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Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10552 posts

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"RE: Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance"

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 12-Dec-12 09:17 PM

Here's my take for some context on dust.

Dust is a common fact of life on digital SLR cameras. The only alternative is a point and shoot with a sealed body. If you look close enough, you'll find dust on every sensor. Mike Hagan's recent blog post showed dust on every camera he owns.

We spend a lot of time talking about cleaning the sensor, but in the mirror box you also have a moving mirror that fans air - and dust. You also have a relatively large mirror box with lots of nooks and crevices. The mirror box can't help but collect and hold dust - and almost nobody does anything beyond briefly using a blower on the mirror box.

The FX sensor has more than twice the surface area of a DX camera. With the high pixel count of the D600 and D800, you have twice the resolution as well - and generally we are looking at dust at 50-100% zoomed.

The D4, D3, D2 etc still have dust. But in general the pro market is used to cleaning dust on a sensor and the relative number of complaints is small. So you have a large group moving to high resolution FX sensors for the first time, and they are not tolerant of dust and are not practiced at cleaning it off the sensor.

A quick cleaning with a blower is enough to clean 80% of the dust or more. Sometimes a blower needs to be used more than once - 3-4 times is not unusual. But a blower alone is probably enough for most photographers - a brush or wet cleaning is only done occasionally when and if a blower is not enough.

There may be more dust on the D600 than earlier cameras, but there are a lot of sources of dust. Today with the high resolution FX cameras and a lot of photographers new to that realm, there is more attention to dust than any time since the D70.

Eric Bowles
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This is a hot, active topic! Zen and the Art of Digital Sensor Maintenance [View all] , mpage , Sat 08-Dec-12 11:28 PM
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