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Archive 2012 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor b...
  
 
HoldenMan
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p.1 #1 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor brush)?


So, I couldn't think of a better place to put this query:

I have a 30D with a somewhat dirty sensor. There's obvious a few cleaning options out there, CopperHill being one of the more popular ones out.

However, I came across the Arctic Butterfly:

http://visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=3

Is anybody familiar with this brush-type device? It looks more convenient than a sensor swab type system, but I'm a bit wary of using a static-charged brush....thoughts?



Aug 01, 2012 at 08:59 AM
Donald Gray
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p.1 #2 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor brush)?


Yes - I have - It is useful in moving stuff around the sensor, but I have found that is does not always attract dust by static as they claim.

No individual cleaning kit/system is the be all and end all. Sometimes a combination of methods or techniques will be needed. - I have written a piece on this subject and posted in another thread - I will look it out and re-post it here



Aug 01, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Donald Gray
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p.1 #3 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor brush)?


The cost of sending a DSLR to a professional cleaning service is about 45 each time. You may need/want to clean the sensor 3 ~ 4 times a year if you have more than one lens or dismount the lens at all.

If you have a several lenses and change them over, then micro dust motes will enter the sensor/mirror cavity and eventually will settle on the sensor. Most of these dust motes are so small that they are invisible to the naked eye but because the image produced by the sensor, the dust mote will show up as a fuzzy dark spot.

The sensor is a delicate component and needs to be treated with care and respect.

All of the DSLRs that I have had access to and indeed my Canon 20D & Canon 5DMk11 have a sensor cleaning setting. It is essential that you read the book on the use of these settings. IE Use a freshly charged battery etc...RTFM!!!!

The following pieces of equipment will assist in making this job easier. However cleaning a sensor is not a quick job, it can take up to 1 ~2 hours to do with a nasty contamination!

The first piece of kit is a dust blower such as the "Giottos 'Rocket' blower.

Under no circumstances use 'tinned air'. It is NOT air, it will be a combination of butane/methane/propane. It is too vigorous and could propel solids onto the sensor at high speed. Also it will spray the sensor with minute droplets of the liquid leaving behind an oily contamination which is a pig to remove using a wet cleaning method - I speak from experience! It can also give the sensor a temperature shock by dropping its temperature to below freezing within a couple of seconds...

Sensor swabs: these come in various sizes and it is important to use the correct size for your particular camera sensor size. They must only be used once. They can be used for dry or wet cleaning.

Swab wetting liquid - only use on 'welded' dust that will not be shifted by using a dry method. Do NOT use glass cleaning solutions - the proper sensor solutions is a special spirit that leaves no contaminates/smears.

Sensor Magnifier: Essential accessory - helps to see the sensor and dust in 3D - also if kept over the open mirror/sensor cavity, will help to keep out other invading dust motes in the atmosphere.

Arctic Butterfly: This is a special brush that when spun by the built in motor, creates a static charge to the fine bristles. This lifts the dust from the sensor. The brush must NOT be spun while in contact with the sensor!

I purchased the Arctic butterfly and the Sensor magnifier as a kit set.

The last bit of kit to mention here is the Dust-Aid Platium. It is like a small rubber stamp that when gently placed on to the sensor, will help lift the dust off.

Although I have given links to the UK Amazon pages I suggest that you Google 'Visible Dust', 'Sensor cleaning', 'Rocket Blowers' etc... There are also many videos on YouTube dedicated to the various techniques and usage of these tools. Do a search there too.

The 'Visible Dust' website shows many of the professional cleaning tools and disposables...

No one cleaning method is the be-all-end-all. Sometimes a combination of 2 or 3 of the tools is need.

Yes, the full kit seems expensive but pays for itself in the long run.

EDIT: Using Google and or eBay searches will bring up a host of sensor cleaning kits at all sorts of prices. I do not recommend any particular make but am satisfied with the kit that I have that is listed above.

=========================================================
All links tested & working



Aug 01, 2012 at 11:00 AM
whitewash
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p.1 #4 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor brush)?


I use a kit from Photographic Solutions, photosol.com. A lot of times the blower and brush are enough. One of my cameras had some oil spots on the sensor; a brush won't clean that, but wet-cleaning it was pretty easy. Wet-cleaning a sensor isn't that big a deal in my experience, as long as you use a fresh, quality swab with the right amount of cleaning solution and a light touch, and don't try to re-use the swab even on the same sensor in the same session.


Aug 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Richard Nye
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p.1 #5 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor brush)?


Donald Gray gives good advice. There is no one method that works on all kinds of contamination. You need different methods for different gunk.


Aug 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM
 

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JBPhotog
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p.1 #6 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor brush)?


The issue with the Arctic Butterfly is keeping the fibers clean of contaminants. While swiping the sensor you can pick up oils on the fibers so get yourself some 99.997% Anhydrous Isopropyl alcohol to clean it. Dip the bristles in a small amount and wipe the brush on the edge of a container, like a paint brush, spin and reapply clean alcohol. Do this a couple of times and you will have a clean brush. The last dip don't spin, to keep the fibers tight, recap and stow.

Overall, you will need brush, blower, swabs, magnifier, liquids and good eyes to keep your sensor clean.



Aug 21, 2012 at 05:01 AM
JohnJ
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p.1 #7 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor brush)?


Richard Nye wrote:
Donald Gray gives good advice. There is no one method that works on all kinds of contamination. You need different methods for different gunk.


+100

No single method is 'best'. You can do a 'wet clean' every time but that's overkill for minor spots that a blower would easilly clean.

I use the following methods in the order listed (from least to most 'risky');
1/ Blower brush, which does the job approx 95% of the time.
2/ Arctic Butterfly, works on loose dust which is the most common problem.
3/ Sensor Pen, works on stuborn dust or marks.
4/ Wet clean (fluid on a swab).
5/ Go into the fetal position in a corner and rock back and forth. It doesn't help clean the sensor but it doesn't hurt either.



Aug 21, 2012 at 08:12 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #8 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor brush)?


I generally use the Arctic Butterfly first. If that doesn't work, then I use Sensor Clean fluid with a swab. Both are from VisibleDust. The Butterfly works best in low humidity, and not so well in high humidity.


Aug 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Richard Nye
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p.1 #9 · Sensor cleaning - anybody used Arctic Butterfly (sensor brush)?


A lighted sensor loupe is an invaluable tool to help you see the debris on the sensor. It saves so much time and the sensor cleaning is much more effective.

I use a "wet method" for welded on gunk (maybe pollen??).
I use a blower and brush for loose dust and lint.
I use a sticky silicone pen for stubborn dust or lint that is left behind by the blower and brush.
I generally use a sensor pen last to get the sensor squeaky clean.

After each treatment I use the sensor loupe to see the debris and determine the plan of attack.



Aug 21, 2012 at 06:34 PM





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