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Archive 2013 · cleaning the sensor myself
  
 
friscoron
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p.1 #1 · cleaning the sensor myself



I shoot with a Nikon D4 and I have a D700 as my backup. I took them in two months ago for sensor cleaning, but a quick test showed there was still a lot of dust on the sensor. I just really don't have time to keep dropping it off, but I need the sensor clean.

I know you guys are constantly encouraging people to clean their own sensors, and that's the direction I'm leaning. Just a couple of questions.

1. What's the likelihood of my damaging my sensor if I try this?

2. I know there are videos out there, and sensor cleaning kits you can purchase, but how quickly does one master this? It unnerves me a bit knowing that a professional didn't do a great job.

3. Any suggestions on which sensor cleaning kits to go with?

Appreciate any feedback on this.
Ron



May 30, 2013 at 04:25 PM
KKapple
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p.1 #2 · cleaning the sensor myself


I am pretty fast and good at cleaning my sensors and am picky as can be about it.
I got over the hesitation long ago when I had my first rebel back in the day and bought the 20D.
So I practiced on the rebel not carrying what happened. I never did damage the sensor.

I first blow off the sensor with the rocket air blaster, then inspect the sensor with a loupe.
I then wet a Sensor Swab with Eclipse Cleaning System Solution and go at it lightly until it is perfectly clean.

You will need to do this in a semi clean environment and also know as soon as you put the lens back on or change a lens, your gonna get a dust spot.

Dust spots just go hand in hand with digital photography. So I approach it hoping for less retouching and try my best to keep it clean.

Knowing my sensor will be dust free is never a consideration. I just hope to minimize it.
When your out hiking, it's ridiculous to expect you will stay dust free.
It's not uncommon for me to blast it with the sensor off and on with the rocket air blaster in my car, which is filled with dust, especially when I am out in the desert.

Once you get over the hesitation of worrying about it, it's not that big a deal IMO.
You just need to get over your initial fear factor.
Pretend you are a watch maker...



May 30, 2013 at 04:50 PM
BruceF99
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p.1 #3 · cleaning the sensor myself


I use a Giottos rocket blower with the http://www.copperhillimages.com/ basic kit with quickstrips. They have a lot of helpful information and a lengthy tutorial. It's pretty easy to do once you get the hang of it.


May 30, 2013 at 05:08 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #4 · cleaning the sensor myself


I also use the Sensor Swabs with Eclipse. I bought the kit from Amazon plus some extra swabs. I know the feeling but it becomes quick and painless fast.

brad



May 30, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Mr Joe
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p.1 #5 · cleaning the sensor myself


Really thorough overview of sensor cleaning options here: http://www.cleaningdigitalcameras.com/


May 30, 2013 at 06:02 PM
 

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friscoron
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p.1 #6 · cleaning the sensor myself



I appreciate all the feedback, esp kkapple, for going into such detail. I think I'm ready to bite the bullet and go for it.



May 30, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Jon Buffington
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p.1 #7 · cleaning the sensor myself


2nd the copperhill method. So simple.


May 31, 2013 at 01:05 AM
alohadave
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p.1 #8 · cleaning the sensor myself


friscoron wrote:
I shoot with a Nikon D4 and I have a D700 as my backup. I took them in two months ago for sensor cleaning, but a quick test showed there was still a lot of dust on the sensor. I just really don't have time to keep dropping it off, but I need the sensor clean.

I know you guys are constantly encouraging people to clean their own sensors, and that's the direction I'm leaning. Just a couple of questions.

1. What's the likelihood of my damaging my sensor if I try this?

2. I know there are videos out there, and
...Show more

1. Unless you are using sandpaper, the odds are minimal.

2. It takes a little bit of practice, but it's not difficult.

3. I use a Giottos RocketBlower and a Sensor pen. I've not needed wet cleaning yet, but depending on where you are, you may need one. Check with your manufacturer for specific recommendations. Some sensors have coatings that require specific chemicals to wet clean with.

I clean sensors at camera club meetings all the time. You can't get all the dust, and you won't be able to see any of it, so you have to be methodical and take your time. More than one pass is normal, and not a problem, just check after each cleaning for spots. I normally don't worry about small spots near the frame edge because they'll normally be hidden by details and no one looks at the edge of the frame for spots unless you are doing a lot of continuous tone shots.



Jun 01, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #9 · cleaning the sensor myself


I also recommend the copperhill method. Once you get used to having a clean sensor again, you will maintain it that way. I cannot remember the last time I had to fix a dust bunny. Sometimes I can go for many months and hundreds of lens changes without a wet cleaning. Other times I need to clean frequently. The worst was when I visited Death Valley. The dust storms were nasty. Blowing sand is the least of the issues. The wind raises very fine sand which gets everywhere. I did three wet cleans in a month.

BTW, you can save a lot of money if you get a spatula and PekPads. The PekPads are really cheap and I even cut them into four pieces. Typically I clean at least 3 or 4 times with fresh pads before I check the sensor and I often end up repeating the process. That would be 6 disposable swabs at about a $1 each. Of course read the instructions. Don't touch any cleaning supplies with bare hands. Blow off your sensor before cleaning it. Apply the Eclipse alcohol very sparingly and clean with gentle pressure. I suppose it is possible to damage your camera but you really would have to do something stupid like turn your camera off while you have a swab on the sensor. That would likely destroy the mirror apparatus.



Jun 09, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #10 · cleaning the sensor myself


I learned to do it myself with my good old 1Ds. Unless you send into Canon - Nikon (and even then I am not sure) or a decent local repair place, the person down at the local camera store is not going to take as much care or time as you will.

If you want it done right do it yourself, it's not rocket surgery...



Jun 09, 2013 at 06:51 PM





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