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The dreaded spots on the images.

le gamin

Parksville, British Columbia, CA
26 posts

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le gamin Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2012
Sat 06-Oct-12 07:36 AM

Hi All,

I do my best to change lenses as cleanly and as quickly as possible. But I think that I have some "dust?" on the sensor. I tried vibrating the senor as per the manual's instructions. Alas no luck. I have also read dire warnings about how trying to dust it could make matters worst. I live in the countryside, meaning that it could be weeks before I get my camera back if I send it out for cleaning.

Any suggestions how I might clean the sensor?

David

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aolander

Nevis, US
3985 posts

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#1. "RE: The dreaded spots on the images." | In response to Reply # 0

aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006
Sat 06-Oct-12 12:13 PM

"read dire warnings"

You do have to be careful, but it can be easily done yourself.

There are many tutorials and products to use. Here's one article with numerous suggestions:

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

Alan

four eighty sparky

US
1653 posts

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#2. "RE: The dreaded spots on the images." | In response to Reply # 0

four eighty sparky Registered since 08th Apr 2011
Sat 06-Oct-12 10:12 PM

Since the in-cam vibration didn't work, do a "Mirror-Up-For-Cleaning" and use a RocketBlower.

Hold the camera face down and blow air up into it. Repeat profusely.

If that doesn't do it, you're going to need to physically clean the sensor. There's millions of YouTube videos about it.

____________________________

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JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
7113 posts

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#3. "RE: The dreaded spots on the images." | In response to Reply # 0

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Sat 06-Oct-12 10:52 PM

Dust is a fact of life for DSLRs.

Since the in-camera vibration system did not help (no surprise), first try a blowing with a "rocket blower". If that does not do it, try a dry cleaning with a brush. If needed go to the wet cleaning.

Good products and tutorials here:
http://www.copperhillimages.com/

Using a tripod frees up a hand if needed.

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3577 posts

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#4. "RE: The dreaded spots on the images." | In response to Reply # 3

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Sun 07-Oct-12 04:12 AM | edited Sun 07-Oct-12 04:44 AM by km6xz

To add to the comments of others, think of cleaning as a part of normal camera maintenance, not a defect or "problem" that needs the camera to be sent off to be repaired. It IS normal and expected but we have become used to it not being needed very often so forget that the air we live in is a sea of fine particulate matter and on the microscopic level we can see the impact of dust, the camera sensor is the only thing we come across that is that sensitive to dirt on that tiny scale. But rest assured, even the dirtiest sensor is probably the cleanest surface in our entire lives. A macro photo of any surface you can find in your home, outdoors, in a surgical theater, extra, is order of magnitudes dirtier.
The Rocket Blower is a good tool but wet cleaning is needed in stubborn cases. The good thing about that is that it is easy and safe. The sensor assembly is tough, made of silicon that has a higher hardness factor than the enamel on your teeth. You do not even touch the sensor itself but the outermost layer which is the Anti-Alias low pass filter which is also made of silicon glass which is not as hard as the sensor wafer but still very resistant to scratches with a Knoop hardness index of 3400++, which is harder than stainless steel by 7 times! So if you do not clean with powered diamonds, you will not scratch the AA filter. It is a nice thing to do to stay active with the hobby on those cold winter days when tired of taking cat photos;>)
I do not clean mine as a routine but many people do, as general maintenance and for the fun of working with precision toys.
I mention all this because there are assumptions that cleaning it is going to threaten the sensor which is very very unlikely.

Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
835 posts

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#5. "RE: The dreaded spots on the images." | In response to Reply # 4

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Sun 07-Oct-12 01:39 PM

Hi Stan,
Well said! I agree 100% with your comments - IMHO, the widespread fear of cleaning the "sensor" of DSLRs is yet another example of hugely exaggerated propaganda from marketing people who want to sell a cleaning service...

I actively check my bodies for dust as part of my pre-outing preparations. My cleaning kit (containing a bunch of products from Visible Dust, and kept in its own case, along with spare batteries for the Arctic Butterfly brush and illuminated magnifier) frequently goes with me. My only gripe is that the cleaning "swabs" cost around a dollar each...

Will you have time to visit us in December?

All the best,

Pete

le gamin

Parksville, British Columbia, CA
26 posts

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#6. "RE: The dreaded spots on the images." | In response to Reply # 0

le gamin Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2012
Mon 08-Oct-12 12:30 AM

Thank you all for your advice, information, links to videos, and tricks, ie "mount the camera on the tripod to have hands free". I can now move on with a bit of confidence.
This is a great forum in which to learn.
David

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3577 posts

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#7. "RE: The dreaded spots on the images." | In response to Reply # 5

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Mon 08-Oct-12 06:08 AM

Hi Peter, I like your avatar image, but for those who don't know you in person they might assume you are slightly cartoonish instead of the handsome poised proper Englishman you are;>)
Last trip was so hectic and ended a week early that my time this next trip will be much more flexible so would not miss seeing you and Celia for anything.
PS, we tried your recipe you so kinding provided but it was not anywhere as delicious as how you made it. I think the chef's touch, as in all things from photography to Margaritas, makes a difference.

Eclipse Cleaning fluid is easy to make, the primary ingredient is dimethyl carbinol which for us laymen is isopropanol, IPA. Add a bit ethylene glycol butyl ether or as it is called more commonly, Butyl Ether. It costs about $ 3/gallon so there is a profit to be made selling it in 1 oz bottles to your camera club;>). You could leave out the Butyl Ether but both ingredients together are a little more effective. They both are effective as solvents for most organics but the Butyl Ether is also a good solvent for fat soluble substances that alcohol is not. Water is the best solvent but does not dry fast enough with no residue unless highly pure. A good method would be multistep, first distilled filtered water as solvent then, before the first it allowed to dry, isopropanol which is good as a solvent for things that water isn't and has the added bonus of absorbing water that might be left behind that can cause spots.
Most of the commercial glass cleaners are ammonia and isopropanol and if it has a slightly sweet smell, it also has some butyl ether added in. Any fast drying organic solvent will be safe for the sensor but commercial products usually add a lot of colorings and fragrance chemicals that are useless as solvents and might streak with residue.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
835 posts

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#8. "RE: The dreaded spots on the images." | In response to Reply # 7

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Mon 08-Oct-12 11:57 AM


Hi Stan,
I'm still laughing! I've been called a lot of things in my 72+ years, but "handsome" is 180 degrees out-of-phase with the vast majority! Heck, I wasn't even a handsome baby - and I've seen the pictures!!!

With my typical use of cleaning fluids at less than my use of medicinal eye drops, I think I'll stick to buying the 1oz pre-formulated packages. 10 gallon drums of the stuff wouldn't fit in my case too well - however inexpensive...

Take care at those night clubs in St Petersburg!

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Pete

G