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cleaning digital sensors

jgould2

Fort Pierce, US
4584 posts

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"RE: cleaning digital sensors"

jgould2 Gold 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 13th Oct 2007
Fri 10-Aug-12 09:25 PM

Hi Dennis.

Like many have stated, I clean my own sensors. There was certainly a learning curve involved but it was not too steep. The items I consider essential are the Arctic Butterfly, the Visible Dust 7x Sensor Loupe, and the Data Vac Computer Vacuum model MS-4c. Instead of using my Rocket Blower to blow the loose dust around inside the camera I use the vacuum to suck it out. It has a small brush on the end but I do not touch the sensor with that, just get it close.

If you get a pack of Sensor Swabs, you can reload them with Pec Pads. I am currently using the Eclipse E2 solution since that is what I have on hand. Most seem to be recommending the original version but I have had no problems. The precise number of drops and the waiting period are both regimes I follow.

Since I am getting ready for a week long trip to Bishop, CA area I was just locating my cleaning supplies to clean all my sensors when I spotted this post. My D2x took a little bit of work, several passes with the sensor swabs followed by several passes with the Arctic Butterfly. My D700 was perfect and my D3s had one speck which I picked up with the Arctic Butterfly in one pass. I have automatic sensor cleaning enabled at both startup and shutdown for all my cameras that have that capability.

I never worry about changing lenses when needed but try to avoid it when in dusty conditions. For a primarily landscape trip like this one, I usually have my 24-120 f/4 lens on the D3s and the Sigma 12-24 on the D700 with the 70-200 f/2.8 on my D2x or D300 (the D300 is currently out on loan). Those combinations give me 12mm to 300mm capability with no gaps. I will probably only change lenses to put on a macro lens if I find something interesting or my 200-400 if I find some birds or other wildlife.

It will be unlikely that I will need to clean a sensor while on this trip but I will be taking my sensor cleaning equipment along anyway (except for the little vacuum) because it is a very small amount of gear.

The sensor covering that we clean is a lot tougher than you would think. Once you get it really clean I think your experiences will be more like mine with minimal effort required.

JIM

This is a hot, active topic! cleaning digital sensors [View all] , Duke73 , Sat 21-Jul-12 04:24 AM
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