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Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance

mpage

San Jose, US
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mpage Registered since 29th Jun 2004
Sun 09-Dec-12 12:45 AM | edited Thu 18-Jul-13 12:00 AM by dm1dave

The purpose of this post is to put the DSLR sensor dust issue into perspective and give an overview of digital sensor cleaning tools, cleaning products, and cleaning techniques.

Problem: Dust or lubricant on DSLR camera sensors can create visible spots on photographs.

Cause: Dust can find its way onto a sensor from the outside the camera when changing lenses. Both dust and liquid contaminants can be introduced by poor cleaning techniques.

In some cases dust and liquid contaminants appear to come from within the camera. Some of the D600 cameras, and to a lesser extent the D800 cameras, have dust right out of the box.

Preventative Measures: The most effective way to deal with dust is to ensure it does not reach the sensor. When changing lenses position the camera with the camera chamber pointing down, allowing gravity to help keep dust out of the camera. In windy conditions cover the camera with a coat or sweater when changing lenses.

Clean the outer rim of the camera chamber, and the corresponding lens mounting rim, with a micro cleaning cloth. This will eliminate dust and lubricants that can get into the body of the camera.

Regularly use a rocket blower on the mirror and camera chamber. For dust to get to the sensor, it must first pass the mirror and camera chamber (even if it is coming from within the camera). Any dust particles that you remove from the camera chamber means less potential dust sources for the sensor.

Approach: Use the least invasive cleaning methods first. Only escalate to more invasive methods when necessary. In summary, begin with dry cleaning methods and then move to wet cleaning methods if the dry cleaning fails to solve the problem. Start with a bulb blower. If unsuccessful, move to a sensor brush. If that doesn't work use a sensor pen and a sensor stamp. If these dry methods fail move to a wet cleaning. See the detailed information below about the necessary tools and the proper procedures.

Checking for Dust: There are two methods for checking for dust. You can take a photograph of a clear blue sky or a smooth white wall using a 50mm lens or smaller at f16 or f22. It dust exists it will be seen in the image.

The second method is to use an LED lighted magnified loupe to see the dust. Visible Dust has a great LED lighted 7x loupe ($95).

http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=602

The advantage of the loupe is that you can see dust right on the sensor, and not indirectly from a photographic image. Also with the loupe you can see dust particles on the mirror and camera chamber, allowing you to remove it with a bulb blower before the dust finds its way onto the sensor. In addition, a loupe eliminates the need to shoot and reshoot test images during the cleaning, allowing for a faster and a more efficient cleaning process.

Perspective: Don't dwell too much on the dust problem. It is a fact of life with the new generation of DSLR cameras with their large megapixels images. Dust will rarely show up in your photographs, but when it does it only requires a sensor cleaning. Don't let microscopic particles of dust stop you from owning one of these fine cameras.

Lenrentals.com has a video demonstrating sensor cleaning techniques on YouTube. It will give you a good overview of the process:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRW9AmDPqr0

Note: DSLR camera sensors can be damaged. You need to invest in the proper tools, and spend the time learning the proper sensor cleaning techniques. Fortunately there are many video and Web resources that demonstrate the best methods for cleaning a sensor. We will outline these below.

You also need to consult your camera's manual for detailed information about raising the mirror and opening the shutter to access the sensor. Most DSLR cameras have manual sensor cleaning modes accessible from the menu system. This involves locking the mirror in the up position and keeping the shutter open, allowing access to the sensor.

Always begin with a fully charged battery to avoid unexpected mirror drops or shutter closings during cleaning due to a lack of power. Some cameras, like the Nikon D100, require the optional AC power cord to clean its sensor. Consult your manual for the proper procedure.

DRY CLEANING METHODS

Dry cleaning methods employ tools and methods that do not require using liquid cleaners. These techniques are less invasive then wet methods and should be use first.

Air Blowers

The safest, least invasive method is to blow dust away using air. Prices range from $10 to $130 for these blowers. All of these tools use the same technique, expose the sensor and use puffs of air to dislodge dust form the sensor. You can also remove dust from the mirror and camera chamber with a bulb blower. Point the camera opening down so that gravity can help pull out the dist particles.
On the low end of the price scale is the Giottos Rocket Air Blower ($10). It is a simple bulb blower that works great.

http://www.giottos.com/Rocket-air.htm

VisibleDust offers the Zeeion Blower ($48). The Zeeion Blower has a filtered air intake and produce an anti-static charge. This helps dislodge dust that clings due to a slight static charge.

http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=444

NRD's FireFly is at the top of the cost scale ($130). NRD describes the process as utilizing "a nine-volt battery to 'ionize' the air passing through the body of the Firefly, producing and delivering both positive (+) and negative (-) air ions to the outlet air stream. This assures that the static charges are neutralized, allowing the particulate matter to be blown off by the ionized air stream and flushed out of the camera body."

http://www.nrdfirefly.com/howitworks.aspx

NOTE: Never use canned air. These cans contain a lubricant propellant and might foul a sensor. Use only a bulb blower.

The following link goes to an YouTube video comparing the Zeeion Blower and the FireFly Blower.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHexaG--mkw

Sensor Brushes

If you cannot dialogue dust particles with air, you can use specially designed sensor cleaning brushes. Typically you use a bulb blower on the brush bristles to create a static charge. The simple brushes look like an artist's painting brush. The more complex brushes incorporate LED lights and methods to create a static charge on the bristles.

VisibleDust offers the Arctic Butterfly 724 ($126). The Arctic Butterfly 724 has two bright LED lights to help see the sensor. It also has a motor that spins the brush to create a strong static charge on the bristles before touching the sensor. Never use the motor to spin the brush on the sensor.

http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=3

Note: Be sure to clean the leading edge of the brush with the bulb blower with each pass over the sensor. Also avoid letting the brush touch the outer edge of the sensor. This area may have a light lubricant and you do not want to draw it onto the sensor. Never let the brush touch anything but the sensor, not even the mirror or camera chamber. If a brush is dropped or becomes soiled, VisibleDust sells a liquid brush cleaning solution.

Sensor Pens and Sensor Stamps

Sometimes a particle of dust can become stuck or "welded" to the sensor. The next dry step is to use a Sensor Pen or Sensor stamp.
Lenspen has the SensorKlear II ($20). The SensorKlear pen has an articulating head with a sensor cleaning pad.

http://www.lenspen.com/?resultType=category&params=17&tpid=0&tpid=323

Dust Aid offers the Dust-Aid Platinum stamp ($30) with 12 replacement pads ($10). The Dust Aid Platinum uses a specially designed pad that you lightly press onto the sensor, removing the dust. The concept is like flypaper for dust.

The following link to the Dust Aid Platinum product page also has very helpful instruction videos for using the stamp.

http://www.dust-aid.com/08DAplatinum.html

Note: LensRentals.com recommends that if you use the Sensor Pen you will need to use the Sensor Stamp to remove small particles left by the Pen. See the LensRentals.com video mentioned at the beginning of this post.

WET CLEANING METHODS

If dry cleaning methods are unsuccessful, or if you have oil on your sensor, you will need to employ wet cleaning techniques. Wet methods involve using swabs and cleaning solutions specifically designed for cleaning DSLR sensor. You put a small amount of the liquid on the edge of the swab and draw it across the sensor face. Swabs are used for one cleaning and the discarded.

Dust Aid has the Dust Wand Kit ($40). The kit includes Dust Wands for cleaning any sensor aspect ratio, 3 cloth clips, Ultra Clean liquid and 50 Dust-Cloths. It is designed to dislodge and/or remove welded-on dust and light oils. The following link also has an educational video on the Dust Wand use.

http://www.dust-aid.com/08dustwandkit.html

Photographic Solutions sells cleaning swabs and liquid solutions for DSLR cameras.

http://www.photosol.com

Cooper Hill Images has a large line of digital sensor cleaning products.

http://www.copperhillimages.com/

VisibleDust offers a wide array of senor cleaning swabs and liquid cleaning solutions. The swabs are designed for specific senor sizes, so you will need to be sure to order the correct size.

http://www.visibledust.com/products.php

You should employ due diligence by researching and understanding the various vendors and tools available to clean digital camera sensors. It is up to you to choose the right tools at the right cost for you needs. This primer should give you a head start.

In another post someone said that getting sensor cleaning tools is like building a lens kit. You build your cleaning kit over time, getting the tools you need for your particular situation. It is not necessary to go out and buy everything at once. Just get the things you need when you need them.

-Mark-

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KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
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#1. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Sun 09-Dec-12 12:28 AM

Fantastic post Mark, well done!

And yes pretty much describes the progression of sensor cleaning techniques and tools I have moved through.

Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
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DAJolley

US
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#2. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

DAJolley Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Dec 2007
Sun 09-Dec-12 01:23 AM

Pretty comprehensive but I think you should have also mentioned Copperhill Images http://www.copperhillimages.com/ as a good source of supplies at more affordable prices than Visible Dust.
Also, a good quality nylon artist brush can be purchased at any good art supply store for less than $10 that is more than sufficient for dry cleaning sensors much cheaper than products like the Arctic Butterfly.
I'm not critisizing the Visible Dust products, just pointing out that there are cheaper, alternative products available.
Dave Jolley

David Jolley
Pickerington, Ohio
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mpage

San Jose, US
351 posts

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#3. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 2

mpage Registered since 29th Jun 2004
Sun 09-Dec-12 02:32 AM

David,

I did not know about Copperhill. I will update the post.

-Mark-

My Nikonians Gallery

NatureDon

US
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#4. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

NatureDon Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Nov 2007
Sun 09-Dec-12 03:21 PM

Mark,

Great post. Thanks for compiling all this information in one place!

Don

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f11

Tulsa, US
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#5. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

f11 Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2006
Sun 09-Dec-12 03:45 PM

Mark,a well thought out and comprehensive post.
The use of a microfiber cloth on the lens mount surfaces is one that I recommend. I do that at the end of a shooting day for any lenses or bodies that I use that day. Better to nip the dust in the bud.

Jim

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DinoCardelli

Plantation, US
236 posts

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#6. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

DinoCardelli Registered since 19th Oct 2010
Mon 10-Dec-12 07:21 AM

Very nice information and good summary; however, I would caution many here that fiddling with cleaning sensors is not for the average photographer.

I spent some time with an authorized Nikon dealer in Atlanta and he went through the process of cleaning...

While it appears to be simple..if you screw it up....you screw it up big-time !!!!

My personal advice - take your camera to an authorized Nikon servcie center, pay the $40 or so, every couple of months and have it done professionally, if you have any doubts.

As my tech told me....the price of a damaged sensor, far outweighs the savings of a DIY for the inexperienced.

For lenses and general cleaning, blowing, etc....great info.....


dc

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FineArtSnaps

Leesburg, US
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#7. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 6

FineArtSnaps Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jun 2012
Mon 10-Dec-12 11:20 AM

Dino, That advice might make sense if you happen to live next door to an "authorized" Nikon service center. I live in Colorado Springs, the second largest city in Colorado. The nearest "authorized" Nikon service center is in Denver. So a sensor cleaning by an "authorized" service center would require not only the 40 or so bucks for the cleaning, but a roughly 150 mile round trip and the loss of the best part of a day.

But even if you live close to a service center, I question the validity of the advice. Of course any Nikon dealer would like to make a few more 40 buck pops from sensor cleanings, especially since he understands how simple the procedure is. Cleaning a sensor is a long way from rocket science, and any DSLR owner should know how to do it. In addition to Mark's quite comprehensive coverage of the subject here, there's a ton of information on sensor cleaning on the web. All you need to learn the essential information on the process is a computer, a browser, and Google. Once you've done it twice you'll stop sweating it.

Russ Lewis
www.russ-lewis.com
www.FineArtSnaps.com

TomHackettPhoto

Kingston, US
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#8. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 7

TomHackettPhoto Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Apr 2012
Mon 10-Dec-12 11:43 AM

Russ may be right that "any DSLR owner should know how to" clean a sensor, but bear in mind that the techs have had an awful lot of practice and a good set of tools (probably better than the average DSLR owner wants to invest in) as well as a controlled environment.

If you want to take on serious sensor cleaning, its probably best to practice on a camera body that's not essential to your work.

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FineArtSnaps

Leesburg, US
401 posts

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#9. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 8

FineArtSnaps Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jun 2012
Mon 10-Dec-12 12:20 PM

Tom, A "good set of tools" for wet sensor cleaning includes: (1) a box of Sensor Swabs of the right size, (2) a bottle of Eclipse, and (3) a head flashlight. You also need a tripod, which you already should have, and a bulb blower to make sure you've cleared away the hard stuff before you start swabbing, which you also already should have. It's nice to have a sensor loupe, but a loupe never will show you all the crud on your sensor, and it's a long way from essential. In other words, the essential equipment is minimal.

I've never been able to understand why people get so wrapped around the axle about the idea of cleaning a sensor. It's about as complicated as shining your shoes.

Russ Lewis
www.russ-lewis.com
www.FineArtSnaps.com

SheriB

Southern York Co, US
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#10. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 9

SheriB Gold Member Awarded for sharing her exceptional images and details of rural farm life. Nikonian since 11th Sep 2010
Mon 10-Dec-12 02:45 PM


>I've never been able to understand why people get so wrapped
>around the axle about the idea of cleaning a sensor. It's
>about as complicated as shining your shoes.
>
Because of seeing remarks like the one you replied to that scare people into not doing it.They may see hundreds of posts and online articles that tell them it is easy as shining your shoes, yet they see one that says one person feels..saw..heard..was told..that it is hard, even dangerous to the investment they made ( the camera) and they feel they shouldn't try it.
I had mine cleaned(I use that term loosely)at the local shop ( nikon dealer, not service center) because I thought I shouldn't be doing it. Two trips, no better ( maybe worse) and I bit the bullet, bought the swabs and cleaner. Was very happy with my results for a first timer.Yes I probably will get better with practice,and it was a hair unnerving at first.But it isn't brain surgery by a long shot...

Sheri Becker

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texspeel

Fairfax Station, US
391 posts

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#11. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

texspeel Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Nov 2011
Tue 11-Dec-12 09:10 PM

I recommend that the moderator pin this to the top of the page.

"Nothing can be recognized without light and shade. It is only through the eye, the window of the soul, that we can truly understand the complex workings of nature." - Leonardo da Vinci

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infamily

Petaluma, US
223 posts

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#12. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 11

infamily Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 10th Sep 2009
Wed 12-Dec-12 12:14 AM

I just cleaned my d800 sensor first with rocket blower, then with sensor swab and eclipse solution. Had to use 2 swabs. I now have a perfectly clean sensor.This was my first time ever cleaning the sensor, fairly simple process I would say. Plenty of videos and online help on how to clean.

Sandeep B
So much to learn, so little time.

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K64drb

Blacksburg, US
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#13. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Wed 12-Dec-12 01:54 AM | edited Thu 13-Dec-12 07:18 PM by K64drb

Great post Mark.

A couple of weeks ago, I bit the bullet and invested in the tools and supplies needed to do all levels of sensor cleaning. After reading various posts, as well as the advice of Thom Hogan, and Darrell Young's "confession" in his D800 book that he wet cleans his sensor, I decided all of the paranoia about wet cleaning was probably much ado about nothing. I had some serious dust showing up and it was time to get rid of it.

The blower didn't budge a thing and the brush created streaks. Whatever it was was stuck to the sensor. So I broke out the Sensor Swabs and Eclipse. First swab made it worse - which I already knew was very common, so I kept going. Four swabs later the sensor was spotless! And as Russ and others have stressed cleaning it was no big deal. You simply have to use the right products and follow directions exactly.

One thing I would like to point out was that I invested in the Visible Dust Quasar Sensor Loupe that you mentioned. It was expensive, but worth it's weight in gold. It lets you easily visualize the entire surface of the sensor and the smallest speck or smudge is clearly visible. It's far better than just a illumuniated magnifying glass, but hard to describe. Having such a perfect view of the sensor made the whole process so much easier, and there was no doubt whether any speck was still on the sensor when I finished. From what I have read, there are other loupes out there that provide a mediocre performance, but not this one. It delivers as promised.

http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=602

With this particular loupe it is very easy to inspect the sensor and keep it clean before anything shows up in my pictures. Some of the best money I've spent and highly recommend it to others. I trust what I can see with it completely, and don't bother with test pictures for dust. When I first used it, I discovered a lot more dust on the sensor with the Quasar Loupe than any previous test shot ever showed.

I don't want to be held hostage to having to pay Nikon, or anyone else, to do something that is really not difficult at all. There is a lot of sticky pollen where I live in Virginia, and I know wet cleaning my sensor is going to a routine part of owning my D800, but it is no big deal.

Get the right stuff and it is nothing to be afraid of.


Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

Robman3

West of Santa Monica, US
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#14. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 6

Robman3 Registered since 12th Apr 2010
Sun 23-Dec-12 03:03 AM

Did the whole episodic routine, seemed fine but one day eventually scratched the D3S with who knows what/how.

I drop the cameras off at Nikon now.

I know exactly what quadrant the two marred places occupy and go there first in post.

I'd do it in a pinch now, but post removal seems less of a chore for me personally.

RM

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K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#15. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Fri 04-Jan-13 07:01 PM

If you are still uneasy about performing a wet cleaning yourself, or want to dig into the technical aspects of this issue in more detail, you should read the Thom Hogan article I mentioned in my first post.

If you are not familiar with Thom, he is a highly respected professional and expert with Nikon equipment in particular. He first wrote the article in 2001, and did periodic updates through September 2011. He speaks to the evolution of some of the products on the market, and addresses Nikon's position about users cleaning their own sensors. According to Thom, Nikon actually sells a wet cleaning kit to the public which includes a video showing how to clean the sensor. But,,, the kit is only available in Japan, you can't get it in the US. Interesting...

Thom also mentions "two recently introduced "sensor microscopes"" on the market, one of which is from Visible Dust, but he wasn't that impressed with the performance. Since this article was first written in 2001, I believe he was referring to VD's first model, and not their new Quasar Loupe, which I have found to be outstanding.

Here's the link: http://bythom.com/cleaning.htm

You'll find it very informative.

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

slothead

Frederick, US
1906 posts

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#16. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

slothead Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 11th Aug 2009
Tue 29-Jan-13 08:36 AM

This a good collection all the right stuff for how to avoid and how to recover when you don't. I'm saving this in a hardcopy for future reference.

Thanks a lot Mark.

Tom
http://tjmanson.smugmug.com
D810, D750, N1-J5, N1-V3 (and a few other cameras) and a BIG handful of lenses.

slothead

Frederick, US
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#17. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 8

slothead Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 11th Aug 2009
Tue 29-Jan-13 08:40 AM

TomHackettPhoto wrote:
>Russ may be right that "any DSLR owner should know how
>to" clean a sensor, but bear in mind that the techs have
>had an awful lot of practice and a good set of tools (probably
>better than the average DSLR owner wants to invest in) as well
>as a controlled environment.

The most significant part of this post IMHO is the reference to the controlled environment. In my house, it is virtually impossible to find a dust-free room. I can usually find cleaner environments in the labs at some of my clients (and they have no problem with cleaning my cameras there).

Tom
http://tjmanson.smugmug.com
D810, D750, N1-J5, N1-V3 (and a few other cameras) and a BIG handful of lenses.

gorji

Jamesville, US
311 posts

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#18. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

gorji Registered since 07th Jan 2007
Sat 09-Feb-13 09:15 PM

Mark: Thank you for this post. I learned a lot from it.
Reza
-------------
Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography

Bk777

MY
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#19. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 18

Bk777 Registered since 10th Feb 2012
Fri 22-Feb-13 11:56 PM

Mark, thanks for sharing. So far, I am using dry cleaning methods to clean my D300/D800 Sensors. More practices are needed. First attemp is really difficult.

wfmcgrath3

Livingston, US
77 posts

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#20. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

wfmcgrath3 Registered since 25th Feb 2012
Tue 26-Feb-13 02:33 PM

Lots of good info!

My first digital SLR was the D70, and dirt on the sensor was a problem. I bought some Eclipse solution and cleaning paddles, and held my breath. Found it really wasn't difficult at all. Used the same supplies on my later D200.

When I got my D800, I had to get larger cleaning paddles for the FX sensor. I bought the items that Thom Hogan recommended. My kit now has paddles, two different liquid cleaners (one for oil and one for other contaminants), a brush and an anti-static bulb blower.

I had some stubborn gunk on my sensor after some shooting, and wet-cleaned it using the regular solvent. Since then, I've only needed to do periodic blow-outs using the bulb. The brush hasn't been needed yet. The bulb also does a fine job on the focus screen and mirror.

I know it's scary to be diddling with the most expensive part of the camera, but using the right tools in a relatively clean environment shouldn't result in any problems. Be careful, be gentle, and be patient.

Creating images the new-fashioned way!

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Phil5780

Portland, US
28 posts

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#21. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

Phil5780 Registered since 23rd Mar 2013
Wed 27-Mar-13 04:45 PM

Terrific and informative post. I now have a wet sensor cleaning kit and now feel very confident in my de-dusting skills.

Phil5780

Portland, US
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#22. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

Phil5780 Registered since 23rd Mar 2013
Wed 27-Mar-13 04:47 PM

Isn't it true that when 'cleaning a sensor' the sensor is actually never touched? Isn't the CMOS chip covered by a piece of optical glass?

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#23. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 22

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Wed 27-Mar-13 05:56 PM


Yes!

Pete

Phil5780

Portland, US
28 posts

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#24. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 23

Phil5780 Registered since 23rd Mar 2013
Wed 27-Mar-13 07:10 PM

Imagine a worse case scenario where I scratch that magic glass CMOS chip protector. How much would it cost to fix?

mpage

San Jose, US
351 posts

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#25. "Second D600 Cleaning" | In response to Reply # 0

mpage Registered since 29th Jun 2004
Sat 13-Apr-13 09:43 AM | edited Sat 13-Apr-13 11:15 PM by mpage

Here are the results of the second sensor cleaning on my D600 at 1700 images. The first was at 1000 images.

Here is the actual Blue Sky test image take at f/32 with the Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens.

Click on image to view larger version


Even this amount of dust was not showing up on my normal images.

I also did a test image using the procedure described on the Cleaning Digital Cameras Web Site:

http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/inspecting.html

I used a light brown background color. Notice this is just as good as the Blue Sky test images and a lot quicker to capture.

Click on image to view larger version


I used the FireFly blower, the VisibleDust Arctic Butterfly 724, and the Sensor Pen for one persistent spec of dust. I did not need the wet method.

The VisibleDust 7x LED loupe made things go faster. It took four tries to get the following result. After I get more experience cleaning sensors, I probably will only need one or two tries.

Click on image to view larger version

Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)
Attachment#3 (jpg file)

-Mark-

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Kenpowellphoto

Vancouver, US
2 posts

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#26. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 20

Kenpowellphoto Registered since 17th Apr 2013
Wed 01-May-13 11:18 PM

I am glad to hear that the Eclipse solution worked. Are there different Eclipse solutions out there and if so, which one would I use for the D800?

kstrongs

St. Thomas, CA
75 posts

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#27. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

kstrongs Registered since 04th Oct 2011
Wed 17-Jul-13 07:33 PM

>The purpose of this post is to put the DSLR sensor dust issue
>into perspective and give an overview of digital sensor
>cleaning tools, cleaning products, and cleaning techniques.
>
>Problem: Dust or lubricant on DSLR camera sensors can
>create visible spots on photographs.
>
>Cause: Dust can find its way onto a sensor from the
>outside the camera when changing lenses. Both dust and liquid
>contaminants can be introduced by poor cleaning techniques.
>
>In some cases dust and liquid contaminants appear to come from
>within the camera. Some of the D600 cameras, and to a lesser
>extent the D800 cameras, have dust right out of the box.
>
>Preventative Measures: The most effective way to deal
>with dust is to ensure it does not reach the sensor. When
>changing lenses position the camera with the camera chamber
>pointing down, allowing gravity to help keep dust out of the
>camera. In windy conditions cover the camera with a coat or
>sweater when changing lenses.
>
>Clean the outer rim of the camera chamber, and the
>corresponding lens mounting rim, with a micro cleaning cloth.
>This will eliminate dust and lubricants that can get into the
>body of the camera.
>
>Regularly use a rocket blower on the mirror and camera
>chamber. For dust to get to the sensor, it must first pass the
>mirror and camera chamber (even if it is coming from within
>the camera). Any dust particles that you remove from the
>camera chamber means less potential dust sources for the
>sensor.
>
>Approach: Use the least invasive cleaning methods
>first. Only escalate to more invasive methods when necessary.
> In summary, begin with dry cleaning methods and then move to
>wet cleaning methods if the dry cleaning fails to solve the
>problem. Start with a bulb blower. If unsuccessful, move to
>a sensor brush. If that doesn't work use a sensor pen and a
>sensor stamp. If these dry methods fail move to a wet
>cleaning. See the detailed information below about the
>necessary tools and the proper procedures.
>
>Checking for Dust: There are two methods for checking
>for dust. You can take a photograph of a clear blue sky or a
>smooth white wall using a 50mm lens or smaller at f16 or f22.
>It dust exists it will be seen in the image.
>
>The second method is to use an LED lighted magnified loupe to
>see the dust. Visible Dust has a great LED lighted 7x loupe
>($95).
>
>http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=602
>
>The advantage of the loupe is that you can see dust right on
>the sensor, and not indirectly from a photographic image.
>Also with the loupe you can see dust particles on the mirror
>and camera chamber, allowing you to remove it with a bulb
>blower before the dust finds its way onto the sensor. In
>addition, a loupe eliminates the need to shoot and reshoot
>test images during the cleaning, allowing for a faster and a
>more efficient cleaning process.
>
>Perspective: Don't dwell too much on the dust problem.
> It is a fact of life with the new generation of DSLR cameras
>with their large megapixels images. Dust will rarely show up
>in your photographs, but when it does it only requires a
>sensor cleaning. Don't let microscopic particles of dust stop
>you from owning one of these fine cameras.
>
>Lenrentals.com has a video demonstrating sensor cleaning
>techniques on YouTube. It will give you a good overview of
>the process:
>
>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRW9AmDPqr0
>
>Note: DSLR camera sensors can be damaged. You need to
>invest in the proper tools, and spend the time learning the
>proper sensor cleaning techniques. Fortunately there are many
>video and Web resources that demonstrate the best methods for
>cleaning a sensor. We will outline these below.
>
>You also need to consult your camera's manual for detailed
>information about raising the mirror and opening the shutter
>to access the sensor. Most DSLR cameras have manual sensor
>cleaning modes accessible from the menu system. This involves
>locking the mirror in the up position and keeping the shutter
>open, allowing access to the sensor.
>
>Always begin with a fully charged battery to avoid unexpected
>mirror drops or shutter closings during cleaning due to a lack
>of power. Some cameras, like the Nikon D100, require the
>optional AC power cord to clean its sensor. Consult your
>manual for the proper procedure.
>
>DRY CLEANING METHODS
>
>Dry cleaning methods employ tools and methods that do not
>require using liquid cleaners. These techniques are less
>invasive then wet methods and should be use first.
>
>Air Blowers
>
>The safest, least invasive method is to blow dust away using
>air. Prices range from $10 to $130 for these blowers. All of
>these tools use the same technique, expose the sensor and use
>puffs of air to dislodge dust form the sensor. You can also
>remove dust from the mirror and camera chamber with a bulb
>blower. Point the camera opening down so that gravity can
>help pull out the dist particles.
>On the low end of the price scale is the Giottos Rocket Air
>Blower ($10). It is a simple bulb blower that works great.
>
>http://www.giottos.com/Rocket-air.htm
>
>VisibleDust offers the Zeeion Blower ($48). The Zeeion Blower
>has a filtered air intake and produce an anti-static charge.
>This helps dislodge dust that clings due to a slight static
>charge.
>
>http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=444
>
>NRD's FireFly is at the top of the cost scale ($130). NRD
>describes the process as utilizing "a nine-volt battery
>to 'ionize' the air passing through the body of the Firefly,
>producing and delivering both positive (+) and negative (-)
>air ions to the outlet air stream. This assures that the
>static charges are neutralized, allowing the particulate
>matter to be blown off by the ionized air stream and flushed
>out of the camera body."
>
>http://www.nrdfirefly.com/howitworks.aspx
>
>NOTE: Never use canned air. These cans contain a
>lubricant propellant and might foul a sensor. Use only a bulb
>blower.
>
>The following link goes to an YouTube video comparing the
>Zeeion Blower and the FireFly Blower.
>
>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHexaG--mkw
>
>Sensor Brushes

>See next sentence, dialog dust? maybe dislodge?

>If you cannot dialogue dust particles with air, you can use



>specially designed sensor cleaning brushes. Typically you
>use a bulb blower on the brush bristles to create a static
>charge. The simple brushes look like an artist's painting
>brush. The more complex brushes incorporate LED lights and
>methods to create a static charge on the bristles.
>
>VisibleDust offers the Arctic Butterfly 724 ($126). The
>Arctic Butterfly 724 has two bright LED lights to help see the
>sensor. It also has a motor that spins the brush to create a
>strong static charge on the bristles before touching the
>sensor. Never use the motor to spin the brush on the sensor.
>
>http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=3
>
>Note: Be sure to clean the leading edge of the brush
>with the bulb blower with each pass over the sensor. Also
>avoid letting the brush touch the outer edge of the sensor.
>This area may have a light lubricant and you do not want to
>draw it onto the sensor. Never let the brush touch anything
>but the sensor, not even the mirror or camera chamber.

change IT a to If a

It a brush is dropped or becomes soiled, VisibleDust sells a liquid
>brush cleaning solution.
>
>Sensor Pens and Sensor Stamps
>
>Sometimes a particle of dust can become stuck or
>"welded" to the sensor. The next dry step is to use
>a Sensor Pen or Sensor stamp.
>Lenspen has the SensorKlear II ($20). The SensorKlear pen has
>an articulating head with a sensor cleaning pad.
>
>http://www.lenspen.com/?resultType=category&params=17&tpid=0&tpid=323
>
>Dust Aid offers the Dust-Aid Platinum stamp ($30) with 12
>replacement pads ($10).

The Dust Aid Platinum "sues"
should be "uses a"


specially designed pad the you lightly press onto the sensor, removing
>the dust. The concept is like flypaper for dust.
>
>The following link to the Dust Aid Platinum product page also
>has very helpful instruction videos for using the stamp.
>
>http://www.dust-aid.com/08DAplatinum.html
>
>Note: LensRentals.com recommends that if you use the
>Sensor Pen you will need to use the Sensor Stamp to remove
>small particles left by the Pen. See the LensRentals.com
>video mentioned at the beginning of this post.
>
>WET CLEANING METHODS
>
>If dry cleaning methods are unsuccessful, or if you have oil
>on your sensor, you will need to employ wet cleaning
>techniques. Wet methods involve using swabs and cleaning
>solutions specifically designed for cleaning DSLR sensor. You
>put a small amount of the liquid on the edge of the swab and
>draw it across the sensor face. Swabs are used for one
>cleaning and the discarded.
>
>Dust Aid has the Dust Wand Kit ($40). The kit includes Dust
>Wands for cleaning any sensor aspect ratio, 3 cloth clips,
>Ultra Clean liquid and 50 Dust-Cloths. It is designed to
>dislodge and/or remove welded-on dust and light oils. The
>following link also has an educational video on the Dust Wand
>use.
>
>http://www.dust-aid.com/08dustwandkit.html
>
>Photographic Solutions sells cleaning swabs and liquid
>solutions for DSLR cameras.
>
>http://www.photosol.com
>
>Cooper Hill Images has a large line of digital sensor cleaning
>products.
>
>http://www.copperhillimages.com/
>
>VisibleDust offers a wide array of senor cleaning swabs and
>liquid cleaning solutions. The swabs are designed for
>specific senor sizes, so you will need to be sure to order the
>correct size.
>
>http://www.visibledust.com/products.php
>
>You should employ due diligence by researching and
>understanding the various vendors and tools available to clean
>digital camera sensors. It is up to you to choose the right
>tools at the right cost for you needs. This primer should
>give you a head start.

>
>In another post someone said that getting sensor cleaning
>tools is like building a lens kit. You build your cleaning
>kit over time, getting the tools you need for your particular
>situation. It is not necessary to go out and buy everything
>at once. Just get the things you need when you need them.



This is a great article. Thanks for posting.

I read it awhile back and found some grammar and spelling errors and decided to wait and seeif someone pointed them out.
No disrespect meant here, just though you might want to correct the post.

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mpage

San Jose, US
351 posts

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#28. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 27

mpage Registered since 29th Jun 2004
Wed 17-Jul-13 09:49 PM

I corrected the grammar and spelling errors that I noticed, but there are only has a few days to do this before editing a post is no longer available.

-Mark-

My Nikonians Gallery

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13630 posts

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#29. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 28

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Wed 17-Jul-13 10:01 PM

I made the corrections that Ken pointed out.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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mpage

San Jose, US
351 posts

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#30. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 29

mpage Registered since 29th Jun 2004
Wed 17-Jul-13 10:24 PM | edited Wed 17-Jul-13 10:27 PM by mpage

Dave,

Thanks. Can you also cut and past the corrections into the version in the D600 Forum?

-Mark-

My Nikonians Gallery

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13630 posts

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#31. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 30

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Wed 17-Jul-13 10:46 PM

Done.

This is a great article – thanks for taking the time to write up this awesome resource.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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DinoCardelli

Plantation, US
236 posts

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#32. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 31

DinoCardelli Registered since 19th Oct 2010
Thu 18-Jul-13 05:36 AM

I continue to debate.....I guess with my local Nikon dealer so close...it's hard to justify and make the leap....

I guess, as mentioned previously, if I had to send in my Camera vs. wait and have a coffee at the Mc'd's next door, I'd probably make the move...

Good info on (1) controlled, dust free environmnet (2) get the top of the line tools.

Will definately continue to consider and follow....

thanks for the background material...as mentioned...this should be a pinned thread and I too will print out hardcopy...

dc

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
13630 posts

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#33. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 32

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Thu 18-Jul-13 01:54 PM

We have a link to this post in the pinned “resources” topic in each camera forum.

I will check with the bosses about getting this converted into an article (with full credit to the author) for the Nikonians resources pages.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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PhotoSpydie

Buckeye, US
226 posts

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#34. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

PhotoSpydie Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 17th Jul 2011
Thu 18-Jul-13 11:13 PM

Thank you so very much. I use Copper Hill, Your comments are perfect for the many beginning photographers that reach out to me because we 'photo-trip' together. Many of them are Canon users and have not found the support that I find in these forums. This is a great explanation . . . beginning with the low risk options to get it done with some real expertise. I hope to refer many of my friends to this 'tutorial'.

Carol
photospydie.com

PhotoSpydie

Buckeye, US
226 posts

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#35. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 6

PhotoSpydie Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 17th Jul 2011
Thu 18-Jul-13 11:19 PM

While I agree with you for the average photographer, I don't think that anyone should be made afraid of doing it themselves. I got tired of paying for lens cleaning pretty quickly. I live in Arizona . . . change the lens and get something. I tried under stuff, never, in the car . . .

I decided to learn how to do it like the pros . . . I do like Copper Hill. Never had a problem.

Carol
photospydie.com

PhotoSpydie

Buckeye, US
226 posts

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#36. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 10

PhotoSpydie Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 17th Jul 2011
Thu 18-Jul-13 11:23 PM

Amen!! I agree! I trembled so much the first time . . . But now, no big deal. My D800 appreciates the periodic 'bath'.

Carol
photospydie.com

mpage

San Jose, US
351 posts

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#37. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 33

mpage Registered since 29th Jun 2004
Thu 18-Jul-13 11:37 PM | edited Thu 18-Jul-13 11:38 PM by mpage

Dave,

If you convert this to an article would you also include the cleaning example with the dust test images in the article. It is documented lower in the thread.

-Mark-

My Nikonians Gallery

noneco

Vancouver, CA
308 posts

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#38. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 37

noneco Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th May 2009
Sat 20-Jul-13 05:43 PM

I agree - very good article!

A few years ago, having just bought my first digital camera, I took a D300 workshop with Mike Hagan. A part of it was how to clean the sensor and he demonstrated using Copper Hill products. I bought a kit and have used their swabs etc. on my D300, my wife’s D90, and on my D800 as needed. This thread reminded me that cleaning a full sixed sensor would be easier with the larger (18mm) Sensor Swabs QuikStrips. Copper Hill now offers a more convenient ready-to-use SensorSwipe; one time use swap on a stick. I like this for travel.

As for how to do it, I searched to find the Copper Hill site and found:

http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/2012/06/11/sensor-cleaning-with-copperhill/

. . . you just have to wait 12 seconds to get past the “Hotles.com” ad.

or

http://www.copperhillimages.com/index.php?pr=tutorials

. . . which also has a link to Moose Peterson’s demo.

Cal

Visit http://www.365.acdsee.com/user/Cal/

K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#39. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 15

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Sat 20-Jul-13 06:24 PM

To update my previous post, Thom Hogan just launched a major revision of his bythom.com website, complete with a new name. Check it out - http://www.dslrbodies.com

He has done a major revision to his article on sensor cleaning, primarily to bring it up to date. But the basic message is unchanged - learn how to safely clean your sensor yourself, which includes wet cleaning when needed. He provides his own instructions, and other valuable info as well. Even if you have already read his original article, I recommend reading the update - there's enough new stuff in it to be worth your time.

His comments about sensor microscopes were not changed, other than being split into two paragraphs - the language is identical to the previous version. So, while the updated article still does not seem place much value on them, it does not appear to me that he has tried VD's Quasar Loupe. I still stand by my original unqualified recommendation of it.

Here's a direct link to the article:
http://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/camera-articles/sensors/cleaning-your-sensor.html

Note that the original link to the bythom.com address still works, but it takes you to the older version of his article. You must go through the new website to get to get to the newest version.

Finally, Thom's new site is a HUGE improvement over his old site. The quality and value of Thom's writing are as rock solid as ever, but the features and functionality of the site itself, are in a different universe from his old site - a tremendous improvement. If you have never read any of Thom's work before, I highly recommend you check out his new site.

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

bkinthebay

bkinthebay, BE
409 posts

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#40. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 0

bkinthebay Registered since 27th Feb 2010
Tue 22-Apr-14 03:23 PM

Hi all,

I have some eclipse and vdust solutions that have been last used a little more than a year ago (they were bought and first opened back then).

Any concern that they get bad over time and that I should buy new bottles?

Thanks,
Bernard.

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#41. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 40

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Wed 23-Apr-14 07:59 AM

Bernard - I have not heard about published shelf life for cleaning materials, but I would think a year or two is fine. I would probably replace the product in the 2-3 year period to be on the safe side.

I'm sure you could send an email to the manufacturer of the solution for clarification. My guess is they will err on the side of suggesting you replace it annually.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5701 posts

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#42. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 40

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Wed 23-Apr-14 12:59 PM

>I have some eclipse and vdust solutions that have been last
>used a little more than a year ago (they were bought and first
>opened back then).

Eclipse is pure methanol.

It evaporates quickly. It can absorb water from the atmosphere, but generally in small quantities it will evaporate before it can do that.

So "spoiled" eclipse is generally gone, or if somehow you stored it where it could absorb water, it's just going to evaporate a bit more slowly from your sensor.

Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://www.captivephotons.com

bkinthebay

bkinthebay, BE
409 posts

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#43. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 42

bkinthebay Registered since 27th Feb 2010
Sat 26-Apr-14 03:58 PM

Dear Eric and Linwood,

Thanks for your providing your input. I have now reused both products and did not notice anything different than a year ago when I first used them.

I still have a problem to avoid 'drying' marks with either one. I'll post some sample pics soon to try to identify what I am doing wrong...

Cheers,
Bernard.

CharlesA

US
4 posts

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#44. "Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 43

CharlesA Registered since 27th Apr 2014
Sun 27-Apr-14 09:46 AM | edited Sun 27-Apr-14 09:51 AM by CharlesA

Hi,

I am another very satisfied copperhill customer. In my experience using Eclipse, after you apply it to the swab, you MUST wait between 15 and 20 seconds before swabbing, otherwise you may get streaks. And keeping the cap on tight should insure it will not evaporate or allow moisture to get in.

I had previously tried many other sensor cleaning products including the artic butterfly and dust-aid. The brush kept flying out of the handle spinner thing so I returned it. And Dust-Aid actually made my sensor worse. But I can highly recommend this kit:

http://www.copperhillimages.com/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=9

It's got everything you need for your sensor plus several other gear cleaning items. The OP has links to videos, but I'll repost this one which is how I found the copperhill website:

http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/2012/06/11/sensor-cleaning-with-copperhill/

I am a big fan of Moose and I'm glad I followed his lead in this area. A few months ago he started using an adhesive gel stick but in his latest blog post he says it stopped working, didn't last as long as he thought it should, especially for the price, so he went back to the copperhill tools.

I am a new member here and have been absorbing the great information presented for quite a while. It is definitely one of the most civil forums on the internet.

Cheers,
Charles A.

Wingnuts

Birchington, UK
415 posts

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#45. "RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance" | In response to Reply # 7

Wingnuts Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Apr 2014
Sun 27-Apr-14 10:37 AM

>Dino, That advice might make sense if you happen to live next
>door to an "authorized" Nikon service center. I live
>in Colorado Springs, the second largest city in Colorado. The
>nearest "authorized" Nikon service center is in
>Denver. So a sensor cleaning by an "authorized"
>service center would require not only the 40 or so bucks for
>the cleaning, but a roughly 150 mile round trip and the loss
>of the best part of a day.
>
>But even if you live close to a service center, I question the
>validity of the advice. Of course any Nikon dealer would like
>to make a few more 40 buck pops from sensor cleanings,
>especially since he understands how simple the procedure is.
>Cleaning a sensor is a long way from rocket science, and any
>DSLR owner should know how to do it. In addition to Mark's
>quite comprehensive coverage of the subject here, there's a
>ton of information on sensor cleaning on the web. All you need
>to learn the essential information on the process is a
>computer, a browser, and Google. Once you've done it twice
>you'll stop sweating it.
>
>Have to agree with Russ, I would have to post my camera 1500 miles to a proper Nikon agent never mind just popping it in next door for $40.
Took my D700 on holiday to London and had it cleaned at a cost of about £60 GBP plus another £100 for the specific journey into London.
This really should not be so on something costing so much to buy in the first place. My D700 had oily stuff from new and needed cleaning about every two weeks, my D800 is much better and only picks up genuine dust.

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Giltic

SI
274 posts

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#46. "RE: Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 44

Giltic Registered since 11th Nov 2013
Mon 28-Apr-14 05:10 AM

I feel I need to add something to this »DIY sensor cleaning« debate.
Our nearest Nikon service center is about 50 miles away from where I live. If I take my D7100 to them to clean the sensor I need to pay about 55$ for the cleaning job and all the other costs related to 100 miles trip.
If I do this once per month this would cost me 55$x12=660$ in one year (without costs for 100 miles trip for each cleaning).
But there is one more important factor. Each time I sit in my car and drive 100 miles (to service and back) I also risk a potential car wreck or even something worse.
I think it's not worth to pay all that money and risk my car or my health just because of some lousy piece of glass in front of my D7100 sensor.
That's why I clean the sensor myself. I clean it at least once per month with a blower and a gel stick. Now I have ordered Pec-Pads and Eclipse in case a wet cleaning will be needed in the future.
The glass in front of the sensor has the same »scratch resistance« as the glass on lenses. If I can clean my lenses I surely can also clean my sensor.

CharlesA

US
4 posts

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#47. "RE: Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 46

CharlesA Registered since 27th Apr 2014
Mon 28-Apr-14 08:31 AM

Giltic,

Excellent points, and that AA-filter is a lot harder than most people think. As long as you're very careful, you shouldn't have a problem.

I was going to get the gel stick too until I read this:

http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/2014/04/25/sensor-gel-after-months-of-use/

The kit I bought from copperhill has 2 dry cleaning tools, a brush and a pen, so I'm covered.

Regards,
Charles

Giltic

SI
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#48. "RE: Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 47

Giltic Registered since 11th Nov 2013
Mon 28-Apr-14 07:34 PM

Hmmm, check this thread:
https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=430&topic_id=30742&mesg_id=30742&page=2
Some of the members of this forum are quite happy with the gel stick. It's hard to say what Moose was doing with his gel stick. Could be that he just abused the thing, as he wrote.
Because it's so simple to clean the sensor with the gel stick I think it's worth the cost. I just love this thing. I have also ordered Pec-Pads and Eclipe if my sensor would need a wet cleaning in the future.
I also have two Sensorklear II pens and a sensor brush but they are not so simple to use as a sensor gel stick. The Sensorklear pens are also not ment to be forever.

CharlesA,
You need to try it. It's so easy to use and it works good and it costs less then one sensor cleaning at the service.

CharlesA

US
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#49. "RE: Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 48

CharlesA Registered since 27th Apr 2014
Mon 28-Apr-14 08:28 PM

Thanks for the link, Giltic. I see copperhill is selling the gel stick now, I might give it a try:

http://www.copperhillimages.com/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=147

The fellow there said once you order a kit, any future order will get free shipping, so I'll save some money buying it from them.

Charles

Giltic

SI
274 posts

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#50. "RE: Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 49

Giltic Registered since 11th Nov 2013
Tue 29-Apr-14 04:16 AM

Hi Charles;
I must say at first I was somehow afraid to use this gel thing on my camera sensor. I was afraid it would leave some streaks or something even worse. Then (with some help from the members of this forum ) I just did it.
First I tried it on a clean mirror to see if it leaves treaks. Then I also tried it on my phone screen and when I saw it's safe to use I did a sensor cleaning.

CharlesA

US
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#51. "RE: Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 50

CharlesA Registered since 27th Apr 2014
Fri 02-May-14 12:06 PM

Giltic,

Okay, I got the gel stick yesterday with free shipping from copperhill and had at it.

I started with about 9 or 10 specks of dust on my D800 sensor. The first application removed 4, did it again and got down to 3. I used it 2 more times but the 3 spots wouldn't budge. I had to go in with my copperhill stuff to get the final three.

Do you think the 3 spots may have been lubricant, being so hard to remove with the gel? Or maybe they were those cemented on buggers that Thom Hogan talks about?
Boy, that gel really tugs on the sensor, it won't pull off the sensor's coating after repeated cleanings, will it? Hope not.

All in all, a very easy to use product, but I don't think I'll be retiring my wet stuff yet. I am concerned about the strength of the adhesiveness and its effect on the coating, not after a couple of uses, but let's say after several months of use. I guess time will tell.

Charles

Giltic

SI
274 posts

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#52. "RE: Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 51

Giltic Registered since 11th Nov 2013
Sat 03-May-14 09:24 PM

Hi Charles
I have joined the club a few days ago as I've got two spots on the sensor I can't remove with the gel stick. I guess I will have to use a few drops of Eclipse to remove them. It could be lubricant or just a stubborn piece of dust.
I wouldn't worry about those 3 spots you have on your sensor because I'm sure a wet cleaning will remove them without a problem.

I think the gel is not so strong to damage the coating on the sensor. The Pentax gel stick is around for a long time and I haven't read yet about some sensor damage.
The gel stick is by far the simplest metod to remove the "ordinary" dust from the sensor but I guess we'll still need some wet cleaning 2 or 3 times per year.

sarayfoto

Heidelberg, DE
44 posts

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#53. "RE: Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 52

sarayfoto Registered since 19th Nov 2014
Mon 24-Nov-14 04:56 PM

great article

I used to clean my sensors at least once a year with almost all dslr's Ive had both dry and wet method, and never had problems with it.

Before I did it 1st time, I use to read a lot of both, pluses & minuses and risk involved.
Pull the trigger and did it, then did quiet a few times after that, for myself and few friends with their dslr's, both nikon & canon.

Giltic

SI
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#54. "RE: Another vote for copperhill" | In response to Reply # 53

Giltic Registered since 11th Nov 2013
Tue 25-Nov-14 06:27 AM

If you haven't clean your camera sensor yet and you are afraid to damage the sensor there is a simple thing you can do to practice the cleaning. Take a DVD disc and try to clean it. The surface of the DVD disc is much more sensitive as the glass in front of the sensor.
If you manage to clean the surface of the disc without scratching, you sure are more then capable to do the sensor cleaning.

fotofinish

AU
68 posts

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#55. "Has anyone used the LensPen SensorLoupe?" | In response to Reply # 0

fotofinish Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Aug 2014
Tue 25-Nov-14 08:34 PM


http://www.lenspen.com/?cPath=_1&products_id=NSKLK-1&tpid=323

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G