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Old Sep 14, 2005, 9:32 AM   #11
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You blow dust off EVERY day? I must say I think that is excessive and probably pointless. In fact, you might actually make the dust situitation worse.

Personally, I do a blue sky test (at f32) when I start to see probable dust from normal shooting. I usually end up doing a clean about every 6 months.

To clean, I use a rocket blower to flush out the mirror chamber and CCD. Following that I use the sensor brush to clean the sensor. I redo the blue sky test and repeat the sensor brush until I get the CCD acceptably clean. I find getting the 4 corners and edges of the CCD clean to be especially problematic (I have a full frame 35mm CCD).

I only use a cleaning solution/PEC pad if absolutely necessary, and usually it is not.

I find the sensor brush (www.visibledust.com) to be extremely good.

Declan
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 9:45 AM   #12
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From a picture perspective, how would one know they had the sensor dust problem?

Would there be a "water droplet" type look to the image.

If I take a picture in the rain, it's pretty obvious when I look at my images that I had a few water spots on the lens.

What does dust look like in a photo?

-- Terry
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 10:13 AM   #13
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It is mostly noticable in areas of solid color, they show up as splotches,
I'll attach an sample image to this post when I get home.

Edit: Attached the image.
The red circled items are dust spots.
I don't know what the purple circle item is, I'll have to recheck when the sky clears up again to see if it is still there.

Peter.
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 11:48 AM   #14
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For a second there, i thought Terry was gonna say he an Olympus with super-sonic wave filter....
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 11:59 AM   #15
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I clean when needed. I use filtered air from my compressor. I've worked in camera repair for over 22 years...long before digital sensors...but ... clean water proof air (not from a can) works for me...10 to 15 psi....with a WATER FILTER....gets out every time!

It is not THE END OF THE WORLD if you get dirt on an image. Thanks to software such as CS...sold lots of Weddings....
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 12:35 PM   #16
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Maybe I should clear things up: I don't blow off the sensor every night, I blow the sensor off after a day of shooting...which, I guess, is almost every day. I take into account whether I have swapped lenses several times or not. I only do this because those dust spots drive me crazy. I know I can photoshop them out, but there's something that really bugs me about having to spend an hour taking grey spots out of my photos when I could just blow the sensor clear before or after shooting. I also blow the sensor clear so often in the hope (maybe in vain) that dust will not accumulate on the sensor. Either way, this routine seems to be working, but only time will tell.

-Blake
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 12:44 PM   #17
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Blake,

Sounds like you suffer from paranioia.....only time you may get "dust" is out in the FIELD but from your kind of work ,,,,don't think that?




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Old Sep 14, 2005, 12:44 PM   #18
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I sort of agree with both Ross and GWHayduke.
Dust is not the end-of-world, but I also hate haveing to spend time spotting and cleaning up images when it could be avoided.

Air works most of the time, but some things just seem to stick-like-crazy and need a bit more to get them off.

Peter.
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Old Sep 14, 2005, 1:01 PM   #19
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I like Peter...hope to retire in Canada....but yes...sometime oil from the shutter will stick on the sensor...Isopropal alcohol is the best way to get your sensor cleaned, but, leave it to a professional!
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Old Sep 15, 2005, 7:11 AM   #20
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I hope when you 'blow' off your sensor, that you are NOT using canned air. That is a big no-no. It is too strong and could potentially spray liquid on your sensor. Make sure you use a gentle blow of ir, such as from a hand held blower bulb. The strong blast could just lodge dust in the sensor chamber.

If you are seeing dust spots in your photos, even with blowing off your sensor, then, I think, you need to do a real cleaning. Not all 'dust' is sitting loose on the surface of the sensor, so it will not budge when you blow. Plus most of the dust is too small to see with the naked eye. If you can actually see the dust, then it will be a hulking great blob on your images.

If you really want to know how bad the dust is, do the blue sky test. That is, shoot a photo of blue sky with the lens fully stopped down to it's smallest aperature. Then examine it at 100%. Anything that shows up will be dust.

I too, change my lenses on a regular basis, although I try not to change outdoors, if I can help it, and dust is NOT a serious problem, nor do I see dust in my images that makes me have to spend a lot of time photoshoping them. When I do start to see some dust spots, that's when I do a sensor cleaning.

It is quite possible that by blowing off your sensor after EVERY shoot you are actually making the problem worse. Dust is attracted to the sensor by a static charge and blowing off the sensor may only move the dust around, rather than removing it.

From experience, I can tell you that blowing off the sensor will NOT remove all the dust, only the looser particles. A real cleaning is needed to get the sensor squeaky clean. Like you I like a squeaky clean sensor, so after I do get my sensor nice and clean, I leave it alone. I don't even think about cleaning (or blowing) until I start to see dust shadows in my images.

Hope that helps.

Declan
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