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Thread started 23 Apr 2013 (Tuesday) 08:22
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Sensor cleaning woes

 
Alveric
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Apr 23, 2013 08:22 |  #1
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Say, if you take a gander at these pics you'll agree with me that I have a real dust problem. I went through 8 swabs with Eclipse and in some cases things only got worse. The dust seems to concentrate in the corners, so my question is how do I know which corner in the picture corresponds to the sensor when viewed head on? And, is there a sure way to clean as 'perfect' as possible. I think I'm following the procedure correctly. Just how much pressure are you s'posed to apply to the swab?

IMAGE: http://diamantstudios.ca/Gemeines/bilder/Dust-1.jpg

Here's the upper right corner of the photo above:
IMAGE: http://diamantstudios.ca/Gemeines/bilder/Dust-2.jpg

And where is that upper right corner in here?
IMAGE: http://diamantstudios.ca/Gemeines/bilder/5D2_sensor.jpg

TIA

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Apr 23, 2013 08:25 |  #2

The lower left I think. The image is flipped when it strikes the sensor. Go with light pressure and a single swipe with the swab. Make sure it is barely moist, one drop of cleaning fluid on each end of the swab.


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Alveric
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Apr 23, 2013 08:33 |  #3
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Hmm, maybe that was my problem, I was applying too much liquid (3-4 drops).

Thanks for the quick reply. :)


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amfoto1
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Apr 23, 2013 09:25 |  #4

Yes, the point on the sensor is upside down and backward from where you see it on the image. I.e., when viewing the sensor from the front... look for the speck seen in the upper right corner of the image in the lower left corner of the sensor itself.

Have you followed up the wet cleaning with a bulb blower? There's also a product called "Speck Grabber" to help with stubborn, individual specks.

What f-stop is the test image above? And what camera? There will nearly always be some few, small specks of dust on your camera's sensor. If you shoot an f22 or smaller for the test shot, you'll see them. However, you shouldn't be using that small an aperture for regular shooting purposes (due to diffraction, Google for more info if interested). There's rarely reason to use smaller than about f11 on a crop sensor camera, at which there might be no sign of that dust speck at all. On a full frame camera, f16 is often the smallest aperture you need, and again a small speck might not show up.

Some cameras also have a Dust Delete feature. Run that occasionally and the camera takes a shot, analyzes it, mapping out any small dust specks it finds.

Be very careful with that cleaning fluid! If you get too much in there, it can seep around the sensor or into other areas of the camera where you don't want it!


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Alveric
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Apr 23, 2013 09:41 |  #5
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I don't always follow with the bulb blower, though I did last nite, a couple of times. The camera is a 5D Mk II. The pictures above are f/22, which I used to make the dust visible. I tend to shoot at f/22 quite regularly when using a wide angle lens: I'm in the 'don't worry about diffraction' camp. I was shooting last night with a 70-200 and when downloading the pictures I noticed dust spots on frames shot at f/16 (which is the maximum aperture I use with telephotos): that's what started the woes, I shoulda left it alone, but then again, I had enough swabs right? **rolls eyes** Me and my phantastic ideas...

Anywise, thanks for the tip about the fluid amount, I'll try to be more careful.


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Apr 23, 2013 09:58 |  #6

It takes quite a few attempts to get rid of the dustbunnies, especially the ones in the corners. I think I did over 10. Keep in mind that you can't do more than one round trip with the swab, otherwise you are just rearranging the dustbunnies.

As far as the fluid amount goes, after the first 3-4 swabs, I use only 1 drop.


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Apr 24, 2013 16:43 as a reply to  @ MakisM1's post |  #7

Sometimes the spots can be oily. For oily spots you would need a different cleaning fluid. I don't know what Eclipse has but Visible Dust has a special cleaning fluid for oily spots that seem to stick to the sensor.


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Apr 24, 2013 21:02 |  #8
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Eclipse is essentially methanol.


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Apr 25, 2013 03:01 |  #9
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Well, got the swabs and did another round. The woes continued: I take out the big swab and drop it onto the carpet... :mad::rolleyes:

Managed to get the big, linty spots but some stubborn ones remained. I don't want to go through another box of swabs; I guess they're indeed too oily for Eclipse to remove and I'll have to wait till I get ahold of that hellishly expensive VisibleDust liquid for oily dust (thanks for the reference gfspencer :) ).


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Apr 25, 2013 03:28 |  #10

VisibleDust Corner Swabs. Use your large swab, get all the dust into one end then use a corner swab.


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Apr 25, 2013 03:28 |  #11

Alveric wrote in post #15865031 (external link)
I guess they're indeed too oily for Eclipse to remove and I'll have to wait till I get ahold of that hellishly expensive VisibleDust liquid for oily dust (thanks for the reference gfspencer :) ).

It's what I use and it may be expensive, but one small vial of the solution will do at least four sensor cleans - two swabs per clean.

But the main thing is, it works. Just make sure you use the correct size swab.




  
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Apr 25, 2013 04:07 as a reply to  @ JohnB57's post |  #12

I just use progressively more pressure (with eclipse)
I find corners and edges the biggest challenge.
Using small enough amount of fluid seems to be a challenge, I'll do a dry wipe with fresh pec pad if I think previous attempt was too wet.
I think best I ever managed was 3 attempts - 10 minutes or so.
Usually 6 - 10 attempts until I'm satisfied.


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Apr 25, 2013 04:16 |  #13

Alveric wrote in post #15865031 (external link)
I guess they're indeed too oily for Eclipse to remove and I'll have to wait till I get ahold of that hellishly expensive VisibleDust liquid for oily dust (thanks for the reference gfspencer :) ).

I doubt you'll find anything much better than methanol (Eclipse) for removing oil, at least not outside a lab. Especially not VisibleDust's SensorClean liquid. Even they say - " While it is best used on water based stains and light dust contamination..." LINK

The reason there's no restrictions on flying with SensorClen is that it's water-based, with some detergents and/or surfactants. Yes, it's essentially a very expensive soap solution.


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Apr 25, 2013 09:06 |  #14

I use Eclipse; one swipe this way and one swipe reverse - wet, and then immediately follow it up with a dry left-right combo to make sure there's no streaks. Check, then repeat as necessary. I have never been lucky enough to get everything the first time around :)

What does Canon use when you send your body off for a clean and check?


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