Seeing sensor dust

Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
22,568
Location
Moscow, Idaho
I stumbled on a way to examine my Z 6 sensor for dust.
  1. Close down the lens (I was using a F 50 f/1.8) to it's smallest aperture.
  2. Aim it at a clean white surface in bright even light (I used the back of a 13x19 photo paper) and play with the exposure.
  3. Look through the viewfinder, magnify of you need to.
  4. Dust blobs, if any, will show.
  5. Clean the sensor using a rocket blaster or the built in sensor shaker) and check again.
  6. No need for downloading and playing with software.
I suspect this should work on a DSLR with LiveView.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,088
Location
SW Virginia
I stumbled on a way to examine my Z 6 sensor for dust.
  1. Close down the lens (I was using a F 50 f/1.8) to it's smallest aperture.
  2. Aim it at a clean white surface in bright even light (I used the back of a 13x19 photo paper) and play with the exposure.
  3. Look through the viewfinder, magnify of you need to.
  4. Dust blobs, if any, will show.
  5. Clean the sensor using a rocket blaster or the built in sensor shaker) and check again.
  6. No need for downloading and playing with software.
I suspect this should work on a DSLR with LiveView.
Easier than taking a picture of a clear blue sky at f/22. I'll try it tomorrow.

My understanding is that invasive sensor cleaning on the Z-cameras is best left to the pros at Nikon.
 
Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
9,336
Location
Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
Easier than taking a picture of a clear blue sky at f/22. I'll try it tomorrow.

My understanding is that invasive sensor cleaning on the Z-cameras is best left to the pros at Nikon.
opinions are varied of course. Some advocate that it's much easier sans mirror.
"Can I clean the sensor on my Z6/Z7?"
Yes. And Nikon did the right thing here: when the camera is off, the sensor VR is locked mechanically. Other IBIS type solutions I've seen to date don't lock the sensor position, which led Olympus to disclaim user sensor cleaning, while early Sony A7 models tended to have IBIS failures until Sony beefed up the mechanism.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
21,088
Location
SW Virginia
opinions are varied of course. Some advocate that it's much easier sans mirror.
"Can I clean the sensor on my Z6/Z7?"
Yes. And Nikon did the right thing here: when the camera is off, the sensor VR is locked mechanically. Other IBIS type solutions I've seen to date don't lock the sensor position, which led Olympus to disclaim user sensor cleaning, while early Sony A7 models tended to have IBIS failures until Sony beefed up the mechanism.
Bob, have you cleaned a Z-camera sensor?
 
Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
9,336
Location
Thunder Bay Ontario Canada
Bob, have you cleaned a Z-camera sensor?
I'm about to ..just waiting for a sensor magnifying loup to aid in visualizing dust on the sensor. I've cleaned other camera sensors using the wet method in the past in spite of the warnings in most if not all of my camera manuals.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
1,069
Location
St. Charles, IL
Real Name
Andy
The Z requires fairly frequent cleaning, especially if you change lenses much. Mirrorless means nothing stands in the way of dust falling on the sensor. But it also means it's easier to access the sensor to give it a good wet cleaning when needed.
 
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