Dust bunnies. We all get 'em....

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RenoBart
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Dust bunnies. We all get 'em....

Post by RenoBart » June 8th, 2010, 12:34 pm

So, who out there can give us some tips on how to clean dust from the censors on our cameras.

My D80 right now is pretty bad. Lots of dust in the censor. I use a rocket blaster to clean it most of the time and I think last time I used it, the blaster just made things worse.

It would be cool to hear methods for both Nikon and Canon.

Thanks - Bart

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VanAR
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Re: Dust bunnies. We all get 'em....

Post by VanAR » June 8th, 2010, 1:56 pm

I use the copperhill method on my D80. Beware that it will negate your warranty. Warnings aside, its quite easy to do and is very safe as long as you don't press too hard on the sensor- if you do, you will crack the plastic or glass cover over the sensor and cause a permanent line through every photo you take.

It definitely gets rid of all dust bunnies.

http://www.copperhillimages.com/index.p ... l_Products

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Bill Love
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Re: Dust bunnies. We all get 'em....

Post by Bill Love » June 8th, 2010, 5:00 pm

I've been using a similar swab cleaning system over a year now with no hassles. I also have been training myself to always hold my camera pointing downward when changing lenses to save a little dust from floating in and landing by gravity.

Erik Williams
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Re: Dust bunnies. We all get 'em....

Post by Erik Williams » June 8th, 2010, 8:51 pm

I just use the built-in dustbuster that olympus pioneered. Not a speck on either of my DSLR sensors :D

A few people have asked me how I deal with dust, but it's always been a non-issue for me. I just suggest a body with some kind of integrated dust control.

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Sam Murray
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Re: Dust bunnies. We all get 'em....

Post by Sam Murray » June 8th, 2010, 10:36 pm

The Copperhill method Van suggested should get the job done when a rocketblower cannot. That said, I always felt like I was performing open heart surgery whenever I did it. Windows closed + door shut + sweating bullets for 15 minutes = not a lot of fun. While one or two swipes would usually take care of the dust bunnies, I'd frequently have issues when the eclipse fluid would smear a bit and leave residue on the sensor. I'd slap a lens on, fire off some test shots and then be horrified when I'd pull them up, having to start the process all over again.

In my opinion, the inclusion of a self-cleaning sensor mechanism in Nikon's new line was the single greatest thing they've ever done. No more open heart surgery for me.

A little common sense (i.e. Bill's tip re: gravity) goes a long way too.

milmoejoe
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Re: Dust bunnies. We all get 'em....

Post by milmoejoe » June 9th, 2010, 4:13 am

Sensor debris is definitely becoming less and less of an issue with technology.

Like Sam, I feel the integrated cleaning systems take care of 95% of of sensor cleaning these days. Be it the automatic clean on startup/shutdown, or the longer forced cleaning, it really does a decent job. Limitations do exist, like the amount it can clean, and the fact that it's not actually leaving your mirror box.

The next step is the "dry" cleaning, be it with a rocket blower, sensor pen, or arctic butterfly. Great for taking care of most everything else.

However, sometimes requires the "wet" cleaning is required with with swabs and solution. I find myself needing to do this either during or after a trip to the humid tropics. The humidity tends to bind with the sensor dust and make a nasty sensor "mud".

It's actually pretty hard to damage the camera while sensor cleaning, if you're reasonable about it. It's actually a low pass filter that you're cleaning (at least with the Canons). For years, I was too afraid to push hard enough to clean everything off, which resulted in streaks and so forth. And, one drop of sensor solution goes a long way.

It can be expensive to do. The plethora of sensor cleaning products available nowadays makes folks especially paranoid, and even has developed a cult of hardcore sensor cleaners. I shoot with folks who spend an hour cleaning their sensor every day after shooting.

I personally find the sensor scopes, lights, and vacuums a bit ridiculous, but then again I don't make my living by picture-making :)

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RenoBart
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Re: Dust bunnies. We all get 'em....

Post by RenoBart » June 9th, 2010, 9:25 am

Thanks folks. It really sucked because I had this MASSIVE chunk of crap on the sensor for the ENTIRE time I was at GBNP herping. I had to clone this out of EVERY photo. And that is just the biggest piece, as there were smaller dust spots ALL OVER. :(

Image

Image

I'm definitely going to try that Copper Hill product if my local shop doesn't have anything.

Thanks - Bart

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chrish
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Re: Dust bunnies. We all get 'em....

Post by chrish » June 9th, 2010, 11:24 am

I recently did some reading online and found a source that said Sony used isopropyl to clean sensors in their facilities. I used to use Eclipse solution but used isopropyl last time with no adverse effect.

I have had a "self-cleaning" sensor for years and it gets dirty as well, just not as often as one that doesn't.
I have cleaned my sensor twice in 25,000+ shutter iterations and I change lenses often and with impunity.

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