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The Truth About Dust and Sensors

mpage

San Jose, US
351 posts

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mpage Registered since 29th Jun 2004
Sat 01-Dec-12 11:19 AM | edited Sat 01-Dec-12 12:07 PM by mpage

The dust problem with modern DSLR cameras is more apparent than real. I have read several posts from users that are not going to buy a Nikon D600 or D800 at this time because of the out-of-the-box dust issue.

The fact is that most users will not notice dust on their images from a dirty sensor. Dust on a sensor only reveals itself at small apertures settings like f18 or f22, and then only on light backgrounds like a blue sky or a white wall. The only time I noticed dust (except for dust test images) was on wedding dresses I shot for a bridal shop.

I know it is a pain having dust on a new camera's sensor, apparently from an internal source. I don’t like it either and wish it was not so. But sooner or later you will need to deal with sensor dust. It is a fact of life.

Buy the appropriate products and learn the proper techniques to clean a sensor. I have an old set of sensor brushes that I got from VisibleDust for my first DSLR (Nikon D100) and plan on using them to start out with when the D600 arrives on Monday. To theses brushes I plan to add the following VisibleDust products:

1. Quasar Sensor Loupe 7X – eliminates the need to shoot and re-shoot f22 images to check for dust. You can see it on the sensor.
2. Zeeion Blower – a filtered bulb blower with anti-static propensities.
3. Arctic Butterfly 724 – sensor brush with LED lights. Brush spins to create an anti-static charge.

I know this stuff is pricey (around $270), but it is the cost of having a good DSLR. I would much prefer to put these funds towards a fine lens. I’m going to get the Loupe right away and the Zeeion Blower and Arctic Butterfly later, if necessary.

The above is for dry cleaning, but if a wet cleaning is required, I will get the following later:

1. Ultra MXD-100 (Fabric) Sensor Cleaning VSwab – swabs for cleaning a sensor in the proper sizes for you sensor.
2. Sensor Clean – a solution used with the VSwabs

VisibleDust has other products too, like a solution for cleaning sensor brushes. If you get VisibleDust products, or any other similar products, be sure to understand their proper use. Never let a swab or brush touch anything except the sensor. Do not let either touch the camera chamber.

Do not let this dust issue stop you from getting one of these find cameras. You can deal with dust. It would be a shame to deny yourself a great camera because of microscopic dust that can be dealt with.

-Mark-

My Nikonians Gallery

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