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The scariest hour of my life - Sensor Cleaning

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Thread started 21 Mar 2008 (Friday) 12:57   
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Becca
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A few weeks ago, I sent my camera in to Canon to have the sensor cleaned. It came back almost as bad as when I sent it in, so I bit the bullet and ordered the Copper Hill basic kit and Sensor View. It came a few days ago, and I finally got the nerve to try it today.

After the first swab:

IMAGE: http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m114/BeccaNH/Sensor%20Cleaning/IMG_8802.jpg

I was sure I had ruined my sensor after the test image, so I figured I couldn't hurt it any more if I tried it again.

IMAGE: http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m114/BeccaNH/Sensor%20Cleaning/IMG_8803.jpg

That looked a little bit better so I was feeling a little better and tried it again.

IMAGE: http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m114/BeccaNH/Sensor%20Cleaning/IMG_8804.jpg

And one more time!

IMAGE: http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m114/BeccaNH/Sensor%20Cleaning/IMG_8805.jpg

I'm glad it's over, but I'm really glad I gave it a try! It really does work, and after a couple of tries it wasn't that hard.

I just had to share this with people who would understand!

Post #1, Mar 21, 2008 12:57:47


Becca
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racketman
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it is scary the first time but I don't give it a thought now. Come to think of it I haven't had to do a sensor clean this year, maybe the dust shaker in the 40D really works.

Post #2, Mar 21, 2008 13:01:05


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Bill ­ Roberts
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It looks like you did a pretty good job there.

Cheers

Post #3, Mar 21, 2008 13:03:38


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joayne
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Yup, the first time is the scariest! All of us have thought that we have ruined the camera. It does take a couple of tries to get it clean, and now you can clean it anytime it needs it.. and you can do it with confidence!

I sent my 20D in to Canon to be refurbished, cleaned and generally checked out. It came back with a HUGE chunk of gunk on it. I don't know what they call clean, but this just isn't clean!

Post #4, Mar 21, 2008 13:04:38


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gjl711
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I have found that many times, especially if it hasn't been cleaned for a while, that the first cleaning makes things worse. Sometime 3~5 are needed before it's to my liking. The first time I saw that smear it also freaked me out and I though I damaged it. I'm not so freaked out any more.

Looks like you did good. :)

Post #5, Mar 21, 2008 13:06:22


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timmyeatchips
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Did you pay Canon for the cleaning? If those blobs were big and greasy enough to give those smears (which are obviously from the dots rather than the random smearing you sometimes get from cleaning fluid) then it seems they didn't do anything!

Post #6, Mar 21, 2008 13:15:52


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Becca
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I knew I could count on my fellow POTNer's to understand!

timmyeatchips wrote in post #5162015external link
Did you pay Canon for the cleaning? If those blobs were big and greasy enough to give those smears (which are obviously from the dots rather than the random smearing you sometimes get from cleaning fluid) then it seems they didn't do anything!

Yes, I did. I probably should have contacted them and had them re-do it, but I didn't want to be without my camera again for another 2 weeks, and to be honest I didn't have a lot of confidence in them after the first time! I think it was a better investment to just buy the stuff and do it myself!

Post #7, Mar 21, 2008 13:37:17


Becca
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Jim_T
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An HOUR of sensor cleaning? That must have been some sticky stuff on your sensor.

I use Photosol and Sensor swabs.. I clean my sensor about once every four months. It takes me no more than 3 minutes. You'll get quicker with practice :)

Post #8, Mar 21, 2008 13:40:18




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Cadwell
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You certainly get quicker with practice. In the track season my cameras can need cleaning every weekend. I find it depends on the camera too... my old 10D I could clean in seconds but the 1D Mark II is a pig. I've never had to attempt a wet clean on the Mark III yet.

Post #9, Mar 21, 2008 13:43:54


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Becca
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Jim_T wrote in post #5162138external link
An HOUR of sensor cleaning? That must have been some sticky stuff on your sensor.

I use Photosol and Sensor swabs.. I clean my sensor about once every four months. It takes me no more than 3 minutes. You'll get quicker with practice :)

I'm sure I was moving in slow motion out of fear! :D

It took me about 15 minutes to read the instructions over several times. Then another few minutes to figure out how to wrap the pec pad over the swab. Then I did a test run on a piece of glass (just to get the feel of it). Then I had to rewrap the swab again. I swabbed a total of 4 times, with test shots in between each try. I'm sure next time will go a lot faster!

Post #10, Mar 21, 2008 13:46:16


Becca
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gjl711
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With the sensor involved, when it doubt, go slow... slow... slow... This isn't a race and nothing but bad can happen if you try and rush the process. YOu do get faster with practive, also, it seems that if you stay on top of the cleanings, they are much easier as well.

It is sort of shady that Canon returns the equipment in the same condition as when you shipped it. Sounds like they did nothing.

Post #11, Mar 21, 2008 14:20:04


Not sure why, but call me JJ.
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iacas
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I've never cleaned my sensor. 5D. Tens of thousands of shots by now. Hundreds of lens changes. Rocket blower has worked and I don't see much dust on the sensor the few times I've had to stop down...

I'm holding off as long as I can. :-)

Post #12, Mar 21, 2008 15:04:37 as a reply to gjl711's post 44 minutes earlier.


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Becca
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gjl711 wrote in post #5162322external link
It is sort of shady that Canon returns the equipment in the same condition as when you shipped it. Sounds like they did nothing.

Well, they did do something. It was in REALLY bad shape when I sent it in. I rarely shoot above f/8, so I just didn't notice until I went out to the beach a few weeks ago and was shooting at f/16. This is what it looked like before I sent it in.

IMAGE: http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m114/BeccaNH/Sensor%20Cleaning/IMG_5004.jpg

They didn't get it completely clean, but it was in better shape than that! Just not as good as I would have liked. And to be honest, I had used a rocket blower on it a few times, but I've never cleaned the sensor and I've had the camera for over 2 years (and I went to Africa!) So, it was probably long overdue.

Post #13, Mar 21, 2008 15:42:57


Becca
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TheGaffer
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An hour?

Don't forget that if your battery dies, the shutter and the mirror both snap down on your swab-stick...

Andrew

Post #14, Mar 21, 2008 15:51:38


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Rellik
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Look like someone sneezed on your sensor. ;)

Hope you didn't pay canon to "clean" that sensor. Otherwise, I'd ask for a refund + shipping costs.

I don't think he had the mirror up for that long. Factor in the time to prepare the swab and stuff, sounds about right for the first time.

Post #15, Mar 21, 2008 16:57:24


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