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Old Dec 29, 2010, 4:37 AM   #1
mwi
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Default Cleaning DSLR

Hi !

Tips and advice needed. Taken photo up again with for starters a Sony Alpha 550 wondering what to do about maintenance. A guy in my local store got me a little confused presenting me with pens for lenses, sensors and so on. With lights and tips with coal. No blower with brushes or anything when I took pictures years ago with my Nikon 24 x 36 old fashioned camera. And he looked at me as I was from another planet if I wanted to brush/blow of lens etc. before even wanting to dare to put a coal tipped pen on my lens...
Cab you help me in the jungle of lens pens, devices to scrape of sensors and so on. What is best ? What do you guys do ?

Thanks so much
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 7:39 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. I also shoot with an A550 and while I have not yet had to do any internal cleaning the day will come when it will need to be done.


For lenses I have a special dusting brush (ultra fine Camel hair, I think,) that is from my dad's old bag. It is about the size of a lipstick tube and does wonders for light dust that may get on the lenses. There are a number of different "pen" type cleaners. I have one (from Targus) and use it when there might be something on the lens when a light dusting with the brush is not enough. (Brush on one end and small spray pump on the other)

The Rocket Blower is a popular choice for gently removing dust from inside the body.

Here is a site with some information. http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/

Hope this helps

Steve

Last edited by Old Boat Guy; Dec 29, 2010 at 7:52 AM.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 10:26 AM   #3
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Keep in mind that dust and dirt on the lens won't ever be in focus, so there would have to be a lot for it to degrade image quality.

Also, there are plenty of people here that, if you twist their arm, will confess to using the edge of the T-Shirt they're wearing, to clean a lens.

Non-contact cleaning methods are always better than contact methods, but non-contact methods can generate static electricity that can attract more dust and dirt.

I use a microfiber cleaning cloth that's 18% gray (something like this: http://www.adorama.com/CPMFCGXL.html ) so I can use it for exposure and custom white balance as well as for cleaning lenses. I also have a blower-brush that I use and a LensPen that I use for tough stuff. When it's been a while, I use Q-Tips dampened in distilled water, and if things are really bad, I'll add a little ethyl alcohol to the water.

I exercise great care when changing lenses, but if I need to clean the image sensor, I use one of the commercially available swabs and the associated cleaning solutions. (See http://www.copperhillimages.com/shop...ation.php?id=3 )
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Last edited by TCav; Dec 29, 2010 at 10:28 AM.
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 4:00 PM   #4
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thanks guys.. I think the picture is clearing up for me... I will stick with the old fashioned blower brush and microfiber cloth, knowing that sometimes contact methods can be needed in case of stains and so on.
And will consider a pen type cleaner and for image sensor a swab made for the purpose. Taken extra caution when channging lenses tp avoid using it. and my own old tip if any can use that. Keep the outer of housing and lens clean before opening/changing lenses.
If the house and lens is clean the risk of something getting in is not as big.

thanks again for enlightning me... the guy at the store really confused with with all his stuff that was needed for a DSLR camera.... according to him :-)
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 4:25 PM   #5
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I would go slow on cleaning the sensor. one wrong move and you have a major repair bill. i have some spots on my sensor and i thought about cleaning them off. then i was reading and realized that they're only barely visible against clear sky if i'm stopped down past f/8 or so. risk/reward ratio? i just left the alone.
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 6:15 PM   #6
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Good advice from all above. I have owned two dslr cameras since 2006 and have only needed to clean my sensor one time in four years, and I use a rocket blower. I have yet to encounter something that would require physical intervention, but it may happen. Cross that bridge when the blower doesn't work.
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 7:08 PM   #7
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I use a microfibre cloth and glasses lens cleaner on my lens, and ummmm quite often the bottom of my teeshirt
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 11:03 PM   #8
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Tsk Tsk Claire, don't let TCav hear you say that about the Tshirt LOL
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Old Jan 4, 2011, 11:07 PM   #9
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For anyone who hasn't yet encountered dust spots on their photos, here are some to look at. I didn't know I had a problem until I shot above f/14, this was shot at f/29.

Lens used was the 70-210 f/4 "beercan", which will stop down to f/32.

Those black dots are NOT birds ...
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Old Jan 5, 2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
... there are plenty of people here that, if you twist their arm, will confess to using the edge of the T-Shirt they're wearing, to clean a lens. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bella View Post
I use a microfibre cloth and glasses lens cleaner on my lens, and ummmm quite often the bottom of my teeshirt
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgwild View Post
Tsk Tsk Claire, don't let TCav hear you say that about the Tshirt LOL
And I didn't even have to twist her arm.
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