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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Sensor Cleaning
Paul Hayes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Littleton | NH | USA | Posted: 9:58 PM on 03.15.13
->> Quick question. How many people out there clean their own sensors? And, if you do, how many take this approach -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndu9NlgqVn8 -- and how many do something else?
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Clay Begrin, Photographer
Petaluma | Ca | USA | Posted: 10:18 PM on 03.15.13
->> Paul I use a similar system made by Delkin Devices. Here's a link to B & H Photo's ad for the item. Usually sells for about $100.00 but they have it now for $75.00. I've been happy with this system.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/778946-REG/Delkin_Devices_DDSS_SCOPE3...
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 8:35 AM on 03.16.13
->> I've cleaned my own sensors many times. I use a rocket blower most of the time and it gets things pretty clean. If I have spots, I use the wet method described in the video.

Paul, the key here is not to achieve perfection so don't be too aggressive. Sensors get dirty ...that's life. I send my cameras in once or twice a year for a bumper to bumper cleaning by Canon CPS. I'll let them handle the perfection.
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Richard Uhlhorn, Photographer
Chelan Falls | WA | USA | Posted: 10:40 AM on 03.16.13
->> I also use a rocket blower and it does and excellent job keeping my sensors clean.
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Steven Bridges, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | United States | Posted: 12:43 PM on 03.16.13
->> A few years ago my buddy and Sportsshooter member, Ernie Rice, made a "how to clean your sensor blog post" because of me. I have used this technique to clean my sensor ever since. Not to mention, I have passed it along several times through the years.

http://bit.ly/iA76eo
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Paul Hayes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Littleton | NH | USA | Posted: 2:27 PM on 03.16.13
->> @Steve, if you do this, do you still also send it into NPS/CSP once every so often?
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 4:07 PM on 03.16.13
->> I use the built-in cleaning mode and rocket blower most, for more troublesome dust I use the Arctic Butterfly brush I bought many years ago ... if that doesn't work I send the camera in to the service center for a thorough cleaning ...
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John Korduner, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 9:27 PM on 03.16.13
->> I always do it myself. Adorama sells swabs for the various sensor sizes. They're around $1.50/ea. While the solution is relatively expensive, a bottle seemingly lasts forever. I don't have the fancy lighted loop, but it would simplify the process. Nonetheless, it's far cheaper to do it yourself, and doesn't require any turnaround time.
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Max Waugh, Photographer
Bothell | WA | USA | Posted: 12:54 AM on 03.17.13
->> For years I used a basic nylon makeup brush with reasonable results, until I started spending a lot more time shooting in some pretty wild areas (the dust on the sensor seemed to multiply exponentially in the last year).

For Christmas I received a wet cleaner similar to that in the video and hated it. So I reluctantly dropped $100 on the Artic Butterfly... and have to say I'm pretty impressed. So far so good. It's nice not having to send gear back to Canon for cleaning after every adventure.
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Steven Bridges, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | United States | Posted: 11:07 AM on 03.17.13
->> Paul, I can't remember the last time I sent my camera in just to be cleaned. I think my CPS membership gives me three free clean and checks a year. I normally save them for lens and just before I sale gear. I usually have one or two left over at the end of the year.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 7:22 PM on 03.17.13
->> If you use BandH, you may have to click on "email me a price" in order to get the $75 price. Includes free shipping.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 5:08 AM on 03.18.13
->> I clean my own. I use the Sensor scope, but I really only use the magnifier, I don't use the vacuum. I prefer the Delkin blue swabs because you can tell how "wet" your swab is, with the white, it can be a guess.. I found that out when I ran out of the blues (and they are double sided!) and had to use a white.

My problem is the 1Dx is supposed to have the best cleaning system to date for dust and my sensor is constantly getting horribly dirty. I'm not changing lenses in a dust storm, I power off (most of the time) before changing lenses and the lenses are clean when they go on. It baffles me how I get so much dust on the sensor, much more than I ever did on my 5D2.

I will say this, if you believe in DRY only, there will come a time you need a wet system. There is oil inside your mirror box and that oil sometimes makes its way onto the glass. The only way to get it off, the wet method..
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 9:34 AM on 03.18.13
->> Jim it may depend on the lenses you are using. If you are using zooms that don't have a fixed barrel (the kind where the lens barrel grows and shrinks as you zoom) every time you zoom in and out the lens acts as a bellows and sucks air from the environment into the mirror box.

I never realized just how much air moved until I tried a 24-120 and had switched eye pieces to an aquatech piece without a cover glass. Zoomed quickly to frame a dunk and the puff of air at the veiwfinder was darn close to a glaucoma test.

I too use a wet system to clean my sensors. The one thing that I found a while back was corner swabs. They're TINY swabs meant to clean where the gunk seems to build up at the edges when you wipe a full size swab and lift it at the end of the swipe. Love them!
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 6:52 PM on 03.18.13
->> I sometimes use a wet swab with pesky spots. Usually a quick blast of compressed air does the trick.

YES, I know everyone screams don't use compressed air. Three precautions:

- Don't shake the can.
- Hold the can upright.
- Use a SHORT blast.

Never had any issues with this method on any body. Your mileage may vary.

And BTW, was I the only one who found that fake 8mm film look on that video VERY annoying?
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Paul Hayes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Littleton | NH | USA | Posted: 7:11 PM on 03.18.13
->> Chuck, there's always this video. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi6S3jHA21w
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Kevin Novak, Photographer, Assistant
Bel Air (Baltimore) | MD | USA | Posted: 7:15 PM on 03.18.13
->> Chuck, I watched about 15 seconds and shut it down.
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Jason Zindroski, Photographer, Assistant
Laguna Niguel | CA | USA | Posted: 1:37 PM on 03.19.13
->> I use the Artic Butterfly from Visible Dust as well. Here is a link.

http://www.visibledust.com/products3.php?pid=2

I have the older version but same concept, you spin the brush around to create static that will help left the dust. Haven't tried a wet system so can't compare.
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Paul DiSalvo, Photographer
Highlands Ranch | CO | United States of America | Posted: 12:48 AM on 03.20.13
->> + 1 on what Eric says on the corner swabs as that seems where the dust is always hiding. I clean out the corners first, then hit the whole sensor with a big swab. My process is blower first, then the Arctic Butterfly if the blower cant get it, then a wet swabbing if needed.

If you think you have a clean sensor, shoot some open sky around F/11 and you'll see everything.
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Thread Title: Sensor Cleaning
Thread Started By: Paul Hayes
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