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Subject: "Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)." Previous topic | Next topic
geoffmalter Registered since 25th Feb 2010Fri 03-Sep-10 08:47 AM
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"Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."


US
          

Anyone here DIY sensor cleaning? My D40's sensor has become a dust magnet. Recommended accessories to do the job would be greatly appreciated. Tired of correcting the multitude of dust particles through PP touch up, Thank you in advance.

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
blw Moderator
03rd Sep 2010
1
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
geoffmalter
04th Sep 2010
3
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
blw Moderator
05th Sep 2010
6
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
geoffmalter
04th Sep 2010
5
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
nhorvat2 Silver Member
03rd Sep 2010
2
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
geoffmalter
04th Sep 2010
4
     Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
mstenj Silver Member
05th Sep 2010
7
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
BeeKay60 Silver Member
05th Sep 2010
8
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
geoffmalter
05th Sep 2010
9
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
blw Moderator
05th Sep 2010
10
Reply message RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35...
juha_puuma
05th Sep 2010
11

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 03-Sep-10 01:34 PM
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#1. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

Most users DIY. The first line of defense is a thing called a rocket blower, which costs about $12 and takes a massive 30 seconds to use:

1) dismount lens
2) set manual exposure mode
3) set shutter speed to BULB
4) turn camera facing down, open shutter - hold button down to keep shutter open.
5) pump the air through the rocket blower, facing up and OUTSIDE the lens mount. Do this for 5-10 seconds
6) close shutter (release button)
7) remount lens
8) reset shutter speed
9) reset exposure mode
10) delete totally white frame

It takes longer to type this than to do it.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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geoffmalter Registered since 25th Feb 2010Sat 04-Sep-10 10:31 PM
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#3. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

Thanks, Brian for the step-by-step. I'd rather DIY for several reasons. A couple of questions if you please: 1) my camera store asked me if I leave my camera on when I change lenses, as this will cause the lens cavity to become a magnet for dust. True? And 2) what shutter speed is "BULB"?

Geoff

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 05-Sep-10 01:11 AM
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#6. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 3


Richmond, US
          

In general one is not supposed to leave it on while changing lenses, and this is good advice. (It's in your manual.) But if you think about it, the sensor is NOT active when you're changing lenses. And moreover it's also not even exposed: the shutter is covering it. The sensor isn't activated until the shutter flies, so even if it is a "dust magnet" when powered up, you really can't avoid that if you want to take a picture!

I suppose that in the limit there is a possibility that a powered-up but not active sensor might create enough attract dust even through the shutter curtains. But even if that turns out to be true, it's only going to be attracting dust into the mirror chamber, and it will take further action to get it onto the sensor.

In short, take the advice, but realistically, it's not going to make much difference. I know this because I often forget to turn off the camera while changing lenses - or in some cases, I've subsequently discovered that when I turned it "off" I had actually already turned off, and now I was turning it ON! This has proven to be problematic on my FX camera, but not really much a problem on DX. (Bear in mind that FX's sensors are literally two and a half times are large, so more than twice as likely to have a given amount of dust.)

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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geoffmalter Registered since 25th Feb 2010Sat 04-Sep-10 10:52 PM
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#5. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

Never mind question #2, Brian. I found the "bulb" speed.

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nhorvat2 Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Nov 2006Fri 03-Sep-10 03:51 PM
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#2. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 0


Highland, US
          

I see on your profile you're in California. If you're close to Santa Ana, the Calumet store in there has a "sensor cleaning day" tomorrow morning for just $20, and last time I did it it took approx. 40 minutes.

http://www.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Summary.aspx?e=4e37123a-8bfd-4438-91ab-150520a06929

________________
IOAN
"... stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God" - Elihu
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geoffmalter Registered since 25th Feb 2010Sat 04-Sep-10 10:36 PM
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#4. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 2


US
          

Thanks for your response, Ioan. $20 sounds very fair, but being in Ventura County, the gas and travel time to OC would cost me more than taking it into Samy's L.A. ($35) during a day of business there.

Geoff

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mstenj Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Dec 2007Sun 05-Sep-10 01:51 AM
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#7. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 4


Miramar, US
          

Geoff,

Brian's recommendation and directions are excellent and will take care of all but the most stubborn dust. One thing that I would add is to allow the camera to remain upside down with the shutter open for a couple of seconds after the last "rocket" air blast to allow any dust to "settle" out of the camera, aided by gravity. If you have one or two stubborn dust particles, Copperhill makes some very good products to handle the direct cleaning of the sensor(brush and/or cleaning fliud with wipes). Its very easy to do and one or two commercial cleanings easily covers the cost of assembling a kit.

Mark

  

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BeeKay60 Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Mar 2009Sun 05-Sep-10 03:04 PM
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#8. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 0


Roseville, US
          

I have been following this discussion and am wondering how often the sensor needs cleaning. Does it depend on how often, where you have taken the camera and if you are changing lenses in the field? I have the clean image sensor set to "Clean at Shutdown." I am not sure I am up to the task (DIY), but I am going on a trip to London and Paris in two weeks and wonder if I should have it done before that. My only concern is that they would screw something up in the process. Thanks.

Betsy
Nikon D7000, D60
Windows 7 Ultimate
Lightroom 5.3
Photoshop CC

  

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geoffmalter Registered since 25th Feb 2010Sun 05-Sep-10 06:52 PM
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#9. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 8


US
          

Thanks, Mark, for the heads-up suggestion.

Betsy, my D40 doesn't have an internal cleaning system. So I have to rely on manual or pro service.

As far as "how often", I can only say that my measure is when I can see what is obvious dust when I view my pics (usually really shows up with bright blue skies), which prompted my question. I'm just tired of removing the imperfections in PP.

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 05-Sep-10 07:46 PM
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#10. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 8


Richmond, US
          

How often the sensor needs to be cleaned depends utterly on a variety of extremely diverse things:

- whether or not your camera has a self-cleaning sensor
- how often you change lenses. note that even if you never change lenses, dust is still EVERYWHERE, so you're only changing the amount that gets spread around. lenses, shutters, viewfinders etc are not hermetically sealed, which is the only way you can really eliminate dust.
- the environments in which you change lenses; clearly a coal mine is more problematic than an Intel clean room.
- your luck. yep.
- how often you shoot with the aperture stopped down, especially well stopped down. at f/2, you really need to have a pretty big and ugly spot for it to be very visible. at f/32, you'll probably be surprised to find that there is dust all over the sensor.
- the ultimate use of the images. if you're going to send an email to your non-photographer family members, dust? what dust? If you're making a 30 x 45 print for a gallery, you probably should be pretty meticulous.
- your ability to correct the problem in post processing. especially if you are using Lightroom, it's harder to really get rid of the more annoying ones than it is in, for example, Photoshop.
- your sensitivity to the spots in the final image.

I clean the sensor before every shoot. I would definitely take the rocket blower with the camera on a trip to London and Paris.

You really should get comfortable doing it DIY, at least the rocket blower part. It takes essentially no time, and about the only way you can goof things up is to put the nozzle inside the lens mount AND then let go of the shutter release. Note that step 5 above explicitly says not to do that, and for precisely this reason. (I suppose that if you put something inside the rocket blower, that would do it too.)

Since getting the rocket blower, I've had to do a full wet cleaning three times in the past almost three years - using four bodies, and none of them have self-cleaning sensors. (I tend to use pretty obsolete gear.) It's much more complex than the rocket blower; I can see why some folks might not want to do that. But with the rocket blower, it's safe, easy and cheap.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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juha_puuma Registered since 26th Mar 2008Sun 05-Sep-10 11:35 PM
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#11. "RE: Sensor cleaning: DIY or professionally cleaned ($35)."
In response to Reply # 0


Horgen, CH
          

Thom Hogan has great article on sensor cleaning:

http://www.bythom.com/cleaning.htm

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