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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 02 Feb 2018 (Friday) 08:49
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cleaning sensor

 
Ltdave
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Feb 02, 2018 08:49 |  #1

just watched a youtube and they guy used a sensor sweep thing. looks similar to a foam makeup applicator...


is there anything i can use OTHER than these special mail order items? ive got a good spot of gunk it looks like on my sensor...




  
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gjl711
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Feb 02, 2018 09:08 |  #2

You can use a home made sensor wand and a pec pad or just pick up a kit from Amazon (external link). If you scroll down that like, you will see the pec pads, rocket blower, and a bottle of eclipse solution. THe whole kit is about $30 US and will last years. I still have my original kit bought back in 2006 and I'm only about 1/2 way through the materials.


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amfoto1
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Feb 02, 2018 12:14 |  #3

I strongly suggest you get the right tools for the job. It's all too easy to screw up a sensor cleaning and do damage that will require an expensive repair.

A "large piece of gunk" might be pretty easy to dislodge with a gentle puff of air from a bulb blower.

Or it might be more solidly adhered. If it's just one spot, a "Speck Grabber" might be all you need... (though you'll probably need a magnifier and some sort of illumination to see what you're doing).

What you saw on the video is probably an "adhesive" type of cleaner (such as "Dust Aid"). That can work well when there's no oil on a sensor. But if your camera's sensor has never been cleaned, chances are very good that there's some oil on it from the shutter mechanism.... in which case a "wet cleaning" (such as a wand tool with a Pec Pad dampened with a drop of Eclipse sensor cleaning fluid... or pre-wetted cleaning swabs) would be needed. Any oil on the surface will only be smeared around any sort of "dry" cleaning method.

See www.cleaningdigitalcam​eras.com (external link) for really complete info on cleaning sensors. That site is written and maintained by professional repair techs who've done umpteen cleanings and know what they're talking about. They also own and operate Micro-tools.com, a good source for most of the sensor cleaning tools and supplies (and where a lot of professional repairers get their tools and supplies). Since they sell virtually everything, they're reasonably unbiased in their recommendations.

After reading it all, decide whether you want to clean the sensor yourself or have it done. Depending upon where you are, there is likely a local shop or camera store that offers cleanings for $25 to $50. If you decide to do it yourself, it will probably cost you about $100.... maybe a bit more... to get all the proper tools and supplies. But you'd be all set to do a number of cleanings and in the future would only have to replace some of the "consumables" such as the Pec Pads or swabs, Sensor Pen and/or sensor cleaning fluid. Tools like a cleaning wand, bulb blower, magnifier, illumination device, mini-vac etc. all would be one-time purchases. Some items such as a Speck Grabber, Sensor Pen and/or cleaning brush aren't usable indefinitely, but will need less frequent replacement.

DO NOT use household cleaning fluids or common cotton buds ("Q-Tips") inside your camera. The fluids are too likely to do damage and cotton buds shed tiny fibers that can get into and jam camera mechanisms. Also don't use a high powered vacuum, compressor or canned air. They're all too strong and risk damaging fragile mechanisms inside the camera. Canned air also can spew some propellant fluids or "super cool" objects, either of which would be potentially damaging.

Get and use "the right stuff", to minimize risk. But it still requires you take some care. If unsure about it, might be safest to put the camera in the hands of a professional repair tech for cleaning.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Feb 04, 2018 09:41 as a reply to  @ amfoto1's post |  #4

Great information! Thank you, Alan!

Question: I was about to order the Dust Patrol swabs and fluid for my Canon 1D4. On the DP site is says I need the 20mm swabs but the camera's sensor is actually 18.6mm, so a little smaller than the swabs. Just checking if those are really safe for an APS-H sensor. I worry about the swabs sticking out just a bit and picking up oil or some such from the top and bottom edges.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Feb 04, 2018 09:53 |  #5

Levina de Ruijter wrote in post #18556053 (external link)
Great information! Thank you, Alan!

Question: I was about to order the Dust Patrol swabs and fluid for my Canon 1D4. On the DP site is says I need the 20mm swabs but the camera's sensor is actually 18.6mm, so a little smaller than the swabs. Just checking if those are really safe for an APS-H sensor. I worry about the swabs sticking out just a bit and picking up oil or some such from the top and bottom edges.

You can check https://photosol.com/s​wab-sizes/ (external link) for the recommended swab size which is shown as 20mm for the 1DIV. I believe you want the swab slightly larger than the sensor so you can swipe across the sensor and cover the entire surface. Otherwise, you would have to take two swipes and raise the likelihood of spreading surface debris. Swabs generally are used for one swipe, not multiple.




  
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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Feb 04, 2018 10:10 as a reply to  @ John from PA's post |  #6

That's the same info as on the Dust Patrol site. I just wanted to make sure. Thanks!


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davesrose
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Feb 04, 2018 10:18 |  #7

It seems there might be some very slight differences in size with APS-H sensors (maybe in response to differences in photosite layouts). Wikipedia says APS-H is 19mm high, while this article says Canon developed a prototype high resolution sensor that was 20.2mm high:

Canon develops APS-H-size CMOS sensor with approximately 250 megapixels, the world's highest pixel count for its size (external link)

20mm will easily fit the height of a APS-H sensor box, while 24mm will for FF.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Feb 04, 2018 10:35 as a reply to  @ davesrose's post |  #8

Specs in the Dpreview review said 18.6mm for the 1D4.
I wish they would make up their minds! :-P

I just ordered the 20mm swabs.


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Feb 04, 2018 13:26 |  #9

davesrose wrote in post #18556075 (external link)
It seems there might be some very slight differences in size with APS-H sensors (maybe in response to differences in photosite layouts). Wikipedia says APS-H is 19mm high, while this article says Canon developed a prototype high resolution sensor that was 20.2mm high:

Canon develops APS-H-size CMOS sensor with approximately 250 megapixels, the world's highest pixel count for its size (external link)

20mm will easily fit the height of a APS-H sensor box, while 24mm will for FF.

just remember that the sensor isn't actually the part being cleaned - it's the IR/hotmirror filter & by design it needs to be larger than the sensor size...


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davesrose
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Feb 04, 2018 14:29 as a reply to  @ joeseph's post |  #10

The article about the prototype sensor specifically said 29.2 x 20.2 CMOS sensor. Sure, there is layers of filters on top of the sensor...but perhaps the fabrication of different sensor models is not a precise tenth mm tollerence.


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Feb 05, 2018 07:16 |  #11

davesrose wrote in post #18556246 (external link)
The article about the prototype sensor specifically said 29.2 x 20.2 CMOS sensor. Sure, there is layers of filters on top of the sensor...but perhaps the fabrication of different sensor models is not a precise tenth mm tollerence.


Dave sensor fab specifications are generally done on the order of hundreds or even tens of nanometers for modern chips, that is 0.0000001m or 0.00000001m, while 0.1mm is only 0.0001m. The thing is that most people could not tell to within a couple of mm how large something is just by looking at it. So rounding the size to even a whole mm is pretty acceptable, especially for sales literature. After all 1mm is just a bit smaller than 1/25" (it's exactly 25.4mm to 1").

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John ­ from ­ PA
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Feb 05, 2018 08:06 |  #12

BigAl007 wrote in post #18556677 (external link)
After all 1mm is just a bit smaller than 1/25" (it's exactly 25.4mm to 1").

Alan

To put that into perspective, 20# bond paper is about 4 thousands of an inch thick so a millimeter is about 10 sheets.

[Edit] I've corrected the content to indicate 10 sheets and I'm embarrassed to say I'm an engineer used to working with metric units. :oops:

In the United States, we are changing to metric, but we are doing it inch by inch.




  
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davesrose
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Feb 05, 2018 08:19 |  #13

I understand that die manufacturing of semiconductor chips is in nanometers. My question is if every APS-H sensor model has the exact the same dimensions? There can wiggle room for different designs within tenths of mm (and numbers that are quoted as 18.6 or 20.2 sound more exact then 19 or 20). Every 55” HDTV model doesn’t have the exact same screen dimension.


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saea501
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Feb 05, 2018 08:24 |  #14

John from PA wrote in post #18556695 (external link)
To put that into perspective, 20# bond paper is about 4 thousands of an inch thick so a millimeter is about 6 sheets.


A millimeter is 40 thousandths of an inch. Actually, 39.37 thousandths.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Feb 05, 2018 08:34 |  #15

saea501 wrote in post #18556709 (external link)
A millimeter is 40 thousandths of an inch. Actually, 39.37 thousandths.

Correct, a total "duh" on my part. Now where did I leave my slide rule? :oops:




  
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