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| p.1 #3 · 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.
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