Question about sensor cleaning (Never mind....;-))

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Flew, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    I just talked to Ron and he told me what I was doing wrong. I was shooting at f2.8 when I should have been shooting at f22.

    The really good news is that I used my rocket blower to flush the sensor cavity, and all but one, very small spec went away.... :D

    I'm a happy guy. :)

    Frank

    ----------------------------------------------
    Original message:

    In quite a few of the shots that I've taken over the last couple of months, I have seen bad dust bunnies in the shots when pointed towards the sky (or any other brightly lit areas). I bought Eclipse and Pec pads, and Sensor Swabs, and even the expensive Sensor Brushes, but I haven't gotten the nerve to use any of them until tonight.

    So I said to myself, I should probably take a before and after, just so I can see whether I got everything or not. I set up my cam on the tripod, and put the 70-200VR on it, and aimed it towards a sheet of white paper, opened up the aperture, and slowed down the shutter, until I got the exposre right, and took a shot.

    I can't see any dust bunnies at all. Could it be that they just magically fell off? Or more likely, am I not doing this right? Just to make sure that it wasn't debris on the lens, I also put the 300 2.8 on, and took a couple of shots with it. Still no bunnies?!??

    Help!!

    Frank
     
  2. Nemesis

    Nemesis Guest

    Ouch! I takes lots of nerves and guts to do that kind of cleaning!!!!!!!

    I have couple of dusts on my sensor... which I'm affraid to clean myself! For now, I use PS to remove them when I can see them during processing. I guess that when I'll be very tired, I'll take it to Nikon service dpt to get the job done...

    How much did you spend for your complete cleaning kit?

    Tom
     
  3. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Tom,

    I'm a complete idiot when it comes to spending on the camera stuff. I bought some of everything, and spent about $150. So far, all I've used is the rocket blower (cost about $15).

    Heck, Nikon would clean it for less than I've spent. :oops:

    Frank
     
  4. dkapp

    dkapp

    122
    Mar 18, 2005
    San Francisco
    Sensor cleaning is a very scary the first time or two. I've cleaned my D70 sensor a few times w/ the fluid & pad method. It did a great job, but I'm always nervous that I'm using too much fluid.

    So far I've been able to keep the D2H clean w/ the rocket blower, but I will get the sensor brush before long. From what I understand, it does a great job.

    Dave
     
  5. The only thing that concerns me about the blower is the fact that if it's blown OFF the CCD, it's gone somewhere else and that's a mighty big area for a tiny spec of dust to get lost in. There are no guarantees that it makes it OUT of the cavity of the camera. This is why I was looking at the brushes, as they will have a charge (after compressed air shot) and the particles will stick to them. I'm new in the DSLR field and want to keep the CCD as clean as possible, hence my hesitation about just blowing it around (kinda like using a cloth dry vs using Pledge when dusting!). Do most of you who use blowers turn the body upside down when doing this so the particles can fall out?
     
  6. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Sandi,

    Most of the experts agree that just blowing the debris off of the sensor is no guarantee that the entire cavity is clean. I realize that as well, so I blew the thing out thoroughly (I did over 20 strong puffs). 8)

    I will continue to monitor the sensor for bunnies, and if they come back, I'll use my new Sensor Brush brushes (I got the one for the sensor and the one for the cavity).

    I'll update this thread after a few days to let everyone know what I find.

    Frank
     
  7. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    I prefer the Rocket blower too, it served me well until I did a foggy morning shoot at the beach with half a dozen lens changes or so. Then my sensor got what looked like measles. The sensor swab, methanol (eclipse) method worked great, took way less time and effort than I thought and was perfect the first time. ymmv.

    Before using the sensor brush technique, check out the thread on DPR. Here.

    Some guy followed the instructions explicitly, but the air can blew some gunk on his brush while charging it, and he then smeared it onto the sensor. A Swab/Eclipse cleaning fixed it, but yuck.
     
  8. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Chris,

    I for one don't trust the canned air. It is my understanding that you can use the rocket blower to 'charge' the bristles on the Sensor Brush brushes. If it comes to that, I'll definitely try the rocket blower first.... 8)

    Thanks,

    Frank
     
  9. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    The Rocket may not have enough velocity to charge the brush. Back in the day, we had brushes for negatives that had a strip of americium (the same radioactive element that provides the charge in smoke alarms) to charge the brush, which then attracted dust. A rapid flow of air can rip electrons from sharp points like the tips of fibers, so be sure and squeeze the bulb hard and fast.

    Huh. Never thought I'd type those last three words on this board. :oops:
     
  10. Check these guys out. http://www.visibledust.com/index.html It is also my understanding that you have to have the accessory power supply to keep the mirror in the up position long enough to do the cleaning. Somebody correct me (as usual) if I am wrong.

    Thanks,

    Steve Waterman
     
  11. I have used my Giotta's rocket blower (B&H about $14.00) several times on my D100 with no problems at all. It cleaned the dust bunnies right off. I now notice that I have a dust bunny on my D2H and plan to do the same thing. Do not use compressed air, just a hand blower. Works best in dry climates but it is worth a try in any climate.

    I put my camera on my tripod pointed down. Trip the shutter while on bulb and lock it open with my manual cable release (or my wife holding the shutter release down) and make a few quick blows with the rocket giving just a few seconds for the dust to settle out of the camera (dust is heavier than air and will settle downward away from the CCD). Try it you will like it.
     
  12. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Steve,

    You are correct, but you can do as Gordon describes if all you are going to do is use a bulb blower. For direct contact sensor cleaning though, I'd use the accessory power adapter as described in the manual.

    BTW, I bought a set of brushes from these guys. Since the rocket blower got my dust bunnies off, I haven't had to use them yet. Be OK with me if I never have to use them.... 8)

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  13. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    You can put the camera in manual mode with 'bulb' as the shutterspeed and lock the button down. But be sure it's locked securely and that the batteries won't die while you're cleaning or WHAM! the shutter will slam down on your brush or swab, potentially ruining the shutter.

    Of course if you're using the power adaptor and the power dies ... same thing.

    Do not believe anyone who says the 'charged' sensor will attract dust. It won't.
     
  14. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    If I need to clean in the daylight, I sit on a stool where the sun can
    shine on the sensor.
    If no sun or at nite I use a Black Diamond or Petzl head lamp.
    About $60.
    Also is handy when working under the sink, fixing your car at night, or looking for that nut in the bilge of your boat,
    One Christmas I gave a couple as presents.

    But sure is helpful in seeing the dust on the sensor when you need both hands.

    Some units also work under water.

    http://www.orssnowshoesdirect.com/petzl_myo_5_headlamps.htm

    Birger
     
  15. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  16. I've used the rocket blower successfully. I also bought a $10.00 synthetic brush 3/4" wide from an art supply store. You have to wash it thoroughly, of course since it come with some sort of stuff on it and it can pick up dirt in the store, then rinse it VERY thoroughly. Blow it dry then try it out on a lens filter. I had to dry for a vey long time with the blower can. Finally it was dry. You blow high velocity air from the can and it charges the brush. You can only do one swipe because if you try two you wind up depositing it somewhere else on the surface of the sansor assembly. Unfortunately I have a tiny whitish sopt which I assume is dried salt water or some other article. I'll need to get the ecclipse and some pads to clean that one spot. The brush is fine though. I keep it in a tooth brush tube.

    Any suggestions for the ecclipse and pads?

    Rich
     
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