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My Experiences Of Sensor Cleaning  
User currently offlineLGW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 17 hours ago) and read 3407 times:

Hi all,

Since going from D30 to 20D dust has become an issue as discussed in a topic I created a week or two ago.

Well, since then I had a go with Intemos DSLR clean swabs which I didn't get on with, I found them difficult to move around the sensor and I ended up with a similar looking sensor to before hand.

I had been pointed in the direction of the Copper Hill DSLR clean tutorial and kit (Thanks Fergul et al). It looked good so I ordered a kit and it came very quickly with a nice set of instructions too.

I had a go on a mirror to make sure I got the technique right and then had a go on my sensor. It took a good few attempts to get used to making up a swab and cleaning but after 5 sweeps over my sensor (it does say new users can take 3-10 swabs to get a clean sensor so 5's not so bad for a first time ... ish Big grin)

Anyhow I now have a spotless sensor at f20 and I am pretty pleased with that.

The main purpose of this post is partly because of the number of posts about how to clean sensors/deal with dust spots and also to say that cleaning the sensor really isn't some big deal, yes DSLR's are very delicate and expensive, and they are to be treated carefully. Most manufacturers say not to go anywhere near the sensor but the facts are that dust happens, it is no fun cloning tons of dust off every photo and people can't afford the time and money to keep sending the body away to get it cleaned by their manufacturer.

The Copper Hill method seems a little daunting and difficult but give it a go, be patient and follow the instructions and your sensor will be nice and clean.

Hope this helps someone and remember you are not cleaning the sensor, although that it the terminology used, you are cleaning glass over the sensor!

Cheers

Ben Pritchard

Copper Hill ---> http://www.pbase.com/copperhill/ccd_cleaning

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMrk25 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 225 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (9 years 17 hours ago) and read 3399 times:

Hi All,

One thing I found when practicing before the sensor clean. I was using a spare UV filter, Every pass of the swab left smears/streaks. I was a little unsure of what would happen on the sensor and certainly didn't want to replicate this effect. I did find that the Eclipse fluid does not streak on the sensor at all.
So for anyone practicing first, don't worry if you get smeary streaks it will be fine on the sensor.

Regards

Mark


User currently offlineFergulmcc From Ireland, joined Oct 2004, 1916 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (9 years 17 hours ago) and read 3378 times:

Quoting LGW (Thread starter):
Thanks Fergul et al

You're welcome Ben, glad it worked out for you. I feel that the stuff you get from copper hill is the best for cleaning your sensor. I do a sensor check each time, before I go out and I take them with me when I go on holiday as well. Did I mention that I was off to Cape Town for the Christmas holidays?? Big grin Big grin

Take care

Fergul  sun 



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User currently offlineTZ From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2003, 1085 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (9 years 16 hours ago) and read 3368 times:
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Does this system really involve you having to manufacture your own sensor swabs? I have always found that the Sensor Swab product (from the same manufacturer as the Pec-Pad) works like a charm.

I have been cleaning my sensor with Eclipse fluid and Sensor Swabs for years and very happy and never had a problem. It's no big deal for me, although it'd be nice if I never had to do it at all!

TZ



TZ Aviation - Aeropuerto de los Banditos Team Images
User currently offlineMrk25 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 225 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (9 years 16 hours ago) and read 3361 times:

Quoting Tamsin (Reply 3):
It's no big deal for me, although it'd be nice if I never had to do it at all!

I'm sure the day will come when a company will produce a self cleaning sensor or perhaps a built in device that wipes the sensor when you select sensor cleaning in the cameras menu.

Mark


User currently offlineFergulmcc From Ireland, joined Oct 2004, 1916 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (9 years 15 hours ago) and read 3344 times:

Quoting Tamsin (Reply 3):
I have always found that the Sensor Swab product (from the same manufacturer as the Pec-Pad) works like a charm.

I have no expierence with them but the sensor swipe, which I'm sure is very similar is very good. All you do is cover/wrap the sensor swipe with a new pec pad each time, with a few drops of the fluid and swipe away, but always ensuring that you don't touch the area of the pad that is going to come into contact with the sensor. Big grin
Works every time for me,

take care

Fergul  sun 



Zambian Airways, Where the Eagles fly free!!
User currently offlineDendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1671 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (9 years 15 hours ago) and read 3333 times:
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HEAD SCREENER

Quoting Tamsin (Reply 3):
I have been cleaning my sensor with Eclipse fluid and Sensor Swabs for years and very happy and never had a problem.

I can't say I've been doing that for years, but I do the same. When Fergul visited me earlier in the year he did mine using a Pec pad and that was good. The big difference is the cost. Fergul left me some Pec pads and they will last for ages whilst the sensor swabs are not cheap.
Incidentally, Eclipse fluid is simply IPA, (not India Pale Ale), Iso Propyl Alcohol and so that is damned expensive for what it is too.
If you know a friendly chemist it should cost a few pennies.
Mick Bajcar


User currently offlineLGW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 14 hours ago) and read 3321 times:

Tamsin,

Yes with this method you make your own swab. As Fergul said its just a Pec-Pad wrapped around a Sensor Swipe spatular with a little tape, not to difficult but I do prefer the look of what you use Tamsin. Cost is also a factor, the ready made ones work out at about £3 a go? Its about £7 or so for 100 Pec Pads on Warehouse Express.

Mick,

When I read IPA I had visions of using a couple of drops of Greene King IPA on a Swab Big grin

Cheers

Ben Pritchard


User currently offlineDendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1671 posts, RR: 62
Reply 8, posted (9 years 14 hours ago) and read 3309 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SCREENER

Quoting LGW (Reply 7):
When I read IPA I had visions of using a couple of drops of Greene King IPA on a Swab

Ben

Ah Greene King....
Best taken to calm the nerves AFTER the cleaning, in much larger quantities than a few drop too.

Tamsin,
I have a very strong suspicion that the sensor wipes you use are simply Pecpads on a special spatula. I bought some of those wipes and, obviously, use them only once. They are however very easy to 'reload' with Pecpads for re-use. Don't throw them away!
Mick Bajcar


User currently offlineTZ From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2003, 1085 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (9 years 12 hours ago) and read 3284 times:
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Quoting Dendrobatid (Reply 8):
have a very strong suspicion that the sensor wipes you use are simply Pecpads on a special spatula.

Yes, I think the end result is just the same, especially given that the same manufacturer makes both. The only difference is really cost vs convenience.

TZ



TZ Aviation - Aeropuerto de los Banditos Team Images
User currently offlineChrisM001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 72 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (9 years 7 hours ago) and read 3246 times:

As long as you are careful then cleaning your sensor should not be something to be scared about. Was at a Canon presentation recently and the sales rep was trying to persuade me that the only way to get the sensor cleaned properly was to send it back to Canon. When several of us pointed out how susceptible to dust the 20D seems to be, and if we followed his advice we would be without our cameras for significant periods of time he didn't really have an answer.

Some tips to try and reduce the dest getting on your sensor:

  • Only change lenses with the camera switched off.
  • Don't keep the body cap in your pocket etc when you are using the camera. When you come to put the cap back on the camera any dirt/lint etc in your pocket may end up inside the camera - next time you switch on, plenty of dust for the sensor to grab.
  • Try and store your body cap with the corresponding lens rear cap, cuts down chance of getting dust on the inside of the body cap. Ideally keep both in a clean environment.

Chris


User currently offlineVasanthd From India, joined May 2005, 450 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 hours ago) and read 3239 times:

Quoting ChrisM001 (Reply 10):
Only change lenses with the camera switched off.

How can this avoid the dust from entering the sensor? Just curious...  Confused

--Vasanth



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User currently offlineMygind66 From Spain, joined May 2004, 1058 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 hours ago) and read 3236 times:

Hi..

Well in my case I use Coper Hill method too and my 10D is not a 20D probably... I've just had to clean the sensor once since 01/2004 and I do change a lot lenses. The reason of having just 2 or 3 spots actually ( PS kills them ) I think is because I change lenses with the switch off and the body upside down in order to avoid dust to get in the sensor....

Cheers

Enrique


User currently offline9VSPO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 hours ago) and read 3237 times:

When I asked my local Jessops for a puffer the guy there told me the 350D was self-cleaning! I wish!  Wow!

User currently offlineLGW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 6 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

9VSPO,

"When I asked my local Jessops for a puffer the guy there told me the 350D was self-cleaning!"

I love Jessops, bargain prices and expert, knowledgeable service  rotfl 

Cheers

Ben Pritchard


User currently offlineTZ From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2003, 1085 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (9 years 5 hours ago) and read 3232 times:
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Quoting Vasanthd (Reply 11):
How can this avoid the dust from entering the sensor? Just curious...

The sensor (or rather protective plastic coating over the sensor) is statically charged, rather unfortunately this draws the dust onto it.

I assume the Canon chap was inferring that the static charge may be reduced by powering off. Just my supposition though.

TZ



TZ Aviation - Aeropuerto de los Banditos Team Images
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