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Old Aug 27, 2006, 11:14 PM   #1
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I'm looking to get my first DSLR and I'm wondering if anyone has experience with dust getting on the sensor. What has your experience been? How do you keep it clean?


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Old Aug 28, 2006, 8:17 AM   #2
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You can keep it clean longer by changing your lenses quickly and in a clean environment (i.e changing lenses on the beach is a very bad idea). But, sooner or later you will get dust in the camera - it's a fact of life. Do a search on sensor cleaning here the topic has been discussed at some length.

There are also a couple DSLRs out or coming out that have a method for self-cleaning the sensor. Time will tell whether or not they work. But, the honest truth is, cleaning a sensor is not difficult at all as long as you have good eyesight and steady hands. If either of those two are an issue for you then that's a different story - you may want to look at one of the auto-cleaning cameras or just have to rely on having your sensor professionally cleaned.
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Old Aug 28, 2006, 2:42 PM   #3
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I have had good success at cleaning sensors by simply using an air blower such as the Giotttos Rocket Air Blaster.* It may take a few tries but works well.* Give that a shot before you actually try direct "wiping" of the sensor.
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Old Aug 28, 2006, 7:39 PM   #4
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I have had success cleaning my sensor with an air blower also. I use a rubber blower I picked up at my local camera store getone that is a good size so you get enough air pressure. Dust is something you just have to deal with don't let it be your deciding factor.
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Old Aug 29, 2006, 12:00 AM   #5
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Just stay away from canned air or you will most likely end up with dust and gunk to clean off the sensor.

Check out this http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/index.html
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Old Aug 29, 2006, 9:41 AM   #6
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I just went through my first sensor cleaning this weekend. I was blissfully unaware at how much dust was on the sensor until I did a few test. I shoot sports at wide f/stops f/1.8 - 4 so dust wasn't showing up. Shooting a well lit white paper at f/22, downloading the image, in CS2 running auto levels and I was shocked to see sooooo many particles.

I try and change lenses as quickly as I can when I have to change them, but a baseball diamond probably isn't the best place to do it ;-) I would use a rocket blower, occasionallya foot pump blower once a week or so to blow off the sensor, never performing the test above until this weekend.

I tried dry methods first, lens pen and brushoff. They got rid of 60% of the dust. I really liked the lens-pen and feel this might work well if I hadn't waited 10 months to do my first cleaning.

I then went to the wet method, sensor swab and eclipse fluid. After several attempts each one either getting more dust off or moving it around I finally resorted to using smaller sensor swab and concentrated on the corners where the dust was. By the way, I was cleaning a Mark II N 1.3 crop factor. I switched to a swab for my 20D a 1.6 crop factor. Now I know this doesn't follow the rules for cleaning the the sensor but there is a piece of glass over it. Irubbed the swab several times over the corners much firmer than I was originally (this is were some particals seemed stuck). I'm sure being my first time I was very delicate to start with anyway. Plus the sensor swab handles bend way to much making it difficult to apply firm pressure. I then ran a 1.3 swab "according to all the rules/directions"over the sensor.

After doing this several times I finally got the sensor prettydarn clean. I don't know if it's possible to get every speck off. But, when I was done I did another test at f/22, f/11/ and f4. At f/4 I didn't see a single spot.At f/11 at 100%if I looked hard enough I could see a slight darkening where a spec might have been (or it might have been a blemish on the paper?) At f/22 there where a few very, VERY small spots.

It took me nearly 3 hoursto do this. Almot 2 of it, performing test after each swab. I had nothing else to do Friday night and itshould never take this long if you take care of it on a regular basis. In fact, I just ordereda 100 pek pads and a firmer 16mm swab along with the Visibledust. I'll use the Visibledustweekly along with a blower. I don't expect to have to do the wet methodany more than once a quarter. The Visibledust and blower shouldn't take more than a few minutes and a few more to do a test to check it out.

I know this was a bit long winded. But I was nervous tosay the least at cleaning my 4K camera. Some sites/folks say DON'T DO IT YOURSELF, other say it's no big deal. Ihave to agree, it's no big deal.

Hopethis helps,
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