Sun 29-Jul-12 04:46 AM | edited Tue 31-Jul-12 03:07 AM by jagdpanther
I had some large 'spots' (one or two may have been oil?) that I couldn't blow off my sensor with a rocket-air. The large spots are gone but now I keep getting all of these little specks that just seem to move around every time I clean the sensor. I didn't have this issue with my D300. Attached are two pictues a few cleanings apart. (These pictures use tiny aperature size and post processed in CNX2 using auto-levels and quick-fixes levels & curves).
The cleaning was done using a sensor-wand, Pec-Pad and Eclipse.
Any ideas what all of these little spots are that keep moving around and changing in quantity? Suggestions on successful cleaning?
I usually use two (and no more than three) drops of Eclipse. Also up at f/8 I do NOT see all of the little specs. (I almost never shoot smaller than f/11. So perhaps this is not an issue but my sensor sure looks dirty to me.)
Sun 29-Jul-12 03:30 AM | edited Sun 29-Jul-12 03:40 AM by grizzly200
Richard, 2 questions--
1) Are you using the full-size pec pads for cleaning, or the small strips that fit the swab size more closely?
2) How much eclipse fluid are you using?
Once I tried to clean the sensor using the full-size pads, but in putting the pad into the camera, I ended up getting oil and fibers from the mirror box area on the sensor, and it made things worse. I found it was too hard to tell where the fluid was on the pad, and whether I was getting the fluid where it needed to go.
When I used the swab strips with two drops of Eclipse near the end of the strip on each side I was able to clean the sensor after three or four more attempts.
To me, your sensor looks like it may have too much fluid mixed with oil and gunk, which made kind of a paste.
If you haven't watched the tutorial on the Copper Hill site, you might try it, set up your sensor swabs with smaller strips as shown in the video, and make sure you use enough fluid, but not too much.
I think if you make a few passes at it, you will be able to get rid of your gunk. Good Luck.
>It does look like too much cleaning liqued. It also looks >like the swab was jumping very small distances, maybe from a >bit to much pressure. > >Just use three drops and then wait about 30 seconds before >proceeding.
I'll try with less pressure. Also I'll try the 30 seconds. After adding two or three drops of Eclipse, the sensor wand with pad was on the sensor within ten seconds.
I had a similar problem when I was using a 3 year old bottle of Eclipse2. It wasn't evaporating quickly enough and was leaving wet streaks. I speculated that because the Eclipse2 was not pure alcohol, that over time the alcohol had evaporated and left behind mostly water. I bought a new bottle of Eclipse and the problem went away. Dave Jolley
David Jolley Pickerington, Ohio Please visit my Website
>I had a similar problem when I was using a 3 year old bottle >of Eclipse2. It wasn't evaporating quickly enough and was >leaving wet streaks. I speculated that because the Eclipse2 >was not pure alcohol, that over time the alcohol had >evaporated and left behind mostly water. I bought a new bottle >of Eclipse and the problem went away. >Dave Jolley
I used Eclipse2 with my D300, but bought a new bottle of just Eclipse for the D800 from micro-tools. I have not tried Eclipse 2 with the D800.
I found the original to work better anyway. The original thought was that the contents of Eclipse were not acceptable to the newer sensors, and later decided they were fine (in case anyone is wondering).
1. A little too much pressure causing the wand with Pec-Pad to 'skip' causing the parallel lines of spots. (I increased pressure a little to remove the original, large spots, but didn't ease off.)
2. Too much Eclipse: I was only using two (sometimes three) drops, but was cleaning the sensor within ten seconds of putting the Eclipse on the wand. Thanks to the Clint S suggestion of waiting 30 seconds before cleaning.
Also the directions on the Copper Hill sight were useful. Thanks grizzly200
I found these three sets of sensor cleaning instructions useful:
By the way, a blank white computer monitor makes a good dust check target. Defocus a lens a couple inches from the surface and use settings that give a shutter of about a second and one or two stops over exposed. Move the camera in small circles during exposure.
The best dust check target is a cloudless blue sky, shot with the camera focused as close in as possible and at a small enough aperture to show up the dirt. F/16 usually is enough. If you can't find a cloudless sky, try the Copper Hill test screen at http://www.pbase.com/copperhill/image/95174363/original On the other hand, if you have a dual-monitor setup, a blank second screen is a good target. With a monitor as a target, use the setup Kent just described, though I question the value of moving the camera during exposure. Don't use Pec Pads. Their only advantage is that they're cheap, but it's too easy to contaminate them, or get a sharp dust particle on them when you're wrapping the Sensor Swipe. Use Sensor Swabs, which are expensive, but guaranteed to be clean. You also need a headlight when you clean your sensor, on your head and aimed at the sensor, so you can see what you're doing. The camera, of course, is on a tripod and tilted up toward you.
Here's my D800 sensor, from which I just cleaned three fairly large oil splats. It's not perfectly clean because it looks as if the shutter threw another very small splat in the upper left area when I shot the test frame. It's going to go on doing that for another thousand or more shots. But it's clean enough for government work.
I agree with you about using Sensor Swabs instead of rolling your own from Pec Pads. They avoid the hassle of hand assembly and possible contamination, and are sized correctly. A little pricey, but worth it for the convenience, IMO.
As for moving the camera in circles when using a computer display, yeah, probably not a big deal, but I figure it just helps make a uniform background. I like using the computer since it's always there when the spirit moves me to check for dust--a cloudless blue sky may not.
>Looks much better. Is that red diagonal in the northeast >corner actually on the wall or ceiling you were shooting? >Looks kind of like a ceiling leak I had one time.
I have no idea what that red/pink diagonal is. I just went and looked and it seems to be on all of my test shots. I don't think it is from my white test subject. (White paper, 3 inches in front of lens focused at infinity with smallest aperature. Exposures took between two and six seconds. I was moving the camera around during the exposure. ) I tried with both a Nikkor 28-300 and a 105 F/2.8 AI-S. Any idea on how to figure out what it is?
I wonder if some fluid somehow got between the filter (which we are actually cleaning when we say we are cleaning the sensor) and the sensor surface itself. There is a very small air space between the surfaces. It almost looks like there is a little crimp there too. You could probably get a better look with one of those sensor loupes.
>I wonder if some fluid somehow got between the filter (which >we are actually cleaning when we say we are cleaning the >sensor) and the sensor surface itself. There is a very small >air space between the surfaces. It almost looks like there is >a little crimp there too. You could probably get a better >look with one of those sensor loupes.
I'll try looking with a loupe.
I mounted the D800 on a tripod for the cleaning oriented the same way I would to shoot the horizon. (I didn't want dust to fall into the camera when cleaning.) Because the image that hits the sensor is inverted isn't that red diagonal that appears in the upper right corner actually on a bottom corner of the sensor? Then unless the gap acts as a wick, why would the Eclipse run up? However, I don't have a better explanation.
So what do you do, Richard, crouch beneath the camera when you do a wet cleaning? If you're worried about dust falling into the camera during a wet cleaning session, go into the bathroom about ten minutes before you're ready to clean the sensor, turn on the shower (you can use cold water), close the door, and let the shower run for a while. After a few minutes, turn off the water, set up your tripod with the camera at a fairly low level, so you can sit on the commode and tilt the camera up toward you. Put on your head light and turn it on, remove a Sensor Swab from its package, put not more than three drops of Eclipse on the end of the swab, let the swab sit for about 20 seconds so the Eclipse can expand over the end of the swab, and then do the cleaning -- left to right with the swab slanted to the right, then, without lifting the swab, right to left with the swab tilted toward the left.
You have to be careful not to use too much Eclipse. I have a pro friend who ruined a D-80 several years ago by letting Eclipse get between the AA filter and the sensor. There's no way to repair it when that happens. The whole sensor assembly has to be replaced.