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Old Feb 16, 2004, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Dust on CCD with DSLR

I have been using a digicam and I am now seriously considering upgrading to a DSLR. However, I have been reading about problems with dust potentially getting on the ccd with DSLR's. For those of you with a DSLR, do you find this to be a frequent problem? If so, how do you handle it? I'm considering a Nikon; of course they state to return the camera for cleaning if air does not rid the sensor of dust. This greatly concerns me because I don't want to be frequently sending my expensive camera back to Nikon for what I'm sure will be expensive cleanings. Is this a vaild concern or am I just overly concerned about nothing?

Thanks in advance for you input.
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Old Feb 16, 2004, 11:04 PM   #2
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that is something i was wondering too
(but i can't buy a dslr just yet lol)

help will be greatly appreciated
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 4:14 AM   #3
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Dust is a fact of life for any dslr, perhaps even Olympus' E-1 will encounter a dust problem that can't be corrected with its built-in dust removal mechanism. And whether it be Nikon, Canon or ANY manufacturer, you either send your camera to them for cleaning, find a camera repair shop that can do the cleaning for you, or learn to do the cleaning yourself. I am fortunate to live close by Nikon's service facility in NY, so I just have them do it for me

Dust will enter the camera body when you change lenses, so to reduce the risk of dust falling into the camera, point the camera and lens downwards, unmount the lens and then mount another lens you wish to use. And also try to change lenses indoors if at all possible, away from wind and too much humidity. Dusty air too should be avoided too.

Once I went to a wedding not knowing I had dust on my camera's sensor. I shot close to 450 frames, and all of them had a dark spot from the dust. Only thing is, sometimes the spot didn't bother me at all because it showed up in a dark area of the image. Otherwise I had a few hundred images to clean up using the clone and healing brush tools in Photoshop. Took a while but I cleaned all the images. I try to get a sensor cleaning once a month or so, depending whether I see dust or not.
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 4:20 AM   #4
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Oh, and never use canned air to clean the ccd, as it will contain chemicals that may get splattered onto the low-pass filter that covers the sensor, and then you'll have a larger mess than you started with (I speak from experience). Use only as last resort, perhaps second only to blowing air with your mouth... :lol:
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 4:44 AM   #5
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These are the kinds of problems that have all but convinced me to buy a pro-sumer type fixed lens cam (I've got the Fuji S7000 or Sony F828 in mind) rather than an SLR.
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 7:39 AM   #6
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I've had a D100 DSLR since June 2003 and I've not had a problem with the CCD yet. When I do I'll get it cleaned or learn to clean it myself.

The advantages of interchangeable lenses outway the disadvantages of a potentialy dirty CCD, although there is the expense (groan) and trying to decide which lens(es) to take for a walk on a particular day.

Seriously, (so far) it's not that bad.

Regards,
Graham.
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 8:57 AM   #7
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Default Living with Dust

I've had my D100 since September 2003, and got a small speck of dust on the ccd last month. I built up the intestinal fortitude, and cleaned it myself. I just took a sqeeze bulb (blower), one without a brush, set the camera for a shutter speed of 30sec. This gives you time to press the shutter, remove the lens and GENTLY (I can't emphasize that enough here) blow the dust off the sensor. Oh, and make sure your holding the camera with the lens mount pointing down. When your done, Take a shot of a white wall or something of the kind to make sure the dust is gone. I have to give credit to KlausDK for the above procedure.
I wouldn't let dust on the sensor drive me away from getting a Dslr. Buying a Dslr was one of the best investments I've made!!
Go get one and enjoy it!!!!
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 12:37 PM   #8
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Thanks all for the input. To Alberto, or whoever has had Nikon clean your camera, how much they charge? Worst case, I saw that there was an Independent Authorized repair shop maybe an hour from my house.

If you don't change lenses often, do you still think it is possible for dust to get inside? Would it be wise to perhaps store your camera in a plastic bag if you don't intend to use it for a while or is the body pretty well sealed to prevent this from happening unless you change the lens?
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 2:20 PM   #9
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Michael, I wouldn't worry a whole lot about changing lenses. As long as your in a fairly dust free environment such as a house or a car you'll be just fine. You just don't want dust or dirt blowing around when you change lenses. You definetly don't want to change lenses outside on a windy day for example. As for storing the camera in a plastic bag, you'd be asking for trouble there because now you have the possibility of condensation building up in the camera. We all know what that does to electronics. Cameras these days are sealed fairly well and it's tough for dust and dirt to find its way inside. I keep mine in a simple camera bag with my lenses. Nothin' fancy at all. Basically, treat it with care as you would any 35mm SLR and you should have no unexpected problems with a Dslr. Good Luck. Hope this helps you out some.

Chris
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Old Feb 17, 2004, 4:28 PM   #10
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Michael, everytime I take my D100 to Nikon to clean its sensor it get's done in a few minutes and free of charge. In the period of inactivity between weddings I just store my camera and lenses in my camera bag with a few sacks of a fine weave cloth filled with silica crystals to keep moiture down. Asides from dust, humidity is another problem to watch out for.
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