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Sensor cleaning, DIY or PRO?

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sidpick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sidpick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sensor cleaning, DIY or PRO?
    Posted: 11 Oct 2010 at 4:31pm
Hi all,

Just returned from a great weekends photography up in Norfolk and Suffolk and while I was reviewing my pictures I noticed some clearly visible dust on the images.

Getting home this is confirmed when viewing on the computer monitor and lots of the images are suffering from the dust.
Not a massive problem with PS's help but a bit of a pain.

Locked up the mirror and seen some spots on the sensor so its not lenses! Even tried multiple sensor cleans but some of the more stubbon dust spots remain.

I've not really looked into sensor cleaning before but I have done some research today and to be honest it looks like a bit of a minefield.

I'm looking at Park Cameras - £30-50 depending on return times as they are just down the road from me

Is it worth getting a sensor cleaning kit or let someone who's insured do it? I've got a steady hand and good eyesight!

Any advice or info would be great

Best regards

Sid
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Mr. Blue View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mr. Blue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2010 at 7:55pm
Hi Sid!

Most sensor cleaning kits provide at least five sensor cleanings at the same price of ONE single cleaning sensor service.

However, the answer to your question depends on a variety of factors. For instance:
How frequently do you replace lenses on the body of your camera?
How dusty are the areas in which you use your camera?
How often do you need to clean the sensor? (It is better to NOT clean the sensor on regular bases and do that only when you must!)

Sensor cleaning procedure is not a big deal as long as:
You know what you are doing;
You use high quality sensor cleaning kits;
You feel confident (and not arrogant!) enough about doing that very gently;

Though, you have to keep in mind that any damage to the sensor of your camera would be very painful to your pockets! Are you willing to take that risk? Do you feel it is a risk in case YOU do that by yourself?

Let’s say you have already decided to purchase your own sensor cleaning kit:
Now which kind will you buy: a "wet cleaning kit" or a "dry cleaning kit" or maybe both?
There are many sensor cleaning kits out there and some of them are really dangerous to your sensor. (I won’t name any names here!)
Be smart and don’t risk the sensor of your camera by using the latest gimmicky kits that promise you a QUICK AND EASY way to clean the sensor – Get yourself a practical and harmless one!
Give the sensor the respect it deserves and dedicate a decent time for cleaning it whenever it is necessary.

In case you want to know:
I clean the sensor of my camera by myself.
Nevertheless, there is no "right" or "wrong" here and it is all up to you.

Cheers

Mr. Blue


Edited by Mr. Blue - 12 Oct 2010 at 3:06am
Canon 5D Mark III, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, 580EX II
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sidpick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2010 at 9:37pm
Hi Mr.Blue and thank you for a quick reply!

the next question is then - what kit do you use

I work with small complicated objects so I'm not too worried about the physical mechanics of cleaning just the process and tools needed.

Seen the wet and dry kits, single use swabs and all the other gadgets like many photography things, seems like there is many avenues you can take with this.

I've tried multiple "in camera" sensor cleans and I've carefully blown air with the puffer onto the sensor but I think the dust is pretty stubborn - no real change in the images

I'd much prefer to do this myself, spend a bit of cash and get a decent kit, then I can clean anytime I need too (hopefully not too much though!)

I need to stop taking pictures by the sea, its not good for your kit!

watching Karls landscape DVD I was wondering if he and Nick have strategies for coping with all the sea spray / fine sticky, salty sea mist - especially with the pro kit...

Healing tool for now!

Thanks!!

Sid

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mr. Blue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2010 at 10:24pm
Hi again Sid!

You can read about the stuff I use in one of the posts under the Topic: Sensor Cleaning in the forum CLICK HERE!

About Karl's Landscape DVD:
I have the same thoughts as you each time I watch that DVD.
Thinking about all the sand that might be carried by the wind directly to the glass of the lens/filter and the salty water and salty air makes me paranoid and worried about the equipment

Yet from what I know, most of the equipment that is being used by professional photographers like Karl and Nick is weather resistant and highly durable.
Think about the extreme photographers who take their equipment to volcanoes sites in order to take some amazing shots of the explosions and the leaking lava in high temperatures or fully dusty areas after earthquakes…!!!

I have to admit that I own 'just' a Canon 450D and I take care of it as if it is a collectors' car…

Take care,

Mr. Blue




Edited by Mr. Blue - 19 Apr 2011 at 3:13pm
Canon 5D Mark III, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, 580EX II
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sidpick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2010 at 11:28pm
Great stuff, thank you

Did a search on sensor cleaning but nothing came up! D'oh!!

think I'll be getting a lenspen kit

my cleaning "on location " consisted of water and a microfibre cloth onto the filters, sand and sea spray got everywhere, first time I've had it and I've been on the coast loads of times with my camera without incident..

the more I get out the more I get into little habits - slowly learning!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mr. Blue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2010 at 3:11am
Hi!

Just wondering...
Is there any specific brand of microfiber cloth you recommend?

Mr. Blue
Canon 5D Mark III, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, 580EX II
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sidpick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2010 at 2:17pm
I've got a few different ones, my gps's (car and bike) came with microfibre cleaning cloths so I use them a fair bit, I've also got a lenspen one which is slightly bigger. I keep a few as there easy to loose in pockets and suddenly turn up three weeks later in the washing machine!

I have also got one of those small camping / outdoors towels which are super absorbant, this is great for getting moisture off kit (and you!)

Saw something on line about keeping kit clean whilst out and about

Left hand pocket cloth for 'dirty' items then right hand pocket cloth to finish clean.

I had an old camera cleaning kit from years ago, the little bottle now contains water just to wash of immediate contaminant from the filters hopefully stopping any sand or grit scratching the surface.

What will I be like when I upgrade to Lee filters!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mr. Blue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2010 at 7:48pm
H again Sid!

Thank you very much for the useful information

I use a Micro-Fiber Polish Cloth that is made by Planet Waves; It meant to be used on Guitars, Violins and other music instruments and it feels very soft and gentle, but honestly I am not so sure that it is good for lenses.            

Hence since I am going to purchase some Canon L lenses in the nearby future, I guess I will get myself some Microfiber cloths of Lenspen as well.

(At the moment I have two kit lenses: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS so I had no problem to risk them... )

Thanks again!

Best wishes and regards,
Mr. Blue




Edited by Mr. Blue - 12 Oct 2010 at 7:56pm
Canon 5D Mark III, EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, 580EX II
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