Sun 07-Oct-12 06:12 AM | edited Sun 07-Oct-12 06:44 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.