I have owned my D100 for about a month now and from the look of the last batch of pictures it's time to cleran the CDD. I have been reading opinions on cleaning which all seem fairly clear and reletively simple . Many (including Nikon funilly enough) recommend buying the ac adaptor as the mirror lock function only works with the camera plugged in - it seems to me the obvious way of locking the mirror up is to use the bulb setting - any reason that this is a bad idea or not recommended?
I would be happy to hear any other hard earned advise anyone may have about cleaning the CCD.
Two reasons: you don't want to clean the CCD when it's charged and you don't want to risk losing power and having the mirror come down unexpectedly. I know it's exorbitant, but you have to have the AC-adapter.
On bulb, the CCD will still be charged as Nicholas says, menaing that static electricity will hold on to what you are trying to remove making it very difficult to clean on not just push around the dust. Also, having the body open at all while the camera is turned on will attract any near by dust to the CCD like a magnet making the problem worse not better.
And if you do accidentally let go of the shutter button you'll have just bought yourself a new set of shutter blades, a *very* expensive repair.
I don't want to give specifics because I don't want to be responsible. It is pretty easy to measure the output of this. Maybe you could get someone who knows about electronics to measure this for you and tell you what you need.
I teach physics at a college so it was pretty easy for me to measure; it took longer to get the equipment out then to make the measurement. Disclaimer redux: Make sure, if you do this, that you know the consequences if the person is wrong. Also know the person's abilities. It is not particularly hard, if you know what you are doing, and it cost me nothing. It turned out I had an exact match already.
I fully agree with your comments about the danger of allowing the shutter and mirror to close while cleaning the CCD. I would also worry about the possibility of shorting something out, especially if you're working in the camera with solvents.
But I don't believe that a powered-up CCD is a dust magnet. I suspect that this is an old tale that gets repeated because it sounds plausible, but which isn't actually true.
I could believe that a CCD would attract dust if it operated at thousands of volts, but since CCDs actually operate at no more than 15V, I find this implausible. Here are a few arguments to support my position, although they don't conclusively demonstrate that I am right:
Dust definitely sticks to your CRT screen, but that charges up to something on order of 10,000 volts.
Commercial electrostatic dust precipitators use both a corona discharge and high electric fields to catch the dust. Inside a camera, you'd better not have either a corona or kilovolt potentials.
If you walk around on a dry winter day with insulating shoes, your body can charge up to 30,000 volts or more.
Take a typical 9-volt battery. You don't see gobs of dust accumulating near the terminals. No more would you expect dust to be attracted to a powered-up CCD chip.
The anti-aliasing filter and the back surface of your lens are both insulators and hence can easily acquire static potentials of tens of thousands of volts in dry weather. Compared to these, 15 volts or so on the CCD wouldn't figure.
I work in the lab with CCD video cameras and we're always taking lenses off and swapping them while the camera is on without taking any fancy precautions. I have never had a problem with those CCDs attracting dust.
I may still be wrong in the way I am construing the problem, but I would like to know whether anyone has any references to serious treatments of the dust-magnet theory of a powered-up CCD.
Does someone have hard data or a physics analysis to apply to this?
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I am technically a BIG zero. But, I wonder, what difference does it make whether you turn the camera on and use the bulb method or plug the camera to the AC adaptor. Is, in both cases, the CCD not charged anyhow? Is the only diffence not only that, when using the adaptor, you don't risk that the mirror slaps down by accident?
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When set to the CCD Cleaning setting on the menus with the power adapter in use, the CCD is not staticly charged. Nikon specifically built it this way so I must assume in their opinion dust being attracted to the CCD *is* an issue.
Yea, I would have expected Nikon to include the AC adapter with the camera. Of course on earlier DSLR's they didn't even think you *needed* to clean the CCD. Real world experience proves otherwise though...
Ok, so there's a CCD cleaning mode in the camera than, did not know that! I'd surprise you all if I announced that I got the F5 instead, heheh, just kidding, I'm stile waiting for the tax returns to make my final discussion.
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I have used the bulb setting with no ill effects. I have only cleaned my camera twice since having been an owner for about 5 months, many, many lens changes and lots of dusty conditions.
I would be more concerned with the AC adapter pulling out of the camera while I am moving it around cleaning it. My method of holding the camera lens down while in the bulb setting and using my air blower works great. Its simple. I have yet to touch the filter/ccd with any object as others do to clean it.