View Full Version : sensor cleaning
04-24-2008, 08:09 AM
Has anybody attempted to clean the sensor on their DSLR? My Canon 20D is in need of it and I am apprehensive on doing it myself after researching it on the net. I've already used a rocket blower but some spots are still there. I've also looked for a professional to do it, but there doesn't seem to be anybody in Jamaica that is qualified to clean it. Any ideas or thoughts? Thanks.
Very easy, just don't mess it up. You can't actually clean the sensor, but the filter in front of it. This filter is quite sturdy, but any damage or permanent stain will ruin your camera.
Two methods I have experience with:
1) Arctic Butterfly VisibleDust. It is an investment (not aware of the prices everywhere) but I paid €70 ($100?) for it last year, but the price has dropped since then. Basicly it's a brush on a little motor so you can static-charge the fibers. This will get almost anything from the sensor, except real sticky stains. I have one of these and it does the job very good and you can bring it everywhere. Easiest to use and hard to do wrong.
Spin it a few seconds, turn it off and gently brush your sensor (holding the camera upside down).
2) Wet & Dry method. Widely regarded as the way to go for the cleanest result. When the sensor is really dirty, you have no other option then to go down this route. I've done this before and it's quite easy. All stores sell this (brand varies) and following the instructions it's not difficult to do it right. But these swaps will cost you since they are expensive and cannot be re-used.
The basic idea is you swap the sensor with a wet swap to loosen the dust. After that you do the same with a clean dry swap to pick up and remove the dust. You need some precautions though. Must be appied in a 'dust free room' (bathroom not long after taking a shower is a good place). You could combine it with a shave...!
I prefer the first option because it's easier, faster, re-usable and can be applied anywhere. There are other methods, but I don't recommend them because I don't believe they work or I don't want it near my precious camera. That doesn't mean they don't work, just that I don't use them.
Testing for dust: Use Av to select the highest F-number and manual focus to focus at the nearest focusdistance and +1EV exposure compensation (not really needed). Point it at an evenly lit plain surface or clear sky and make a picture will moving the camera.
04-29-2008, 01:52 PM
you dont necessarly need the brush whirlygig, but proper brushes are essential, and the are expensive. I think I payed about 100 dollars for two small brushes. also you will need to figure out how to lock up the mirror in your camera. If the shutter comes down while you are cleaning it is very possible you will damage it. Personally if i did not use my cameras professionaly and needed them cleaned often I would just take the old nikon to the shop and have them do it.
Every digital SLR has a sensor clean function. When the batterys are fully charged there isn't any problem of your mirror coming down.
Cleaning in a store costs usually around $40. You can do alot of cleaning yourself for that money. It only takes a few minutes at most.
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