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Old 30-07-2019, 07:51 AM
Averton (P and C)
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DSLR sensor cleaning

How often do you need to clean your DSLR sensor?
Do you find using your DSLR on a scope gets more dust on the sensor than in use with normal lenses?
Do you wet clean the sensor?
We have found that using our DSLR on a scope the sensor has significant dust on it in a very short time. Is this just because we have the camera not attached to something for longer periods of time or that working in the dark it is easy to get dust on things, lens caps, lenses etc?
Some professional photography sites do talk about cleaning the sensor before any important photo shoot!!
Any thoughts?
Thanks P&C
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Old 30-07-2019, 08:06 AM
casstony
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Before modifying my Nikon d5600 I never had any dust issues as DSLR's are generally self cleaning.
With removal of the camera filter the chip always gets dust on it if I use a zoom lens, but the dust is easily removed with a puffer.

I generally don't get any dust on the chip when using the camera on a telescope, but I'm careful with handling in order to minimise the possibility of dust entry (keep a cap on, keep camera face down, keep the cap face down on a clean surface, etc).

Immediately after modifiying the camera there were spots on the chip so I did a wet clean with isopropyl; the most difficult part of the procedure was accessing the APSc sized chip deep in the camera body. It would have been much easier to clean the chip while it was out of the camera.
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Old 30-07-2019, 08:13 AM
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After modifying my 450D (and Canon ultrasound self-cleaning system disabled), after almost a year being carefull not to allow the dust in, I needed this to clean the sensor. It is easy to do and it's good value.
Normally I am using rubber puffer.
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Old 30-07-2019, 09:16 AM
glend (Glen)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casstony View Post
Before modifying my Nikon d5600 I never had any dust issues as DSLR's are generally self cleaning.
With removal of the camera filter the chip always gets dust on it if I use a zoom lens, but the dust is easily removed with a puffer.

I generally don't get any dust on the chip when using the camera on a telescope, but I'm careful with handling in order to minimise the possibility of dust entry (keep a cap on, keep camera face down, keep the cap face down on a clean surface, etc).

Immediately after modifiying the camera there were spots on the chip so I did a wet clean with isopropyl; the most difficult part of the procedure was accessing the APSc sized chip deep in the camera body. It would have been much easier to clean the chip while it was out of the camera.
There are special DSLR sensor cleaning swabs, which have a long handle on them to reach down to the sensor. They are made of plastic and covered with a sensor sized microfibre cleaning cloth. Like these:

https://www.ebay.com.au/p/Profession...SABEgIW5fD_BwE

I have used these for years. Other sizes are also available. They are also useful as debayering tools if you are thinking of mono mods (if using the glass polish technique).
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Old 30-07-2019, 10:23 AM
casstony
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I used those long handled swabs Glen, but still found cleaning awkward.

An additional advantage of mirrorless would be ease of access to the sensor for cleaning.
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Old 30-07-2019, 11:14 AM
Averton (P and C)
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Thanks for all the tips.
We had been looking at this cleaning kit https://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.c...r-cleaning-kit
It comes with a solution that says it is not alcohol based.
Why?
We would have thought that isopropyl was the way to go.
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Old 30-07-2019, 11:34 AM
casstony
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Try their solution first. If there are oil spots still on the chip use isopropyl. Isopropyl can leave residue but fogging the chip with your breath followed by a final wipe will get rid of that.

Some alcohols can damage plastics (eg.acetone); perhaps that's why they market the cleaning fluid as 'non alcohol'.
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Old 30-07-2019, 02:16 PM
Sunfish (Ray)
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My answer is every use with a Giotto rocket blower on shutter up with the sensor facing down. Keeps the dust from sticking and requiring a professional clean. Take an image of the blue sky and zoom around . You will see if there is dust on the sensor and you can just give it a puff with the rocket blower.
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Old 30-07-2019, 06:10 PM
Averton (P and C)
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We picked up the cleaning kit this afternoon.
Definitely needed the solution to remove the dust.
Very stubborn stuff.
It is much better now but not perfect.
Thanks to all for the assistance.
P&C
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Old 30-07-2019, 07:19 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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I am a professional photographer, one that earns a living shooting for a magazine, and a member of the National union of Journalists and a freelance journalist.

It makes me laugh I have never cleaned a sensor in my life and I have owned so many cameras from the Canon EOS10D, I change lenses on beeches, underground and trackside at sports events, and in 25+ years have never cleaned a sensor NOR needed to

I shot a presentation at the last P1 Superstock race any my Nikkor 14-24 got a Champagne shower, a wipe with a damp cloth on the lens and front element cleaned it all.

Oh and I buy my gear it is not supplied free

If I ever did want the sensor cleaning.....remember...., shops are INSURED against damage they cause to sensors and the replacement costs, are you


...
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Old 30-07-2019, 07:44 PM
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That's OK for professionals..

but we poor amateurs are on our own...
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Old 30-07-2019, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukastronomer View Post
If I ever did want the sensor cleaning.....remember...., shops are INSURED against damage they cause to sensors and the replacement costs, are you
...
One benefit of owning cheaper gear is that I can risk cleaning/modifying it myself. I might not be so quick to dive into a several thousand dollar camera.

They are similar to meccano sets though - everything just clips or screws together - just need to be careful not to zap anything with static electricity.
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Old 30-07-2019, 09:33 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bojan View Post
That's OK for professionals..

but we poor amateurs are on our own...
???

I have said I have never cleaned one, why, because there has NEVER been a need and I use my cameras more than I would say 99.999999% of users on here

If you "understand" what i am saying it is that it is rarely if ever needed, any more than a blower brush anyone needed to clean sensors it would be Pros who use their gear for a living, I can shoot 3000 images in one weekend and that is single shot
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Old 30-07-2019, 09:38 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casstony View Post
One benefit of owning cheaper gear is that I can risk cleaning/modifying it myself. I might not be so quick to dive into a several thousand dollar camera.

They are similar to meccano sets though - everything just clips or screws together - just need to be careful not to zap anything with static electricity.
I fully agree but even then and I am not being pompous, I have sat may times at events and seen and this is NOT a derogatory term, amateurs, opening their camera bags, removing their lenses from their, well multi wrapped packaging putting them on the bodies and wiping them off like a new baby, Fine and good for them, then the rest of us working pros tracksite pick ours up off the floor and shoot away, that does not mean we do not LOOK after our gear, but remember.....

"If it ain't broke leave it alone"

You can over coddle things, eg, I often read people on photo forums who swear by placing a chamois leather over their gear when it starts to spit with rain as they believe it absorbs the wet.

Nothing worse for your gear than the damp and more.. condensation that then gets into the gear from a damp chamois leather or cloth, better a plastic bag with a hole for the lens
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Old 31-07-2019, 06:32 AM
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Jeremy,
I fully understand why you never needed to clean the sensor.
But my case is somewhat different from yours...

Let me summarise:

With Canon DSLR's, dust on sensor is cleanded by means of ultrasonic tranducer that "shakes" the dust from IR filter (Canon cameras have that system, I don't know about others but I imagine they have something similar). The simplest camera modification (that I have done it myslef) includes removal of IR filter and consequently, ultrasonic cleaning system with it.
Dust on sensor is not a big problem when lower f/numbers are used.
And, dust specks are not a big problem if hystograms are stretched only slightly (if at all).

As I mentioned in my post, I only needed to clean the sensor (2 times in two years) after I modified my Canon 450D camera (by removing IR filter, so ultrasnic "shaker" was also removed), and because dust specks become much more visible ("focussed") starting with f/5,6 and up (this is because the sensor glass lid is closer to sensor than IR filter.. at f/10 (C11, MTO100A and Rubinar-1100) they are quite sharp, and when adjusting curves in postprocessing (that means increasing contrast, gamma and excessive stretching is applied) dust specks are also significantly enhaced, sometimes even when fresh flats are properly applied.
And, as last one, I do not want to pay for cleaning service, because I do not run a business.. so I can't justify the cost of professional cleaning service (to my better half.. especially because she knows I know how to do it... ).

Last edited by bojan; 31-07-2019 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 31-07-2019, 07:36 AM
Sunfish (Ray)
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Yep Bojan . My Pentax KS2 is set to give a little sensor shake every time I turn it on. This is because as soon as I started using it on a telescope I noticed the dust that is not noticeable on terrestrial shots. Only zoomed in to a blue sky.

Keep that reducer on.

So I had it cleaned by the Pentax service company when they did some other adjustments. Best $100 I spent on a $1000 camera. Problem with self cleaning for most of us is, it is always much better but not often as new.

Now it is easy to clean with a puffer when I check for a speck in images. Would a puffer also keep a modified sensor clean.?
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Old 31-07-2019, 07:43 AM
Sunfish (Ray)
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That is why us amateurs have cameras like a cheap Pentax KS2 .
Water resistant. A water proof Nikon with interchangeable lenses would be ideal for paddling around in the the dew and on the sea.

If it aint broke, i can easily make it worse.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukastronomer View Post
I fully agree but even then and I am not being pompous, I have sat may times at events and seen and this is NOT a derogatory term, amateurs, opening their camera bags, removing their lenses from their, well multi wrapped packaging putting them on the bodies and wiping them off like a new baby, Fine and good for them, then the rest of us working pros tracksite pick ours up off the floor and shoot away, that does not mean we do not LOOK after our gear, but remember.....

"If it ain't broke leave it alone"

You can over coddle things, eg, I often read people on photo forums who swear by placing a chamois leather over their gear when it starts to spit with rain as they believe it absorbs the wet.

Nothing worse for your gear than the damp and more.. condensation that then gets into the gear from a damp chamois leather or cloth, better a plastic bag with a hole for the lens
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Old 31-07-2019, 07:43 AM
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Puffer is OK, however, Canon claims their IR filter has low-stcking film.. so I imagine puffer will be less effective, as the sensor lid that is left is glass only.
When cleaning my sensor, I used microscope, and some dust partcles were very persistent in staying on glass..
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Old 31-07-2019, 08:02 AM
casstony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
Would a puffer also keep a modified sensor clean.?
Yes, although I'd recommend cleaning the sensor while it's out of the body if you modify your own camera.
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Old 31-07-2019, 08:15 AM
Sunfish (Ray)
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Thanks Bojan and Tony. Still looking at that D5100 modification. I Seem to have fallen into the lrgb vortex for the moment. Makes the DSLR mod seem more attractive, even with the required filters.
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