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Archive 2013 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?
  
 
y2nicco
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


Hey all,

I recently bought a used 5d and think I may have a sensor dust and potential damage issue. Here are two picture I took at f/22 of the sky. I put the photos into photoshop and hit "auto levels" and it made tons of specs visible. Also, there seems to be some scratches in the top of the image, a little left of sensor.

Are those scratches on the sensor? I know its not lens related as each picture was taken with a different lens. Also, I tried using my rocket blower on the sensor to no avail. Help!

PS - I visually inspected the sensor and see nothing on it.












Mar 25, 2013 at 12:39 AM
scalesusa
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


Has the camera had the mirror fix? Call canon and give them the serial number. You can get the mirror fix and they should clean the sensor at the same time at no charge.

If it has had the mirror fix, you may have to pay for a sensor cleaning, do it!!



Mar 25, 2013 at 12:46 AM
y2nicco
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


Thanks for your reply!

From what I understand, it would have two metal clips if the mirror has been fixed, right? I don't see clips but I also read that now canon is only performing the fix when the mirrors fall off, rather than regardless as they originally did.



Mar 25, 2013 at 12:48 AM
mbpics
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


It looks mostly like sensor dust to me. I haven't seen anything like the streaks myself, but all the dots look like simple dust spots. You wouldn't be able to see them with the naked eye; you could try a loupe if you'd like, but that seems overkill to me.

Sensor cleaning is a routine and simple procedure, and is necessary for just about everyone from time to time. I live near the coast and frequently change lenses in windy conditions, so I need to clean mine after most of my trips (multiple days shooting).

I use Photographic Solutions pre-moistened sensor swabs to clean my sensor: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Shop-by-Brand-Photographic-Solutions/ci/4/phd/4291276201/N/4294255798
I haven't had any issues, but it does usually take me a few swabs to get rid of every dust speck.

Others swear by dry cleaning; here's a great video illustrating how LensRentals cleans their sensors - you'd probably be well-served by following their advice, as they do this VERY often. http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/04/how-to-clean-a-camera-sensor

Edit: the dust is on the AA filter (or the protective filter, as in the case of cameras without an AA filter), not the sensor itself, so there's no reason to be scared of cleaning it yourself. Unless you're very clumsy or don't follow the directions prescribed by whatever cleaning method you choose, it's going to be hard to damage anything.

Edited on Mar 25, 2013 at 12:52 AM · View previous versions



Mar 25, 2013 at 12:50 AM
y2nicco
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


Thanks for the tips mbpics.

For what its worth, I bought it from a reputable seller that said the sensor had JUST been cleaned... leaving me all the more baffled!



Mar 25, 2013 at 12:51 AM
mbpics
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


It's very possible they tried (not very hard) to clean it once and then didn't check afterwards. I've had this amount of dust specks before and it comes off after a couple of swabs without any issue. Just make sure you get it done before you go out and shoot anything major with it again; nothing bites more than having to clone the specks out of hundreds of shots in LR/PS.


Mar 25, 2013 at 12:53 AM
y2nicco
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


Good to know. Also, thanks for the advise in your edit - puts me a bit at ease. Quick follow up though - the lensrental video says to use "sensor pen" to clean... would a regular old lens pen work the same, which brush on one end and black cleaner on the other? Thought you may know..


Mar 25, 2013 at 01:03 AM
scottam10
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


I would never use a lens pen on a sensor.
- it's very easy to scratch/damage a sensor, so I avoid touching the sensor at all, I only use a blower.

If you want to clean it yourself, I recommend extensive research and using the correct cleaning equipment



Mar 25, 2013 at 01:18 AM
y2nicco
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


If I clean it, I plan on making sure I have read up on it and am comfortable doing so! It seems like the swabs recommended above and the copperhill method are effective, so I will likely use one of those.


Mar 25, 2013 at 01:34 AM
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


http://fritzimages.com/blog/2012/copperhill-sensorsweep/11036/

Very useful info on using an antic static blower and a brush. Usually I dont need to go to swabs even on my 1d2 which loves to eat dust.

The Optex Hepa Jet II is my choice of anti static blowers for the price.

I use a viewer to see the dust, anti static blower, sensor sweep, and then after many rounds if I still have some particles then I use a swab and eclipse (copperhill).



Mar 25, 2013 at 01:49 AM
 

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y2nicco
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


Thanks SBS!

I already have a RocketBlower so I'll hold off on picking up the optex but I did order the Copper Hill method with sensorview and sensor sweep. I am not sure how effective the sensorview is when compared to a sensor loupe, but I imagine it will do just fine. It was only $10 more, which is much less than a loupe!

I think I may need swabs for the first round of cleaning, as there appears to be smears/streaks based on the image. I will keep you all posted as to how it all works out!



Mar 25, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Monito
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


I'm sorry, but I'm not optimistic about the condition of that sensor. Any chance you can get your money back? Explore that option with the seller first.

The parallel curved lines are an indication of a poor sensor cleaning job. We hope your sensor is not scratched, but it is very possible. It is probably best if Canon looked at it. But you could take it to a reliable place that would do a really professional cleaning. It will take more than just blowing out. It is going to take a wet cleaning if the lines are grease streaks or dried moisture streaks.



Mar 25, 2013 at 02:31 AM
lowa2
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


That's nasty. I hope you can send it back. Blowing out the chamber would get rid of most of the spots, but the streaks I don't know...


Mar 25, 2013 at 02:34 AM
y2nicco
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


Monito wrote:
I'm sorry, but I'm not optimistic about the condition of that sensor. Any chance you can get your money back? Explore that option with the seller first.

The parallel curved lines are an indication of a poor sensor cleaning job. We hope your sensor is not scratched, but it is very possible. It is probably best if Canon looked at it. But you could take it to a reliable place that would do a really professional cleaning. It will take more than just blowing out. It is going to take a wet cleaning if the lines are grease streaks or dried
...Show more

Are you suggesting that it is possibly damaged? Or just that a professional should clean it, rather than self cleaning via the wet method?



Mar 25, 2013 at 02:34 AM
davenfl
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


You know what, don't listen to that gloomy damaged sensor stuff, they frankly have no way of knowing anything from your images. As suggested by the majority
give the sensor a good cleaning or send it to Canon. It is most likely dirt. If in the worst case it is scratched you could return it but most of the dirt will come off. You will most probably never need to shoot at F22 so after cleaning if there are scratches there is a high probability that they will never show on images shoot at more normal f stops.

Dave



Mar 25, 2013 at 02:43 AM
y2nicco
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


davenfl wrote:
You know what, don't listen to that gloomy damaged sensor stuff, they frankly have no way of knowing anything from your images. As suggested by the majority
give the sensor a good cleaning or send it to Canon. It is most likely dirt. If in the worst case it is scratched you could return it but most of the dirt will come off. You will most probably never need to shoot at F22 so after cleaning if there are scratches there is a high probability that they will never show on images shoot at more normal f stops.

Dave


Thanks Dave. I know there is an option to get a refund, but before I pursue that, I am going to try cleaning. It is no secret that the 5d has been known to collect a lot of dust, so the kit will come in handy if it ends up working, which I suspect it will.



Mar 25, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Monito
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


Monito wrote:
The parallel curved lines are an indication of a poor sensor cleaning job. We hope your sensor is not scratched, but it is very possible. It is probably best if Canon looked at it. But you could take it to a reliable place that would do a really professional cleaning. It will take more than just blowing out. It is going to take a wet cleaning if the lines are grease streaks or dried moisture streaks.


y2nicco wrote:
Are you suggesting that it is possibly damaged? Or just that a professional should clean it, rather than self cleaning via the wet method?


Yes, I am saying that it is possibly damaged.

One way to find out is to have the sensor professionally wet cleaned and see if the lines remain. However, an experienced owner can wet clean their own sensor and with a little knowledge and care and good cleaning supplies they will not damage their sensor.

Blowing will not remove the lines because they are on the sensor. They are not parallel hairs, but they are sure evidence that someone brushed the sensor. In brushing it, they either scratched it, or left a residue that dried into the lines.

If the lines had lots of breaks in them, as if they were formed from dried droplets, then we'd be more optimistic. However, they look a lot more like scratches to me.



Mar 25, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Monito
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


davenfl wrote:
You know what, don't listen to that gloomy damaged sensor stuff, they frankly have no way of knowing anything from your images.


Well, some people are willfully ignorant, and others like to reason from visual evidence to reduce their ignorance. See my last post in this thread for how to apply reasoning.

Of course, having the sensor right in front of us would be better, but even then the images it makes are much better at being a microscope than the naked eye.

Some 100 % crops of the parallel lines would be useful.

davenfl wrote:
As suggested by the majority give the sensor a good cleaning or send it to Canon. It is most likely dirt.


Good advice, but though dirt makes the spots it is extremely unlikely that dirt would make parallel lines like that and have them so unbroken.

davenfl wrote:
If in the worst case it is scratched you could return it but most of the dirt will come off.


Better to negotiate a return first because any attempt at cleaning may be used by the seller as a reason to deny a refund.

davenfl wrote:
You will most probably never need to shoot at F22


1) Its affects won't be limited to f/22 or f/32.

2) It is bad advice to say that damage like that doesn't matter.

3) There are many reasons skilled photographers have for shooting at f/22 (and at f/11 and f/16 where it will likely show some effects). Just because you can't think of them doesn't mean that the Original Poster should drasticly limit the kind of photography she or he does.

davenfl wrote:
so after cleaning if there are scratches there is a high probability that they will never show on images shoot at more normal f stops.


They would be unlikely to show up at f/8 or wider apertures, but that is just not good enough.




Mar 25, 2013 at 03:07 AM
y2nicco
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


Here is a 100% crop and a 100% crop with wider coverage - did some research and a people have reported that streaks like this could form when using a sensor stemp and sensor swab to clean it, without paying attention via the use of a loupe.

Let me know your thoughts...












Mar 25, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Monito
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Please help - is my sensor damaged/dirty?


y2nicco wrote:
Thanks Dave. I know there is an option to get a refund, but before I pursue that, I am going to try cleaning. It is no secret that the 5d has been known to collect a lot of dust, so the kit will come in handy if it ends up working, which I suspect it will.


1) If I had bought the camera, I would be seeking a refund now before a cleaning. Otherwise the seller can claim that the cleaning damaged the sensor. However, if you send it to Canon for (an expensive) cleaning, you are probably in the clear if Canon says they can't remove the parallel lines.

2) The story that the 5D classic "collects a lot of dust" is bogus. It really does not, no more or less than other cameras. The reason it got started is because the 5D was such a breakthrough as the first full-frame camera at as low a price point as it had that it attracted hordes of people to full-frame, many of them much less experienced than other photographers who already owned full-frame cameras.

I have a 5D and a 5D2 and used to have a 20D. In my experience the Classic did not especially collect dust.

3) The 5D classic does not have the ultrasonic sensor cleaner that so many cameras have today, so people with modern crop factor cameras with sensor cleaners who buy a used 5D will think the 5D "collects dust", whereas it just needs occasional proper cleaning as do other cameras without the ultrasonic sensor cleaner, and as do (less frequently) even cameras with ultrasonic cleaning systems.



Mar 25, 2013 at 03:15 AM
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