Sensor cleaning.

Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
4,043
Location
Missouri
I need my sensor cleaned on my D700, and I want it CLEAN, not just a little clean, but REALLY CLEAN. In other words, I want it done right. I'm not opposed to shipping the camera across the country to get an excellent cleaning either, it's pretty important to me. Please share your experience with me.

- Andrew
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
684
Location
North of Seattle, South of Canada
As the old adage says, "If you want something done right, do it yourself". And that certainly applies to sensor cleaning. Although Nikon does a decent job much of the time they don't always do a good job. It depends on who is doing it and whether or not they're having a good day or whatnot. Besides, you probably don't want to have to send your camera in every time it needs a cleaning.

Invest in either the Copperhill or Sensor Sweep products, read the how-to guides and just do it. It's not difficult and you won't hurt the camera if you follow a few guidelines. It takes a few tries to perfect your technique, but once you become accustomed to doing it, it's a piece of cake and your sensor will stay clean. And therein lies the key: keeping it clean via frequent cleanings is much easier than getting it clean once it becomes too dirty. It's not unlike keeping a car clean and swirl free.

Use a Rocket blower between wet cleanings and, if you have time, during lens swaps for example. Keep the body down while changing lenses. Keep the rear of the lens clean. Use common sense and avoid changing lenses in a sand storm (ahem). Again, the cleaner you keep it, the less often you need to clean it. And when you do clean it, it's much easier.

As far as damaging the sensor? Believe me, I've tried (not on purpose). I once cleaned a sensor using chopsticks, some bathroom tissue and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. At least I think that's what the label said because my Mandarin Chinese is not that great. Smelled like alcohol though.

And the sand storm reference? Yup, been there as well. Removed lens, used Giotto Rocket and a puff of fine mideast desert sand erupted like an ash cloud. The sensor was fine after I cleaned it. Had I sent it to Nikon they would have likely kept it and asked what the &^%# I had done do to THEIR camera (even though I had bought it and owned it).

The point being, if I didn't hurt the sensor doing those things then chances are you won't by simply cleaning it using good products.

ps: As far as the rest of the camera is concerned, that's another matter. I have a pile of them that have seen their last light. :frown:
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
1,020
Location
North Texas
I'm using the Eclipse fluid and type 3 swabs; does a good job but sometimes takes up to 5 swabs to get it done.

+1 on rocket blower, everyone needs one

Peter
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
4,214
Location
Potomac Falls, VA
What Peter said ^^. The D700 shutter produces oil spots or the sensor picks up more dust than my D300 or both. I've had to have my D700 cleaned twice last year by local shop. The last time the owner showed me how to use eclipse. Wipe across in one motion and use plenty of the fluid to dampen the swab. Repeat....
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
2,362
Location
Southern Cal
I used the glass screen on my Iphone to practice. Regular cellphone screen will work as well. It will give you a good feel for the amount of passes you want to make and also help in determining how many drops of Eclipse to put on your swab. It dries really quick. These are things you cannot see due to the limited access to the camera sensor. It took all my fears away the first time.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
4,553
+1 for Copperhill.

I always need 4-5 pads to get 100% clean sensor, but it is well worth the time. For some reason the first couple swipings only make my sensor more messy and get me nervous, but in the end it has always been a success.

I don't see much difference between cameras, built-in dustbuster or not, they all get dust on the sensor.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
976
Location
chicago
If you're like me and your nerves can't take the stress of cleaning the sensor, some camera shops will do it.

I've had good luck with the Calumet Photo store here in OakBrook.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
1,629
Location
Long Island, NY
+1 for Copperhill

It took me a few tries the first time to get it really clean using their quickstrips. Since then it's been really easy to do.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
1,025
Location
North Carolina
good info here....thanks for everyone's input.

just ordered a copperhill kit myself. time to try it myself. i've been paying $45 a pop from a local repair shop, plus driving 40 miles round trip, and waiting for someone else.

even then, the sensor is always cleaner than when it went in, but never totally clean.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
1,747
Location
San Diego
I cleaned my d700 for the first time with the copper hill kit. It took 6 pec pads to get it perfectly clean at f/22 with 300% mag. I use the DX swab, the FX is to large to maneuver around.

I was a little worried, because on my old d300 and d90 it was 2 pad operation.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
4,043
Location
Missouri
What's the best way to check the sensor for cleanliness? I know the old f22 + blue sky, but I used a monitor approach last time. What do you guys do?
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
3,969
Location
Chicago
Copperhill method and eclipse. Watch the video on their site for complete instructions.

A small magnifier and light is a help. MicroTools .com sells an ok kit + light. All I use. Better lights are available for more $. You can see anything big enough to mark the image.
 
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