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An exercise in sensor cleaning
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Sep 3, 2018 11:14:19   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
If I was a betting man, I'd lay my money on mirrorless cameras being more susceptible to sensor dust ... The sensor is just there, waiting for whatever wants to jump / fall into the body when the lens is off. I struggled with an afternoon of cleaning spots yesterday in images from a Sony a7II. For whatever reason, Sony makes the shake process a manual action rather than auto when the camera is turned off or on, where I'd prefer auto for both.

I feared I'd have to get to a wet clean where I don't have full-sized wipes. I started with a sensor in this situation:



For the long pieces rather than circular spots, I could see these on the sensor with good light and a magnifying glass.

My first tool was a Giotto Rocket-Air and running the camera's sensor clean a few times.



The strips are gone. Maybe hair? I don't know what they are. The next tool is a Sensor Brush. It would seem this could add more than it removes. I blew the brush vigorously with the Rocket-Air, both to remove any dust in the brush as well as to build a static charge before touching the sensor.

Much improved, lots of spots gone, some new stuff arrived.



Another round of brushing and blowing and cleaning cycle and the final result after 20-minutes effort:



Good enough to get out and shoot and better, it seems, than the entire time I've had this body since purchasing used. Most of the images were f/16 at the nearest wall to my computer so I could click the SD card out quickly back n forth between the camera and computer / monitor.

Sep 3, 2018 11:16:59   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
That's why I hate cleaning sensors. It's never as easy and fast as the demo videos. You can save time by using a sensor loupe to examine it for spots. No picture-taking required.

https://www.amazon.com/Carson-Camera-Sensor-Magnifier-SM-44/dp/B0091SS310/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1535987793&sr=8-6&keywords=camera+sensor+loupe

Sep 3, 2018 11:26:15   #
Linda From Maine Loc: Yakima, Washington
 
Someone yesterday suggested dslr's have it worse because of metal shavings and all that up/down jarring from the mirror tossing oil and dust around. I'm sure "someone" will be along to discuss further

Congrats on your successful operation!

 
 
Sep 3, 2018 12:14:18   #
DaveO Loc: Northeast CT
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
If I was a betting man, I'd lay my money on mirrorless cameras being more susceptible to sensor dust ... The sensor is just there, waiting for whatever wants to jump / fall into the body when the lens is off. I struggled with an afternoon of cleaning spots yesterday in images from a Sony a7II. For whatever reason, Sony makes the shake process a manual action rather than auto when the camera is turned off or on, where I'd prefer auto for both.

I feared I'd have to get to a wet clean where I don't have full-sized wipes. I started with a sensor in this situation:



For the long pieces rather than circular spots, I could see these on the sensor with good light and a magnifying glass.

My first tool was a Giotto Rocket-Air and running the camera's sensor clean a few times.



The strips are gone. Maybe hair? I don't know what they are. The next tool is a Sensor Brush. It would seem this could add more than it removes. I blew the brush vigorously with the Rocket-Air, both to remove any dust in the brush as well as to build a static charge before touching the sensor.

Much improved, lots of spots gone, some new stuff arrived.



Another round of brushing and blowing and cleaning cycle and the final result after 20-minutes effort:



Good enough to get out and shoot and better, it seems, than the entire time I've had this body since purchasing used. Most of the images were f/16 at the nearest wall to my computer so I could click the SD card out quickly back n forth between the camera and computer / monitor.
If I was a betting man, I'd lay my money on mirror... (show quote)


Very nice post and thank you!

Sep 3, 2018 15:49:49   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Someone yesterday suggested dslr's have it worse because of metal shavings and all that up/down jarring from the mirror tossing oil and dust around. I'm sure "someone" will be along to discuss further

Congrats on your successful operation!


LOL Linda. There's no satisfaction in trying to police every dopey statement made on UHH ....

Sep 3, 2018 16:17:56   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Someone yesterday suggested dslr's have it worse because of metal shavings...


I heard they're going to start putting powerful magnets inside DSLRs to catch all those metal shavings. Better still, they're working on a magnet that will attract the aluminum and titanium shavings.

Sep 4, 2018 06:29:29   #
cameraf4 Loc: Delaware
 
Enjoyed your post. Very thorough.

 
 
Sep 4, 2018 07:10:12   #
Pablo8 Loc: Nottingham UK.
 
Something I have used since film camera days, household vacuum cleaner with a soft plastic/rubber nozzle ( prevents scratching)to remove dust etc., from the mirror and mirror - box. It works to remove dust from the sensor/anti alias filter surfaces. This is an anti-process of using a blower. The vacuum draws the dust off the surfaces, and takes it away into the dust collecting bag inside the ('Hoover'). My feelings are, that the blower gadgets can just blow the dust around, without actually removing it 100% from the camera workings. The 'Hoover' has a suction strength control. This method has worked for me for years. No damage to the camera workings. My latest FF Nikon body has a programable 'dust remove action' in the settings.

Sep 4, 2018 07:54:26   #
burkphoto Loc: High Point, NC
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
If I was a betting man, I'd lay my money on mirrorless cameras being more susceptible to sensor dust ... The sensor is just there, waiting for whatever wants to jump / fall into the body when the lens is off. I struggled with an afternoon of cleaning spots yesterday in images from a Sony a7II. For whatever reason, Sony makes the shake process a manual action rather than auto when the camera is turned off or on, where I'd prefer auto for both.

I feared I'd have to get to a wet clean where I don't have full-sized wipes. I started with a sensor in this situation:



For the long pieces rather than circular spots, I could see these on the sensor with good light and a magnifying glass.

My first tool was a Giotto Rocket-Air and running the camera's sensor clean a few times.



The strips are gone. Maybe hair? I don't know what they are. The next tool is a Sensor Brush. It would seem this could add more than it removes. I blew the brush vigorously with the Rocket-Air, both to remove any dust in the brush as well as to build a static charge before touching the sensor.

Much improved, lots of spots gone, some new stuff arrived.



Another round of brushing and blowing and cleaning cycle and the final result after 20-minutes effort:



Good enough to get out and shoot and better, it seems, than the entire time I've had this body since purchasing used. Most of the images were f/16 at the nearest wall to my computer so I could click the SD card out quickly back n forth between the camera and computer / monitor.
If I was a betting man, I'd lay my money on mirror... (show quote)


Very strange, that you would have that much dirt on your mirrorless sensor. My Lumix GH4 has been used hard, and has NO dust. I’ve never had to clean it manually. I have the automatic cleaner on, but that’s it. I am careful when changing lenses to keep the camera facing down while the lens is off.

At the school portrait company, we used hundreds of Canon dSLRS. They required a lot more cleaning — several times a year.

Most of the time, the Giotto Rocket Blower was enough. But dSLR mirror mechanisms throw metal shavings, lubricants, and foam bits from the vibration dampener below the focusing screen. Then they fan that, and dust from lens changes, around inside the camera.

So... contrary to “conventional wisdom”, dSLRs can require more frequent and more difficult cleaning. We used Sensor Swabs and Eclipse from Photosol, about 20% of the time.

Sep 4, 2018 08:07:24   #
Linda From Maine Loc: Yakima, Washington
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
LOL Linda. There's no satisfaction in trying to police every dopey statement made on UHH ....
Oh, I wasn't qualified to judge one way or the other; just passing on what I read. And it looks like burkphoto is da man!

Before I sold my horribly dirty-sensored Canon, I read another note about how zoom lenses act as vacuum to suck in dust.

Sep 4, 2018 08:19:30   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Well, you can always believe what you're told, or believe your own eyes ....

 
 
Sep 4, 2018 08:22:46   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Pay heed to the tales of old wives. It may well be that they alone keep in memory what it was once needful for the wise to know. ~ Tolkien, LOTR

Sep 4, 2018 08:43:33   #
foathog Loc: Greensboro, NC
 
jerryc41 wrote:
That's why I hate cleaning sensors. It's never as easy and fast as the demo videos. You can save time by using a sensor loupe to examine it for spots. No picture-taking required.

https://www.amazon.com/Carson-Camera-Sensor-Magnifier-SM-44/dp/B0091SS310/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1535987793&sr=8-6&keywords=camera+sensor+loupe


Read the ad you sent, Jerry>>>>>>"The SensorMag is NOT Compatible with Mirrorless Cameras"

Sep 4, 2018 08:54:14   #
burkphoto Loc: High Point, NC
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Oh, I wasn't qualified to judge one way or the other; just passing on what I read. And it looks like burkphoto is da man!

Before I sold my horribly dirty-sensored Canon, I read another note about how zoom lenses act as vacuum to suck in dust.


Actually, older, film camera zoom lenses suck in lots more dust. Those designed for digital cameras are sealed better. But they can still generate metal dust and dried lube bits.

We had several hundred EOS 20D — 50D Canons. The 20D has no cleaning mechanism. It wasn’t much dirtier than the later models that have cleaners...

Most of our portrait photographers never removed a lens. There was no need. The camera was mounted in a special rig. Yet still, the sensors got dirty! So did the rear elements of the lenses.

Sep 4, 2018 09:06:12   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Going back to Oshkosh in the last week of July, I've put at least 10,000 actuations onto my 5DIII body. Multiple lens changes in multiple outdoor environments. The images coming out of that camera are as clean in now Sept as they were in July. The Sony was purchased used and was quite dirty. The prior owner had also damaged the back display. I bought it at a heavy discount. Although I've probably shot 5000 images in six months ownership, it is not my primary camera as I continue to get familiar with how it shoots. It may just have needed a cleaning or will continue to need cleaning at its own schedule unrelated to other Sony bodies or the Canon.

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