Saw this product review today and was wondering if anyone has tried it. If it doesn't leave any residue on the sensor - and folks say it doesn't - this might be worth a look. The article says Nikon and Canon use the product internally.
Just got my sensor gel stick from photographylife.com & used it for my D800 & D700 today. All I can say is it works & removed all the dust out of the sensor. Much easier to use than wet cleaning. I'll only wet clean now with Visible Dust if & when the dust particle cannot be removed by the gel stick.
The wet clean process has never been satisfactory for me, having somehow scratched the D3S, I now take my devices to Nikon on Wilshire in Los Angeles for cleaning.
There was a p_ _ _ing contest recently about oil versus dust in digital cameras but that was devolving so I asked for the thread to be deleted.
I spoke with the main product guy for Caig Labs briefly during the NAMM show last week about product ideas they might consider evaluating, thinking of both wet and this type of putty or other type of tacky compound.
This is timely indeed and based upon the video link, is a heck of a lot easier than any series of solutions, brushes or pads, at least at first glance.
Note that most camera shops do not encourage people to do wet cleanings however, some do stock the fluids and pads for their pro customers.
I've been wet cleaning since my D70 days back in 2006. Did it on my D200, D300 and will do so on my D800 when I have to. Never had a problem and on the D200 literally had to scrub some gunk off when I was on Maui. Adding the gel pen to my arsenal of camera cleaning methods is my next goal.
Sat 08-Mar-14 01:12 PM | edited Sat 08-Mar-14 01:13 PM by KerryS
I ordered one from Photography Life over a month ago. I got a confirmation of the order and my credit card was billed. Nothing has arrived, no shipping notice, no on back order notice, nada communication from Photography Life. So far, not impressed. Another week and I seek a refund and will not do business with Photography Life in the future. If it arrives within the week I will retract this message.
>I ordered one from Photography Life over a month ago. I got >a confirmation of the order and my credit card was billed. >Nothing has arrived, no shipping notice, no on back order >notice, nada communication from Photography Life. So far, not >impressed. Another week and I seek a refund and will not do >business with Photography Life in the future. If it arrives >within the week I will retract this message.
Pentax has been distributing and selling its Imagesensor Cleaning Gel Stick for years. It's available here (and from other U.S. dealers), here (and from other Canadian dealers), and here (and from other UK/EU dealers), among other countries and regions.
Pentax still often gives them away at photography industry shows and exhibitions. Good product.
It works well. Light pressure when pressing the flat gel end surface against the sensor filter. Keep the stick perpendicular to the sensor filter surface. Don't bang the sides of the mirror box. Dab with confidence. Takes about 10 seconds or so to clean the sensor. Quick and easy, which is why the gel sticks are used in the factory.
Thanks for the tips. I just got back from a trek to Yosemite, and, yes, I got a nice big grain of pollen stuck on one sensor while there. I tried my blower, but the pollen did not budge. I took out the gel stick I got from Photography Life, and 10 minutes later the pollen was gone. Easy and fast.
I have no experience with it. I bought the version used by the Leica factory techs. If it is sold or used by a manufacturer I would be comfortable with it. Otherwise no. The possibility of damaging a sensor is not worth the few bucks saved IMO.
>I know you usually get what you pay for, so does anyone know >if this version of the gel stick is any good. It is much less >expensive than the other ones already mentioned in this post >at only $11.72.
It's junk. The physical material is okay, but on the one I looked at the outer surface is uneven so you can't get a full surface pickup when you dab the sensor filter. There are three or four other brands of gel cleaning sticks out there besides Pentax and the stick mentioned by the OP. The off-brands are all junk, IMO.
One gel cleaning stick brand has a handle that is so flimsy that it kinks slightly when you apply dabbing pressure during cleaning. Another brand has sticks that are slightly curved, making it more difficult to do a cleaning which should be supremely simple with this sort of product. At least two of the off brands have non-flat cleaning surfaces, which makes them aggravating to use.
A third brand had some sort of flaking coming off the stick, and we spent more time cleaning that off the sensor than we did dabbing off the original dust spots. Bad junk.
Two of the off brand products already had dust and other particulate adhering to the working surface of the gel when we took them out of the package. Cheaply made junk.
The Fstoppers product and the Pentax Imagesensor product have stiff, molded plastic handles which help you dab properly and squarely and which don't warp or flake. The Fstoppers product and the Pentax Imagesensor use gel blocks that have a very flat working surface that helps you dab/clean quickly and easily. The Fstoppers product and the Pentax Imagesensor product are manufactured and packaged in a way that prevents factory dust from being left on the gel when its sealed up in its packaged holder.
Sun 09-Feb-14 06:01 PM | edited Sun 09-Feb-14 06:09 PM by agitater
The top three products are, in order of quality ease of use, (IMO):
1. Pentax Imagesensor Gel Stick (available through the really big retailers (e.g., B&H, Adorama and so on, and at photography trade shows at the Pentax booth). Made in Japan.
2. Eyelead Sensor Gel Stick (it's the one sold through Fstoppers' web site, Photography Life's web site and a couple of others). Made in Germany.
3. Promaster Systempro CCD/Cmos Sensor Cleaner (most often sold through Amazon and other non-photography specific online retailers). Also sold under the Matin brand name as the Matin CCD Sensor Cleaner. Made in China.
They all use the same gel and provide identical cleaning quality. Make a buying choice based on which handle you think will provide you with more dabbing control.
Stay away from the other, more cheaply priced brands.
>I noticed that were >sold out of spare cleaning papers. I guess folks use the ones >up fast that come in the kit.
You're probably right, either because of excessive cleaning or because they're not using the papers correctly or because they keep forgetting if a spot on the cleaning paper has previously been used.
I think the best way to use the cleaning paper is to carefully work m y way across each sheet in rows. I make a small cut in the paper to mark the position of the previous use so that I don't forget. I don't use a pen of any kind to mark the cleaning paper because I think it's possible for the cleaning gel to pick up ink from a pen or marker.
Tue 11-Feb-14 02:04 AM | edited Tue 11-Feb-14 03:18 AM by skiroc
Moose Peterson just posted a video on his web site that is a full endorsement/demo of the product. He is using the Photography Life version. He thought it would last about a year depending on how often it is used. I was already convinced with the info above, but this sealed the deal for me. Got mine ordered.
Another Nikonian recommended I get the Artic Butterfly. I did although it does work I found it to be a non-royal PITA. Reviews said the head would fall off and of course it does.
Then the same Nikonian recommended I get the Sensor Gel Stick from Photography Life. I did but was really apprehensive about this thing. After reading the info on PL and watching two different video demonstrations I finally tried if on one camera first. It was so easy I did all five even though I'm not sure some of them needed it.
Like Harold, I cut a small slit in the paper to mark where I've cleaned the gel stick so I don't use up all the papers too fast. Photography Life is trying to get paper to sell separately. I've never done a wet cleaning and don't think I ever will consider it again.
Sun 16-Mar-14 04:48 PM | edited Sun 16-Mar-14 04:51 PM by jdroach
My "Eyelead" arrived from Photography Life yesterday. I evaluated the entire sensor of my Nikon D600 (the one all say is so prone to problems), found one area of concern that was in the center of the sensor (not the usual upper left quadrant), used the furnished gel swab, saw what I think was a speck of dust (so minute, it was) when I tapped the adhesive paper, took an image of the sensor wide open of a white door, downloaded the image, increased contrast and clarity; and when I zoomed in as far as I could, going overall areas of the image using Lightroom 5.3, I did not find a speck of dust or oil, etc. I examined my Fuji X-E1 with similar results. I will this week, I will look at my other Nikon DSLRs.
While I have had dust occasionally all the way back to my D90 and D7000, I have meticulously used my Giotto Super Rocket-Blaster frequently and kept dust at the minimum with one exception that I sent my D7000 for cleaning when there was dust in the viewfinder. Thus, since I wasn't sure how to deal with the view finder I had and the sensor cleaned at a Nikon Authorized Service Center in Chicago. On a few occasions I have used my Arctic Butterfly. However, usually I just use the light from it with my Loupe to view the sensor. I have yet to use my wet system product. I am rather curious about the other DSLRs (D700, 800, 90, and 7000) and will report should I see anything note worthy in the cleaning process.
So I am happy to have 5 options in my anti-dust/oil arsenal (1) Rocket-Blaster, (2) Arctic Butterfly, (3) Gel Stick, (4) Wet Solution Swabs, and (4) the Service Center if all else fails. Thus, I feel the Gel Stick made in Germany as sold through Photography Life performed as described on this first run. I hope that continues to be the case when I need it in the future.
It seems the general experience with gel-pad designs (the quality ones) is good - so I would like to throw in an alternative. I use a SensorKlear system for my D300, D7000 & D800 with perfect success. I had used the brand's LensPens for years and they work flawlessly. The SensorKlear II system uses a battery powered lighted loupe with a cleaner access port. After air blowing, you just use the 'Pen' to pick up sticky dust. The carbon pad leaves no residue. I have done full surface cleans in the same manner as I use for lenses, but note the instructions do not recommend sliding on the sensor surface. I didn't damage my sensors, but now stick to the instructions. There is an initial investment of $100 for the full kit, then perhaps $30 every 2-4 years for a fresh cleaner pen. As to what the factory uses, Nikon brands LensPen products as their own and the local Nikon Service Centre in Richmond uses them along with other systems for sensor cleaning.
Hi all, new to the forum and had to make my first post a reply to this thread. I got the eyelead gel stick (from germany via amazon uk) and after using it for the first time noted it was very easy to use and cleaned the sensor perfectly. Its very sticky and comes as a shock the first time you dab that sensor as you feel it wont come off again, but it does and takes all the dust etc off in one go. Dabbing it around the sensor takes seconds to do and works so well i brought another one in case these fantastic cleaners vanish from sale. All I can say is i think its unlikely i will ever need to wet clean again.
Last night I used it for the first time to clean my D4. After a few dabs on the sensor I noticed that the gel started leaving a residue on the sensor! I cleaned the gel tip with the supplied sticky paper and tried again - more smears! This was a big heart stopper since I am leaving on a photo trip tomorrow morning. Luckily I was able to clean it off using the old tried and true pecpads and Eclipse swabbing method but it took several pecpads and two applications of the cleaning fluid. I also had to swab a little harder than I felt comfortable doing to get all that gunk off. I can't understand what went wrong, I was very careful not to get the gel pad dirty or damaged. Any clues? At this point I am extremely hesitant to use this product again. I'll try it on a glass filter just to see if it continues to leave spots.
Ernesto Santos esartprints.comErnesto Santos Photography Get my new e-Book "Churches of Texas"
My first experience with the Gel Stick I bought from PhotographyLife was quite different. It worked great and left no residue on the sensor. I've never use the wet solutions and most likely never will after my first trial with the gel stick.
I'm wondering if temperature had anything to do with your results? Perhaps the gel material was too warm and gooey so there was some kind of adhesion residue left on the sensor.
I have climate controlled safes for my photography equipment and the temperature is a constant 65 degrees/F. I keep my gel sticks there too.
Well I think it's a perfectly good way to store your photography equipment, but it has no effect one way or another on a sensor gel cleaning stick. The sensor gel sticks work effectively in a temperature range of 15C up to 35C, so unless someone is using one in a sauna or a freezer I doubt that ambient temperature is a problem.
>>Does any of what I said make sense? > >Well I think it's a perfectly good way to store your >photography equipment, but it has no effect one way or another >on a sensor gel cleaning stick. The sensor gel sticks work >effectively in a temperature range of 15C up to 35C, so unless >someone is using one in a sauna or a freezer I doubt that >ambient temperature is a problem. > Well that's good to know but I keep it in there anyway because the safe is very large and has room for lots of stuff.
We have had pleasant temps here over the last few days, highs in the 70's. Today it is a little cool in the 50's. The cleaning kit has been in my digital darkroom the whole time and I have not taken it out of the protective case except to use it.
Ernesto Santos esartprints.comErnesto Santos Photography Get my new e-Book "Churches of Texas"
>Last night I used it for the first time to clean my D4. After >a few dabs on the sensor I noticed that the gel started >leaving a residue on the sensor! I cleaned the gel tip with >the supplied sticky paper and tried again - more smears!
Doesn't make sense to me, unless the sensor gel stick came in contact with some sort of solvent, e.g., spray cleaner or some other sort of cleaning solution. Was the sensor gel stick actually shipped to you in a sealed package, or was the package unsealed when you received it?
I've been using gel sticks for some time without the slightest problem, Ernesto, so it's very disturbing to hear you're having a problem. I've checked and tested several different brands. I can't figure out for sure what's going on with your Pentax gel stick. All I can think of is that either the stick was accidentally contaminated or your sensor had something on it that the gel was unable to pick up.
I was ready to purchase the Eyelead or the Pentax gel stick after reading through this thread. I now hesitate on the Eyelead as it is still on back order and has gone up in price twice in the last month, from $39.99, to $44.99 and now currently it is at $49.99. I hope they are not just trying to make extra profit because demand is so high. The Pentax is currently $44.95 at Adorama and is in stock. I was about to pull the trigger on that one until I read Ernesto's post about residue on his sensor. Is there an update Ernesto on what caused the residue?
>I was ready to purchase the Eyelead or the Pentax gel stick >after reading through this thread. I now hesitate on the >Eyelead as it is still on back order and has gone up in price >twice in the last month, from $39.99, to $44.99 and now >currently it is at $49.99. I hope they are not just trying to >make extra profit because demand is so high. The Pentax is >currently $44.95 at Adorama and is in stock. I was about to >pull the trigger on that one until I read Ernesto's post about >residue on his sensor. Is there an update Ernesto on what >caused the residue? > >Thanks > >Malcolm
Sat 08-Mar-14 09:53 AM | edited Sat 08-Mar-14 01:30 PM by dgberg
I am not sold especially after watching the video. The amount of stress when pulling the stick off the sensor cannot be good over time. Just watch how he is holding down that filter and the gel almost snaps off when it is released. Secondly cleaning the dirt from the tip seems marginal at best. To much action on the sensor for me with the suction and the very small twist to pull it off everytime. I will stick with wet cleaning with Eclipse and Sensor Swabs takes all of 3 minutes.
All that being said would still like to try one. Where the gel stick might be better would be in the field for an emergency clean where wet cleaning most definitly is a pain.
I ordered one from PhotographyLife as well. For me this has been the easiest most hassle free method of cleaning the sensor. But I did find that it's very important to make sure to use a clean section of the sticky sheet or else it left a smudge on the sensor. Once I realized that so far so good.
It seems that there is still a risk (as happened to esantos) to get the wrong gel stick and "hurt" the sensor (or low pass filter) on our camera. I think the risk isn't worth going to the gel cleaning method if we know how to use the wet method correctly... IMHO
Visible dust has a variant to clean oil from the sensor as well.
I used the wet method 2 times (I bought a pack of 10 swabs) and it's so easy and safe (if used correctly). First, I always control the head of the swab with my eyes to see if there is any particle on it, then I start the procedure...
But, if I will get one, anyway, I will start first by testing it on a ND filter for example before using it on my sensor.
>I just got mine on Friday but am still chicken to try it. I >watched this video and plan on watching Moose's. I've never >cleaned my D700 and only used the self cleaning once. > >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fetJfPILU3o
I was also apprehensive but it really is easy. I also just got shipping confirmation on another pack of the sticky paper.
I just got back from an assignment in Las Vegas. Had to clean both cameras while I was there. Simple operation but watching the videos is a good idea.
I just watched the youtube fstoppers video that MrsNikon added to her post. I never even thought about using the Sensor Gel Stick to clean the mirror or viewfinder but after watching the demonstration I did just that. Works great.
One thing I would like to add if you watch this video is not to use up an entire sticky paper to clean the Gel Stick. It isn't necessary. I use about half of the paper and as Howard mentioned make a small cut in the paper below the area I've used to clean the Gel Stick. Re attach the sticky paper cover and reuse the rest of the paper the next time.
>I never even thought about using the Sensor >Gel Stick to clean the mirror or viewfinder but after watching >the demonstration I did just that. Works great.
The reflex mirror is tough enough, but it will flex. I'd keep anything sticky away from the mirror for fear of snapping it. The demonstrator on the video is winging it - strictly experimenting.
Same goes for the focusing screen. Keep cleaning materials, including gel sticks, away from the surface.
None of the gel sticks on the market have actually been tested for any period of time (or at all AFAIK) on reflex mirrors and focusing screens. So I strongly advise against using a gel stick on those surfaces.
>>I never even thought about using the Sensor >>Gel Stick to clean the mirror or viewfinder but after >watching >>the demonstration I did just that. Works great. > >The reflex mirror is tough enough, but it will flex. I'd keep >anything sticky away from the mirror for fear of snapping it. >The demonstrator on the video is winging it - strictly >experimenting. > >Same goes for the focusing screen. Keep cleaning materials, >including gel sticks, away from the surface. > >None of the gel sticks on the market have actually been tested >for any period of time (or at all AFAIK) on reflex mirrors and >focusing screens. So I strongly advise against using a gel >stick on those surfaces. >
Howard, although you may be right about this, as I stated, I did clean the mirror and underside of the focus screen with no apparent problems. However, I am going to take your advice and since, as you state, this has not been tested, will not do it again.
I just got mine yesterday. But, unlike the instructions, on the video, he does all the sensor before cleaning the gel stck. On the instruction, it does say to clean it after each press on the sensor. Also, they never talk about cleaning the morror. What do you think?
As I read it somewhere on the net, the mirror surface is made with a very thin layer and it should never be touched, except very gently with a swab to just remove the dust particles on it if not removed by a blower... If you use the gel (which is acting like a glue) the risk is to take off the very thin layer of the mirror and then, direction to a nikon service center... I would not advise to use it to clean the mirror. Could be ok for the focussing screen otherwise.
Got mine yesterday and used it on a D3 and a D800. It does a good job of removing visible dust -- dust you actually can see with a sensor loupe, and the result is okay for color shots. But that's not all the crud on your sensor, and as far as I'm concerned I'm still going to have to go ahead with a wet cleaning on the D800. You won't see the other crud unless you stop down to at least f/16, shoot a blue sky, then sharpen and convert to B&W, preferably with Silver Efex with high structure, then go to a 100% view and move your point of view around. I do this kind of conversion a lot with the D800, especially with shots I've made in the mountains, and the B&W conversion always brings out the stuff in the sky that a sensor loupe can't see.
Very good point. I commenced to clean the D800 today after what I disclosed as success with my D600 and Fuji X-E1 on a prior day. I was going to do the D700, too. But, decided not to today. I found I could not get all the particulate off the sensors, particularly the using the gel stick or the wet swab on the D800 and D7000. I will live with it for the present (use healing tool) and have them professionally cleaned. Regarding the D700, I will visit that on another day. The D7000 was the best, today, and it looks pretty good, but still had one stubborn minute speck.
The D800 just has such good resolution so that stuff shows up quickly. I am actually surprised I got pretty good result on the D600, but today when doing some black and white processing, with high structure, I found a couple of specks that came through.
I guess all these tools only work for "majority" not "all." I was actually getting frantic and so I just should have them professional cleaned for the stubborn stuff.
I also received the gel stick from PhotographyLife and was going to try it on my old D200 sensor first. Then I decided to have my D200 converted to IR. So, while I was sitting with the technician for the conversion I asked him what he uses for sensor cleaning. By the way, he does all the sensor cleaning jobs that a major store in Montreal sends out.
I was quite amused at his answer. Here's what he uses: methyl hydrate, a pair of long tweezers and toilet paper. No kidding !
So I asked for a demo. He has a bottle full of methyl hydrate with a dispensor cap that you press and delivers a small quantity. He wraps several layers of toilet paper on the end of the tweezers leaving about 2/3 of an inch loose so that the metal is not in that section of the paper. He presses on the dipensor cap which delivers a small quantity which floods the paper end of his improvised tool. He gently wipes the filter and that's it.
The blower gets rid of the loose dust and this wet method when needed gets rid of stuck-ons and oil spots. Low tech but highly effective. Any overdose of the methyl hydrate evaporates immediately.
He laughed when I told him how much I paid for the EyeLead.
BTW, he also checked my old Nikon FE for speed synchro and replaced the sponge like strips that line the shutter window...for free.
Anyone in the Montreal vicinity who my want to try him out can pm me.
>Do you really think the biggest photo store in Montreal would >send their jobs out to this guy if the sensors returned with >paper deposit on them ???
Sorry Christian, but if I was running the biggest photo store in Montreal and I found out that my service contractor was using that cleaning method, I might consider shouting at him without hesitation, "Arrête ça! Arrêtez maintenant!"
Toilet paper wrapped around metal tweezers (metal - oh of course that's even better - you did describe them as metal tweezers for sure) and dampened with methyl hydrate (methyl alcohol) then used to clean a camera sensor is a recipe for disaster. Good for this service technician if he has figured out how to do it, figured out just the right brand of TP to use (Please Don't Squeeze the Charmin!), and just the right metal-tweezer-in-the-mirror-box technique to avoid scratching anything. There are so many things that can go wrong.
To all Nikonians (and really, this is just me speaking) I'd say that utilizing TP wrapped around metal tweezers and then dampened with methyl hydrate is not a particularly good DIY sensor cleaning tool. Ne pas imiter les méthodes de ce technicien de service.
Christian - please excuse me, because none of this is directed at you personally. I mean no offense to you. I am speaking derisively about that technician only. As well, his snicker at the expense you incurred to purchase a gel stick was inappropriate.
>Christian - please excuse me, because none of this is directed >at you personally. I mean no offense to you. I am speaking >derisively about that technician only. As well, his snicker at >the expense you incurred to purchase a gel stick was >inappropriate. >
No offense taken. I might even try it some time, maybe with lintless paper for starters. After the double package of Eyelead sticky papers run out
Since my independent camera technician has come under such scrutiny and criticism, I decided to do a quick search and found many threads dealing with this method. It seems that “my guy” is not the only one doing this. I have a lot of respect for the Montreal camera store I do most of my shopping at and have used them on occasion for out of warranty service and have never been disappointed.
Here are a few links for those who have open minds. The first link is to the most interesting site I found on this topic. BTW, methanol is mentionned as one of the cleaning fluids of choice even by Nikon technicians. I should add that the EyeLead is also mentionned. This particular site explores all the techniques, devices and media used to clean sensors. It also shows in detail how to make your own wands etc...It is a thorough read that might not appeal to those who don't usually read their manuals. But, none the less, I thought that it might bring some clarity to the subject and perhaps inspire those of us who are tired of being taken for a ride by those high margin specialty product manufacturers.
That's a commercial advice link which contains literally dozens of overviews on commercial cleaning kits that could be purchased at the time the article was written. A number of the products don't have anything to do with wet cleaning, and a number of the products don't work well at all. Nothing to do with toilet paper-wrapped steel tweezers. Several sub-articles specifically advise that home-made cleaning methods (scotch tape, cotton swabs) should never be used and I would add toilet paper-wrapped tweezers to that list. The article is also so old that gel sticks aren't even mentioned.
This link to a Leica forum only refers to the use of methyl hydrate-dampened Pec Pads which are a commercial product and also quite expensive. Nothing to do with toilet paper-wrapped steel tweezers. Pec Pads are more expensive than a gel stick and cleaning papers.
This is a link to a post by some guy on DPReview discussion forum thread who decided to use eyeglasses wipes on his camera sensor. Okey-dokey, but good luck to anyone who tries it and it's certainly not advice from a professional technician. Nothing to do with toilet paper-wrapped steel tweezers. Some of the other contributors to the thread seemed to have tried q-tips which always leave bits behind, Kimwipes stuffed into the mirror box and scrubbed around with a plastic straw, and a post by one guy who seemd to be using tap water and a cotton ball. Good grief.
This thread on the Fred Miranda site is about the commercial Visible Dust system (which is very good, albeit much more expensive than any gel stick), and some guy with a defective coating on his Canon sensor. Nothing to do with toilet paper-wrapped steel tweezers. A couple of other posts in the thread mention Nikon techs and Canon techs at a a couple of different clinics or workshops using Pec Pads moistened with methyl hydrate or Kim Wipes/tweezers moistened with methyl hydrate. That's great. Cleaning demos by technicians who do it every day - probably a dozen times a day or more each, every single working day - but none of them are using toilet paper-wrapped steel tweezers.
This article on the Copper Hill web site boasts about the virtues of its Copper Hill's commercial cleaning kit which is much more expensive than a gel stick. Nothing to do with toilet paper-wrapped steel tweezers.
>Happy reading. I rest my case
Sorry - not really Again, no personal offense intended but none of the links you provided actually have anything to do with using toilet paper-wrapped steel tweezers. Using toilet paper-wrapped steel (or plastic or non-ferrous metal) tweezers on a camera sensor (no matter what cleaning solution is used to dampen the TP) is a really bad idea and I strongly advise Nikonians members to avoid any such cleaning experiments.
>First time this guy has to replace a D4 he may decide saving >money with steel tweezers and toilet paper isn't such a great >idea after all.>
"This guy" has a 20+ year career in camera repairs, which, I'm sure is more than the self-proclaimed experts that have been vociferous in this particular case. My post was not to promote "this guy' but rather to open our minds to how silly we have may have become about all this high tech stuff.
I never thought this would become a mud slinging arena for those self proclaimed experts who seem to think that only their opinions count. This is a forum (I thought), on which fresh ideas could be explored and I honestly thought that my humble post might inspire some. But, if the "good old boys' club" prevails so be it. That is fine by me.
BTW, toilet paper seems to have become the obsession for some and ferrous substances as well - not exactly sure why for the latter. Diagonal reading also yields some interesting comments. Not to forget that some commenters seem to trash other web sites on the grounds that they may advertise some products while their own prominently exhibit logos and links to their commercial partners....
One thing is clear it is always easier to ctiticize than to contribute.
>>My post was not to promote "this guy'... > >You did include "Anyone in the Montreal vicinity who >my want to try him out can pm me", which sounded a >little like an endorsement >
You are right Brian I am endorsing his general services. He came to me highly recommended for his camera repair skills and particularly as the only one doing IR conversions in the vicinity. Otherwise I would have had to send my camera & lens to the States for this purpose with the risks and extra costs this entails (I was considering LifePixel.com at the time).
When I picked up my camera he graciously had a look at my old FE. He cleaned it and synchronized the shutter, replaced the sponge lining that absorbs mirror shock at the top of the mirror compartment and checked the battery. All of which for free. That's when I asked him about his technique for cleaning sensors. I was not implying that it was the best technique. I was only trying to illustrate that there is a lot of bs about sensor cleaning products. Which I think is well documented in the first link I provided at cleaningdigitalcameras.com
Clearly I didn't expect my post, which I thought provided some insight, to come under such blind attack by a fellow Nikonian.
I still have the pec-pads that were purchased 8 years ago and I used them couple of days ago to clean my D800E - worked like a dream!!
Secret to sensor cleaning, after choosing the right product of course, is to do it quickly and as instructed. Just use two drops of cleaning fluid on the properly folded pec-pad and do not reuse the pec-pads. Overzealous multiple stokes across the sensor leave streaks of fluid on the sensor.
Always remember to do test images before and after cleaning.
With the Gel Stick being so easy to use I can't imagine whey anyone would want to put a liquid into an electronic device. Having said that, I envy the courage of those that do. I'm guessing you certainly know more than I about sensor cleaning.
>Mike, >The only thing I know more than you about sensor cleaning is >that it is so easy and nothing to worry about once you have >done it couple of times with the right tool > >Fluid drops btw, goes on the tip of the pec-pad to moisten it >- not on the sensor!!!
OK guess I missed that point. I bought the Artic Butterfly on recommendation from another Nikonian. Had the same problem with the brush flying off when spinning. This worked well and I took to spinning the brush inside of a large pickle jar, (washed thoroughly) so I could easily replace it. I found the Sensor Gel Stick the same way many here did and bought that. I really like the way it works and does the job very easily. I'm sticking with that and if I do need a wet clean, I just discovered we have an authorized Nikon service center here in Richmond VA. As an added note: I don't do electricity, I don't do glass, and I don't paint. LOL
Yesterday I've finaly got the Eyelead gel stick. As a matter of fact I've got two of them from a different sellers (one for me and one for my friend). The first one is from this store: http://www.digitaltoyshop.com/Eyelead_sensor_cleaning_kit_SCK-1_t2649_6789_1 It looks like a genuine German product – there is ''Made in Germany'' sign on cardboard box and on tin box and inside are printed manuals in German, English and Spanish language (no Chinese hooks). I believe this is no fake and it's made for Europe market. The color of the gel is light blue.
So long story short. First I wanted to be sure, that the gel doesn't leave any smears or streaks so I took my 50mm 1.8G with Hoya Pro 1 Digital UV filter attached. First I examined the filter just to be sure it was clean. Then I (as per instructions) first cleaned the gel with the sticky paper and then touched the filter a few times with a gel stick. I did it like the manual says – vertikal touches with small pressure. I examined the surface of the filter (still attached on the lens) and I couldn't see no streaks or residue. Still, when I removed the filter from the lens and examined it thoroughly under the bright light I could see some marks made by gel head. Those marks were not sticky and I could easily removed them with FilterKlear LFK-1 pen. I have cleaned the filter and did a few more tests and the gel stick again left some kind of marks or streaks on the surface. The same thing happened with the other gel stick. Those streaks or marks are hard to see so I believe it would be hard to see them on the sensor surface. Sensors are deep in the camera so you just can't turn them against the light to see well the reflection of the surface. At least I can't on my Nikon D7100.
Because it was late I didn't try the gel stick on some other surfaces like bathroom mirror or cellphone screen.
So this made me think …. Sony sensors have some kind of special surface coating which doesn't go well with gel sticks. Apparently Hoya Pro 1 Digital UV filters also have some sort of special coating. They are extremely hard to clean so it could be just that. Anyone of you have the same filter to try the gel stick on it? I would appreciate greatly.
When I first received my Gel Stick from PL I set up the camera for a cleaning and then stopped. Quite frankly I was afraid I would do something wrong. I decided to try the get stick first on two different pieces of glass. First on a piece of glass which frames one of my pictures in my home gallery. No apparent smudges or streaks; (btw this glass was nonglare type). Next I went to the bathroom mirror and tried it again there. Nothing that I could see with a magnifying glass. I then cleaned my sensor after taking test shots and found I had spots. After cleaning I again made test shots and found a clean sensor.
Furthermore, I recently used the Gel Stick on a shoot in Las Vegas during the shoot because chimping a couple of shots I found strange spots in the jpeg on the back screen. I went to a quite place and cleaned the sensor reshot the pictures with no apparent spots on the jpeg rendition on the LCD screen.
I'm thinking you are correct about the test with the filter. I have the Lens Pen set with three lens pens. One large one to clean the lenses and LCD screen and the small one to clean the viewfinder. The third is supposed to be for cleaning filters but the kit comes with a caution regarding certain coated filters and advised not to use the lens pen filter cleaner on them. I have never used the filter lens pen because of that so again, I'm thinking you may have run into that situation by testing the Gel Stick on the filter with special coating which should not occur on the sensor.
I'm also of the opinion that if Leica and other major camera manufacturers use this device to clean sensors it should be safe enough.
>I'm also of the opinion that if Leica and other major camera >manufacturers use this device to clean sensors it should be >safe enough.
Even more to the point, assembly technicians at Nikon and Canon use gel sticks on the line which is why this thread was started in the first place. All the recommended gel stick brands have been thoroughly tested on Nikon cameras (among others) by everyone from the Mansurovs (Photography Life) to me and dozens in between. Used as directed, the recommended gel stick brands are excellent cleaning tools. Better living through chemistry.
Don't get me wrong. I don't doubt in gel sticks. I think this is the easiest way to clean the camera sensor so that's why I got it. Till now I was using SensorKlear II and this metod also did a fine job for me. Sensor loupe is also very helpfull to see the spots on the sensor. I'm just always skeptical about thingt till I try them by myself and see if they work fine. I just want to be sure I have a good product and not a lemon. I hope I haven't damaged the surface of the gel somehow when I pressed it against the filter. I don't know but the surface of the gel could somehow interact with the filter coating chemicaly and it will now leave streaks (not likely but you newer know). Apparently I was using wrong surface (Hoya filter) to test my gel sticks. I will try them later on a clean bathroom mirror just to make sure, before I touch the sensor.
I have done a test on a mirror and Eyelead gel stick worked as it should. No smears or streaks, just clean and dust-free mirror. Now I just need to wait for the dust spots on my sensor to clean them. So indeed the gel was not compatible with the Hoya filter coating. I hope my D7100 does not have the same coating on the sensor. Regards
>I have done a test on a mirror and Eyelead gel stick worked >as it should. No smears or streaks, just clean and dust-free >mirror. >Now I just need to wait for the dust spots on my sensor to >clean them. >So indeed the gel was not compatible with the Hoya filter >coating. I hope my D7100 does not have the same coating on the >sensor. >Regards > I can assure you that I've cleaned both my D7100's and D800e's several times already and I've had no problems at all. Clean away.
Thanks for the info Uncle Mickey. I'll clean it, but not today. Today it's time for healing. I need to lubricate my sour muscles with some 12 years old Whiskey. Restoration of the bathroom is a b***h ... 12 days work. Regards;
>Thanks for the info Uncle Mickey. >I'll clean it, but not today. Today it's time for healing. I >need to lubricate my sour muscles with some 12 years old >Whiskey. Restoration of the bathroom is a b***h ... 12 days >work. >Regards;
I hear you brother...honey doo lists kill me. However, for my lubrication its 23 year old rum.
After a successful healing with my ''trusted rocket fuel'' ( ) I have cleaned the sensor on my d7100 with Eyelead gel stick. This thing is a miracle - simple and effective. Took me a few minutes and the sensor is clean.
>After a successful healing with my ''trusted rocket fuel'' ( > ) I have cleaned the sensor on my d7100 with Eyelead gel >stick. This thing is a miracle - simple and effective. Took me >a few minutes and the sensor is clean. > > >
Just ordered mine yesterday from photographylife.com, they have it listed as backordered. Just checked my D800 sensor today, f22 into the clear blue sky. OMG. loaded with spots. Will be in NYC on Thursday, will have Chrysler camera repair do a cleaning.
>Just ordered mine yesterday from photographylife.com, they >have it listed as backordered. >Just checked my D800 sensor today, f22 into the clear blue >sky. OMG. loaded with spots. Will be in NYC on Thursday, will >have Chrysler camera repair do a cleaning.
Wow, Nassim reported that they had a big supply coming in too. I also had to wait the first time I purchased and then purchased extra papers just to be sure. Once you get the Sensor Gel Stick and use it, you won't have to worry about cleaning your sensor for general cleaning.
Now, when you have mentioned sticky papers I must ask... do they have expiration date? I mean, do they change somehow with time and start leaving some streaks on the gel stick which could be then transfered to the sensor?
>Now, when you have mentioned sticky papers I must ask... do >they have expiration date? >I mean, do they change somehow with time and start leaving >some streaks on the gel stick which could be then transfered >to the sensor? >
I don't see any expiration date on the package. I presume if stored well with no extreme atmospheric conditions they would last a long time. As posted before the Sensor Gel Stick can withstand ranges in temperature so I would think so could the sticky papers. I work a lot out doors. I clean my sensors as needed and use the sticky papers as was described in another post here. Usually, it takes one entire sticky paper to clean both cameras I use for shoots so I don't think the papers will be around long enough for anything to happen to them. I will contact Photography Life and get back with some kind of answer.
Thanks for the answer. I was thinking about ordering some spare papers.
So, we have solved the sensor cleaning mystery. Bur what's about the mirror and focusing screen? They get dusty too. The dust does not show on the photo but it's not a nice view to have spots in the viewfinder. I wonder if there is a safe way to clean them. My viewfinder is still clean but the spots will show sooner or later.
>Thanks for the answer. >I was thinking about ordering some spare papers. > >So, we have solved the sensor cleaning mystery. Bur what's >about the mirror and focusing screen? They get dusty too. The >dust does not show on the photo but it's not a nice view to >have spots in the viewfinder. >I wonder if there is a safe way to clean them. My viewfinder >is still clean but the spots will show sooner or later. >
If you read up on this thread it was advised not to use the Gel Stick on the mirror or viewfinder. After watching the fstoppers youtube video I did just that but it was pointed out by two other Nikonians that these are very sensitive areas that could easily be damaged with the Gel Stick so sticking to a good blower to get the dust out is all that should be needed. If not, into service the camera will go.
I got extra sticky papers just because I knew they would be in out of stock situation shortly after Photography Life got them in. Now that I am confident cleaning my sensor, I check them every time I come in from a shoot. If it needs cleaning it gets it if not...not.
>>Thanks for the answer. >>I was thinking about ordering some spare papers. >> >>So, we have solved the sensor cleaning mystery. Bur >what's >>about the mirror and focusing screen? They get dusty too. >The >>dust does not show on the photo but it's not a nice view >to >>have spots in the viewfinder. >>I wonder if there is a safe way to clean them. My >viewfinder >>is still clean but the spots will show sooner or later. >> > >If you read up on this thread it was advised not to use the >Gel Stick on the mirror or viewfinder. After watching the >fstoppers youtube video I did just that but it was pointed out >by two other Nikonians that these are very sensitive areas >that could easily be damaged with the Gel Stick so sticking to >a good blower to get the dust out is all that should be >needed. If not, into service the camera will go. > >I got extra sticky papers just because I knew they would be in >out of stock situation shortly after Photography Life got them >in. Now that I am confident cleaning my sensor, I check them >every time I come in from a shoot. If it needs cleaning it >gets it if not...not.
You say check it everytime. Is that with just taking a picture or using a loupe. Thanks
>>>Thanks for the answer. >>>I was thinking about ordering some spare papers. >>> >>>So, we have solved the sensor cleaning mystery. Bur >>what's >>>about the mirror and focusing screen? They get dusty >too. >>The >>>dust does not show on the photo but it's not a nice >view >>to >>>have spots in the viewfinder. >>>I wonder if there is a safe way to clean them. My >>viewfinder >>>is still clean but the spots will show sooner or >later. >>> > >>If you read up on this thread it was advised not to use >the >>Gel Stick on the mirror or viewfinder. After watching the >>fstoppers youtube video I did just that but it was pointed >out >>by two other Nikonians that these are very sensitive >areas >>that could easily be damaged with the Gel Stick so >sticking to >>a good blower to get the dust out is all that should be >>needed. If not, into service the camera will go. >> >>I got extra sticky papers just because I knew they would >be in >>out of stock situation shortly after Photography Life got >them >>in. Now that I am confident cleaning my sensor, I check >them >>every time I come in from a shoot. If it needs cleaning >it >>gets it if not...not. > >You say check it everytime. Is that with just taking a picture >or using a loupe. >Thanks
I take a picture of plain white paper or the blue portion of the sky. I load the image into Lightroom and convert to black and white. Increase magnification 100-200% and have a look. After cleaning I repeat this procedure.
I have no intentions to use a gel stick on the mirror although some guy on Youtube successfully cleaned a mirror and focusing screen with it on his D300. I had in mind one of those sensor cleaning brushes. But I will deal with it when I'll have to. I use Sensolklear loupe to inspect the dust on the sensor. It works OK. You just need to focus on the filter in front of the sensor and you also need a good light to help those led lights in the loupe. It's quicker then doing photos and inspect them on the computer and then repeat the process till the sensor is clear.
>I have no intentions to use a gel stick on the mirror >although some guy on Youtube successfully cleaned a mirror and >focusing screen with it on his D300. >I had in mind one of those sensor cleaning brushes. But I will >deal with it when I'll have to. >I use Sensolklear loupe to inspect the dust on the sensor. It >works OK. You just need to focus on the filter in front of the >sensor and you also need a good light to help those led lights >in the loupe. It's quicker then doing photos and inspect them >on the computer and then repeat the process till the sensor is >clear. > > >
I saw that fstoppers youtube video and that is why I gave that a try. However several members here recommended not to do that so I won't try that again.
I think I'm going to have to get the Sensolklear loupe. I've been using one of those big magnifying glass things that have light attached which I normally use for dissecting small insects for some of my work. But it is too far from the sensor to get a real clear picture of what I'm doing.
>>Just ordered mine yesterday from photographylife.com, >they >>have it listed as backordered. >>Just checked my D800 sensor today, f22 into the clear >blue >>sky. OMG. loaded with spots. Will be in NYC on Thursday, >will >>have Chrysler camera repair do a cleaning. > >Wow, Nassim reported that they had a big supply coming in too. >I also had to wait the first time I purchased and then >purchased extra papers just to be sure. Once you get the >Sensor Gel Stick and use it, you won't have to worry about >cleaning your sensor for general cleaning.
FYI: Just received an e-mail from Photography Life that my back-order of the Sensor Gel Stick has been shipped.
I have wet cleaned D100, D200, and D700... but will get one of these kits for my D800. Wet Clean is nerve racking... because it can leave streaks if you have messy dirt. Worst one I did was as a favor to an Archeology Dig Shooter... their sensor was a nightmare with sands & Dirt blowing... had to go in a car... took about 8 passes & swabs... wasn't sure if I had created a bigger problem with dirt smears... but I finally got it 100% clean. Liquid sometimes self-evaporates. This jell seems like the way to go & a lot easier to use.
NOTE: Some of us do not have the option of a local service center when we are in some god forsaken place in the middle of nowhere on location 1/2 way around the world.
Warring as been said before... It's not for the timid or people that do not obey or understand instructions. Mess up & you toast your camera.
I have been using Disco Film to clean my sensor for over 6 years and that has always worked excellently for me. However, this gel stick looks really good as a stand-by solution, so I have ordered one to give it a try.
I do have to ask myself about Nikon's design with regard to dust avoidance. No camera is ever going to be dust-proof, but my Nikon D200 picks up a lot more dust than my Panasonic micro four thirds camera, even though I probably use the Panasonic more often than the Nikon and change lenses more often with it as well.
Steve (Bedfordshire, England) My Nikonians Gallery- please visit and leave a comment A Nikon in the hand is worth two in the bag!