it and refer to it each time I clean my sensor:

    "Copper Hill method": http://www.pbase.com/copperhill/ccd_cleaning
  17. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    At that price I would clean it myself! :lol: A shop here will clean it for $30, and I can live with that up to 3x per year...... :?
  18. Yes, with a little caution and careful forethought is is incredibly easy, but the same could be said of defusing bombs or capturing rattlesnakes. :?
    Anyway, I got it done easily.

    I used a pap smear brush(once you finish med school they are readily available) modified with toenail clippers, Pec-pads and Eclipse(plain ol' methanol).

    Each swabbing takes 6-8 seconds. I set manual to 25 seconds. More than plenty.

    My stuff.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
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