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Keep it clean!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pa, May 22, 2005.

  1. This post probably belongs in the Technical Discussion, but the moderator says keep it clean!

    There is quite a bit of discussion over at Digital Grin about sensor cleaning, but I haven't seen anything mentioned here. Since those are mostly Canon folks I though I'd like to see if anyone here has experience at this.

    Is there a consensus on the best method ? I haven't tried it yet, as I screwed on the kit lens when the camera arrived, and haven't taken it off yet.
  2. marc

    marc Guest

    i don't know what kind of a camera you have, or your experience.

    let me be honest, something missing on most of these forums.

    do not clean the sensor yourself! period, if you do not shoot in really dusty, dirt flying conditions, and change your lens all the time, the sensor will be fine.

    we have far to many "experts" on these forums, cleaning sensor is at best a process, that if you make amistake, you will be very upset.

    when you change lens, keep camera pointed down, and give it a slight shake, gentle. then put on new lens.

    i have been shooting digital for 5 years and take thousands of photos using, 3 cameras, in different conditions and have never encountered sensor dirt problem.

    if you do have a dirty sensor, take camera to your dealer or send it to authorized service center.

    that is best advice, i can give you.

    enjoy your camera
  3. It's just not that difficult

    Here's one source for a good method:

  4. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Whoa marc! One thing that is NOT missing on Nikon Cafe forums is honesty!

    Many people on this (and other) forums have cleaned their sensors with instructions either found on the internet or on the instruction sheets of sensor cleaning products. Many other people have sent their cameras to authorized repair facilities for cleaning. One's choice of cleaning method does not reflect on anyone's veracity.

    In fact I would be inclined to trust the opinion of people that I know from the Cafe above and beyond opinions I get from other information sources.
  5. tamachan

    tamachan Guest

    Nikon, Canon, it really doesn't make much difference in my mind. Sensor maintenance is sensor maintenance.

    Here are the steps to follow for sensor maintenance:

    1 - Get over the freak-out/growing pains period of your first DSLR. I think this is a common thing for many new to the threat of their first dust bunny. The first reaction is OMG!!!!!+<favorite forum rant>+<dramatic music>. Dust happens. It WILL happen. You just have to deal with it.

    2 - Once #1 is taken care of, go shoot. And change the friggin' lens. That's kind of one of the main features of a SLR... seems like a silly idea to keep only one lens on, when it's no real guarantee to keep the camera dust free.

    3 - Once #2 is taken care of, go shoot some more.

    4 - From here, camera maintenance is a peice of cake. Do as others have suggested and try some common sense.

    4a - Don't try to change a lense in a known dusty environment. If you're shooting your kids during a pillow fight, you better go in another room (or even outside) if you need to change the lens.

    4b - Point the camera down when you change lenses & move quickly. Turn your back to the wind if possible. If this is your first time to change a lense, you should try to visualize the steps of removing the lens, the lens cap, etc.

    4c - Go shoot.

    5 - In the event a dust bunny is located, follow the steps below, else goto :end.

    6 - Giottos Rocket Blower. Say hello to my little friend. I've had my D70 for almost a year and I've used it only 2 times, each successfully. Use it to blow dust off your camera body & lens before working on the inside. I use it on the sensor and the mirror (had a nasty looking one that was present in the viewfinder).

    7 - If #6 doesn't work, then you have three choices.

    7a - Send it in to Nikon. Probably the best & safest way, but you'll be out of action for some time. Conversely, you could try a camera shop as well, and save some time.
    7b - The Copperhill method. I've ordered a kit myself while in stage 1, but never used it. I figure if it gets that bad, I could try 7a first.
    7c - The Sensorbrush. I'm intrigued by this approach, but it seems expensive. I would be inclined to try this first before 7b, but having to charge the brush with canned air for 7-10 seconds seems a bit annoying.


    8 - Go shoot s'more.
  6. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Nice unstructured programming - spaggetti forever! :mrgreen:

    I have read reports (on Digital Photo Rev's forums) of people who have blown sticky stuff onto their sensor brushes during charging, then smeared the gunk onto their sensors with the brush, necessitating a wet swab.
  7. gho


    Feb 7, 2005
    I've now shot with 4 dSLRs, changed lenses at least 3x each use, and taken thousands of images over the past 3+ years.

    I've yet to clean a single sensor, period.

    I'll do it if I need to, but I haven't needed to yet.
  8. I believe that!

    Dude, in some of your pictures, it's like there's fish floating around in them! I'd get after that sensor with some Ajax and a Brillo pad right away. Then rinse thoroughly under the tap then allow to air dry on the clothesline.

    Glad to be of help.

  9. I'm on my 4th DSLR and I don't have the most fastidious habits when changing lenses, etc. Besides, during the spring and summer out here dust storms are not uncommon.

    Still, I've only had to clean one sensor manually (on the D1X). I used the SensorSwab - Pecpad - Eclipse method and it worked like a charm. Otherwise, I use a Giottos Rocket blower regularly.

    The cleaning process itself is not difficult, but strict attention to the rules should be a must. It's not that it's a tricky process, it's just that the penalty for getting sloppy is severe. The main thing is to buy an AC adapter so the sensor isn't charged while cleaning and so the shutter doesn't close while you're inside (due to battery failure or exhaustion).

    If that doesn't work, I'd go for the Brillo pad and Ajax. I find it works best if you tie the Brillo to the end of your electric drill.
  10. GeneR

    GeneR Guest

    Read this:


    Even those who admit spraying junk on their sensors have usually been able to scrub it off without damage. I cleaned mine a couple of times, and blown it off several times. Not a big deal once you get in there and overcome your fear.

    That said, if you never shoot at small apertures, you probably are not going to see the dust that is there.

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