In 10 months with my D1X, I have tried just about every type of vacuum and blower.
When these tiny specks of dust get stuck, the ONLY way I have been able to remove them is with Eclipse and swabs. If this fellow is getting them all, more power to him.
What happens is that, at first, you try something new, and really trust that dust in the chamber will lay exactly the way you find it around the average house. My humble understanding of the Charge Coupled Device is that, besides capturing an image in pixels, it acts just like the "ionizers" people buy to trap dust and particulates in a home (if I am wrong here, I will stand corrected). The longer they are allowed to remain on the CCD, the more stuck they become. I distinctly remember reading a post about this where the pro said that the Nikon D-series CCD was the world's BEST dust attractor.
Again, we all have to make our own decision about dust removal.
nicholas, so the bottom line...is clean the ccd often...right?..is that your point?...i heard lots of warning about using the swabs and soln...do you press kinda hard and go back and forth?...what is your method?
At the great risk of alienating all Nikonians, here I go again:
Often really depends on how much you shoot and in what environments. As addressed here before, zoom lenses seem to let in more dust (with their telescoping) as compared to a fixed lens. In this part of the USA where I live, you would not believe how dry and dusty it is from a lack of rain and snow the last 3 years. If I am shooting outdoors and doing several hundred shots a day, I think maybe every 3 days would be in order. In contrast, with studio and macro work, I would probably go once a week.
I'm not sure what warnings you have heard about methanol & swabs. Being very careful and only applying enough pressure to remove the stubborn dust should have little chance of harming the CCD filter. Now, if you are eating some cookies and getting crumbs in the chamber, that's a whole other story (joke). Seriously, a firm, steady pressure with a suitable swab, and incumbent common sense should do the job.
Mrdinh, my VOLUMINOUS account of my method is found below in the thread - "Cleaning the CCD".
If the air coming into the camera could be filtered (as suggested in the discussion you linked to) then that idea might just work; as it stands I have one specific concern:
Have you ever seen how the air intake to the engine of a large truck is designed? It draws the air down a pipe and then has it turn 180 degrees before going through the filter; any particles in the air can't get round the turn and carry straight on into a collector.
If you attempt to vacuum the surface of the CCD then the same principle will apply. Any larger dust particles in the air that comes into the camera won't make it round the 180 degree turn into the vacuum; they'll carry straight on and land on the CCD....
I've been using my D100 for a couple of weeks now and love the camera. Did some commercial stuff with it and thought I saw a little dust. I took a picture of a neutral background that there it was...although this particular dust was distinctly out of focus. OK...here's the stupid question...what does dust look like when it's on a ccd? I mean when I shoot 4x5 8x10, dust is sharp and defined. I figured it would be the same on a ccd. I took the lens of and cleaned the lens and lightly blew out the ccd, fleck is gone, but i still don't know if it was a shadow from dust in the lens or was it really dust on the ccd.