Since I found myself having to clone out more and more dust bunnies from my images lately, I figured I may as well "bite the bullet" and clean the CCD. Ordered a SensorBrush from www.visibledust.com last Wednesday (the 24th) and picked it up at the post office today.
I took a pic of the back wall of my office, flipped up the mirror, gave the CCD three passes with the brush (blowing it clean with canned air each time) and then took another pic of the wall - not a dust spot to be seen - too easy
Ok, I bought the Econo-Kit. Used it for the first time today and the results were "almost" good...
With the main brush, I was able to "push" the dust to the end of the CCD, but it didn't pick it up (not all of it at least) from there. Then I used the smaller brush and had more success, but there is still some leftover in the lower right hand corner (as you face the camera).
I bought the "good" can of air (the one with Tetraflouroethane - Fellowes canned air). Not sure how close to the plastic air tip the brush has to be in order to "charge" it, but the air was definitely hitting the brush as I was turning it around for about 7 seconds. Did about four passes, all in the same direction. The can got very cold to the touch to the point of condensation around the bottom half.
Repeated the process four times, each time leaving the CCD cleaner but not 100%. The dust is not "welded" as the position of the dust specks varied from picture to picture.
Also, found that the smaller brush had a loose bristle... plucked it out of there before it ended up inside the camera chamber somewhere or on top of the CCD. Attached is the final dust picture. Any tips please help me out!
Hmmm, dunno what to tell you. Just have another "go" at it I would say. I notice your specs are alot smaller than mine (as I said previously, I suspect mine are smoke particles) so maybe they are more "sticky". Perhaps try brushing in the opposite direction next time? (ie. right to left instead of left to right)
Here's the my latest try... The first one is just after letting the camera sit for a few days. There's obviously plenty of dust in the chamber area (and I don't change lenses very often nor would I consider my home a very dusty environment). The second shot is after a Sensor Brush pass. The only thing it did is move the dust around.
I'm using Fellowes Air Duster with Tetrafluoroethane (supposedly the "good" canned air). Followed the online videos. I know that most people are raving about this product, but after six tries and getting the results I got I can't but wonder what the heck is so wonderful about this product. I have never touched the brushes; they came loose inside a plastic container.
I'm very dissappointed and if I can get a refund, I will ship them back and get the wet pads with eclipse solution instead.
BTW, I have gone left to right, right to left, North to South, East to West, and just about any direction you can but the brush won't pick up the dust particles. IOW, it is not becoming charged enough.
I didn't, so I can't make a comparison. But VisibleDust also has a cleaning colution for more stubborn dirt...I think it's called Sensor Clean. I bought that as well (it comes with a large packet of swabs) but I've not had to use it.
Thanks for the tip! I've been lucky with dust so far, but I know sooner or later it will come down to cleaning it one recommended way or another.
So did you get just the Econo 1.6X Kit? Just one of the brushes? How about the Sensor or Chamber Clean products? It seems like brushing alone will remove dust...but not any film-like coating or streaking that might accumulate.
Just a note concerning the use of canned air. Be careful, the dust-off style air can leave condensation behind - some compressed gas also contain a propellant such as those small air cylinders used for air guns. There are specific types that are OK to use but not many so be wary.
Also i'm not convinced blowing air around the mirror box is a good idea, you may end up dislodging a load of other dirt/dust thats in and around the mount.
The brush and/or swab methods are generally excepted to be the best.
This is of course only my opinion so take it or leave it.
>Also i'm not convinced blowing air around the mirror box is >a good idea, you may end up dislodging a load of other >dirt/dust thats in and around the mount.
From what I've read you don't blow air anywhere near the mirror box. The compressed air is supposed to be blown on the brush itself before and possible after you use the brush. The only thing touching the sensor is that brush itself.
Anyone can read the review at Luminous Landscape. If anyone has ever been to the Luminious Landscape website they will know that it's a great photography site with a lot of helpful tuturials and photography related materials. If it were not for their review I probably wouldn't have even consider this product but I've been thinking about trying it out. Eclipse is good at not leaving noticable residue, but a non-liquid chemical alternative might be a worthwhile option to consider.
Mine came. One ironic thing is that the customs sticker they put on valued it at $20 (presumably canadian). Kind of odd given the price.
But it does work well. I didn't think I had much dust, but took a flat frame to check and poured on the contrast and did have a bit. Blow off the brush, swipe, repeated once, and no visible dust, and another flag field and all better.
I also looked closely at the sensor, and was horrified to see what looked like a scratch on it, wide and large. Took another shot -- no evidence in the frame, but still visible, so hoped it was some kind of gunk. Had not gotten eclipse or other real cleaner, but did have a bunch of Pec Pad's, so I improvised. I took the larger sensor brush and folded a pec pad across it, then wrapped so that it was the same shape but covered by the pad. I figured the pads are very clean themselves and no harm.
This gave me a nice edge that was very yielding (just bristles behind it), and scrubbed lightly where the looked-like-a-scratch was. It kind of smeared a bit, and flipping to the other side and scrubbed a bit more and disappeared.
Spotless, dustless sensor left behind. Brush did double duty, just the shape and size needed.
I find cleaning the image sensor of my digital cameras a rather straightforward task. I stay away from compressed air and use two drops of Eclipse on sensor swabs from http://www.photosol.com/swabproduct.htm. It works great for me. To test the results, I take an image at 70mm f22 of a bright background (such as sky). An equalize function, or something similar, can then easily show any tiny dust/dirt grain on the image sensor.
I usually clean the image sensor of my D70 every month or so.
And can someone explain to me this paradox? On the one hand I read that when charged the CCD is a "dust magnet", and should even remove the battery when changing lens. On the other hand, to clean the CCD you need to remove the len and be in "Mirror lockup mode", which means the camera is powered up and collecting dust from the environment??
P.S. I got the camera dirty from the shop, and got it cleaned by the service. From that point on I never took the kit len off, and would probably do that only when I am sure to be able to clean dust myself ...
The Visible Dust company seems to be catching up on delivering orders. I placed my order on Dec 28/04 and I received an e-mail from them on Dec 30/04, informing me the economy kit I ordered for my Nikon D70 was shipped that day! Two days from e-mailing them an order to shipment (to North Carolina). I hope I get the results most of you have experienced when cleaning your sensor with these brushes.
There's been a debate for a long time as to whether a charged CCD does attract dust or not. Some maintain that it does, while others point out that the charge isn't strong enough.
Anyway... Mirror lock-up (using the AC adapter) doesn't actually charge the CCD - it just locks up the mirror, so it's a moot point.
I actually use a cut-down laminated business card, super-glued to a lollypop stick, wrapped in LensCrafter's eyeglass-cleaning tissue, with lenscrafters cleaning fluid. I found this to work better than pec-pads. I've cleaned it numerous times and it works great.
It may work great for you, but this is definitely *not* recommended. Your eyeglass cleaning fluid in particular is nowhere near as pure as Eclipse and will (or can) leave a haze. Eyeglass tissue can also leave dust and is nowhere near as appropriate for the task at hand as Pec Pads are.
Here\'s really the most tried-and-true information on CCD cleaning. Nicholas has been at this longer than pretty much anyone else.
I'd agree, Bob, for the regular cheap eyeglass tissue (the see-through kind), but this stuff is quilted, lint free, and just as soft as pec-pads. The box also seals better than the plastic wrap the pec-pads come in (at least two years ago).
I've been using it for two years now, and it works great for me. I've never had a problem, but you should use what you're comfortable with. It's locally available for me, and does the job very well. Just because one guy used pec-pads and eclipse, and others picked up on it, doesn't mean it's the *only* option. That's not to cheapen the contributions of the first swabbing pioneers - I read all those references before I did it the first time, too, and they helped immensely. I just found locally available materials that work as well. As with any trial-and-error, though, you take your chances. In my case, it worked out.
>I'm not one to experiment with various fluids when an >extremely good one (Eclipse) has already been identified. >
Truth be told, Bob, I'm not much for experimenting, either. What prompted me finding local materials was (try and guess)... Despite dire warnings, I accidentally tilted a can of compressed air when blowing on the CCD. I'm sure you can imagine the result of that! It had two effects: I needed cleaning materials fast, and I lost my fear of CCD cleaning.
It's okay to use Pec-pads to clean the CCD? What looks like the manufacturers website of the Pec-pads states that it's not recommended for CCDs and looks like they want you to use their more expensive Sensor Swab...? http://www.photosol.com/pecpadproduct.htm
>Pecpads have been shown to work quite well though. See >this for >details.
Bob; I did see that link in your earlier post, that's how my question came about the Pec-pads. I'll eventually need a cleaning kit for my D70, just wanted to make sure I get the right materials for the job. Thanks.
Cut down a small rubber spatula. Wrap a Pec Pad around it and tape it on. Two drops of Eclipse fluid. Wipe once on each side of the Pec Pad. Repeat three times. Perfectly clean sensor everytime. I've been using this approach for two years on my old D100. I tried a bunch of stuff first and this approach is the fastest, cheapest and best. I'm sure others that have been doing this for years would agree.
I read in the forum here a year ago or so that a guy was using compressed air and the plastic tube blew off and hit and cracked his CCD cover. It cost like $900 to fix!